It’s June, or better known as Pride Month. A month when the world focusses on equality, acceptance, and respect. Next to pi life sciences' abundance of technical knowledge (which we like to share with the world at large: workshops, webinars and, of course, our consultants) we also carry certain values. Have you ever wondered what makes us tick? Well, let us introduce you to what we call the pi DNA: the values we strive to achieve every single day so that each of us can become the embodiment of what pi symbolizes. You could say we even take pride in them. In four blogs we will pridefully shine a light on each of these values. Join us on this valuable (pun intended) journey to the heart of pi. Starting with integrity and respect.
Courage over comfort
Brené Brown, researcher, author, and storyteller defines integrity as “choosing courage over comfort; choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy; and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them”. And that is exactly what pi stands for. But, let’s be honest: it’s easy to say you carry certain values, but do you walk the talk?
How do you practice what you preach? Honestly, it's a lot simpler than we all think. We'll take you with us. You show integrity by not avoiding the difficult conversations but facing them head-on, by moving through the discomfort and meeting new possibilities on the other side. We believe that everyone should be approachable and everyone should dare to approach another person without any kind of fear. That is the way both us and our company can grow, and it is the way to get rid of frustration. The frustration which would otherwise most likely be “discussed” by the coffee machine or water cooler and start leading its own life, spreading the bad juju. Get things out in the open, start a dialogue, and work together to reach a solution. Important step to get there: a strong foundation of trust needs to be present first. pi is working hard to achieve this, day after day.
What else? We encourage people to take responsibility for their own actions. Let’s break this word down. Responsible, response-able. In other words, the ability to respond, to choose your response, your answer.
Nothing more or less. We all have it, we can all do it. Of course, it’s easy to go into complaining, criticizing everything, having those infamous water cooler meetings but has that really ever solved anything? We didn’t think so. Let’s do it the other way. What if we all take a look at what we can do at THAT moment? What if we fully take responsibility for our actions (and inactions), however small they may seem? That’s when things happen and you start building something. It’s called being constructive for a reason.
One of our favorite definitions, as the writers of this article, for integrity goes as follows: “Integrity is doing what you said you would do, by the time you said you would’ve done it”. Try saying that one out loud five times in a row. In the end, it boils down to keeping your word. You said you would finish that document by Friday evening? Great, if you make good on that promise. The more you live by this, the more trustworthy you become. In the end, it brings us back to one – important – ingredient of collaboration, trust. Onward to respect!
I see what you did there
Time to bring out the dictionary (again). From the Latin “respicere” which literally means “looking back”. The options to interpret this are plentiful. When you show someone respect, you really look at them and you really see them as they are. And most importantly, you give your full attention. Drop the story, drop whatever you may think is true about that person, drop the to-do-list running in your head… you’ve only one task: welcome the present moment. Afterward, when you really see someone, that’s when the magic happens. Feeling and being heard is essential, it will build trust and it will build respect.
People notice what you do, how truthful and honest your actions are. If people feel that they are talking to a person of integrity, the amount of trust will increase and a safe environment will develop, carried by all people inside the company. Remember the saying: “You can earn respect, you can’t demand respect.”
As you may have noticed, respect and integrity are closely connected. The more respect there is more integrity. And the reverse is also true, the higher the integrity, the more respect will be shown. They work in tandem and can make huge differences in a company’s culture. And don't worry, it all starts with you. Like David R. Loy said: “When we respond differently to the world, the world responds differently to us.” What’s not to like?
This is what we aim for, a company built on integrity and respect. Are we perfect? Nope, not yet, maybe we never will be. There’s always a next step that can be taken. But, if your head and your heart go in the right direction, you don't have to worry about your feet.
Authored by Kenneth Poupaert & Simon Verstraeten