We talk about Continuing Professional Development and building the skills and experience we need to succeed in the workplace. We talk less, if at all, about the need to maintain our selves and our emotional health as practitioners. What does this mean? More specifically, what does it mean for a future of work that is human?
A future of work that is human requires an investment of something more than a remote, objective view of an organisation. This is no theoretical, critical analysis. It is about bringing ourselves to our work in a holistic way. For us to be able to deliver on these new roles of Ethical Narrator and Cultural Navigator (which rely not on the power of hierarchies and command & control, but on the power of humans to connect with one another) we need to be emotionally and mentally fit.
We have talked before about the importance of the Empath in this new human world of work. This is the person who can not only come closest to understanding the perspective of the other person, but who can also – in a real sense – feel the emotion of the other person. This comes at a price and we have not been good at understanding how we support people with their emotional health.
It is great news that people are now more informed about, and more ready to access, support in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, coaching and peer support. We are still though at a point where the expectation is that everybody is fine until they are not. These frameworks of support and this explicit focus on the emotional health of the practitioner should not only come into play at the point of collapse. We need to mainstream this approach and we need to begin by mainstreaming the conversation.