Last week Space for Peace attended Asian Business Connexions ABC Expo, ‘the largest family and business community inclusive event on Tyneside’, at the Excelsior Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne.
At our stall we took the opportunity to discuss peace with businesses from across the North East, both large and small. We asked three key questions, ‘What does peace mean for you?’, ‘Where is Peace?’ and ‘How do you make peace?’. In addition we asked members of the business community to make personal pledges for peace in recognition of the UN International Peace Day on 21st September. Here are some of the pledges made by local business people;
‘never hold a grudge against anyone, life is to short’ ‘I will take the time to understand people, not pre-judge’ ‘being supportive to everyone and to find solutions’ ‘think more positive of life as a whole’ ‘reflecting on the needs of others and promoting peace at work’ ‘smile to colleagues’ ‘helping where and when I am needed’
Most of these pledges are as applicable in the home as the are in the workplace. Share your pledge with us on facebook.
Historically, Space for Peace have attended community events and festivals at which we have engaged in the same discussions with a cross section of the general public. However, this event presented the opportunity to explore what peace means specifically to businesses and whether peace interventions can help improve business performance.
Unsurprisingly the responses to the three key questions resonated with responses we receive at other events. The business people we spoke to talked of their personal experiences and view of peace in their day to day life outside of work. These discussions touched on both their own peace and that of the wider community and the world. It was clear that they valued peace for themselves and recognised the obvious benefits to an end in violent conflict around the world. Yet, initially at least, very few made an immediate connection to the role of peace at work.
Maybe this is no surprise, when talking about peace we naturally consider the opposite to peace the opposite to peace. Space for Peace was created specifically to tackle issues of Anti-social behaviour, Domestic abuse and bullying in North East communities. These were the issues identified by people at community events across the North East as the key barriers to peace in their lives. In the workplace there are tighter controls, rules and laws to deal with these issues than there are in our homes and neighbourhoods. Yet these issues to occur in the workplace as well as outside of work and when they do they can lead to absenteeism, sickness and conflict with customers or colleagues.
Lack of peace for employees and business owners can have a seriously damaging effect on business performance, conversely when when we create space for peace for ourselves and eachother, conflict is reduced, we feel happier and are more productive.
A recent article by wired highlights that many of the worlds most succesful business leaders, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google are now incorporating mindfulness techniques into their working practices because of the benefits to health, wellbeing and performance.
To find out more about Space for Peace find us on facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.