By Nihal Tharoor-Menon
Here comes the SUN
It is a great feeling to be at ease in your surroundings.
In the company of close friends or family most can appreciate this, but in the workplace such a feeling is rare.
The forces of hierarchy, ego, cynicism, and general office politics conspire to keep you emotionally distant and detached.
Enter the weird and wonderful Marc Lewis.
Through SCA, he has cultivated what may be the best work environment for human wellbeing.
An open, challenging, compassionate and above all, fun environment that asks – at its base – you assume the state of a natural, playful child.
Think about that.
To thrive in almost any other profession the natural, playful child must be smothered and buried down below.
In SCA, encouraging the playful child is not only important but necessary for us to succeed in our work.
We need to be free of tension and anxiety to generate our best ideas. Emotional wellbeing leads to professional success.
It is these insights that convince me I am heading down the right track in my life.
We are yet to reach a place of Zen in our agency.
People – including myself – still have some walls up.
Defence mechanisms have served us well in the past and cannot be simply switched off. This takes time, and every day Marc and the mentors are kicking in the doors of our social sensibilities.
It is a liberating experience.
On Friday, we had a masterclass on creative thinking with the voluble Mark Palmer.
One piece of wisdom that stuck with me is the importance that we SUN (suspend judgement, understand, nurture) and not RAIN (react, assume, insist) on our partners.
Mark was teaching us these tools to improve our creativity, but I understood this as life advice more generally.
If we are encouraging, empathetic and engaged with people around us we will bring out their best and have altogether richer experiences.
I’d like to think I have a sunny disposition but there are certainly times when negativity and cynicism are more natural.
Living life with SUN shining is a tall order and requires sustained effort.
I can’t imagine a better environment in which to practice.