Originally published for the print edition of Ke Ola Magazine, July/August 2018 Hawai‘i Island issue.
Links are additions made expressly for the readers of this site and ManagingWithAloha.com.
Previously in this series: Prosper with Ha‘aha‘a (Thirteenth in Series 2)
The Ho‘ohanohano Perspective
“Ho‘ohanohano: Honor the dignity of others.
Conduct yourself with distinction, and cultivate respectfulness.”
Fourteenth in Series Two on Managing with Aloha | By Rosa Say
Hanohano is a glorious and honorable expression of human dignity. To Ho‘ohanohano is to assure dignity exists for everyone, and to exalt it.
We learn of Ho‘ohanohano as the value of respect and self-respect, for it teaches us to honor the dignity of others while we conduct ourselves in a manner which honors our own sense of dignity as well. When we practice Ho‘ohanohano, we honor the intelligence of others, and we seek to learn from them. We ourselves aspire to be as upright in character and trustworthy as we can possibly be.
Simply said, Ho‘ohanohano is the value of good behavior. Ho‘ohanohano is our character builder, and it is the benchmark of proper conduct and professionalism. It becomes an Alaka‘i Manager’s humble yet affirming statement of nobility through work.
“Conduct yourself with distinction” is significant as our Ho‘ohanohano expectation within the Managing with Aloha philosophy, for it is our core belief that to be a better manager, one must be a better person first and foremost.
It serves us well to regard Ho‘ohanohano as the face-to-face ‘alo’ part of Aloha, and the value which shapes our presence and demeanor, so we consistently showcase the dignity and spirit which our ‘ha’ embodies as our ‘breath of life.’
Working on Ho‘ohanohano is simple and clearcut in theory and proposition: Concentrating on this value amounts to working on ourselves, and how we behave.
This is done in many businesses without their naming Ho‘ohanohano as the over-arching value they are working within. Here’s a list of character targets which may be touted as the individual ‘values’ companies vow they concentrate on—Ho‘ohanohano includes all of them.
“We will be polite, kind, and courteous.”
“We will be honest. We will tell the truth.”
“We will be accessible and helpful. We seek to serve.”
“We will be respectful. We will be patient.”
“We will be ethical. We will act with integrity.”
“We will be understanding and reasonable.”
“We will be reliable, dependable, and trustworthy.”
“We will be professional.”
“We will be clear in how we communicate.”
“We will be calm, and even-tempered.”
“We will reflect on all feedback, and be introspective.”
Read over your company’s value statements; there’s a good chance Ho‘ohanohano appears there in some form. Annual Performance Reviews routinely check off boxes for honesty, respectfulness, and courtesy when people are appraised. Are your existing parts of Ho‘ohanohano good enough for you, or do you want more character building?
To want more, is to understand how essential dignity is to us as human beings, and to genuinely desire to deliver dignity at all times, and in all behaviors. Remember ‘alo’—through the practice of Ho‘ohanohano we purposely honor others, actively doing so through the varied complexion of our presence in their lives, and during each and every given moment we find we are together.
Ho‘ohanohano will also feed off itself, because dignity sustains us. Separate from ego, dignity fuels our self esteem, keeping us healthy enough to always seek improvement and become better versions of our existing selves. When dignity is missing, self esteem, confidence, and courage are also lacking. We feel we aren’t up to coping well. We may lose hope.
Ho‘ohanohano is crucial to those who aspire to manage and lead, if they are to do so with a thriving contingent of followers who feel dignified and thus capable in their own right—they feel effective as participants in that leader’s mission. Provide all the stakeholders of a company with Ho‘ohanohano fullness, and you provide people with the capacity for future growth. They’ll be ready for each new opportunity you accept, and you face any challenges together.
Work devotedly with character traits you might now list within your value statements. Ramp it up, so you achieve the whole of Ho‘ohanohano. Have whatever you say, match whatever you do. Have what you expect from others, be what you expect from yourself, and from your business. Ho‘ohanohano will flourish, because your ‘Ohana in Business has been strengthened.
Next issue: We revisit Alaka‘i, the Hawaiian value of Leadership.
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.