Remember back in school?
All of us probably remember a moment in our school history when you, as a child, felt excluded from the others. Maybe you were not allowed to participate in a game or worse: bullied. This strikes us at the core of our existence. As we are ‘group species, we need the group for survival (back in the cave, and still now). Being excluded from the group endangers our physical and emotional being.
Since then we have learned a lot
…you would think, right? Unfortunately bullying at the workplace is a real life issue and many employees go to their work with pain in their stomach, knowing they will be systemic, laser focused bullied by colleagues. They are being excluded and emotionally abused. Amazingly emotional violence at the workplace is not illegal in most countries by law, yet. Bullying has a major impact on someone’s physical, mental, emotional and social health. Some economic harm includes lost opportunity at the loved-job because of transfer to another department (which feels like a punitive transfer). There is a loss of knowledge, which hurts the organization and its customers in the long run. Also there is a substantial loss of revenue and profit, which might harm the existence of the company. If someone bullies, they bring danger upon themselves.
In my line of work
As a trainer I must be aware of including everybody. During training it is so important that safety is provided. But…in the hectic I sometimes close the door while a participant is at the restroom. Or I overlook asking someone during evaluation and reflection round. If people start repeating themselves they often feel excluded: summarizing what they said both on content and process and emotions helps to let them know they are an important part of this group.
Ubuntu means humanity to others
There is need for understanding in our society. Not vengeance or victimization. Ubuntu is a complex word (a Nguni Bantu term) and is roughly translated into “human kindness”. And also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. It means Humanity and in the end civilization.
Spread this beautiful purpose and focus on living it on a daily basis. Each day of our lives. I aim to do so as well.
Bijdrage van Erna van Lingen