You're in a conversation with a colleague, maybe on a first date, maybe you're meeting someone on the plane, or you keep noticing that every time you think about this person or that situation, you get a funny feeling in your gut. The context may be personal, it may be professional. The sense may be subtle, if you're lucky it may be really strong. And either way, you might not be able to identify exactly what it is. You just know it's there. What do you do?
I recently had a conversation with an executive team who wanted to work on ways to make their culture feel better right now. People are tired, they're trying to connect remotely and do their jobs while walking their dogs and managing their kids' Zoom rooms, workload is high, connection is low, and presence is extra tricky right now. This organization was particularly interested in exploring ways to build resiliency and create a healthy culture now in this new business environment.
Years ago when my ex-husband and I completed our marriage, to keep things extra clean and as emotionally easy as possible, we worked with a mediator. Heading into that first mediation session we both knew what we knew. Our intentions were clear, our energy was clean, and we were present to the situation at hand and how we wanted to be with each other and for our kids. We went into the first mediation session, each of us with a Post-It detailing what we wanted our division of assets and agreements to look like. Four months (and a lot of cash) later, we walked out with almost exactly what was on those Post-Its. Having the mediator helped us with the paperwork and navigating some of CA's divorce laws, AND, we knew what we knew going in.
As we navigate the new business and world environment of today, we'll need to focus more deeply on things we may have been able to dismiss, de-emphasize, or put off, in the past. I've spent the last twenty years building out the IEP Method® (Intentional Energetic Presence®) body of work, writing books and creating programs devoted to leadership and culture, and working deeply with organizations who wanted to have healthy high-performing positively contagious cultures for happy people and solid business results.
When I wrote CONTAGIOUS YOU* last year, I dug deep into data, science, research, and case studies. I wanted to help bridge the gap people often come to the edge of when tying the IEP leadership work (often seen as the "soft stuff") to tangible business costs and outcomes.
Of course everyone knows that being more present, healthier, clearer, kinder, and trustworthy is a nice to have, but does it really net a financial impact? Is it really good business? After all, people say it is, but I've found that when it comes to learning how to do it -- which requires leaning into the "soft stuff" -- people often disappear into some version of, "We don't have budget, we don't have time, we've got work to do" or my favorite "Isn't that a little woo woo?"
After having done this work for over twenty years with all kinds of organizations, business leaders, humans, and industries, I knew the answer to "Does it really net a financial impact and is it good business and is it worth tending to?" was a HUMONGOUS “YES.” (So do you, if even only intuitively right now.) And turning myself into a researcher validated my beliefs.