If you’ve ever woken up on a Monday with a bleak outlook on the week, chances are you might be part of a frustrating work environment. Maybe your boss is too laid back and absent-minded or so intense and micromanager-y it’s hard to do you. Maybe your staff is stretched thin or lacking in passion, making catty comments behind each other’s backs. This is more than just a recipe for accomplishing absolutely nothing: It’s unhealthy.
Having a high-quality relationship dynamic in work is essential for any business to thrive. Clear employees are happy employees and happy employees mean a positive work space — and the kind of good vibes that allow a business to boom.
Let’s be real: Feeling appreciated at work is blissful. It releases endorphins. You get high from the recognition of your intellectual efforts and skills. Maybe it’s an ego thing, implanted in our brains ever since we received our very first gold star for reciting the alphabet. Regardless, most of us strive for this satisfying reassurance at work.
But how do you achieve that kind of feeling in a world where teams are increasingly focused on outcomes that don’t put people and integrity first?
It starts with advocating for a positive cultural shift, even if you’re the lone person in the break room meditating and smiling at people when they steal someone’s greek yogurt from the fridge.
If you’re looking to change the dynamic in your office, one of Poppy+Seed’s favorite leadership models comes from the founders of our favorite restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. It’s a philosophy called Sacred Commerce, and authors Matthew and Terces Engelhart articulated it in a book you can snag here.
Wait, what does business have to do with the sacred? What is sacred about making money?
It’s a no-brainer when your value starts with your values.
As the Engelharts write in the book:
“Life is an inside job and our consciousness is the real present. Human beings, customers, and employees are ready to awaken and we all can make it our ‘business.’ This reality demands that we inquire into what possesses us as communities and as individuals; it asks that we be open to acquisition and occupation by Love. This is a foundation stone of a heart-based culture.”
Work is a huge part of our existence and a focus of energy throughout our lives. When we come to work, we’re trained to leave our baggage at home, be professional, avoid getting personal. How inhumane!
Since we spend so much time with our coworkers, it’s important to ask how can we have a genuine connection while being authentic with each other. Sacred Commerce suggests we don’t leave our baggage at home, but bring it along, be open, and communicate our feelings so we can work them out. This process is called “clearing.” You can try it with an open-minded colleague.
You simply ask two questions:
- What is holding you back from being in the present moment right now?
The employee who asked the question repeats the other’s answer verbatim, word for word, which is a simultaneous practice in listening. Feeling heard and understood can be very healing! No commentary is allowed.
- What are you grateful for?
Once an employee is done answering this question, the other shows him or her acknowledgement. For example: “I want to acknowledge you for being compassionate and kind.”
Exchanges like these can instantly lighten the mood on even your dullest Monday, and you just might be more contagious than the cold virus infecting the office one cubicle at a time—in a good way.
So light some palo santo to set the mood and communicate with your coworkers, boss, or employee. Cleanse the air of negativity, and let true creativity and passion flow.