by Judy Ryan
“Accordingly, globalization is not only something that will concern and threaten us in the future, but something that is taking place in the present and to which we must first open our eyes.”
Ulrich Beck, German Sociologist and Social Scientist
I am writing this article during the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than ever, awareness of our inter-connectedness and need for mutual respect and collaboration is apparent. I recently presented at the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, the largest international conference on diversity, equity and inclusion in the world. I presented Bridging Globalization, Diversity and Technology with Emotional Intelligence. I asked the audience to weigh in on why they attended this topic and almost unanimously they said to better understand how to positively respond to globalization. Hence, this article. No matter how large or small our world seems at any given time, our common experiences help us relax and engage with one another with confidence, trust, and enthusiasm rather than fear.
We all share a desire for belonging and significance.
No matter what behaviors we witness in others, under it all, everyone shares a desire to experience joy through secure belonging and making a positive difference. When we do, we feel empowered, lovable, connected and contributing. When I remember this desire about you, I drop my fear about your unfamiliar traditions, beliefs, and practices. I relax into curiosity because you now fascinate me and learning about you expands my thinking and understanding; it does not threaten it. I look into your eyes and I remember that you want to be reassured that your power is good, just like I do. You want to be known in your uniqueness and to delight others. You want no rash assumptions to be made regarding your thoughts and feelings. As I realize you want to connect with me, I am drawn to connect with you! As I open, I recognize your generous heart, eager to help, first by your reassuring smile, your greeting and your willing presence.
During my program, I asked my audience to pair up and intend a caring gaze with a partner. I spoke words affirming the beauty of each person’s power, their unique mind and emotions, their deep desire to connect, and how much they desire to make contributions. The room became quiet, peaceful, and reverential.
Next, I asked each to switch partners, and imagine this person represents Hitler. The fear of the group stirs momentarily. I remind each person that Hitler was beaten daily by his father and his mother was completely unavailable for him due to the loss of three children prior to Hitler’s birth, and one child after. Each person is invited to consider what this may have done to Hitler’s sense of belonging and significance, and determine if they will or will not gaze at him with care and openness. I remind them his power and influence were bold and fearless, his uniqueness indirectly brought about unity in many, his convictions to connect with what he valued (even though he tried to destroy what he loathed in himself and projected onto the Jews) was all driven by his need to contribute and matter.
Again, the partners switch. This time they do this exercise with a surrogate for someone they despise. This might be a relative, ex-spouse, someone polar opposite in politics or religion, or whom they simply hate or fear. Each is called to remember that this person’s power is good, that they deserve to be known and appreciated in their uniqueness, and that they want and deserve connection and they are contributing. Each comes to understand and recognize in silence how much they have been shut down to this person. Everyone has heightened awareness of their choices; to open and embrace or commit further to close and separate.
Mastering globalization is the same as mastering any relationship; with a person we most love and with those we most despise. We become clear about our interpretations and choices about whether we will open or close. To master globalization, we must drop the desire to fix, convert, heal, change or reject people and offer curiosity and compassion instead. That means for you too! Be well, you matter!
Judy Ryan (judy@LifeworkSystems.com), human systems specialist, is owner of LifeWork Systems. Join her in her mission to create a world in which all people love their lives. She can also be reached at 314-239-4727.
People hire LifeWork Systems because we help businesses become agile and manage their priority system: their human system. I hope this article helps you make sense of what’s most crucial to your evolving organization!