Original Publish Date: April 6, 2021
The Zags, the remarkable Gonzaga men’s basketball team, is moving into the Final Four in the NCAA championship tournament. As a Washingtonian, with Spokane as my hometown, I am excited for the Zags! I also keep reading and hearing about how happy, committed, and confident the players are during the games. These young men have described themselves as genuinely liking one another and sincerely supporting each other to win the games. They don’t let their egos get in the way, and instead, play to everyone’s strengths. The harmony and teamwork shown by the Zags can be an impressive example of what is needed in the workplace culture.
Conflict in the workplace, as well as families, communities, and the nation, blocks the teamwork and harmony we want in the workplace culture. Conflict and mental health issues are on the rise. Employee Assistance Programs are trying to meet the demands. But treating the symptoms is not changing the culture where the real problems exist. The responsibility for transforming workplace culture resides with leadership. Respect and true affinity for one another starts from enlightened leaders operating from universal love, the basic and powerful force that unites human beings.
We often use the word love indiscriminately: "I love my house, my new outfit, the movie I saw, the dinner I had, the new car I bought, or the places I have visited.” But we hesitate to use the same word about our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, or especially our enemies. Too often, we hold back love and refrain from expressing our affinity for others. And when someone disagrees with us or does something that we find unacceptable, we can actually feel hostile toward that one or that group of people. This resulting conflict of these contradictory views in the workplace is a toxic environment while, on a bigger scope, the outcome in the country is a divided nation. Conflict is seen, heard, and felt frequently. Blaming others is not the remedy. The antidote to conflict is the wisdom of universal love. The path to harmony is not in overcoming others, but conversely, in finding that we are more alike than we are different.
Examining conflict and our own part in creating the discord that blocks teamwork.
I suggest we ask ourselves the following questions and consider these possible viewpoints.
The culture starts at the top and enlightened leaders throughout history who have led successful organizations, movements, and countries, take full responsibility for losses—not blaming issues on scapegoats and fall guys. Leaders create wins but accept responsibility for losses.
The remedy of love and acceptance.
Love, in the truest universal sense, is the most powerful force in the universe. It shines on everyone and resides in all people. When in alignment with love, we are energized and empowered to make new discoveries and accomplish great feats. Love is not a weakness. On the contrary, love is the power that sustains all life. It is masterful and imaginative. Imagination stems from the wellspring of creativity - which is the source of genius itself. When we align with love, we align with the power to move mountains, the strength to stand in truth, and the gentleness to feel compassion for all living things.
How do we align with love?
Join me in Project Illumination, dedicated to bringing light and love, individually and collectively, to the workplace, to families, to communities, and the world. One by one, we can heal the dissension between human beings with kindness, honor, and respect for one another. We have the opportunity, as leaders, to create better cultures in the workplace and the world. Go Zags!
Danna Beal, M.Ed., lives in the Seattle, WA area where she is an international speaker, author, retreat/workshop leader, and executive coach. She has spoken to thousands of businesses and conferences and has been on countless radio shows, podcasts, and webinars discussing “Enlightened Leadership” and “Workplace Culture” based on her book, “The Extraordinary Workplace: Replacing Fear with Trust and Compassion.” Her audiences and clients have included: Seattle Science Foundation--Spine Surgeons Grand Rounds, Swedish Hospital and Medical Groups, Kaiser Permanente Grand Rounds, Oakland, CA, AHRA, Orlando, FL, Federal Aviation Administration, Overlake Hospital Perioperative Conference, Radia, numerous physician practices and hospitals. Her website is www.dannabeal.com.