The Value of Being Humanistic in Business

Turning work into joy by making real human connections.

Malcom Levene wrote an article for the Huffington Post about the value of being Humanistic in Business – see link here:  It’s a great essay. In it, he quotes Abraham Maslow:
"The fact is that people are good, give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behavior."
The point of the essay is that by being real and genuine when you deal with other people, you encourage them to do the same. When you are willing to do this you find that a weight has been lifted that you didn’t even know you were carrying. That you were acting in ways that weren’t natural because of expectation to fit in.

When we give ourselves the freedom to be, we find better connections with others who are so relieved to not have to pretend to be anyone other than who they are, they respond with joy. Transactions go from being about what I can get out of this to we are all in this together because we are both real humans just trying to do right by each other.

Granted, it’s not as easy as this because, in real life, there are some very bad people in the world that you have to protect yourself from. However, Levene is not advocating that we trust others without reserve; he does say you need to learn to say no sometimes so that your yeses have more impact. What he is saying is that don’t assume everyone you meet is out to get you. Most are just like you, insecure and scared. If you can break past the fear to find those good people, you can get to a place of trust that is worth the risk.

To me, as I think about my understanding of Humanism, I come back to the concept that each of us are individuals. It is wrong to make assumptions about people because often those assumptions are negative. When we actively remind ourselves to consider the positives, we can make those connections that we so desperately want and need to make as humans. And like everything else, that requires us to overcome our fears. Yes, sometimes we will get burned. But sometimes, the result is an amazing friendship.

Is this something you struggle with?  I think we all do to a certain extent. I know that even though I am natural quite shy, I have been able to conquer that to a certain extent by reminding myself to take a chance on someone. How do you overcome your insecurities about other people?


  1. What a great post. It strikes a chord because I struggle with this issue all the time. I mean to trust people but my main fear is that I will not be accepted. It is hard to open up. In the past I was more daring. Now I am more of an introvert and I set many boundaries to protect myself.

    1. When I feel like that I take a trust but verify mentality. That way I can open up but in a way that I won't get hurt if the other person is not trustworthy. It's kind of a halfway step that allows me to be open and friendly and take a risk without expecting anything from the other person in return. But also not so open and sharing that they then have ammunition to use against me. Then, if they disappoint me, I'm not all in, but, if they surprise me by being wonderful, I have been open enough to allow myself to get to know them. I think it is something we all struggle with actually, except for psychopaths.

    2. Yes, Jennifer. I think I tend to do what you describe. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.


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