I love poetry, and at A Human Workplace, we often include poetry in our gatherings. So I was particularly delighted when NPR announced their “Love is…” poetry contest for school children on Morning Edition. Hearing the response of children to the invitation to write about love was so familiar to me because I hear the same response from grown adults everywhere when I talk with them about decreasing fear and increasing love in the workplace.
“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.”
So what does a 17th century English poet have to say about the modern American workplace? Plenty.
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.
I’ve been traveling a lot these last two weeks: Visiting New York City and then speaking in Toronto, Los Angeles, and the Pacific Northwest. And everywhere I go I can’t help but talk about The “L” Word. I bring up The “L” Word during informal conversations meeting people on the plane, in pubs and restaurants, on the train, at conferences. I’ll talk about it anywhere.
We have a lot to talk about! If we are going to really dig in to a conversation about something as apparently bold and controversial as moving from fear to safety by decreasing indifference and increasing love at work, then we’ll need a shared understanding of some basic concepts. ... To get us started, these next few blog posts will explore what fear is, why it is important, when it is good and bad, and what to do about it when it’s bad.