It's Sunita here.
By now, most of you have probably gone back to work after the holidays. Starting a new year gives you an opportunity to look at your business or work place with fresh eyes. Planning for the year involves reviewing the many defined dimensions of success and financial outcomes of your business. Goals need to be set, and existing systems reviewed to make sure that the resources and processes necessary for achieving those goals are in place.
This year we started with a different focus altogether at our practice.
We asked ourselves these questions.
- What do I want more of?
- What do I want to do more of?
- What do I want less of?
- What do I want to do less of?
- What do I want to let go of?
- What do I want to hang on to?
A level of trust had to be created in order to feel safe enough to reveal our desires and needs at work. And we all had to bring our vulnerability to the table to do that.
Once we did however, we were unstoppable. The conversation was intense, truthful, emotional and brave. Each of us took the risk of revealing much more than our goals for work. At times, tears flowed. Other times, there was a soft and comfortable pause. But the constant in the room was the support we felt for each other. We held each other in a sacred space and truly listened.
After sharing our answers, it was clear that despite the fact that many of our work goals varied, there was a common thread that ran through our wants for 2020. We all wanted a deeper connection with each other.
'Relationships' was the # 1 priority on all of our lists.
Trauma, especially childhood trauma lends an added layer of complexity to relationship building by making 'reaching out' a shameful or uncomfortable experience. A history of abandonment, neglect and dismissal can teach you to look at cooperation and collaboration with distrust. It's hard to act in ways that were never modeled for you. Aggression or withdrawal can become a tool that you use to mask your inability to cope with being part of a close group. In such cases, your work behavior may be the sign that you need professional help.
My experience of leading teams for over 20 years informs me that we are incapable of leaving parts of our personalities and our emotions outside the door when we enter our work places. This is a biological fact. We are wired for connection and seek that connection. How could it be any different at work?
We do not possess a switch that we can turn off and become robots at work. No matter how fervently we believe that we 'don't bring our personal life to work', we all do. We are just not aware of it. We are all guilty of not connecting how our behavior and actions impact our colleagues and our work place.
The best and fastest way to do well at work is to forge relationships of trust and connection with your colleagues. Take the time to learn more about what trust is and how it can be built. An excellent resource is Brene Brown explaining BRAVING in this video. Brene's books and TED talks are loaded with information, inspiration and examples of how being vulnerable is a necessary risk we must take in order to build authentic relationships and authentic lives. It requires courage to be vulnerable. And being vulnerable makes you brave.
It is at that place of connection with ourselves and others that we do our best work. We collaborate better, we think better and we work better when we are in harmony with our team. And in that flow, we achieve success.
At our planning session, once we discussed our emotional and relational wants for 2020, we were able to quickly establish goals for our practice and patient care. Making plans for successful growth became a fun activity and the confidence that we felt in ourselves was a direct reflection of the trust we had in each other. We felt understood and wanted to understand in return.
The entire work week following our planning session has gone flawlessly and was full of all the things we had declared that we wanted for ourselves. We are not naive to think that there will be no challenges or conflicts ahead, but we are confident that we will be able to address them bravely and honestly because of the strong relationships that we have with each other. We are committed to being accountable to each other.
The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships. And the word 'relationship' really means love. What we want is more love!
I hope you start 2020 by taking stock of what you want, and then plan to have the best year you've ever had by working through great relationships with others.
With my best,
Be well, Do well, Live well