The Spirit of Helpathy
Helpathy, (hel·pa·thee) A spirit that exists within a group embodying trust, understanding, mutual respect and cooperation to encourage the individual and collective development and use of human potential.
In the” About Rod Hess” tab on the website, I wrote about my work in the field of juvenile corrections and in corporate culture change. In both arenas, peer pressure is a key variable that must be understood and addressed in order for change to occur. Over the years, I have worked with many groups and/or organizations that were “out of balance.”
In Figure 1 below, for example, the group is more important than the individual. Here, you lose your sense of being an individual. Everything revolves around the needs of the group. Cults and gangs are examples of this type of culture.
Figure 2 exemplifies a group where the individual needs are more important than those of the group. Here, individuals live with a “parasitic” relationship with the group or organization. The “me first” attitude gives rise to a culture of mistrust and self-preservation.
In trying to fix the group/organizational culture, I believe a leader must have a philosophy to guide the use of the powerful leadership skills necessary to undertake this endeavor. Helpathy is that philosophy
I coined the word “helpathy” many years ago with an accidental slip of the tongue. Although the word itself has a certain “softness” to it, it is quite the contrary. A leader’s attitude shapes the culture of the group. In Figures 1 and 2 above, the “out of balance” cultures can have a detrimental effect upon the group’s ability to function as a team, and hinder an individual’s ability to reach his/her full potential. A leader who can create culture based on “trust, understanding, mutual respect and cooperation,” will have a supportive, yet challenging environment that will maximize the potential of the group and the individual.
Creating this “sense of balance” between the needs of the group and the individual is a delicate process. The products below can show you “how to” accomplish this in dealing with peer pressure or in managing your group, team or organization.