This is Part 2 of The Love What You Do Series. Look for the rest of the series from now until Valentine’s Day.
Human-Centricity isn’t just a term for marketers to use when their old campaign tactics stop working or the lesson that profit-maximizing businesses are getting because millennials are a different kind of market than their parents. It’s also something that individuals must learn in order to experience success and fulfillment in their personal lives and careers.
Human-Centricity on the individual level includes behavior like the following:
- Helping others without expecting anything in return
- Being compassionate for all (especially for people you disagree with or those you are in conflict with)
- Making your work about the advancement of others/humanity vs. the advancement of the material self
- Collaborating well with others to create value
- Focusing on values and ethics when you choose to take an action in your work or personal life
- Building intimate relationships with others
According to research performed by Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, two things that give us the most happiness and fulfillment are social connections and community. There are all kinds of features within our biology that make us wired to connect with each other, including the caretaking nerve called the vagus nerve. This nerve is unique to mammals and is interconnected with oxytocin networks as well as a determinant of the health of your heart and immune system. One emotion that causes strong vagus nerve response is compassion and those with strong vagus response (vagal tone) have more positive emotions on a daily basis.
We have scientific proof that focusing on the human aspects of life are good for our physical and mental well-being, in addition to the survival of our species, but what are the other positive impacts that come from being human-centric?
1. It Creates a Stronger Support Network
Every time you support others that need your help, it’s like putting a deposit in your own social network bank; you’re creating a stronger network of people who you can turn to when you are in a difficult situation or need someone to talk to. When you help someone, it’s an opportunity to build trust, intimacy, and memories with that individual.
Humans share resources with whom they share a close relationship. By focusing on strengthening your relationships, you also gain increased security.
2. It Helps Launch & Advance Careers
Having legitimate relationships with co-workers and business contacts will put you at the top of the list when opportunities that match your interests and skills arise. The more people who feel close to you or like they really know you, the more likely your name will come to mind when a skill is needed. Take the time to get to know people, think about how you can help someone, and make sure you do it BEFORE you are in dire need of help yourself.
If this sound inauthentic to you, remember that you should be building relationships with people you take a genuine interest in, where there is overlap of values, goals, ideas, etc.
3. The Mushroom Effect
The great thing about choosing to focus on people is that it’s something that builds on itself once it gets going. The more quality people you have in your network, the easier it is to bring in MORE quality people who have genuine overlap and who you genuinely enjoy being around.
Learn about how to use social networks to build a sustainable network you can leverage in your job search and work life in this excerpt from our Career Hacking course:
4. Human Mirroring Behavior
Focusing on others is also good for your team, your community, and humanity as whole. It’s human instinct to mirror the behavior of others so, when you enter a relationship ready to learn and care about the other person and foster positive interactions with them, they are very likely to do the same with you and the people in their own networks. You’re contributing to the greater good.
Do you have any stories or examples to share about when you did something good for someone else and you saw positive impact on your own life from your actions? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or you can tweet at me.
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