How often are we really "present" in the work context? How often do we feel genuine empathy towards an annoying colleague? How often do we have the courage to speak up about what we think?
We might be working on issues we care about deeply, like positive societal or political transformation, climate change or any of the SDGs - but all too often, we're lacking the basic competencies to deal with our coworkers or, quite frankly, ourselves.
Presence. Compassion. Courage. These are just 3 of the 23 skills of the Inner Development Goals framework that has been created to help us work towards the SDGs. This approach deeply convinces me - and luckily, I am not alone. The wonderful Hannah Lux and I have put our heads and hearts together to make the IDGs in Austria more known with a small event series we call "IDG Sparks" - dedicated specifically to managers and leaders in the public and private sector who long to use the power of human potential in their work.
Last week we were given a great chance to offer a first taster of what we envision at the "Tag der Stiftungen" by Verband für gemeinnütziges Stiften, organised and spearheaded by the fantastic Ruth Williams.
Together with Tomas Björkman, one of the actual founding fathers of the IDGs who came from Sweden and Martin Essl, a life-long philanthropist who has left quite a mark on the Austrian scene, we dedicated our session to the IDG skill "compassion". During the exercise we led, something happened. Whilst looking into the eyes of a stranger, we went on a path "from I to you, and we" as Martin Essl put it. We saw people shedding tears and others tensing their shoulders with discomfort. In an exercise of only a few minutes, the reactions were strong. Because dealing with these inner parts of ourselves is not something we are used to.
This is exactly why Hannah and I want to contribute to making them a crucial part of our every day (work) lives. As only if we show up with all our parts will we be able to make progress with the issues we care about.