In the Greek myth of Pandora’s box, Pandora was given a box by the gods. The gods told her that the box contained special gifts from them but she was not allowed to open the box ever. Pandora was trying to tame her curiosity, but at the end she could not hold herself anymore; she opened the box and all the illnesses and hardships that gods had hidden in the box started coming out. Pandora was scared, because she saw all the evil spirits coming out and tried to close the box as fast as possible, closing Hope inside. As she slowly re-opened the box, there was Hope, in the corner and it needed to be coaxed to enter the world and show all humankind that it existed.
Humans need Hope and as leaders, we manage humans. It is up to us to set the stage for a hopeful environment, one in which when the going gets tough, we remind people it is temporary and that we will get through it together. Some of the ways we can create a culture that is built on Hope as the foundation are to:
Get to personally know your team
It is hard for you to offer Hope in a way others can receive it if you don’t truly understand the people who work for you. Spend time getting to know who they are outside of work, what hobbies they have, how old their children are.
Allow you leaders to lead
Ensure that you hire the right people and then provide them with both challenges and choices on how they meet that challenge. You get to define the what, but let your leaders define the how.
Every organization has both formal and informal leaders. Find those informal leaders. and enlist them to help you instill Hope throughout the organization. When communication takes both a formal and an informal path, it is much more impactful and spreads much more quickly than depending on formal communication channels alone
Offer the right information at the right time
While honesty and transparency are admirable traits, when you are trying to create an environment of Hope, it makes sense to shield your team from some of the inconsequential negative information. I am not suggesting that you withhold critical, negative information, only that you smooth the ups and downs and focus on the larger upward trend
Paint a picture of a hopeful future
Continually help your team to see how bright the future could be. Choose to focus on the positive and show them the path to get there. Share with them all the things that are going well and how you will help them to overcome what is not. Happiness is a choice. Choose wisely.