Genshai is an ancient Hindi word that means
“you should NEVER treat yourself or another person in a manner that makes one feel small.”
I was introduced to this word by Kevin Hall in the first chapter of his book Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through The Power of Words. Genshai in its most complete application means unconditional brotherly/sisterly love. The key aspect of embracing this concept is to start with ourselves. Be honest. How many times each day do we scold ourselves and say self critical things that diminish ourselves? Do we metaphorically spray paint graffiti on our quiet, deep personal “wall”, the one that Facebook never sees? The answer for me is that while I have learned to do this much less than I used to, I still do it more often than I want to. Why is this important? Because the way I treat myself reflects the way I likely treat others. Essentially I see the world as I see myself. To fully apply Genshai, I must start with myself.
One of the pillars of the Character Triangle is Respect; this starts with self respect. So I challenge each of us to take steps to more consciously apply Genshai at work (and life). This means honestly accepting and working on our shortcomings but also not diminishing ourselves or anyone else. Being honest with ourselves can be done without feeling smaller.
Character Move: Kevin Hall wrote the following in his journal about Genshai: “I will write the secret word Genshai on a piece of paper and put it on the bathroom mirror. Each day I will look in the mirror with love, honor, and respect.”
- Take Kevin’s challenge and each day look in the mirror with love, honor and respect. Do it consciously and purposefully.
- Identify one person at work who reflects Genshai. Observe and thank that person.
Genshai is in the Character Triangle,
Do you CARE where you work? The oft published, prolific blogger, and organization pundit Seth Godin, pointed out in a recent blog, “no organization cares about you but people, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of caring. If you want to build a caring organization, fill it with caring people and then get out of their way. When your organization punishes people for caring, don’t be surprised when people stop caring.”
I’m the CEO of a mid size company. I definitely care about every single person that works here, our customers, and our partners. Even though I think my values and intentions are clear, I am disappointed to learn when we do something to squeeze the “CARE” out of people. Someone, usually for a well-intended reason, will put a policy in place that can knock the common sense stuffing out of normally caring people. “Getting it right” involves reinforcing the belief that increasing profit and performance does not have to include policies and processes that turn normally caring people into insensitive cogs. Check out the company Zappos if you want an example where excellent profit and caring coexist just fine.
Every day I can look around the company and get a daily reminder about the importance of caring people at work. Our receptionist in our U.K. office cared enough to start a dialogue with me and others regarding a customer-facing system that could be enhanced. She was right, we took immediate action, and improved our processes.
Character Move: CARE about where you work by CARING where you work.
- Take a personal “care” gut check. If you have policies andor processes that turn you or your team into non-caring robots, have the courage to create a constructive dialogue to fix this. Often just putting a spotlight on something that exists without challenge can put “care” back into the system.
- When confronting the situation, remember to attack the process (not others) and always start with what and how you can do about it first. Engaging in a tough conversation is one way of showing that you care.
Every organization is simply made up of people. If we can’t care at work, what a waste! This week put a spotlight on one process or policy that puts a drag on “CARE.”
By the way, thank you Rosie!
With CARE in the Triangle,