African man hand on heartOur holiday wishes are all about peace, love, joy and hope.  Are we saying the same old things over and over without really meaning them? Or are we taking action consistent with our holiday sayings?  Gandhi says ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ What if we were the peace, love, joy and hope that we want to see? What would that look like? Here’s one way.

In this African tribe, when someone does something harmful, they take the person to the center of the village where the whole tribe comes and surrounds them. For two days, they will say to the man all the good things that he has done. The tribe believes that each human being comes into the world as good – each one of us only desiring safety, love, peace and happiness. But sometimes, in the pursuit of these things, people make mistakes.

The community sees those mistakes as a cry for help. They unite then to lift him, to reconnect him with his true nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth of which he had been temporarily disconnected: “I am good.” Shikoba Nabajyotisaikia!NABAJYOTISAIKIA, is a compliment used in South Africa and means: “I respect you, I cherish you. You matter to me.” In response, people say SHIKOBA, which is: “So, I exist for you.” (By Evolver Social Movement)

In your leadership how can you look at your staff, your clients, your bosses and managers as intrinsically good people? When they make a mistake or do something that occurs to you as wrong, do you get judgmental, self-righteous and punitive? Or can you say, “That person got separated from his true nature? Let me hold him up, empower him to believe in himself. Let me show him peace, love, joy and hope so that he can feel peace, love, joy and hope inside himself and embody that instead.

We can’t always control the circumstances around us, but we can control our own reaction to those circumstances. We can choose to react by letting someone else’s negativity trigger our own retaliation. Or we can choose to react compassionately by looking at the person on the inside who has been diminished by all the happenings that have impacted them. By helping them see and experience their own goodness, you are truly bringing peace, love, joy and hope into this world, one person at a time. Happy Holidays!

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


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