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Strength Lies in Differences, not in Similarities

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Written by: Rana Khaled Awwad

Edited by: Mona Timor Shehata

Published by: Amira Haytham

The fault is visualizing these powerful variations and differences as a curse only because we have different perspectives. Differences in abilities, thoughts, education, colour, religions, personalities and ideologies constitute a powerful society with wide variety because of one thing: Based on our differences, we tend to have extremely different perspectives.

This concept means that together we can see each single aspect of the world. If I can see only part of the world because it matches and captivates my way of thinking, I will lack visualization of the other part, but then comes another person, with different thoughts, ideologies and different perspective compensates the part I lack, and that is how we communicate and integrate each others. Because we are different.

For instance: take a look at the following picture and form your own perspective.

 

Group A: You visualize the image as a young beautiful lady with black fur, black intense hair and a scarf.

Group B: You witness a very old woman with big nose and sharp chin.

Both groups may still lack this idea: Why the woman looks like an old or young lady? Or how could she possibly look of different age!

The answer is: Both of you are right! It is an optical illusion for two women looking different ages: you will not know unless you visualize the picture from the same perspective your opponent looked from to know why he has a different opinion than yours about the same picture or subject.

If you belong to group A: Try to see young lady’s nickels as thin lips, her ears as eyes, and her entire face as a nose! Now does she look like an old lady?

If you belong to group B: Try to see the woman’s lips as nickels, her eyes as ears, and her nose as a small beautiful face. Does this perspective work?

Your differences over the same subject or picture  does not make any of you wrong; both of you are right. You are just different; you see from different angles; you have different perspectives.

 

Stephan Covey mentioned a short story in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that may help delivering the moral of this article: A man sitting at the bus station waiting for the bus to come while drinking his coffee. After a short period when he was only half-way done with his coffee, a father with his kids showed up and sat beside him. The father remained silent while his kids were playing, violently. They caused distraction for the man and disrupted his inner peace by playing aggressively and even spoiling his coffee! All of that happened and their father remained silent, not taking any action or even rebuking them.

The man got irritated and started to direct his anger to the father: “Can’t you be responsible enough to control your kids and take them away! Why don’t you leave!” Until the father responded simply: “I am sorry.. my wife – their mother – just died today and they still can’t handle it normally.” In this moment, and in a blink of an eye, the perspective changed upside down: From anger to sympathy, from irritation to sorrow, and from aggression to regret.

I have a personal experience of having an internship abroad and I was the only Muslim female among my team, which included all the categories: Muslims, Christians, black, and white, from Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We remained disconnected for almost the first week because of my Islamic appearance; wearing a veil. And after more days, we started communicating and discovering our real personalities, because we were almost living together for one month. After almost two weeks, one of my French teammates asked me questions she had in her mind about veil and Islam, and I satisfactorily filled in the blanks and erased any misconceptions she had about me, or at least my religion. And I cannot deny that unfortunately a lot of people have this misconception, only because they wanted to force her and other people to look from their aggressive perspective without much consideration to that of others. That was when we communicated.

It happens to us every single time daily when we truly heed to the opposite side of the story, the part that is dark in our eyes, what we do not see, only then we may start seeing things differently. The world is not supposed to be the same, we are not the same; we are not even the same as we used to be.

We are different from the ones we were yesterday, and the day before, and 10 years before, even though we are the same people, same bodies, same life, but we do not see life the same, we see it from a different angle. That is why we share the same world, but have different languages, skin colour, religions, cultures, and ideologies. Consequently, we will never communicate or understand these differences unless we see from the point the other one witnesses the world from. Only then you can form a real image, from all sides not just one-sided, and then communication happens. Not only in the name of professionalism, but also humanity.  Therefore, in order to see something different, admit that there is a difference and heed to it.

Articles

Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma

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Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here: https://fowinsights.com/

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021

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The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

www.decodinghrevent.com

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers: www.decodinghrevent.com/speakers

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings: www.decodinghrevent.com        Contact:
marketing@wisdom.events   #WSDM_BI
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