And everyday we go to work,
In the friend,
When the other is heard.
I wrote this poem when reflecting on the key themes I have discovered about work. I was reminded of the way that conversations shape our experience of work and the importance of friendship in creating meaning from what we do. There is a gift that can be given to everyone simply by allowing the other person to be heard.
As David Whyte reflects in one of his poems we make a mistake when we try to navigate the workplace by ourselves. He writes, “Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone.” In the workplace it’s vital that a safe place is created for everyone. The loneliness that we all experience at times can be balanced by the sanctuary created by friendship.
A safe place enables a safe conversation where the person feels that they are heard. This conversation isn’t required to produce answers and it isn’t required to fix anything. As Rachel Remen says in My Grandfather’s Blessings, “presence is a much more powerful catalyst for change than analysis”.