• Yukiko Sakata

Mindfulness in the hostile business environment

The reason why violence can happen is that somehow in some minds there become logically fine to try to destroy others for their own benefit/logical reasons. For example, at a creative workplace with many stakeholders get together for a team project, there may be hostile relationships among the parties, yet it is not to be worried as we consider each other as "adults that act professionally". However, given the worldwide corruption in politics and business scenes, I believe it is reasonable to state that we are not yet having good enough tactics to admit our mental immatureness to bear the hostility with calm mind without any superb motivational systems. That said, it is perhaps fair to say that if the company praise those who take the corruptive ways to keep the harmoniously peaceful work environment, or even, the violence and abuse, the employees would simply do it.

The hostility itself is not simple. One may like the other party for what he does, but he can still have the unfavorable feeling toward him or her if any of them are against each other's opinions in any layers of thoughts and principals. For example, the company A sends A1 and A2 to the client project as per their request. The client hires the company A and the company B for the different job scope. The company B sends B1 and B2 to the project team. A2 and B1 have been to the same school in Tokyo, believing that Tokyo's way is the best among of all. A1 and B2 believe in innovation. They are both tech-minded and are good at building new IT products from scratch. A2 and B2 both have to lead the company A and the company B, respectively, for the project.

Provided that the company A is struggling in the industry and are looking to be merged by a larger agency. The company B is growing fast. While the client tries to manage the team with the low budget, they are looking to decrease the number of the personnel they use from the company A, thinking that A's performance or capability is not good enough. The company A wishes to keep the two employees in there to take the project initiatives. It is the case that A1 would like to leave A2 in the team by letting himself out of it, A1 at the same time worries that A2 might quit and join B or somewhere else. The four members' layers of thoughts would conflict with each other in various dimensions. Both B1 and B2 believe in their superiority and act as if they supervise the agency team, while A1 would gain more information while he naturally and automatically devotes more of himself to the team fearing many worst cases for the team and for his company. When B2 takes initiatives, they might lose out local Tokyo resources and cause separation in the team. When B1 plans their vendor management for the project, there will be more Tokyo companies to be joined which eventually scares A1 because B1 can use A2 for Tokyo sourcing that will give them more time alone with each other. And all of these can get their client angry because their minds are not full of their clients nor they prioritize them, but rather, they are preoccupied with themselves competing with each other which could result in the lower quality of the outcome. The reason why the clients get angry is the assumptions that the four members have in their minds are all about them completely possessing the job and they are free to do anything, in the meantime, they clients can bind them with tighter contracts with less authorities given to the members which might also result in less good work and less creativity of the outcome.

Being mindful of other parties thoughts when they are against what you have in your head is tough. Each time you feel irritated, you have to remember that the person right in front of you lives with different assumptions that are the foundation of their thoughts. It is like, remembering that your neighbor is actually trying to steal your property while you are in the environment where you can only smile at them and chat with them in a friendly manner.

The solution for this is to lessen the volume of expectations you have on the other parties and stop framing your reality into what you have been taught is good, like, the parties that work together "should" drink together, the role to take initiatives "should" be taken by the more skillful ones, or even, what a member think "should" be accepted by the other members to some degrees. In a larger picture, the world is shifting and transforming every day. That said, there should be no "perfect template" for any teams, let alone, those international creative teams. In Tokyo, it is quite normal to have many members from different agencies work together regardless of the agency relationship. This might prove the peaceful political environment that the country is giving to their people, but as dramatically the time passes and new things happen, this has to be shifted and adjusted as well, so as our mindset. Be free from any hostility but releasing your rules for others, to finally secure your freedom.

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