How to bring your true self to work
We look back on insight from Wim Focquet, Head of People and Culture at Gala Games and former Talent Director at DPDgroup, who spoke at last year’s CA Summit on how to self-assess and manage your own learning and growth throughout your career.
Wim is an experienced Human Resources Leader with a passion for change, organisational design and talent development. He opened the Inspire chapter of the 2021 CA Summit by examining the three centres of oneself (‘I’, ‘we’ and ‘it’) to encourage attendees to become more in sync with both their private and work life.
Watch the video or read on to learn more.
According to Gallup statistics, the percentage of employees globally that are engaged in their work never reaches above 30%, with 65-70% being entirely disengaged or not engaged at all. Wim explained that “many of us are in a workplace where we are doing things without questioning why we are doing them, we take shortcuts, and there is a lack of synchronicity between us and the organisations we work for.”
He added: “Good decisions come from a combination of our three centres; head, heart and gut, but for decades we have been taught to use our heads and be rational, so it’s more difficult for us to use our heart and our gut.”
An invitation to self-assess
Wim challenged attendees to carry out a self-assessment, exploring whether they could bring their true self to work, without being influenced by the job description, how others perceive they should behave, or the company culture.
He said: “Ask yourself ‘can I be myself in this company or not?’, and if you can’t answer with a firm yes, then you are probably in the wrong organisation.”
To help with this self-assessment, Wim posed that the three spheres of 'I', 'we' and 'it' encompass the following themes and questions:
Individual – the ‘I’
What is your real purpose, where do you make a difference and what do you aspire to be?
Team - the ‘we’
Do you have the psychological safety in your team to be vulnerable, are you all working towards a common goal?
Company – the ‘it’
Do you fit within the company goal and add to its success?
Wim invited attendees to take the time to consider these questions and write down and reflect upon their answers. “If you can reach a place where you are centred within these three spheres, you will have a wonderful life, both at work and at home.”
This exercise is particularly useful for those in leadership roles. Managers remain central to creating and sustaining engaged teams, with Gallup finding that the team leader alone accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement. Developing self-awareness and an understanding of your purpose as a leader will strengthen not only your individual performance, but the trust and synchronicity within your team.
Wim closed by proposing that there is a collective movement away from referring to people in your team as resources, as this takes away from people being their true selves. Rather than Human Resources Departments, he instead calls for People Departments.
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