CEO Letter: March 2018
“We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”
Relationships can be both rewarding and exhausting, sometimes simultaneously. As a parent of teenage children, you work diligently to be their authority figure while knowing it would be easier to be their pal. When you are married or with a partner, you are balancing the give and take of what it takes to be a reciprocating entity in that space. When navigating the waters of relationships at work, it can seem daunting and precarious, especially when new to the organization. The fact of the matter is, we likely spend more time with the people we work with then we do our friends and family. There have been many long standing myths around how you connect with your co-workers in the office. So what does it mean to have “relationships” at work? Aren’t we supposed to be “professional” and not have friends but instead acquaintances? I am proud to say that in part to our work with Imperative around Purpose, we are busting these myths.
Typically in my monthly letter, there will be at least one reference to our Mission, Vision and/or Values. I have come to realize that with strong relationships, we are able to deliver and actualize these ideas much more effectively. We each have our own innate strengths and weaknesses. When we become vulnerable enough to share our thoughts in an environment where we feel safe and valued, growth happens collectively. Relationships are a vital part of our organization and while that does not mean that we need to be best friends with everyone, we can learn to appreciate what each individual brings to the team. I have witnessed firsthand the benefit and beauty of open, real communication between coworkers. Problems are solved more easily, ideas are flushed out more thoroughly and individuals feel more valued.
These ideas are nothing new. The Māori culture of New Zealand utilizes the symbol of a house to represent a person’s complete health. Each individual has a house and the four walls are psychological or emotional health, spirituality or the opportunity for hope, family or people in the individual’s life, and physical well-being which is the vessel for psychological, spiritual and family health. It is the responsibility of the tribe to assist in creating the environment in which each individual can “build their house” within themselves.
In reflecting on Ms. Roosevelt’s quote, it is vital for us to care about each other; it is crucial to take a chance; it is essential for us to care about those around us so that together we can make more of a difference. We have a village at Skils’kin that can and should assist in providing the nurturing environment to assist each of us in “building our house,” and the only way we can do that is through healthy, authentic relationships. This month, I challenge you to focus on your relationships with your coworkers. Strive to create opportunities for genuine conversation where you are present and actively listening and not just thinking about what you are going to say next. Foster those relationships and see the benefits that common language and community creates.