July thoughts from Dr. Nathanson

Joy at work, what is it?

First of all, it is not something we normally discuss at work. But if you have ever had it you will never forget what it feels like. The feeling of joy is subjective. To understand if someone has joyful work you must ask them. In my research about joyful work over the past twenty two years I have found 5 common qualities that many people have.

A deep sense of focus and concentration about one’s work.

A feeling that work is blissful. That is one can’t tell the difference between work and play, vacation and vocation or Monday or Friday.

There is a sense of urgency about this work. That is one is never quite sure how long this will last so they work hard and productive all the time!

The rest of life improves around the person doing the joyful work. Relationships, happiness, health and even the ability to earn income at what one enjoys increases.

Humanistic Leadership is mandatory for our sustainability.

In 2015, I created the humanistic leadership model (HLM) as a way of thinking about Leadership and the different aspects and skills (Leading, managing, and coaching). The driving factor behind the creation of this model was the concern that the current business models and how we led ourselves and others at that time were not sustainable, and we needed a new way forward. This concern was BEFORE the pandemic and the CURRENT challenges we have in the world today.

Many experts have suggested that our species might not be sustainable in our lifetimes at the current rate. This alarming notion caught my attention!

There is now interest and attention for a new way forward to lead ourselves and others. And we must start now if we want to see a calmer, sustainable future. Don’t underestimate your power and what you can do daily to lead this change.

There is a lot that we can’t control, but what we can control are our actions and behavior. Being a humanistic leader of yourself and others is a good start for a better world and future.

Motivation

Motivating others doesn’t work in the long term. Leaders must become teachers enabling others to motivate themselves.

It’s the little words that count the most-Humanistic Leadership.

At work, often, it is the little words that make the most significant impact. Instead of promising big rewards or, unfortunately, the threat of punishment, the humanistic leader uses small words daily. There is more leadership leverage with followers to tell someone, thank you, I appreciate you, you are a valuable member of this team, and sometimes, when needed, I am sorry.

Leading vs. Managing ( Both are needed from the same person)

Leaders provide vision and inspiration while enabling motivation to others towards a common goal. Leaders are focused on creating and facilitating ideas and opinions from others. Strong leaders promote collaboration, not competition between members of the same team. Most of all, leaders sell tickets for the journey!
Management is different. Managers focus on driving the bus. Strong managers should be focused on planning, organizing, and monitoring. To manage requires subordinates. One can lead without necessarily having subordinates. Sometimes managers have a short-term view and need to be results-oriented. While different, good leadership and management are both required for organizational success.

Leaders provide vision and inspiration while enabling motivation to others towards a common goal. Leaders are focused on creating and facilitating ideas and opinions from others. Strong leaders promote collaboration, not competition between members of the same team. Most of all, leaders sell tickets for the journey!
Management is different. Managers focus on driving the bus. Strong managers should be focused on planning, organizing, and monitoring. To manage requires subordinates. One can lead without necessarily having subordinates. Sometimes managers have a short-term view and need to be results-oriented. While different, good leadership and management are both required for organizational success.

The top ten critical thinking skills for a Humanistic Leader

To reflect (the ability to pause and think deeply before action)
To be humble (The ability to move aside ego, be modest, and not evaluate others as inferior)
To be inclusive (to include others even if their ideas differ from yours)
To synthesize (to combine different ideas into one clear idea)
To question (to ask thoughtful questions to gain new insight)
To recognize patterns (to see patterns and similarities)
To be curious (to always be curious about why something occurred)
To predict (to be able to predict what might happen in the future if the same pattern of behavior continued)
To draw connections (to see which parts in the system are connected and can work in harmony)
To understand causal relationships (to seek relationships where there is synergy)

The Humanistic thinker is always thinking about new positive possibilities for working together better, getting along better, and producing better outcomes for all. Critical thinking isn’t just a nice idea; we need to be sustainable now and into the future.

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