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Joy at Work(er) Blog

Debate Can be Enriching and Energizing

joy at work Jan 20, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

When you're surprised to learn that your colleague thinks very differently than you, that’s a good time to get curious.

“I wonder why they feel that way? I wonder what life experiences brought them to that point of view?”

You won’t know the answer because you’re not them but it’s the right mindset for exploring and expanding your perspective.

Differences in opinion stemming from a wide set of life experiences among you can be a good thing at work. Often, what appears to be an impasse, upon deeper discussion can reveal that in some ways you’re not that far apart. You may use different words and place emphasis on different points but the essence of what you value is likely very similar, if not the same.

Debate can be enriching, energizing and lead to unexpected innovations if people are kept safe in the process, meaning, they don’t hurt themselves, each other or those that are not present in the debate. You...

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The Art of Joy at Work

joy at work Jan 17, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Inside the first few weeks of the year, we’ve noticed a theme: People having trouble getting back into their work.

If this is you, here are a few thought experiments to try!

What if you imagined your workday as a story? How would you like your story to start? What would it be like in the middle and how would you end your story for the day? Who would be in the story with you and what kind of relationship would you have with them? It’s your story. Write it for you!

What if you reimagined your work as art? After you create a beautiful spreadsheet, proposal, brief, agenda, report summary, etc., step back and marvel at it as if it’s framed and up on the wall. You made that! (You are quite talented.)

For those parts of your work you dislike, here’s a really useful question to ask: How can I make the thing I don’t like to do, fun for me? Just asking the question can jolt you out of your work...

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Nurturing Trust at Work

joy at work Jan 14, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

We (The Change Decision) often talk about trust at work in terms of risk. How risky is it for me to trust my boss? My colleagues? My company? My team?

Joy at Work is present when I don’t have to think about that and just focus on the work. When my attention doesn’t have to weigh all of that. Just enjoy working with my boss, with my team, for my company.

Some people grant a lot of trust right from the start and tolerate a lot of breaches, but once trust is broken, it’s hard to get it back with them.

Others are slow to trust. They want to see consistency in words and actions for a while before they’ll grant trust.

Some will be hard to read because they feel they need to have a façade of trust while being cautious in their trusting actions.

It depends on their life’s experience and how much they believe they have at risk.

How do you nurture trust at work?

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Joy at Work in Action

joy at work Jan 05, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

When we do work we enjoy that contributes toward a shared goal, we feel joy at work.

When we give selflessly to colleagues, when we work hard with others that are seeking the same goal, when we believe the goal is worth going after, when we trust each other, we feel joy at work.

When we overcome a setback, when we forget blame and focus all attention on the solution, when we try something with the confidence we’ll recover if it doesn’t work, we feel joy at work.

When we sometimes pause and celebrate, when we recognize our colleagues, when we see our progress, we feel joy at work.

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The 2020 Word Was Freedom

change joy at work Jan 01, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

In January 2020, I chose a word for the year: Freedom. That choice was about freedom from self-doubt, freedom from the noise in my head and the freedom to choose from more options resulting from the first two. When I think back on that now, I can hear the wish to go back in time. I also think, “how quaint.”

About ten years ago, I experienced freedom from the constant, internal dialogue. I had some life-changing experiences that caused me to question everything I thought I knew about myself and the world. My reaction was to just sit with what was happening and try to learn from it. I adopted a “follow-your-nose” philosophy, which translated meant I was letting the universe speak to me and then responding with what seemed to make sense at the time. I was certainly intentional about the life I wanted to live, but my previous “force-of-will” approach to make my carefully chosen goals happen was no longer my mode of...

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The Change Decision 2020 Family Christmas Newsletter

joy at work Dec 26, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

This was an unprecedented year for The Change Decision family.  Truly unprecedented! (Fun fact: The word “unprecedented” has enjoyed unprecedented usage this past year.) As we wrap ourselves in the warm glow of end-of-the-year reflection, we wanted to take some time to share with you the marvels we experienced in 2020. So please grab a hot cup of cocoa or a glass of mulled wine or several shots of tequila - as you may be so inclined - and walk with us down the memory lane endemic to every Family Christmas Newsletter.


At the beginning of this year, whose number hints at “clarity of vision” and therefore Hope, The Change Decision had an unprecedented number of new engagements and more on the way. (Don’t worry, there will NOT be unprecedented usage of the word “unprecedented” in this newsletter - but, perhaps, it will come up a few more times!) To be certain, we were aware of a growing issue in a far off...

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2020’s Silver Lining is Connection

virtual teams Dec 24, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

Even if it doesn’t make sense, after seeing a pattern, one has to admit that there is something there, right? We have seen a pattern in what people have told us in dozens of interviews and client meetings and virtual courses. The pattern is increased a time of isolation.

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for...

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Own Your Talent

joy at work Dec 13, 2020

Even if you're lucky enough to be working for a company that's investing in your growth, it's up to you to own your talent. It's up to you to own your career growth.

In a joy research interview, a CEO mentioned she worked for her current company for over 10 years before leaving to work for another firm, rejoining several years later as CEO. She said she left because the longer she stayed the less confident she felt. For her, this was a passing comment, but it’s stuck with us ever since because we’ve heard this from many people, regardless of gender. The phenomenon: The longer you stay the less qualified you feel. It doesn’t actually make sense if you stop and think about it. Companies are constantly evolving so employees acquire and develop new skills every day just to stay employed. But perception beats logic every time.

From Roxanne: "I experienced this because at one point I worried my change approach might be odd or only specifically applicable to the company I...

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It's Becoming Okay to Talk About Feelings at Work

joy research Dec 11, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

In a Joy Research Interview this week, a senior executive said this year one of the biggest changes that happened in her company is it became okay to talk about feelings at work. It started at the top. It started with one executive admitting how he was feeling, and then the floodgates opened. She thinks it’s highly likely that’s here to stay for them.

We’re wrapping our brains around the implications of this for the workplace. We’ve seen this trend all year but to hear it so definitively described by an executive working in an industry that’s quick to dismiss the relevancy of employee feelings, is exciting.

How can this humanness be sustained and built on in way that’s good for people and for business?

One thought: We know that change can happen in a way that’s good for people and the company. That’s why we love it. It just makes sense to us.

As a result of 2020, there may be an increased openness...

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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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