I recently completed a team building exercise that I have facilitated many times but this particular time it felt different. As I posed the usual questions to the team, like always, I shared my answers also.
Q. What is something that no one in the room knows about you?
A. I always use this question as an opportunity to tell them about running my own business. In my business I help good leaders become great. I focus on three key areas. First, emotional intelligence insight to help them determine how well they perceive and express themselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. Second, I support leaders as they transition into new leadership roles by helping them put the right time and effort toward operations, team, stakeholders, culture and strategy. And, finally, I work with leaders and their teams to increase effectiveness and engagement. I also tell them about my cat named Buddy Gris who is a Hurricane Katrina refugee.
Q. What value do I bring to the team?
A. I am observant, and I have grace with candor. I balance a sincere desire to help leaders and teams succeed with the willingness to speak candidly about what it will take to get there.
Q. What energizes me?
A. When I am working with someone and they actually begin to see and feel the changes they desire to make.
Q. What would I like to be remembered for?
A. I want people to think and feel like I truly cared about them and wanted the best for them.
And, then, it occurred to me … I LOVE my work. It brings me joy! People so often think of work as a burden. But work is everything I do from the moment I get out of bed to the moment my head hits the pillow at night. My work includes loving my husband, taking care of our home, praying for our kids, volunteering, exercising, running a business, being a listener and (sometimes) an advisor, enjoying time with friends, and, even, watching a few TV shows.
This is the work that my heavenly Father has set out for me to do. Every part of me is being used every day to work in some way. I see learning opportunities AKA failures from the past paving the way for successes now. Letting go of a few expectations and activities is allowing others to benefit from my work. Unbelievably hard conversations are producing some incredible results. I am also resting which is bringing clarity out of the many thoughts that often clutter my mind. My moments of being overwhelmed and scared are turning into the drive that I need to move forward.
It started as a simple exercise to help a team find and celebrate their contribution in their work. It turned into extreme gratitude for joy in my own work.