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...
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...
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...
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.
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?
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.
When someone leaves the company, it’s not just about that person. It’s about that person and all of the people that are impacted by their departure.
Even if the person’s departure is a relief, it’s still a loss. Even if a person’s departure isn’t voluntary, there’s at least a small amount of envy felt by others.
We often talk about the people that remain with the company as the people left behind, which is a way to put it that sounds a little strange. We say that because it can feel that way to the people that remain.
Naturally, people feel relief because it’s not them leaving. It’s a lot of work to leave a job and find/transition to another. It’s stressful. But there’s also excitement, adventure and possibility attached to the person leaving. So it partly feels like being left behind.
When someone leaves the company, everyone impacted needs to be cared for because it’s a loss. Even if the person’s departure...
Change can grow joy. An executive we spoke with recently referred to change as the destroyer of joy. It’s such a fascinating statement when you consider some of the phrases we use in business:
These are catchy phrases but also inspire inertia, disbelief, fear and a lot of cognitive dissonance when the words and actions of the company, leaders and managers don’t match, when that’s not acknowledged.
Another executive we spoke with said they don’t use the word “change” in their company, they say “evolution” because change is too scary.
Clearly there’s fear attached to change, but there’s another way. A company can change and grow joy. It’s all about how!
Joy at Work for…
There’s a fine line between gratitude and superiority. The subtext of “I am grateful for all I have” versus “I am superior because of all I have.” It’s all about the intent. It’s why sometimes the offer of help is seen as a threat rather than genuine support.
Gratitude is thought to lead to joy.
Think of a time when you were offered help and it felt like genuine support. You felt mentally, physically and emotionally strengthened by the offer.
Think of a time when you were offered help and it felt vaguely like a threat, condescension or somehow took away your power.
Gratitude gives you strength. Joy gives you strength. Joy at work allows you to focus on the work rather than manage the vague threats around you.
What are you grateful for that gives you a feeling of strength that you never need to tell another soul? The next time you offer help to someone at work, try remembering this thought first and with that energy extend the offer. They may...