Last week, I gave an Ignite talk for the inaugural Disrupt HR London event organised by Katrina Collier. I like the Ignite format because it forces you to have to be clear about your message, your story has to be tight and you are forced to think about images that help move your story along.
But this isn’t about me giving an Ignite talk. It’s about grace and humanity. The day of the event, there was an horrific terrorist attack at an airport in Turkey. 37 people died. In a week of turbulence, cultural instability and economic uncertainty, this was pretty hard for me to just grit my teeth and get on.
So, before I spoke, I asked for a minute’s silence in memory of those who were killed. I didn’t do this because I’m some amazing human being who has abundant love for humans, I did it because I needed to share what I was feeling with others. A complete group of strangers, with friends in the crowd, and with myself.
There’s plenty written about being authentic. I had been thinking all day that I’d not deliver the Ignite I intended to, and instead ad lib something about social cohesion, humanity and heart for each other.
If I wanted to deliver a talk, I needed to be well, release my negative energy in a useful way, and share that power with others. Most of us would have felt sadness at the attack, but most of us would be happy to just move on from it mentally and pretend it’s not relevant because it didn’t happen in our country.
I believe that if there is a platform to talk, we should use that platform to lift people up, raise the thinking, and discuss the important things. If we can do that, we improve things for everyone. There is a grace and a humanity I don’t experience often at formal events. Some people can deliver the most heart warming of talks because they are delivered with grace and humanity. They speak to us at a personal level.
In organisations up and down the country, we’re all going to be faced with challenging times. With one another, we need the grace to accept that people will react differently to everything that’s happening around them as well as what’s happening personally for them. Where we can we need to see the humanity in decisions we choose to make. Some of those decisions will be about sound organisational decisions, and yet they may feel harsh and cold. If that’s the case, how do we find the humanity in what needs to be done?
I can advocate for such things because I believe in them. We all have the capacity to be graceful and have humanity in what we do. We don’t need to be disassociated or removed when we go through our decision making processes. Life is already enough of a challenge without people having to be cruel and divisive with another. Let’s help each other through. Grace and humanity for the win.