An article by creator partner Repurpose Your Purpose – Aurora Meneghello
Since long before the pandemic, the focus of my work has been supporting people who want to change careers but are not sure what to do next. Talking to career changers from all industries, and walks of life it didn’t take me long to realize that often what makes people want to change careers is not the career itself, but their work environment.
Many of us underestimate the impact of relationships in our professional life, but even when we do have a desire to create or nurture a healthy environment, we can be at a loss as to how to do so. A healthy work environment is human-centered, kind, inspiring, and creates a sense of safety while also being challenging and fun enough to encourage creativity and growth. A tall order! And yet, this is not only possible, but very much doable.
Here are five mindsets and practices to help you shift your company culture.
- Deeper self awareness
We tend to focus on us vs. them dynamics, especially on social media. Browse Linkedin for a few minutes and you are sure to find a post who blames someone else or who expresses the exceptionality of the writer.
Apart from cases of illegal behavior or abuse, most dynamics are co created. The more we can understand our own patterns and reactivity, compassionately seeing how our insecurities and assumptions often contribute to unhealthy situations, the more we can hold space for others’ reactions as well.
As we each practice self acceptance, compassion, and take responsibility for our own experience, the collective field is transformed: the less reactive each person is, the safer the environment feels, and the easier it is to talk things out. This in turn generates good feelings, and openness, creating a cycle of more positive dynamics.
Think of it as your company culture’s “immune system:” the stronger it is, the more effectively it can handle the occasional issue that inevitably shows up among colleagues.
How can you bring about more self awareness: consider working with a coach, offering coaching services to your employees, and/or hosting transformative workshops and trainings for your team.
- Lean into what works
We get better at what we like to do. And we enjoy something more when we are good at it. Most companies spend too much time giving negative feedback, even when they try to do it constructively. Focusing on appreciating what works, aligning someone’s tasks with what they like to do the most, and helping everyone grow in the direction they feel best about is a win-win.
Some people say you’d be lucky to love 20% of your job. I strongly disagree! Everyone should love at least 80% of their job. Can you imagine working on a team whose members are almost always happy about their role, feel good about their professional growth, and consistently appreciate each other’s contributions?
In such an environment it would be a lot easier to give and receive the occasional constructive feedback, because it would be supported by a strong feeling of trust and real connection.
Nurturing such an environment would also mean helping someone leave a position that is not a good fit for them to make an internal move or to find another job. A rising tide lifts all boats and we all win when others are doing well, whether at our company or somewhere else.
How to increase appreciation: take one step at a time, starting with whatever is easiest. Every step of the hiring, training, and management cycle can be an excellent place where to make changes.
- Slow down
A little speed can help us feel challenged, motivated, and engaged; too much is an attention and innovation killer. Our best ideas need quiet time: we need to slow down to recharge, focus, deeply listen to each other, let new insights emerge.
This also includes creating work life balance and planning for everyone on the team to take time off and recharge on a regular basis.
When we live at the speed of life, we are more present, work more effectively, are less reactive, healthier, and can truly connect with one another.
How to slow down: prioritize what is truly important and do not be afraid to let go of the rest. Start each conversation by slowing down, feeling grounded, and take a few minutes to connect with the person in front of you. Build your business with work life balance and time to recharge in mind – don’t leave it as an after-thought.
- Be intentional in why and how you have meetings
Which brings me to this next point: intentionally choose when and how your team meets. Hosting meetings is an art in itself: whether you have in-person meetings, online, or hybrid, you can approach getting together in a connective and efficient way.
The first question to ask yourself is why you are inviting people to meet: what is your intention for the meeting? Could the same be achieved without a meeting? The rest flows from your intention.
How to be more intentional about meetings: start with an intention and clearly design the format of the meeting. Consider working with an experienced facilitator. Do not rush meetings: focus instead on having less meetings while giving plenty of time to those that are truly needed.
- Deepen everyone’s listening skills
The first time a coach introduced me to different levels of listening and the power that comes from truly, deeply listening, I was already in my 30’s (!!!) This stuff should be taught in kindergarten, I thought to myself. It would have saved me a lot of problems.
Now I consider deep listening a fundamental practice and the #1 transformative skill we could all improve on.
It takes working with someone who can point you towards your Wisdom, and then continuous practice. Once you begin to unlock your own ability to truly listen, your experience of life shifts: suddenly you discover a whole new world of possibilities and knowing.
How to deepen your listening skills: start with mindfulness or meditation. And host a training on listening for the entire company. Nothing will have as much of an impact on the overall wellbeing of your team as truly leaning into this understanding.
If you would like to delve deeper into transforming your workplace culture, get in touch. I love working with leaders and business owners who want to hold space for wellbeing and connection alongside profitability. Learn more at RepurposeYourPurpose.com
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