Joining us for another session on what it means to live, love, work, and lead in
An appetite for the conversation
Talking about humanity at the workplace is not your usual business conversation, but an appetite is now growing for it. As one voice speaks, a second one does, and a third, and then thousands.
Leaders are now starting to realize they can drive this movement and have to start to role model to their people what it’s like — and then hold the line and walk the talk. Cultivating humanity in the workplace is no longer a compliance-based conversation with leaders, it’s one of intention. People want to intentionally bring back the human factor to work.
Mark decided he wanted to find out what happened if he treated his people more like human beings in the workplace, and if he was going to experiment, he was going to experiment on himself first and step into his own discomfort. Sometimes it looked like speaking his truth, even if it was a different opinion from the opinions of those in the room. Sometimes it was trusting someone to do good work. In any case, start small, start safe, and build from there.
Mark shares the story about an experiment he ran, where he asked his people to set personal work-life balance goals: goals for themselves, goals for their family and friends, and goals for the community. He talks about the real-life strategies he used, so that you can do this for yourself as well.
A “To Be” List
Most people have such a long to-do list that they never get anything achieved. So he created a to-be list: every day, be intentional about how you’re going to be. How are you going to behave and turn up? Are you going to be authentic? Are you going to be provocative? Because if you put the ‘being’ before the ‘doing,’ the doing happens so much better.
You can get the 50 Day Humannovation Challenge from Mark’s shop here.
Mark considers himself a provocateur, but it really goes back to self-awareness and what’s really going on in the room. He only provokes with good intentions, to help the group make progress, and in the service of the people in the room. What he tries to do is help people get past the facade they put on when they walk into the workplace and deal with the real things.
Mark shares a personal story about losing his father, who had said before he died that he felt like he didn’t belong. That’s why Mark does what he does. As humans, we crave two things: connection, and a sense of belonging. And for a species that craves belonging, workplaces have become places of social isolation. Are there any other species on the planet that practice social isolation like we humans do? Mark wagers that the answer is no.
A message for you
When Mark was in the workplace, he worked so hard to fit in: he didn’t push the system so it wouldn’t push back on him, and he spent a lot of his energy to stay unremarkable and average. But now with the humans first work that he does in service of the world, there’s a sense of belonging where Mark doesn’t even have to feel like he fits in.
His advice for you is to hold your nerve and do the hard work. This is the hardest work you’ll do, but once you can do this work, you can look outwards and do the other work as well.
Ask yourself these three questions: Why this? Why now? Why me?
What are the things that you’re doing that are useful for you? What are you doing that isn’t useful? And be prepared to sit with that.