The number of organisations operating as a conscious business is growing every year as companies realise the power behind its practices. Conscious business is centred on a company’s ability to utilise soft skills and to make decisions in line with well thought out values, putting people at its heart. So, is this where women have an advantage?
To establish this, let’s take a closer look at what a conscious business entails.
Within a conscious business, the company’s mission and values are communicated to the whole team and regularly reiterated. Having transparency around why the business is in operation and how the business operates, and ensuring this is always in the team’s awareness, provides everyone in the company with the opportunity to consistently act in accordance with it. ‘Must have’ values, which apply to both the company and its people, are communicated. This could be around acting with authenticity, or empowering others. This visibility ensures everyone is working with the same intent in a united manner, which helps the company to achieve its goals more effectively.
The welfare of the people associated with the company is a high priority. All team members and customers are treated with care and empathy. A conscious business understands that valuing other people and taking action which is in their best interest is also the best thing for the company. It will lead to having happy team members and customers. Managers in a conscious business ensure each team member can achieve the things that are important to them, leaving them fulfilled. This could range from giving team members the opportunity to learn the latest industry software or work on an innovative new product to having flexible working hours. Putting effort into this in the short term pays off in the long term, as not only does it ensure there is a positive working environment, but it also enhances productivity.
In a conscious business every meeting becomes a safe environment where the whole team can share their ideas. There are no wrong answers and mistakes are welcomed as a learning experience. Meetings become the ultimate brainstorming session, celebrating collaboration. When everyone’s voice is heard, the company can leverage the strengths of each person. The team can take their creativity to the next level, finding solutions for their customers that surpass expectations.
When you think of the attributes displayed within a conscious business, you realise these are things that would typically be seen as the forte of women. It’s women you associate with going out of their way to show care and understanding to others. In fact, these behaviours have even hindered women in the past in the corporate world; they’ve been deemed attributes not suited to a business and limiting to the success of a person. Back when profit was king, not displaying your emotions in the workplace was actually rewarded.
With a better understanding of how our behaviours affect the people around us and the business we work within, it’s time to change what is acceptable in the workplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean that women will excel in these new look companies better than men. It instead indicates that men will have to work harder to overcome their programming and revert to a behaviour that is more natural. We need to understand that we all have traits that have been deemed masculine or feminine and our gender shouldn’t dictate which of those traits we can display. Everyone has the ability to do this; we have merely been reacting to society’s expectations and, once we realise this, we can change.
Wanting to be nice to others can be regarded as part of our original programming. If everyone is looking to fulfil their basic human needs, then consider that wanting to have a great connection with others is a core need for most people. And how else do we achieve this other than by treating people well?! The concept of ‘competition’ may have been taught to us all since our school days, yet now we see that working together on a project will create more benefits and bring us greater rewards. To behave with kindness and help others even improves our own mood, allowing us to find a new level of fulfilment at work. Moving from a sense of competition to collaboration can be applied outside your business too. Finding a way to work in conjunction with another company in the same industry could move both companies forward. This could relate to anything from having a long-term deal on the cost of materials to passing on a customer who would be better served by another company. The possibilities to create mutually beneficial solutions are endless.
As fundamentally changing business strategies for the better will go a long way to improve the team’s wellbeing and the outputs produced, surely it is within everyone’s interest to work together to achieve this. Some people will find this easier than others, but this isn’t a result of their gender. Instead it relies on each person’s ability to tap into attributes that were once unacceptable in the workplace and implement them on a daily basis until they become a habit. The focus should be on supporting each team member as they work on themselves to exhibit behaviours that allow them to achieve their highest potential. This leads to creating a new energy in companies, helping them to thrive.