Last week I had the honor to do an interview with Nicolas Haines, Kindness Ambassador, co-founder of the Five Institute, entrepreneur, teacher of Chinese Energetics, author and creator of the Vitality test.
A summary of the interview with Nicolas Haines:
In this article I will write down all the main points of this amazing interview with Nicolas Haines, in which the five energies, leading with kindness and the vitality test will be explained. Furthermore, you will get to know how the 5 energies reflect to you as a person within an organization. Could it become any more interesting? If you are curious, please let’s start with the summary of the interview.
1. Could you tell a bit more about yourself and how you got in touch with leading with kindness?
Nicolas: My background is actually in Chinese medicine and I have been working in this industry for over 35 years. Within that time I have been working with a lot of business leaders and looking what was going on in their live. How their health and relationships as an individual reflected to their impact in their businesses. I became more and more interested in company leaders, cultures, families organizations and individuals. How do people look after themselves and how are they treating others? It is about the dance between being kind to yourself and other people, and having your business working at the same time. I am very fascinated by this subject.
2. How do you apply leading with kindness for organizations? How would you bring it forward?
You can do it in lots of different ways, you can look for example at the culture of the organization. From culture to kindness. The best way to look into an organization is to ask each and every person, what is the culture you would like to be in? Because a company telling they have a lot of culture, is not always bought by other people. After the question of the culture you would like to be in, I would ask them if they treat themselves this way.
If you would like the external influences to be kind and forgiving to you, you need to ask the question: “are you kind and forgiving to yourself?” Often what individuals want from the external influences, is something that is missing within the internal influences. Every single person has much more influence on the internal situation which will aid the mindfulness, well-being and health as a totality. If a company has great external factors, the people within the company could still be unhappy or lacking of something. So the challenge is to start with the internal factors of each individual.
3. The 5 energies related to leadership with kindness.
The 5 energies is often the next step to further understand the organizational culture more. The five energies are originally from Ancient China, and are around 3000-4000 years old. Unfortunately, these energies were forgotten a long time ago, some of the scripts were found. I have read the library records of it, so we know that the energies were used. The five energies were utilized to understand leadership, government, warfare, politics and many more organizations of those times. It forms the base of how people interact with each other and it provides you a way to understand complexity.
The meaning of the five energies:
It is important to understand people’s energies and how they would react to certain situations. How can we forward change without damaging people’s feelings. How could we gather the right energies in order to achieve the best outcome? These questions will be answered through the 5 energies and make us more mindful about our self and others. As all energies want to have their appreciation met.
Water is related to winter. In winter we are usually dealing with the consequences of our previous actions. If you did not crop your vegetables in spring, you would starve in winter so to say. Water is always thinking about how is this playing out for me in the long-term. How could we learn from the past and bring it forward into the future. Each and every energy has a big question that is related to how they think. Water people usually ask, are you safe or am I safe? Water is the only energy which leaves its mark on the planet.
Wood is related to spring. It is new innovative, fresh, imaginative and creative. These energies truly need freedom, if they get a lot of resistance, they are not eager to work anymore. The wood energies sort of become rebellious. However, if you provide them with all the freedom they need, they will think along and create better opportunities and innovations, and that is exactly where you would like to guide these energies to. The wood types love changes and movement, as long as they are not forced into it. They do not liked to be told what to do.
Fire is related to summer, its hot, passion and exciting. It is all about enthusiasm and communication. These people will sell anything to anybody. They have the enthusiasm to get everyone on board and they can create an environment of fun. Am I loved and am I appreciated? Is their big question. If you are not mindful about the change and not appreciate the fire types. They will start gossiping when they are not appreciated, therefore it is truly important to listen.
Related to late summer, is when everything is starting to calm down. These energies would like to know what is going on. If they do not understand exactly what is going on, then they could become very stressed.
Do I understand and am I understood? Is their big question. Take your time to explain the earth energies what the changes are and how we are going to get there. It will make them feel balanced and their practicality could be used in the process.
Metal is related to Autumn. Metals are very efficient and they need to see the value of the change. Is there any waste? These energies are the analytical thinkers and measure the efficiency. If they do not see on paper the prove of what needs to be done, they will not bother to mingle in the change.
Metal energies will withdraw from the changes and will continue to do what they always did and they would stick with their own old system. They would not tell anyone their ideas anymore and no one would notice they are still working with the old system. They will disconnect. Metals are truly the analytical thinkers.
Big question: What is missing? What is incomplete, inefficient?
It is very important to see how everyone’s big question could be met the best way. The idea is that the right people could be gathered so they could balance each other and everyone understands where each individual is coming from. Every energy is needed in order to make a change and to balance each other’s energies. It is a good way to create a culture together and find the solution that suits the majority of people.
4. Does leadership with kindness have boundaries?
Leadership with kindness certainly has boundaries. A company still needs to generate profit and the organization has to function in the best way possible. But everyone would be heard and that is the most important thing. If people are not heard, changes can’t be made.
5. What is leading with kindness to you in a short summary.
Be equally kind to yourself, your company and the planet, all in equal measure. Instead of your mindset, you could develop a kindset. It is all about balance.
Hopefully this article inspired you readers to take The Vitality Test.
I have done it myself as well and it is a true recommendation. It is for free and it can provide you with great detail about yourself.
Thank you for your time it is a true honor to have your here Nicolas Haines and all the readers/ followers of The Mindful Magazine.
I wish you all a blissful day!