November 8, 2019

Team Hufflepuff: Making People Feel Welcome

This blog post was written by Matthew Harvey, a Therapeutic Specialist at The Australian Childhood Foundation. 


I remember being in my first Team Meeting. It was my fourth day at ACF and I didn’t know what we’d be discussing. I sat in silence rocking on my chair whilst taking in the room, the people around me, listening as we prefaced some of the agenda items.

Suddenly I was asked, “Matt… How are you feeling with everything so far?”

I hesitated for a second before my automatic response came out… “It’s been great. Everyone’s really…. Hufflepuff.”

My team laughed out loud.

“Ummm let me explain by what I mean. It’s just everyone’s really welcoming here and when I think of coming in to work I get the sense that the people I work with have this relaxed notion, making settling into a team and the organisation pleasant. They give you a sense that you belong without making you feel like you have to do anything to belong.”

It’s been about a month and thinking about this further it still rings true.

When you make people feel welcome within your team or organisation you create that culture that they become a part of and add to. Feeling accepted and welcome by others is forefront in establishing rapport and a pillar for the relationships we form. It also gives people a sense of comfort and trust that they can speak openly and be transparent.

How does one learn this skill or perfect this skill?

There isn’t an easy answer but a starting point is by making a genuine effort to get to know someone on a measure equivalent to how well you know that person that leaves them feeling comfortable.

You may be wondering a little more about the Hufflepuff comment. JK Rowling herself stated that, “Hufflepuff is her favourite house at Hogwarts, referencing the fact that at the Battle of Hogwarts at the end of the Deathly Hallows, nearly all Hufflepuffs remained to fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. All of the Gryffindors stayed to fight as well, but according to Rowling, that’s just the sort of people Gryffindors are, brave, but also “show-offy,” and that they hardly ever back down from a fight. Hufflepuffs aren’t always the most confrontational, but they stayed because they know the importance of Justice, and of fighting for what is right.” (Wheelock, R. 2016)

There’s something inherently special about that level of courage that speaks volumes to an organisation. I would call it internal courage and it’s something that I feel at ACF many of us have.

Not being confrontational but making sure that we are standing up for the children we work with to ensure they are treated respectfully and safe from the trauma of abuse, violence, and neglect.

Apparently, Hufflepuff is also known for being the most inclusive out of the Hogwarts Houses. Unsurprisingly, an inclusive culture involves the full and successful integration of diverse people into a workplace or industry (Ball et. al, 2005). Anyway, I just wanted to share my original thoughts on the ACF since I’ve joined. Thanks for tuning in and making my welcome warm.



Ball, P., Monaco, G., Scheling J., Schartz, H., & Blanck P. (2005). Disability as diversity in Fortune 100 companies. Behavioural Sciences & The Law. 23(1): 97-121. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.629

Wheelock, R. (2016). What Happens when you realize you’re a hufflepuff. Retrieved from: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/hufflepride

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