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  • Writer's pictureCadu Lemos

Post-Pandemic Work: Conscious, Humanized and Beyond the Ego

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

The pandemic provoked a deep reflection on the world and the way we live, work and lead. A pressing need has emerged to rethink the (obsolete) way we work, leadership and management styles and relationships, embracing a more conscious and humanized approach.

This text proposes reflection on a new paradigm that recognizes the interconnection of all beings and the importance of the psychological safety of teams and employees in organizations as a fundamental pillar.

In this context, profit, deliveries and results become natural consequences of a way of working (and leading, of course, after all, the example, the starting point is exactly there, in leadership) that prioritizes well-being and the integral development of people. The idea here is to explore this vision of post-pandemic leadership, inspired by the understanding of non-duality and unity of consciousness.

The Illusion of the Ego and Non-Duality

Before we dive into the ‘new’ post-pandemic work, it is essential to understand the perspective that underpins this change. The pandemic has not only challenged the way we work, but it has also provoked us to rethink our priorities and values. Traditionally, many of us live believing that we are separate entities, our minds and bodies isolated from the outside world. This leads us to strengthen our ego, identifying with our own individual concerns and interests. However, a deeper, more spiritual view of existence invites us to question this separation.

I wrote about this in issues 7, 8, 9 and 10 of THE PSYCHONAUT, my newsletter dedicated to self-knowledge. I also recommend reading two books by Katrijn van Oudheusden that address non duality in an objective and clear way, especially for those who have not yet had contact with the topic:

Katrijn and her books that address leadership beyond the ego and non-duality.

I have translated and adapted some of Katrijn's beautiful work into Portuguese and you can access several publications on LinkedIn (see the articles mentioned above).

Our thoughts, feelings and experiences are not exclusive to ourselves, but manifestations of this interconnected consciousness. This understanding challenges the primacy of the ego (and its traps and strategies) and invites us to transcend the limits it imposes. Now, with this foundation, we can explore how this perspective influences new post-pandemic leadership.

Conscious Leadership: Beyond the Ego

Conscious people recognize that ego is the main obstacle to effective and meaningful leadership. They understand that their own concerns, personal agendas, and ambitions often obscure their vision of the greater good.

The philosophy of non-duality states that there is no rigid separation between "self" and "other". It invites us to transcend the illusion of the ego and realize that, at the deepest level, we are all an expression of the same universal consciousness. This understanding transforms the way we lead, as we will understand and relate to team members as extensions of ourselves.

Humanization of Leadership: Psychological Safety in Focus

One of the most striking characteristics of the new post-pandemic leadership is the emphasis on humanization. There has never been so much talk about humanized, conscious leadership (even with the so-called “humanized dismissal”, a crooked invention of something that should be perceived almost as a redundancy, that is, should there be a dismissal that is not humanized?) Yes, I I know that 'command and control' still prevails and many leaders are complete toxic troglodytes - talk for another article.

Psychological safety has become a priority. Leaders understand that in an environment where employees feel safe to express their opinions, make mistakes, and grow, innovation and growth naturally flourish. This requires the ability to listen carefully, demonstrate (true) empathy, and create a space where everyone feels valued and respected.

It refers to the feeling that it is safe to express opinions, ideas and concerns without fear of retaliation or judgment. Leadership that prioritizes psychological safety creates an environment of trust and collaboration, where the team feels comfortable contributing fully.

In this scenario, leaders are not only facilitators of tasks and goals, but also cultivators of an emotionally safe climate. They encourage authenticity and value diversity of thought, recognizing that it is from this diversity that the most innovative and effective solutions emerge.

Results as a Consequence, Not the Final Objective

In this new way of looking at work, profit and financial results are still important, but they are no longer the ultimate goal. Instead, they are seen as the natural consequences of effective leadership, strong values, and an environment of real, meaningful belonging. After all, if we spend an average of 70% of our adult lives at work, it has to be worth it. When leaders prioritize awareness, humanization and psychological safety, motivation and engagement increase.

The possibility of a 4-day journey is on the agenda today in the world. Brazil is testing it now, England has already tested it and the results were even presented on Fantástico…(see aqui), in other words, the topic is hot and has already left the meeting rooms. I'll talk about this again when the Brazilian study is completed.

Challenges of New Leadership

While the new post-pandemic leadership is inspiring and promising, it is not without challenges. One of the biggest barriers is resistance to change. Many leaders are rooted in traditional approaches and may struggle with adopting a more conscious, humanized mindset.

The implementation of conscious leadership requires tangible practices in the organization's day-to-day operations. This includes promoting active listening, encouraging authenticity, offering constructive feedback, and creating an inclusive environment where everyone's voices are valued.

Leaders must invest in their own personal and spiritual development (a topic also growing within the organizational context, see more aqui), seeking to understand and transcend the limitations of the ego. In doing so, they become inspiring role models for their teams, exemplifying the true nature of conscious leadership.

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