During a “round table”, in videoconference, with human resources professionals, we talked about our vision of the awakening of human potential in companies.
We wanted to share our experiences on this subject and evaluate the possibilities for the future, a future that begins today.
We each had our own point of view, but our common dream is to have companies that are more innovative and creative in terms of working methods and more centred on people, and in the end… I dare to say it: happiness at work.
Awakening human potential is the kind of philosophical question that provokes more questions than answers: what is awakening? It is the passage from something to something else, but from what to what? What is potential? Possibilities? The opening of oneself to possibilities and becoming more oneself? Feeling more free? Feeling less pressure? Everyone can contribute to finding answers, for themselves, for others, to improve our situation at work and in life.
During our round tale, we quickly digressed and drifted towards life in general. We also talked about improving the human condition on earth to reach the awakening of all our potentials, to gain better knowledge, to have more real exchanges between each other, innovation for the human and not only for the economy, harmony, letting creativity express itself, and the possibility to enjoy many such opportunities.
Reshaping an entire company may seem like a daunting task. But when we are on a boat, if we deviate 2% from our course, what happens after 12 hours of sailing? Starting from San Remo, Italy, and aiming at the west coast of Corsica, we arrive at the island of Elba (thanks to my friend Olivier who did the calculation).
If each of us contributes 2%, everything is possible. We must find a balance between the rules, imposed by any company and any life in society, and the development of human potential.
If we are aware of our potential, we can help others to find their way. If we have understood why we are doing it, what motivates us, what interests us, in the development of human potential, then we can explain it to others and set an example.
Another example that seems to me to speak for itself: a light bulb can be turned off or on, more or less bright, it remains a light bulb, even if it is turned off. It is the same for us: we can find the switch, the dimmer and shine. Or stay off. How many times have we thought it was a mountain to make a report, or statistics, within the time limits imposed on us, and finally we did it, with or without help, or even presented it in front of colleagues or the management of the company we work for.
How did we do it? We stepped out of our comfort zone. We opened a door. We may have asked a colleague for help. We learned. We made progress. We told ourselves that it was possible, that if others could do it, we could do it too. Everyone has their own method, but each time we go further, we develop our potential, which is infinite.
Let’s get rid of prejudices
My kids love TikTok. At first, I had my own opinion: it is stupid. But I remained open. And over time, I realized that their musical culture was expanding. They were singing melodies of classics, in all musical styles, and I made them listen to the original versions of these songs. My son (10 years old) wants to be a YouTuber: when he tells me, before I even open my mouth, both my children say in chorus: “yes Mom, it’s a job! “. Indeed, after thinking about it, YouTubers, influencers, bloggers do not go to work, they do not fit into a box, they are not a number. They do what they like, they live from what they like. Their life and their job are one. They use their potential, their creativity, and they are probably more awake than others, more themselves.
One panellist said, “I am exactly where I wanted to be in professional and personal terms, but…” and she looked up to the ceiling to reflect, “…I was missing something. We have defined that something: it is self-recognition. She never thinks she is good enough, yet she has a great ability to encourage others, to motivate them, to make them believe in themselves. But why doesn’t she apply the same method to herself? Because she is not yet capable of self-recognition.
Being satisfied with one’s work, with oneself, contributes to building self-esteem and gives a much more positive feeling to others. When we have a good self-esteem, while remaining humble, we are stronger in front of others and we can give them our support and be more effective together.
However, aren’t we often rather disappointed by the reaction of others when we do something new, different? How many people tell us “that’s good”? And how many people tell us “well, what a funny idea”?
We are the actors of our life, we make our choices, and we do something with them that makes us feel good, and that makes us happy at work.
This is the key word in this pandemic period. We have all had to adapt and we have all adapted, more or less well, with more or less reluctance, with more or less success. Some feel better: they do more sports, see more of their partner and their children. Others feel lost, neglected, isolated: they no longer see their colleagues, they do not go out much.
In all cases, we are in an atypical, even asynchronous work situation. But it works.
Some companies have rethought their way of working.
For all the jobs where it is the result that matters, and not the number of hours worked or something else, like serving customers, it would even seem that a scheme is being put in place, like a soccer game strategy: the 20% — 60% — 20%. That is, 20% work at the office, 60% in a hybrid way and 20% at home (source: Marc Benninger, La transformation du travail reconfigure l’utilisation des espaces, HR Today, 31.03.2021). Many of us are already digital nomads. We can take our CrossFit class at 9:30 am and work at noon, or a moment in the evening after dinner. We can do our shopping or go to the rubbish dump between two sessions, at any time of the day, we will save time.
To achieve a healthy and efficient remote working situation, companies and we have had to awaken human potential, accept change, modify our way of working, change our work tools, use new software, programs, applications, collaborate differently, review our relationships with others, with our superior, with our colleagues, with our subordinates. So, if we can do it in a pandemic, we can do it in normal times. We can learn as the world of work evolves, as technology evolves.
Be yourself and be awake
Everyone has something to bring to others, and without judgment: it is better. Feeling in company, accompanied, with people who love us as we are, people who are comfortable in their own skin, who are authentic with us, with whom we can be ourselves, it is good, it feels good. At work, at a round table, with family, with friends.
The secret is to be yourself, but an awakened self, open to possibilities, to the world. A self that does not say “maybe, but…”, a self that says “ok, I do it”.
Let’s awaken our potential and move forward.
Thanks to Impaktify, whose idea of awakening human potential in companies I have taken up here. Thanks to all the members of the round table, whose ideas I have used in this article. English version reviewed by Nev Taylor. This article was published in French on joHdi. Original title: “Éveiller le potentiel humain pour être plus heureux au travail”.