The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Your error

Indigenous people carry a spirituality of being human. They have a very practical understanding of how to support others and create a sense of togetherness.

The Zulu are bringing this into everyday life by integrating how their sense of existing is enhanced by others seeing them. By greeting the other with Sawubona they are literally telling the other (“I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being”. The response Shiboka then completes the exchange saying “I exist for you”.

In doing so they are contributing to a sense of togetherness and the responsibility to care for it. Belonging is a primal human motivation, Maslow placed it close to the basic survival needs and safety.

People will see it as logical that employees or team members belong. But as long as it is mainly assumed to be true or natural, there is little attention to how this feeling is established and kept alive in a team.

And the more efficient teams make themselves, the less the team will encounter experiences showing them how they belong. Nor will they then easily contribute to it by reaching out or expressing it.

While there are many reasons to care for efficiency, at least one aspect of it is disruptive of the team’s sense of safety. Embedded in efficiency is the quest to understand who made the error and the fear that making an error is a cause for rejection.

The understanding of how errors also belong to the group gives individuals a sense of their belonging. Their sense of safety will be based on it. It will influence how safe it is to share and learn from errors in the group.


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