There is a Zulu greeting of ‘Sawubona’, which literally translates to ‘I see you’. One of the ways to respond to this is ‘Ngikhona’ – ‘I am here’. To me, this is a fundamental reminder to be present, even in the simple act of greeting someone. We must not lose our ability to ‘see’ our colleagues. For me personally, this is about connecting with my team, knowing a bit about their context and background as people, not as ‘resources’ available for the next project. It’s about taking the time to listen, even when I think I might have the answer halfway through the telling of the issue, or acknowledging a frustration before offering guidance, or simply being a sounding board.
Janice Mueller, large-scale transformation specialist | performance-focused leader across cross-cultural teams | strong communicator