September 20, 2012

On Belonging

It's a grey day outside, and raining... a heavy drizzle. Winter is at the door. Time to buy a coat. And as I sit inside, looking outside, my thoughts are drawn to what makes people happy at their work. I feel that people are happy when they feel that they belong somewhere. That they have a place - sometimes like a second home - with a type of family - a team - with whom they can share the joys and sorrows of life.
How do you feel that warmth? That belonging? One key element is trust. If we don't trust others - at work, (or sometimes even at home), then we walk around with fear, looking over our shoulders... Can I say this? Can I say that? Are they with me or against me?
Our new students start in Year 1 without knowing if they can trust the other students in their group. Then we tell them to start a student company. They have a lot to do. A lot of team work. But the trust isn't there just automatically. Trust has to be built up over time. If a friend or colleague promises they will do something, but they don't - that trust is broken, or doesn't grow. If promises are kept, and respected, then trust flourishes.
I may be naive (I think I mentioned that last week in my post), but I tend to believe that most people really want to trust others. That they want to feel 'contained', accepted, believed. I don't think that people start out suspicious unless they have gone through unpleasant experiences in the past. And even if they have - humans are very social creatures - we like to bond with each other. We have little disagreements then we forgive and move forward, as long as we can be together...
We like to belong, to be individuals but also to be in a group. A fuzzy, warm, you rub my back and I'll rub yours group.
That's what my team of colleagues is for me. I'm glad to have a group to belong to!
We're all just a group of intelligent chimpanzees at the end of the day, aren't we?

No comments:

Post a Comment