Joy at Work(er) Blog

Own Your Impact

joy at work Aug 31, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Own your impact. You were hired because you matter so do the work as if your work matters.

If your employer doesn’t know your work matters then you might consider a change in the future. Not to run away but to give yourself the gift of something better for your life.

Signs that your employer believes your work matters:

  • They spend time explaining why they’ve asked you to do something.
  • They spend time explaining the bigger picture to you.
  • They pay you/don’t fire you even when you make a huge, impactful mistake.
  • They spend time and energy doing damage control activities after you make a mistake.
  • They renegotiate timelines and expectations with others when you’ve dropped the ball.
  • They avoid you because they’re upset with you and worried that they might say something that would cause you harm.
  • They work with you to develop new skills or so learn from mistakes.
  • They invest in your growth.

Celebrate if you have this! And, do...

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The Subtext of Conflict

joy at work Aug 25, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Sometimes this is the subtext of work conflict:

Employee to employer: I feel hurt by the way you treated me. [I work hard for you and this company.]

Employer to employee: I feel hurt by the way you treated me. [I’ve invested a lot in you, for you and this company.]

The power dynamic:
The employer has the power to retain or fire the employee.
The employee has the power to do the work in a more-or-less acceptable way.

The risk is inertia or a transactional employer-employee relationship. The risk is a negative impact to the culture, the business, customers, other people on the team.

Questions to ask: What is my part in this? What do I own? What’s in my power to do to rebuild trust between us? What would I like most from the other person? Why? How can I ask for it in a way that treats us both with respect?

It may not work out, but reframing gets to the constructive place.

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Joy at Work is not Happiness all the Time

joy at work Aug 01, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Joy at Work is not rainbows and unicorns and happiness all the time. Experience and research indicate that we do our best work when these are present: Trust, integrity, belonging, cohesion, participation, commitment, accountability, adaptability, growth.

The Joy at Work dimensions that are the highest risk to the individual are participation, commitment and accountability. That’s because they are demonstrated by visible, public actions performed by an individual.

Sometimes it takes bravery to participate, commit and be accountable, especially if you believe you have a lot to lose. What you have to lose is also very personal.

How do you support the people that report to you to participate, commit and be accountable?

How do you reduce their personal risk and help them to be brave?

How do you help reduce the time they spend thinking about their personal risk?

How does your support help your people thrive and do their best work?

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What is your context?

joy at work leadership Sep 10, 2019

Written by Roxanne Brown

In work, I often feel pressure to offer others an insight or something else that may be valuable within just one conversation. That means giving something without attachment to whether or not it’s received as I intend. I recognize the limitations of that because I can’t fully know their context. I can only try to get a glimpse in that one moment. 
 
The pressure I feel is self-imposed. It’s based on my interest to try to alleviate the pain, self-doubt, and confusion people feel when working together. I try to give others new words, a new concept, a new frame that comes from my belief that people are generally good at their core. I believe people want to do work that’s meaningful in some way, however small.
 
This personal interest began with a childhood decision. At a very early age, I remember very clearly that I made a conscious decision to work, to have a career, so I could be independent. I had a fierce independent...

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I did it!...now what?

joy at work Apr 19, 2019
Written by Ed Cook
Recently, I successfully defended my dissertation. That sentence is an incredible understatement of my emotions. The lead up to the day of the defense was laden with anxiety. Despite the assurances of certain success from so many friends and family, I was not certain. As I waited in the hallway for the committee to deliberate, talking with the friends and colleagues who had come to watch the presentation, I was fatalistic about the future. I hadn’t had that feeling since I was on the deck of aircraft carrier having completed my initial landings aboard the ship and now waiting to hear if I had passed. I mused over my fate: “Well no matter what I’m a pilot that has managed to land on a carrier, a tailhooker. That can’t ever be taken away.” Barely before getting into the back of the jet, the instructor said over the comms system, “Clear on the canopy, Cook you qual’ed!” I let an involuntary and joyful scream that had to...
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Letting Go to Make a Ruckus

joy at work Sep 27, 2018

Written by Lauren DeSimone

This past July I participated in Seth Godin’s altMBA. The altMBA is designed as an alternative business course for “high-performing individuals who want to level up and lead.” Seth Godin calls these individuals ruckus makers because they’re enrolling in the altMBA to learn how to instigate change within their companies and communities. When describing my experience to others, I often said, "It's like going to human school and learning a bit about business.

Each altMBA session brings together a class of 100+ leaders in a virtual workshop setting for four weeks. It is a 30-day sprint during which leaders complete three projects a week, give feedback to peers on their posted projects, and share reflection summaries in response to the feedback they received. It is 30 days during which smart minds from all over the world thoughtfully challenge their peers’ best ideas. Each week’s projects originate from...
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