Wisdom from Okinawa (Japan)"You cannot choose your family." That´s what people say. The people of Okinawa (an Island in Japan) have a different point of view. The word "Monchu" means "own family." It invites people to put their family together independent of blood relation. The good thing about this is: One supports each other, helps each other and aims to share wisdom and knowledge from generation to generation.
Surrounded by supportersImagine that: You are surrounded only by people that aim to support you in all of your projects - in business and life. As you know, we have limited capacities for tending relationships and friendships. With the Mochu method you use all of your capacity for positive relationships that you have chosen and created.
Step 1 Imagine three circlesIn the smallest, inner circle are the people you love and honor the most. The relationship is deep, sincere, intimate and intense. When it is about interaction, you do not need reminders or appointments for this group of people. Often, this group consists of members of your real family - relatives, life partner, children. Put into the second circle all of the people you have to tend a relationship. Maybe your colleagues or clients. For this group, you will need occasional reminders so that you stay in touch on a regular basis. But through your job you are already in contact with these people regularly. The third group is your Monchu. The family that you have chosen.
How can you figure out which belongs to your Monchu circle?It´s not a simple question, and the answer takes a bit more energy and time. To fill this circle in a way that helps you with your personal growth we will have a closer look:
Step 2 Develop your MonchuThe third circle consists of people
- who support you for no reason
- you want to help
- you want to learn from
- you feel you can help
- you care about
- who can benefit from your network
As you can see - it is not just about people who can help you but especially about people you can help. You do not look for chances and opportunities like you would do with regular networking.
You know what I am talking about when I talk about "regular networking"? You also meet those people at networking events where everyone is looking for clients, but nobody wants to be the customer of someone else. We love showing off our network. We count the number of connections and measure our influence with it.
To fill your Monchu circle, you are not looking for control and power. Also, you do not attempt to find as many connections as possible. You are looking for people you already feel connected with that can enrich your life.
People for whom you are willing to share your time and experience. That is a classical family concept.
Where do you find those people?
Check the lists of recent callers. Who called and asked you for advice? How about your emails? Was there anyone you would like to help? How about your friends? Is there someone who is in a rough spot or career transition right now?
Whom can you serve with your experience and knowledge?
How many should be your Monchu?
10 - 20 people are enough. The number needs to stay small enough for you to keep an oversight. Bear in mind: You will have to be in regular touch with these people.
Step 3 Serve your Monchu
Let´s say you only have 20 minutes of spare time to allocate each day. Maybe it´s just the amount of time that you used to spend on tasks that do not do anything for you. Or the time you are currently allocating to time- and energy thieves or negative people. It´s an amount of time everyone, no matter how busy, has.
- Spend 10 minutes on people of your Monchu circle and offer help and support. A call to a person in need or great articles, inspiration - whatever helps your peopleMaybe you had an idea after someone told you about their problems? Perhaps you share an experience that made you think of that person. If you can only manage to write to one person in this 10 minutes, that is fine.
- Allocate 5 minutes to ask people from your Monchu for feedback. You can ask if your suggestions helped another person or maybe get feedback on an article you wrote.Individuals who know you well could give you pointers on what your strengths are. Asking people for feedback might be the most difficult suggestion, but you will gain valuable insights.
- Use the last 5 minutes to consider whom you can introduce to someone from your circle. And why.If the people chose to get to know each other or not is their decision. But it´s a great feeling to know those people you value know each other.
If you like, you can start a (handwritten) diary of people you have helped, asked, introduced, etc.
Step 4 Give without expecting return
To give is the new way of taking. Who gives (support, time, advice) gets validation: "I am valuable because I can help others."
And don´t forget: One step is "ask for feedback." Some are so ecstatic about step one (helping others) that they forget about themselves.The important thing: Do not expect anything in return. Connect with people because you want to connect. Help because you want to help. It´s your family - not your business network.
And, yes, anarchy does not work, and it´s possible or even likely that there will be people who take more than they give back. Step by step you will learn whom you want to keep in your Monchu.
Maybe you will discover how enlightening it can be to receive feedback from someone that is not your friend.
Feedback from someone from your Monchu circle can open your eyes faster and more intensely than friendly pointers from people who know us for a long time. Because you are not that close, it is easier to give feedback.
From the comments, you can extract new learning goals and work on them. The feedback you will receive from your Monchu will be provided without hidden agenda most of the times. It still makes sense to look at every piece of advice people are giving you with the "third eye".
One thing is for sure: When people from your Monchu circle notice that you offer support without asking anything in return they will want to stay close to you and only talk about you in a very positive way. And what can be better than be surrounded by a likable, supportive family?
What´s the point of Monchu?
It is no secret anymore that to give makes us happy. With the Monchu method, you decide proactive whom you want to give to.
In our jobs, services and duties are regulated by a contract most of the time. We are in the reactive mode.
By being there for others and by receiving feedback you will grow and have terrific support for both, your personal growth and developing your career/business.
You learn about your potential (whom can I help and how?) and your blind spots (feedback from others).
Is this worth 20 minutes of your time?
Try and decide for yourself.Continue reading