Whether or not you’ve been on the islands, Aloha [əˈlohə] is a Hawai’ian term that we’ve all heard at some point. That being said, most people who aren’t all that familiar with Hawaiian culture might not be familiar with the full scope of the term. It is often represented as a polite way to greet and bid farewell, but Aloha is so much more than just “hello” and “goodbye.”
As is often the case with Hawai’ian terms, there isn’t a strict and concrete translation to English that really does the word justice. The University of Hawai’i Community Colleges tell us that, in Hawai’i, Aloha might mean love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, or grace. Certainly more than just a salutation, but perhaps much more than many people realize. Native Hawai’ian Keoni Alvarez walks us through just how much more Aloha can mean. It is fundamentally about relationships and, specifically, about loving, respecting, and trusting a person, regardless of who they are. It is the belief that every single person deserves to be respected and loved, and the practice of making sure that is reflected in your own relationships.
Putting It Into Practice
Living with aloha means committing to this practice, day in and day out, throughout all of the relationships that make up your personal and professional life. In much the same way, extending aloha into your business environment would be incredibly simple, since practicing true aloha would already include your workplace. Nevertheless, it is both important and useful to picture how this might work.
We’re often quick to draw a hard line between our personal and professional lives, and for many things that can be good and healthy, but as far as our interpersonal relationships go, drawing that line can be dangerous. Like we said already, the importance of aloha comes in the belief that every single person deserves sincere love and respect. This isn’t reserved for people that you like, and it certainly isn’t reserved for the people outside of your workplace. Everyone means everyone.
Drawing this line and having less sincere and less respectful relationships with those in your workplace is often why the workplace and workplace relationships can feel taxing and tedious, and why many people have an antagonistic relationship to their business environment. Without the love, vulnerability, and respect, we cannot expect to grow and feel welcome in this environment. This, of course, also extends beyond the immediate workplace. Having this fundamental love and respect for partners, clients, and others in a professional community with you not only means a healthier experience for everybody involved, but also a healthier environment and flow for everything that needs to get done.
Aloha is a key aspect to fostering sincere, healthy, and caring communities, both personal and professional.
Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May, an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.
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