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Awareness and Authenticity at Work Published: Sunday, September 28, 2003 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

Future work requires open, adaptive and creative human beings; individuals able to develop new technologies and new methods, not as robots or mechanic units, but entrepreneurs, professionals, computer programmers, knowledge engineers, wise humanists and others who can follow their own fight, without slacking on the job. It is this kind of people who will be able to overcome the sentence of the traditional mind, that faced with having to change their views, or prove that there is no need to do so, will get very busy on the proof.

The survival of society depends largely on what the people within it can produce to build the standard of living (growth) and enhance quality of live (development). Such a progression also depends somewhat on the strength of the family unit. The family teaches values, the school produces and shares knowledge; (values and knowledge equals a positive history for performance), the community provides key support and services, and the business produces wealth for distribution. Without wealth creation, there is nothing to distribute.

Families interested in improving the community help establish community values, laws, rules, health facilities, education, sport, recreation, cultural activities and entertainment. Through these and other efforts, cultural patterns and community stability develop. In order to create healthy communities, people residing in them, must be prone and motivated toward doing those things that are best for the community to develop. These societal and institutional efforts include developing alert and responsible children.

In the business and educational world of the past, a top-down style of management was a key problem. The same happened with the family. The subtle psychological changes that have taken place in our society that are affecting motivation in business and education are also affecting the way our families are managed and how children are raised.

Traditional ideas about human development are often the basis of family discord. The ideas include highly questionable methods of teaching, learning, stimulating, disciplining, communicating, rewarding, punishing and developing self-esteem and self-reliance. “Every adult needs a child to teach”; is the best way of adult learning. “Every manager needs an employee to teach” is a method for management development.

The crucial challenge is for overcome the "law of the jungle" or the authoritarian mentality that the “might-is-right attitude”. The use of power and punishment evolved early. But we have to remember Sócrates, when he stressed that violence is the confession of ignorance. Thus, the need to show proper research-based methods for inducing behavior in a healthy manner. We are all in the business of promoting intelligent behavior.

Dominance over a human being for forcing compliance and obedience could be observed in underdeveloped organizations. Teenagers, workers, battered wives and husbands and abused children can give testimonies of the need for improvement in the feudal type organization.

Unfortunately, young people learn early the top-down management as a tool for controlling the behavior of others. Most families are set up on a hierarchy basis, not allowing input as far as how things could be best managed. Such a tradition has trained people to prod and nag rather than encourage. We must change the autocratic ideology to encourage the development of all kind of institutions, that can stimulate awareness and authenticity at work.


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