Joy at Work(er) Blog

Balancing Respect

joy research Dec 09, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

As we grow up, Respect is something we are taught to give. Children are told to respect their teachers and coaches and other adults. The Judeo-Christian Bible commands Respect for parents, placing the commandment, “Honor Thy Father and Mother, ” after commandments concerning God but before those concerning crimes.  “Respect your elders” has been demanded for thousands of years. Like Trust, Respect is often included in organizational statements of values.

But the direction from which Respect is demanded (consider it a vector) has changed. Respect is demanded by individuals. It is a cry of defiance against indifference. As a result, Respect appears even more frequently. Google’s Ngram Viewer shows this increase in the past few decades. There is tension between Respect for the individual and Respect for the organization (and, as we’ll see, another player), a tension at the heart of growing Joy at Work.

Respect Is About...

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Joy in the Workplace is a Practice

joy at work Dec 07, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Rather than a destination, Joy at Work is a practice.

While most people like the idea of growing joy for themselves, they often have only a vague notion of what that means to them. Tuning into what joy at work means to you is a good first step. Here are some thoughts to help you tune in...

For the next week, notice what you experience joy at work:

When do you feel most satisfied with your work? What’s happening?
When do you feel joy in your interactions with colleagues? What’s happening?
When do you feel most motivated and inspired? What’s happening?
When do you laugh at work? Why?
When do you lose yourself in your work?
What small thing could you start or stop doing that would bring you joy?
Imagining it’s six months from now and you were successful in making that small change, what would be happening that would make it all worth it?

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Your Impact on the Joy of Others

joy at work Dec 02, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Most people don’t think about the impact they have on others at work. That’s not a character flaw, that’s just not how we’re trained to think about work.

If you think about your ripple effect on your colleagues, that can help you find meaning and purpose in unexpected places.

Think about how you impact others when you do your job well. How does that impact your boss, your peers, your company, your clients?

If you REALLY want to tune into your impact, think about the impact on others when you DON’T do your job well! How might that ruin someone’s day? How might that impact how THAT person interacts with their family?

If you imagine yourself as a beacon of impact, how do your words and actions effect the world?

The goal in this thought experiment is so you can see what you do in a new light. See how that impact connects to your values, or not. And, inspire YOURSELF to grow joy at work for others.

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4 Myths of the Change Management Profession

change Nov 14, 2020
 

Several signs indicate a growing, positive recognition of the Change Management profession. Roxanne Brown shares four myths and positive trends.

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A Love Letter to Change Management

change Nov 14, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Originally published 6/20/17.

Dear CM,

When I first met you my life at work was in turmoil. At the office, people who were standing just feet apart wouldn’t acknowledge each other. It was as if they didn’t know how so they filtered each other out. Everyone decided to keep to their friends now that the company had decided to purchase a longtime competitor.

There were new people in the office and they were the enemy. They were our competition that for years we battled against for clients, industry awards and big business. We knew them by name and by sight and now they were in our office. They were supposed to be one of us now. How strange it all felt. The new people acted like they were in a foreign land, looking stunned, trying to adjust. It was beyond awkward. I retreated to my office to escape the pressure of those interactions. The rooms and hallways were packed with emotion pressing everything downward. Lots...

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Fear versus Attraction

change Nov 12, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

You can use fear to make people change. It is a legitimate change tactic, especially in an immediate danger situation. But what happens is people freeze in place and only do what you tell them to do. They keep their heads down and keep to themselves. From time to time they’ll pop their heads up to look around to see if anything has changed. Then they go back to being heads-down. They’re frozen in place waiting for the next direction. It’s the safest thing to do.

Another tactic is attraction, attracting people to the vision of a new world you imagine. When you communicate your vision you help people see their place in this world and how they can bring their unique talents to make it happen. You inspire their action to your vision.

The effort you exert using fear versus attraction is different. The amount of effort may be the same but the nature of your effort is very different. Fear gets you speed but you will always be the person...

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Change & Joy Go Together

joy at work Nov 08, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

No matter what change you're making, even if people don't like it, there's a way to make it happen that creates joy, which we see as a combination of...trust, integrity, belonging, cohesion, participation, commitment, accountability, adaptability, growth and respect in the workplace.

Joy at Work is not a facade of happiness. It does no good to have team fun events and foosball tables if people don't feel like they belong.

Joy at Work is about what supports people to thrive the most at work, both individually and together, through good times and bad.

How do you contribute joy to the workplace?

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Shoutout to Millennials

leadership Nov 07, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Last week I came across an HBR article with the title: Gen-X is More Creative than Gen-Y, According to Harvard.

Being a Gen-Xer, naturally, it caught my attention. I didn’t post it here because the article seemed pretty light-weight and this comparison definitely does NOT feel like Joy at Work to me.

That afternoon I had a client meeting with a leadership team that’s working on scaling their company. Our focus was to talk about announcing a shift in the organization. After the team discussed the basics—messaging, sequence of events, anticipated questions—I asked the question, “How do you want the team to feel, both during the conversation and then afterwards?”

Their immediate, almost reflexive response was, “That’s a great question.”

They meant it. They talked about it in depth. They thought it through. They aligned on it. They made adjustments. It was awesome. The leadership team is made up of members...

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Before Change Can Happen the Leader Must Change First

change leadership Nov 03, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Before change can happen the leader must change first. This seems pretty straightforward but applying it can be challenging!

When change is introduced, people notice how the leader is modeling the change they want to see in others – or not.

If you think you’re fine, it’s just that everyone else needs to change, that might be a problem. It’s a good idea to ask yourself from time to time…

  • How am I modeling the behavior I want others to adopt?
  • How might I be preventing others to change?
  • What am I willing to do differently to communicate to others that this change is important to me and to the company?

Even a subtle shift on your part could have a huge influence on others.

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Joy, Even When Work is Hard

joy at work joy research Nov 01, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Have you ever felt joy in your work even though you’re doing something that’s hard, maybe even painful? That’s a consistent theme out of our Joy Research.

An initial conclusion:

Joy at Work is…

Often work that is hard and takes a lot out of you AND you can see you’re on the right track and making progress toward the goal when you’re in the middle of it. This combination is important.

Joy at Work is not…

Work that’s easy because people get bored. In fact, many people that have a job they think is too easy for them will seek to create joy for themselves in different ways. They find ways to make it more challenging, interesting, meaningful. Examples: They start to take on more work or increase the responsibilities of the job or do more to connect their work to a larger purpose. They also might just look for another job or jump to a more challenging one as soon as they can.

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