One decade ago I kept rereading this sentence by Deepak Chopra.
“The universe operates through dynamic exchange – giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”
So many times I had turned up to work despite catastrophic events happening in the outside world. 9/11. Global economic upheaval. Raging bushfire. Events that had everyone glued to their televisions, looking at their children, wondering what would happen next. At the morning meeting the worried faces of my colleagues reflected what I was experiencing, what needed to be addressed before anything else. And yet there was no mention of the elephant in the room: that we were human, that what was happening was affecting us, that yes we were at work…but we still needed to feel connected to each other to move forward.
One brave person in leadership needed to say: “I know this is a tough day. Let’s take a moment to talk about what’s happening.” Instead, we laboured through the day in silence, trying to keep ourselves together while feeling isolated and anxious to leave.
Those days are earmarked in my mind forever. But so are the days when I would overhear someone say something like, “Everyone is replaceable. If he doesn’t shape up we’ll just hire someone else.” Later I would sit at the dinner table looking at my sons thinking, “I hope I’m safe at work. I hope I’m OK…”
I was at a turning point in my life and my career. It was time to pause…which direction would l take?
What I had come to understand is the true purpose of a morning meeting is not only to set the objectives for the workday, but to check in with each other, in a very real, human way. Because if that didn’t happen, nothing else really could.
Experience had taught me that the same principles that worked to nurture loving relationships on a small level….in friendships, family, partnerships…worked to sustain the bigger picture as well. Classes, departments, entire communities…corporations.
Dynamic Exchange. The willingness to give what it is that you seek.
In an interpersonal relationship. In a professional capacity.
The need to connect and share. The need to feel valued, nurtured, seen and heard.
A relationship that provides these things makes us flourish.
A work environment that provides these things makes us flourish.
But too often we revert to old behaviors we’ve accidentally learned. Or we’re uncertain about how to put new behaviours into action or measure their value in the long run.
That’s where we come in.
Ten years ago we started Dynamic Exchange, the programme that encourages personal growth, leadership and productivity through inclusiveness, celebrating the individual differences that make an organization stronger and safer as a whole.
Taking all of the “corporate stuff” I’ve learned along the way and mixing in some obvious common sense stuff that we forget when we’re at work because…well, we’re at “work.”
But work is part of life. And life is important. So let’s get it right. Together.