Here are some of the proverbs that stresses the Rwandan cultural value of inhibiting emotions and feelings
Impact of hiding some part of yourself
To better understand this let's use this metaphor of a left handed person forced to write with their right hand because everyone else writes with right hand. It does not only feel uncomfortable but it is also energy draining and it affects the speed of your work and the quality of your product. In the same way, concealing your emotions and some traits that make you unique can lead to perpetual stress, anxiety and burnout.
Strategies to bring your whole self to work place
Work in a trustful environment
At the foundation of all relationships is trust. Only within a trusted environment will someone from a reserved culture be able to share their feelings and emotions and therefore bring their whole self at work. Yes, creating a sense of trust within a team begins with the senior leaders, but to be fully sustainable it needs to be lived by every one. So be the champion driving team trust.
Know your weakness and accept yourself
It is equally important to know your weaknesses as much as knowing your strengths. Knowing your weakness will not only help you work on them and potential improve them but also save you time and energy to try cover them. Everyone is imperfect, so there is no need stigmatize your weak traits. Sharing your weak treats increase your self confidence and help you bring your whole identity at work.
Embrace Diversity and find new places to network
Engaging in conversation with people from different cultures, age, race, historic background, sex orientation puts you in a position for growth. According to Anka Wittenberg Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at SAP while interacting with your network you should look for, accept and appreciate differences. Friction leads to heat, and our heat makes the atoms move faster!
If you are manager leading a team in Rwanda and would like to help your team members fully bring their identities at work place, I would be very happy to have a workshop with your team and embark on the journey of developing an inclusive team that embraces and leverage differences to achieve your desired goals.
Founder and Executive Director, Impact Route
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