[Episode 6] A-Z of Cultural Impact: F for Fraternity
Let me tell you a story that illustrates the significance of fraternity in the workplace. I recently spoke to Marie Tseng,
Founder and Director of Cultural Impact who shared this with me. Marie once worked for an English company known for its rigid approach. She became increasingly disheartened by the lack of collaboration, where consultants were treated as mere numbers, and decisions were made without genuine input from the team. One day, unable to contain her frustration, Marie spoke up and boldly posed a question to her colleagues: "If you want us to be a big family, shouldn't we foster more collaboration?" However, one colleague, in a deliberately obtuse manner, responded, "So should I refer to you as a sister now?"
Despite the dismissive response, Marie's passionate declaration reflected her yearning for more than a superficial professional connection. It emphasized the importance of cultivating communal bonds within the workplace, where colleagues view each other as more than co-workers, creating a sense of belonging and support. This environment encourages and nurtures collaboration. All of this underscores Marie’s work at Cultural Impact.
Fraternity in the workplace surpasses cultural differences, as it addresses our innate desire for shared understanding and empathy. By embracing diversity and promoting inclusivity, we transcend cultural boundaries, fostering a collaborative environment that harnesses the strengths of each individual.
Marie's thought-provoking question highlights the vital role of open communication as the foundation of fraternity. By encouraging dialogue, active listening, and constructive feedback, we establish a space where every voice is valued. This open exchange of ideas fosters trust, strengthens relationships, and cultivates authentic conversations that lead to innovative solutions.
Building fraternity requires a delicate balance between collective and individual identities. While culture significantly shapes our beliefs and behaviors, it should not overshadow the need for unity. By fostering a supportive brotherhood that respects diverse backgrounds, we create an inclusive environment that empowers individuals to express their unique perspectives.
Fraternity in the workplace goes beyond cultural dimensions alone. It encompasses shared values, goals, and aspirations within the organization. When we foster a collective culture that emphasizes collaboration, mutual support, and shared success, employees feel connected and motivated to work towards common objectives.
Fraternity is a universal concept that transcends borders and cultures. Recognizing and appreciating the diverse ways in which fraternity is understood and practiced globally broadens our perspective, enriches organizational culture, and nurtures a global mindset. This fosters the embrace of different viewpoints and facilitates mutual learning, a cornerstone of Cultural Impact’s philosophy.
Marie's passionate plea for more collaboration highlighted the importance of fraternity in the workplace. Establishing a sense of belonging, respect, and support is essential for creating a positive work environment. Fraternity promotes employee well-being, reduces conflicts, and enhances teamwork, inspiring engagement, motivation, and productivity, ultimately driving improved organizational performance.
Written by Farah Rani