“One key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.”~Mark Nepo
Joy may seem like a stretch when it comes to work, or like something that’s too touchy-feely or woo-hoo for leadership, but, perhaps needless to say, I disagree. I believe we have the ability to infuse our daily lives and work with joy.
And as leaders, I firmly believe we have the responsibility to do so as well.
In a classic definition, joy means “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” I don’t know about you, but I like it when my work days are filled with feelings like this. Experience (and research) has shown that we all give more to, and get more from, our jobs when we enjoy what we’re doing, or delight in the effort we put in and the results we get out.
So how do we bring more joy to our work and our teams?
An easy, although perhaps provocative, way to increase our joy is to build our “easily pleased” muscles. While I’m not totally arguing for lowering our standards, because sometimes we need to aim for a perfect, or near to perfect, product or end result, there are times we can be pleased with almost perfect, and there are even more times we can be pleased with, and celebrate, the smaller steps or wins along the way.
A team member comes to us with a partially complete project. And more importantly they’re stuck and asking for help. Do we berate them for not finishing it, or not knowing the answer themselves? Or do we acknowledge what they’ve accomplished and that they came to us quickly for our input? Do we show pleasure at where we’ve gotten to rather than annoyance? Which do you think would result in a more engaged and enthusiastic team member? Which would add less stress, and potentially more joy, to our day?
The answers seem simple, and yet being pleased with what we have – as a stepping-stone to more – can still seem counterintuitive. I’ve learned that it’s a “counterintuition” we need to foster and grow. Especially if we want more joy in our work and our lives.
How do you build, and find, more joy in your work?
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