Human-centric Leadership: People are Valued


on a psychological level, everyone gets it. It makes absolute sense that to bring out the best in human beings, they need to feel valued. Many articles and management books have been written, citing positive human connection to business growth, improving productivity, enhancing our ability to innovate and respond to challenges. However, like most things in life, it is our actions that demonstrate our convictions and beliefs and, as the old saying goes, “Actions that speak louder than our words.” It is only through consistent actions that people will trust that we are who we say we are.

We are all human beings. We all want to be valued, so we should understand the importance of others also wanting to be valued. The majority of us have been raised with some understanding of the basic principle of “do unto others” or the “laws of karma,” yet putting these principles into practice takes a lifetime of effort. Below are a few important lessons that I have learned:

Everyone you meet has a valuable lesson to teach you.

No matter who greets you, you should approach them with a conscious understanding that they have a valuable lesson to teach you. This is a hard one in practice because usually our minds are full of our own chatter and there are certainly sometimes we would rather avoid a few people that come our way. What I have realized is that usually the ones we most want to avoid have the most valuable lessons to teach us.

You are a contribution.

The reason you are here is because the work you do adds value and you contribute to the well-being of your organization. You practice this by acknowledging others and yourself. 
Having a true sense of purpose. Translated into our world of work -- set clear expectations and meaningful objectives. Human beings require a real sense of connection and companies that provide their employees with clear expectation and objectives that are aligned to the company’s strategic objectives provide a road map to success. We should never underestimate the importance of meaningful work and a chance for a meaningful future.

Honest communication.

Criticism should always be constructive and in private while praise should always be shouted out in public. In order to demonstrate respect, disciplinary or constructive feedback should be in a private setting where praise should always be celebrated with others.

Get out of your own way. 

It is not about you. It is about what is going on around you. When you can get out of your own way, you are present and can listen to the one that needs you most. This lesson provides the biggest reward -- the joy of giving. For my colleagues in China and myself, this lesson came through a community outreach program where we are now partnering with a charity “One Heart” helping Chinese Children in need.

The principles and practices above have one important thing in common. They are all meant to remind us to value and honor our fellow human beings and, in doing so, we become more connected and powerful as an organization.

Dolores Shore
Global Director, Human Resources