Being Human - choir edition

Part of being a Humanist is treating other people with dignity. 

I came across this video the other day. It is about a choir that recruited in homeless women to participate. The video focuses on 2 women in particular. What makes the video so compelling as a study in Humanism is that both women say they feel human again. They say it repeatedly – and it’s what makes them cry.

The people in the choir - treat them as if they are human. They know they are seen as human by the other members of the choir. And it makes them feel like they are human.

THIS – recognition of other people’s humanity – is what Humanism is all about.

Everyone has dignity and worth. We don't always treat people as if they have worth - but we should.  And when we do - we make the world just a little bit brighter. 

Psychological Safety and Team Dynamics

Last February - I was in India - discussing why bullying/harassment is bad for decision making and therefore bad for business.  Turns out I am not the only one looking into this connection.

Google has been studying what makes for effective teams. This is what they found.

For those of you who don't want to click through and read the article - the answer is psychological safety. The best performing teams are teams where members feel safe. This in turn means they feel safe to share their thoughts - and advocate for what they think will be a more effective solution. 

No safety - no real discussion. No real discussion - the solution chosen is based on who is dominant, not who is right.

This is exactly what I was discussing in India and the case I keep making for adopting humanistic management.

If people are socially excluded – decision making suffers.   Psychological safety is another way of saying -  making sure everyone is included.  Exclusion of one person leads to stress to the others who fear – I may be next.  It has a dampening effect on dissent and makes rational dissent very difficult – and again – that’s bad for problem solving.

The challenge – how to create that?

We can hire people for compatible traits – conscientiousness, openness etc. We can also work to help protect those who are excluded.  the good news is that we can also use science.  Science can teach us how to get rid of unwanted behaviors and how to encourage the ones you do.

If you have bad outcomes despite good intentions, it's probably because your organization has perverse incentives - meaning you are accidentally rewarding the behavior you don't want and punishing the behavior you do.  It happens all the time.  The solution is often to flip things upside down and really consider how your rewards and responses are being used and to consciously change the dynamic by changing what you reward.

I have several courses and training programs that will help you do that over at.

Cultivating a Sustainability Mindset

I had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Isabel Rimanczy of the UN PRME working group on Sustainability Mindset.,

This was in conjunction with the International Humanistic Management Association's Humanistic Professionals Online Lunch and Learn series.

You can view the video here:

You can learn more about her and her work at:

And about the International Humanistic Management Association at:

Talking about Humanism - in all it's forms

I had the pleasure of speaking with Damien AtHope - who is an axiological atheist, which means - he's an atheist who is primarily concerned with values. And - the values he lives by - are Humanist values.

We spoke for about 1 1/2 hours about a lot of things. Art, Science, Our journeys to Humanism. Our hopes for the future and more.

Check it out.

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