How much of the pain we cause others at work comes from our own unacknowledged pain?
How much do we wound others, because we feel wounded?
How much do we have others not be seen, because we do not feel seen ourselves?
And how much do we project our own harsh self-judgement so that we see others through a harsh lens rather than working to see ourselves, first, with more kindness?
Each time I’m told that work is not the place to address what’s personal, it seems clearer to me what a mistake this is. We have to learn to look at all this. And talk about it.
If treat work as if it isn’t a fully human affair, we deny ourselves the possibility of dealing skilfully with our difficulties. And if we use a shield of politeness and faux-civility to turn away from our own darkness, we shouldn’t be surprised that our workplaces continue to magnify and deepen our suffering. And nor should we be surprised how difficult it is to bring about the results, projects, and outcomes we wish for.