What is Pakikisama? Learn Its Importance, plus Its 10 Advantages and Disadvantages!

What is Pakikisama? Learn Its Importance, plus Its 10 Advantages and Disadvantages!
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 20 December, 2022

You plan to make it a working lunch in front of the computer to catch up on your to-do list for the day. But your colleagues stop by your cubicle, insisting you need a break. Besides, one is celebrating their birthday and treating the whole team to lunch. After some convincing, you decide to postpone working and go with them instead. This is a primepakikisamaexample in the workplace.

What is Pakikisama?

Pakikisamais a Filipino trait or tendency which shows our desire to get along with others. Experts say that we value togetherness because of our social structures. In the Philippines, it's common to see several generations of a family living in the same house or compound. Because of close relations,pakikisamabecomes essential in keeping the peace and fostering unity.

This trait is closely connected to the Filipino value ofbayanihanor our strong sense of community. This strong communal spirit promotes cooperation, kindness, and the initiative to lend a helping hand.

Pakikisamais seen in different aspects of a Filipino's life—private and public, specifically in the neighborhood and at work.

Also read: Interpersonal Skills: Why Improving Them Can Benefit You At The Workplace

Why Pakikisama Is Important

Pakikisamacan be a powerful tool for achieving harmony and solidarity. Here, people set aside their differences and personal preferences for the common good. Whatever level of progress is achieved should be enjoyed by everyone, with no one forgotten or ignored.

However,pakikisamaalso has its drawbacks when taken to the extreme. One might keep their opinions and emotions to themselves to avoid conflict. This kind of silence prevents leaders from improving measures and crafting well-rounded decisions that impact all the members.

In this article, we discuss the important rolepakikisamaplays in the workplace, its pros and cons, and how you can harness its potential while avoiding its possibly harmful effects.

Also read: 3 ways to drive a great work culture

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Pakikisama

Pakikisamais a double-edged sword, especially in the professional setting. Here are some of the situations it can work or be a detriment. Do you see yourself in these examples?


Here are the benefits ofpakikisama:

Spreading the good influence

We always hear of peer pressure in a negative context, but when it brings positive change, it can bring out the best in a team. For instance, procrastination, the enemy of productivity, can endanger projects which may not be delivered on time. If the whole team agrees to follow deadlines and put in quality work, those who tend to slack off may perform well because of others' influence. This also holds for following company guidelines.Pakikisamacan produce compliant employees, fostering harmony and the organization's growth.

Fostering collaboration

If your job success largely depends on teamwork, thenpakikisamamay lead to excellent results. Employees who get along tend to produce on-time and quality work because they watch each other's backs. They inspire and push one another to do their best, fast-tracking tasks and meeting deadlines. Within a team, members will always be more skilled and driven. Withpakikisama, everyone's efforts are recognized as they work toward a common goal.

Reducing the gap between the boss and staff

Let's face it; managers can be quite intimidating sometimes. But if your superior regularly hangs out with your team after work outside the office, you realize they are also relatable. Your boss'spakikisamamakes a world of difference in how you perceive them. It also impacts your work behavior because a manager who shows concern for your team's well-being is more likely to gain your loyalty. Think about it: if you feel valued and cared for in the workplace, you're more likely to stay in the company.

Promoting diversity and acceptance

Diversity in the workplace is one of the qualities jobseekers highly consider in potential employers. According to the Decoding Global Talent Report, almost 60% of jobseekers would avoid applying to companies that didn't practice diversity and inclusion. If you feel the same, thenpakikisamaworks to your advantage. With sensitivity to diverse cultural backgrounds, gender identities and personal preferences, everyone else becomes more accommodating and understanding, which pushes teamwork to greater heights.

Forming lifelong friendships

Pakikisamacan go beyond work interactions; some colleagues are solid friends outside the office. We commonly choose co-workers as our children'sninong,ninangor part of our wedding entourage. Emotional attachment among team members is constantly strengthened inside and outside of work, which is why it's no surprise that some end up as best buddies—or even romantic partners.


On the other hand, the need to belong also has these downsides:

Constantly seeking acceptance

The desire to conform and be accepted isn't always a good thing. For example, if your workmates invite you to indulge in an after-office movie, but you need to get home to fulfill responsibilities—what do you do? You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or be called a "killjoy" for refusing their company. At the same time, you know that neglecting your home responsibilities will have dire consequences. When you always want others' approval, you lose your sense of self. Try building your confidence from within to make healthy, self-nurturing decisions.

Neglecting your priorities

When you know the things and people important to you, you can better create boundaries to protect them. There's an appropriate time for going along with the crowd, but there are also moments when you need to pull back and consider your priorities. Practice the delicate art of declining, so you can keep friendships while asserting your choices.

Placing friendship above work

In some settings,pakikisamais more valued than work ethic, leading to corrupt practices like bribery and dubious transactions. For the sake of friendship, employees may cover up and even participate in anomalous deeds. Also, some bring in new workers based on connections, not professional competence. Another result ofpakikisamais preferential treatment.

Giving way to group opinion

Pakikisamamay cause others to clam up in group discussions. When this happens, only the most vocal express their opinions and suggestions, discounting others' thoughts. Don't hesitate to speak up if something is weighing your mind and you feel it needs to be aired out. Your is valid input that can help your manager make better decisions.

Refraining from giving criticism

We do better when we get feedback from other people. On the other side of this exchange, you may hesitate to give negative comments because you don't want to hurt others' feelings. When this happens, you're preventing growth and improvement. There are appropriate ways to dish out constructive criticism, which everyone can benefit from.

Also read: What Is Non-Verbal Communication And How Can You Improve Yours?

Make Pakikisama Work in the Office!

Maximize the benefits ofpakikisamaby still maintaining professionalism in the workplace. Use it to settle disagreements, see things differently, and be patient with others with opposing views. The workplace is composed of different personalities, but if you can focus on your similarities and common goals, you'll be more motivated to attend to your daily duties.

Ready to bond with new colleagues?#SEEKBetterjobs by creating or updating your profile. For more jobs, visit JobStreet or download the JobStreet app on Google Play or the App Store.

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