Almost six months ago, I broke my ankle. It was a serious injury, and I was told that I should not expect to return to normal for at least six months. As I approach this healing milestone, I have been reflecting on my broken ankle experience. I was surprised by the kindness I received from people I don’t know all that well, or even at all. I am heartened—really heartened—that so many people went out of their way to help me in my time of need.
People are struggling in most workplaces with disengagement, poor well-being, lack of diversity and inclusion, burnout, conflict, bullying and harassment, unethical behavior, poor performance, challenges to creativity, and lack of problem solving.
So what the heck are we doing to ourselves? And wouldn’t it make sense to do something else?
My last post described our need to weave together a stronger social fabric that both honors our common humanity and respects and values diversity. At A Human Workplace: Olympia on June 22, we took a first step by exploring and learning about empathy and diversity. Here’s what we did and what happened. But first, what seems most essential.
The fabric of our society feels threadbare. A tattered cloth with gaping holes, it barely drapes us nor does it display its full beauty. We wish it were different but we seem to have lost our ability to weave that tapestry. But in truth, we’ve never really mastered that craft in the first place nor has our tapestry ever truly been complete. But where to begin? We need to learn to weave.
It’s hard to concentrate on writing tonight. You see, I’m excited…and nervous. Tomorrow morning more than eighty public servants are gathering from all over government to explore empathy and diversity at the June Human Workplace Meet Up in Olympia.
I’m thrilled and can’t wait to have this conversation with this caring community. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being anxious too. After all the subject of diversity is a challenging one and taps in to some of our most difficult and long-standing social issues.
“I found out I was diagnosed with cancer at my desk at work one day at 10 a.m. The doctor wanted to see me the very next day and told me to bring someone who wasn’t a family member. I got off the phone and looked around my cubicle. Then I went and told my boss who immediately brought in someone skilled and knowledgeable who sat with me to figure out what I needed to do in the moment. My boss made it clear that nothing at work was important in the grand scheme of things. She made it easy to turn my focus to my health.”
Providing social services to the most vulnerable people in society is a very human endeavor. People often choose this field because they are compassionate and motivated to care for others. But social services can be some of the most physically and emotionally demanding but lowest paid work there is. This makes Carol’s story an especially heart-warming Love Story About Work.
Workplace fear is an all too common experience. Talk to almost anyone willing to be candid and they can tell you about a time, either past or present, of harmful fear at work. Those with fears in the past may still experience a kind of post traumatic stress disorder over it.
Others are not experiencing POST traumatic stress disorder.For others, the workplace is traumatic NOW. Right now, currently, all-the-time traumatic.