Yesterday I heard a terrific sermon about the power of joy and it made me think about joy in the workplace. How many of us go to work each day with the mindset that we are going to seek out joy? I’d say the percentage is probably very low. Most of us get up each day, shower, shave (face or legs), put on our appropriate apparel and head to our place of work. We go about our days interacting with customers, associates and colleagues, checking off the tasks on our to-do lists. Then we come home, eat dinner, watch a little TV, head to bed and start the whole routine over again the next day. We are like zombies in our own little worlds, walking dead-like through our days not appreciating the little, hidden moments of joy that are there. Sure we have a smattering of fun here and there and hopefully we like the life we have, but do we feel true joy from it? Do we get up each day and yearn for joy in everything that we do? The answer for most of us is no.
Joy comes from a personal place in each of our hearts. As leaders of people, it usually begins there, with the people on our team. This is the first place to look for it.
As winning leaders, we need to set the tone for our team and for our customers by seeking out the joy in everything we do. Our emotions are contagious to everyone we touch, and if our days our joyous, theirs will be too. When we talk to them, do we smile? When we are working on tasks, do we smile? When we deal with tough situations, do we do them with a positive demeanor?
Everything we say or do impacts the team and customers around us, we just need to understand how beautiful these opportunities to interact truly are. We are blessed by having the ability to positively impact them in ways that they might not expect. Each moment is an opportunity to influence someone’s life in a positive way and we need to embrace and leverage them to positively improve performance, results, and the employee’s vision of their own role within the team. Our joy can become their joy, but we need to first look for it in everything we do.
Looking for joy isn’t always easy; we have tough moments each day to deal with. The trick is in finding joy in them too. As leaders, this is the big challenge. Can we find joy in a customer complaint, an associate issue, a logistical problem? Sure we can, instead of focusing on the pain of the situation, we can to look at how solving the problem will improve our results going forward, or how we will improve as a leader. Pain is a part of growth, and without pain there can be no joy.
Today, in every interaction with another human being look for the joy. What do you appreciate about them? What can you learn from them? How can you help them grow?
Also today, in every task that you undertake, look for the joy. What can you learn from doing the task? How can you get more effective and efficient at doing it? How can you improve things?
Seeking out joy is something we should do every minute of every day. It will turn the mundane into the amazing and make each morning more beautiful and it is in this beauty that our teams, and we, will begin feeling truly joyous.
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