Originally published for the print edition of Ke Ola Magazine, November/December 2017 Hawai‘i Island issue.
Links are additions made expressly for the readers of this site and ManagingWithAloha.com.
Previously in this series: Invoke Lōkahi for Harmony and Unity (Ninth in Series 2)
Let’s Talk Story with Kākou Invitation
“Kākou is the value of inclusiveness.
All of us. We are in this together.
Learn to speak the Language of We”
Tenth in Series Two on Managing with Aloha | By Rosa Say
Ask anyone how they see your management style or your leadership persona, and you can bet the manner in which you communicate with them will come to mind first and foremost. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they simultaneously thought of the Language of We you share and converse with as well?
Kākou is the value of effective yet enjoyable Aloha communication. Kākou will seek the decisions and actions created by inclusiveness in ‘Ohana-powered synergies somewhat organically.
Last issue, we spoke of Lōkahi as the value of unity and harmony; Kākou gives Lōkahi our human voice. Meaning “all of us” and implying that “we are in this together,” Kākou is very unifying when applied to our language.
Kākou intention is pure gold in business. It becomes real when all involved are taught to learn, speak, and practice the Language of We as one of your business’s value propositions, with exceptional communication practices your deliverable.
Kākou delivers a sense of belonging to everyone in an ‘Ohana in Business; it is the inclusive, invitational style engaging managers seek to adopt, as they seek Kūlia i ka nu‘u, greater achievement, serve others with Ho‘okipa, hospitality, and manage others with Aloha.
Here is a self-coaching suggestion for you. In these winter holiday months of November and December, plan to;
1. Work on HOW you communicate: Look closely at how you speak and speak out, converse and collaborate, state your opinions and seek to make agreements. Explore when you choose to talk story one on one, and when you choose meetings, huddles, and other group forums. Be clear on why you make those choices.
2. Take notice of WHO you primarily communicate with, and who you may have been giving fewer of your conversational attentions to. Relationship-building is personable: Discard text and email in favor of face to face communication as much as possible, so you make yourself immediately accessible to people. Put yourself in a better position to field their questions and suggestions.
3. Talk story more: I don’t have to tell you what that means! Use phrases like, “Hey, get in on this with us; tell us what you think,” or “You seem to have strong feelings about it, tell me what I’m missing here,” or “Do you have a past experience with this? Tell me your story; I’d really like to know more.” The hallmark of talking story is that it’s pleasant—keep it that way.
One of the best ways Alaka‘i Managers improve themselves, is by becoming more approachable. Kākou helps you do this in two ways which enhance communication: Inclusiveness in your Aloha intentions will drive you to welcome people into your circle of influence by default—you seek to involve others more until it becomes a regular habit for you. Once they’re with you, you listen better, so you can make the true connection that binds you in that feeling of “We’re in this together now!”
Don’t be surprised if others increasingly open up to you once Kākou’s invitational style becomes more natural to you. That’s a good thing; it means they believe you are sincere, and that you are interested in them. People receive sincerity as the honesty so essential in trust-building.
Subtle changes and shifts in how you decide to better communicate will be much more visible than you initially realize—people will notice! With Kākou to guide you, your efforts to create a Language of We in your workplace culture will be received by others appreciatively, and as an invitation of inclusiveness—and that, will absolutely, positively be the best holiday gift you can give them.
Indeed, talking story is a Kākou kind of thing, and people by nature are very good at it!
Allow Kākou to infuse your voice with the invitation of inclusiveness. Value the differences people embody as the unique talents and strengths which make them so interesting. Ask for help in grace, and you need never fear you expose any weakness. When we weave Kākou into our language we bring ‘Imi ola life and Ho‘ohana workplace reality to the words we speak. We co-create our team’s Language of We, and we speak with Aloha.
Next issue: We revisit Kuleana, the value of personal responsibility.
Read more about Kākou at www.ManagingWithAloha.com and in Series 1: Kākou, the value of inclusiveness and the ‘Language of We’.
Rosa Say is a workplace culture coach, a zealous advocate of the Alaka‘i Manager, and the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business. Contact Rosa at www.RosaSay.com, and discover more about the Managing with Aloha philosophy at www.ManagingWithAloha.com.
Postscript: Ke Ola is published 6 times a year, and distributed in print on Hawai‘i Island and by subscription. I have therefore made a practice of archiving the articles on RosaSay.com for those within our Ho‘ohana Community who may want to read them.
You can access all 20 articles I had written for Series 1 via this index. The inaugural column for Series 1 may be read here: Why Values? And Why “Manage with Aloha?” and here for Series 2: Aloha Intentions.