Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes
martinsummerhay

Culture and its impact on you

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” Alan W. Watts

I finished reading the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. One of the chapters is entitled “Mind the Gap” and talks about culture. The term “Mind the Gap” actually comes from the London Underground and it made me remember the times I went on the underground in the 1980’s. I went to the University of Westminster and lived way south in Tooting, South London. I used to travel up the Northern Line every week day to the college near Oxford Circus. Every day, at Embankment, I would hear the announcement. The announcement is also used at Bank and at Piccadilly Circus.

Anyway, back to the discussion on Culture and the questions you need to pose and potential thoughts I would consider and have come across in the past. They go like this:

What behaviours are rewarded? Punished?

Where and how are people actually spending their resources (time, money, attention)?

What rules and expectations are followed, enforced and ignored?

Do people feel safe and supported talking about how they feel and asking for what they need?

What are the sacred cows? Who is most likely to tip them over? Who stands them back up?

What stories are legend and what values do they convey?

What happens when someone fails or makes a mistake?

How is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure (Brene calls is Vulnerability) perceived? I
would go further and talk about recognised and rewarded

How prevalent are shame and blame and how are they showing up? She talks about Shame as “I am Bad” Blame as “you did something bad” which leads to shame!!!

What's the collective tolerance for discomfort? Is the discomfort of learning, trying new things, and giving and receiving feedback normalized, or is there a high premium put on comfort (and how does that look)?

As you start your work week, Mind the Culture Gaps you might come across.......

Tags: alan watts, brene brown
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