Dare to Be Radically Human

We hear it everyday- what is ahead of us, and it is often tainted with fear.  How automation and technology are disrupting the very fabrics of our society, and that we are living on the cusp of total economic and societal revolution. Technology offers progress and change- sometimes welcome, sometimes unknown.  This is what is so unique about us as homo sapiens, we have the ability to build tools that transform our lives - from the wheel to the internet.

But as we face this time of immense, rapid change, we are also seeking to find a place of stability. Against this backdrop of tools and progress, we are still human. While our humanity may not solve it all-- it is all we have at the core.  So, I am a big advocate of creating the conditions in work where we can be more “radically human” than we have traditionally been comfortable with in the workplace. We need this to find our stability. We also need this to keep pace with change.

What was once seen as a transactional relationship, work needs to provide more conditions for us to be and understand ourselves.  This could be considered a radical act in an environment that places a premium on “professionalism.” But I argue that it is precisely this embracing of humanness that will create organizations that have the stability to thrive.

When I talk about radical humanity, I sometimes have people say to me that we do not really want all of the human condition on display- that there are parts of being human that hurt others and create conflict. Point taken. Yet, unless we can look all parts of our humanity in the eye, there is little prospect of elevating to the “better angels of our nature.”

It begins with each of us having the courage to embrace our own humanity, leading to ripples out into our communities, our workplaces and society at large.

Here are a few things I dare you (and myself) to do:

Practice empathy: Lead with listening and be in it together. Open your heart up to others in a way that maybe scares you just a little. Love, not just your family but extend that to those you see everyday in the workplace.

Seek wisdom: Strive to grow yourself and become the master of your own ship. Author the life you want, seeking growth for the sake of it (not because it gets you a promotion).  Show up, own your voice yet do so in a way that does not diminish others.

Drop the charade: Be vulnerable and honest about your truth, your hopes and your growing edge. Enlist others to help you become your best self, ask for help and offer it up to others. Know what you do not know, humbly admits your mistakes, and be truthful.

We are all human. This the common ground where we can find stability together when the world around us is ever-changing.