JOY, PLAY, LOVE, CONNECTION.
You might expect the words to show up in self-help seminars, school websites, or in ads for online dating. Rarely are these words found to describe corporate workplaces, yet there is growing power in these words and here’s why? These words carry the quality of positivity, celebration, and enjoyment, and connect us as leaders, teams, and human beings. And when we feel this way at work, we are more engaged and committed and therefore our productivity and performance improves. Plus, in these times, we are all starved for more JOY and this can be the difference between feeling alone, overwhelmed, and stressed, and happy, engaged, and capable.
Whether you are a c-suite leader managing a team, a parent helping your child with distance learning, or an employee adapting to remote work, finding ease and joy in the solutions to the current situations you’re facing can be daunting. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed in these times; with competing priorities, no time for breathing or pause, and pressure to make progress with no room for mis-steps. In this level of change and complexity, you don’t always have ‘get it right.’
As humans, our tolerance and capacity for hardship is tested often, and by “emptying our bucket” when we need to decompress or regulate our emotional states, we can begin to create capacity for more balance and well-being. When we connect to what ignites or energizes us and we share that with others—family, friends, colleagues, team members—we are able to see new possibilities where we might not have before. Connecting to a memory of joy and remembering the felt sense of that joy can be a real way to rapidly transform negative emotions into positive ones.
The long term effects of connecting to joy is stronger resilience to managing stress. By accessing little moments of joy, we can build our muscle for better mental health and overall fulfillment.
What does JOY have to do with business?
For workplaces, when enjoyment can be lived as a company value, the culture is more alive, people are more connected to the vision, strategic focus, and their role in supporting company success. JOY can be the powerful fuel that motivates people toward metrics and outcomes.
- Does your company North Star inspire and enliven your teams so that there is true enthusiasm and a sense of shared purpose that connects everyone?
- Are you making space for joy and connection to be co-created that brings people together in community and sense of belonging?
- Where and how does your company celebrate wins? How can joy become visible within your company’s rituals, celebrations, milestones, and also, with suppliers, customers or clients?
- Does your brand express joy inherent in your culture? Does your internal organizational chi sync with your external expression and brand energy? How do you transmit joy out into the world?
You might sense a gap between your organization’s current state and one we’ve described. Here’s a practice to help you activate joy with your team and organization.
How to Get JOY Activated?…Conduct a JOY Activation Meeting:
- JOY Activation Meeting: Set up 90 minutes in a safe space and invite a leadership team, management or departmental team, affinity group, etc. Believe us, this 90 minutes will fuel so much productivity. Go around the table and have each participant answer the following:
- “When do you feel the most JOY? Share about how this occurs in your life and at work.”
- “What do we experience when we feel JOY?” Offer depth by inviting exploration into what activities, destinations, sights, sounds, past journeys, etc. people experienced and can share.The more visceral the description, the more helpful.
- Have someone taking notes on a white board to collect language and experiences.
- Review Information: Notice Common Themes: After each person speaks, ask the group if they notice any common themes.
- What are the ways people describe the physical sensation of joy?
- What is the tone or energetic sense in both your heart and body?
- What is the tone of the room, remote or in person?
- Capture the list of shared descriptions.
- How can JOY show up @ Work?
- Ask “In what areas of our shared work do we notice JOY showing up? Where do we NOT notice it? How can we bring in more of it into what we do?
- What would have to change in order for more JOY to exist? What would it take for us to be in JOY all the time?
- How would this change/enhance our productivity, client satisfaction, turnover rate, performance outcomes, stress level, and more?”
- Big questions, take your time. This inquiry can happen over the course of several meetings.
- What blocks JOY @ Work?
- “What keeps you individually and collectively from experiencing joy 100% of the time? What blocks the sense of joy?
- How might we clear these blocks?” Clearing these blocks is possible through rethinking processes, making new agreements, and clarifying expectations.
- You can create shifts that allow for higher states of creative expression, innovation, and ability to bring more individual contribution to life.
- Define New JOY Agreements:
- Decide on how and what you will all do to hold JOY experiences and expressions in team dynamics, culture, internal communication, leadership modeling, etc.
- Decide how this will show up to start meetings, hallway discussions, reviews, team collaborations, client interactions and more.
- Make a list of all new agreements and share as an email follow up, create a poster to distribute and post, etc.
Reach out for more suggestions or to speak with us about working with your leadership team. We can jump start JOY in your teams through our Leadership Team Possibility Summit where we introduce practices and tools along with addressing business challenges/needs at hand. We want to connect you to what’s possible when you integrate joy and possibility into your business. Let the sparks fly!
Let us know if you have any questions at email@example.com.