Sample Exercises

Improving Communication

Explore the following exercise designed to help strengthen your communication at work and elsewhere in the world:

Devote an entire day to listening to what you say and how you say it without effort to change your communication style.
Observe your word selection. Write down specific incidences when you are direct and when you make excuses to avoid conflict. Notice times of hesitation and what comes up. Is it fear or confusion? Can you identify the confusion? Can you expose your fear? Do the confusion and fear dissipate or get diluted simply by noticing them?
Observe the reactions that you receive from employees, colleagues, customers/clients. How open and receptive are others to you? Do you feel avoided? If so, notice your feelings. Is any of the interaction with others uncomfortable and stressful? If so, identify what makes it so.
Contemplate your word selection and how you delivered your thoughts. Were you manipulative, aggressive, or passive aggressive? Under what circumstances did you lean on these habits?
Are you aware of what a truthful thought or statement is?
Are you able to speak your truth freely and without hesitation?

Assessing Your Organization

Analyze these now as they relate to the view of your organization:

Mission: Is there a clear mission in place that represents the real view of your company?
Policies: Examine the strategies and policies that are in the best interest of your employees and customers. Identify those that are not and ask why.
Marketplace: How is your company positioned in the marketplace? Is it considered a leader in its field? Can it be viewed as making a positive impact in the world, regardless of size? If not, why?
Products and services: How do your products and services positively impact the world?
Work environment: Does your workplace encourage a motivating, creative, non-threatening environment for employees to do good work with passion? Are your employees committed to making a difference?

Realize that the assessment of your company is ongoing and that these five factors provide an inexhaustible basis for measuring its growth. This is not an easy process. Yet, in doing so, you establish the groundwork to propel your company to the next level. In essence, you take your corporate mindset out of the box and shift the view to what is really important.


Staff Path Practice

As a manager, one of your most delicate and yet vital jobs is to ensure that each of your employees is in a position that is a good fit for him or her and the organization. Employees are not motivated solely by their paychecks or their titles; they want to know that they are making a difference. Use this model to help your staff realize their own significance:

Shift the focus at a meeting from short-term to long-term potential. Lay the groundwork for how their efforts are affecting their future and the future of others in the department.

Ask direct questions that trigger a connection with the job that they are doing and their appreciation for it. Whose lives are you impacting with your performance? How can you accelerate and improve your importance? If you could change your livelihood, would you, and if so, to what? (Be prepared: These are gutsy questions that could provoke change in your staffing. However, the change in the long term will be positive, as you will be building a stronger organization as a result of that change.)

Perhaps your team is committed to their jobs, but they would like time to explore personal interests. How can you as a group free up time to allow for individuals to pursue their Right Livelihood? Evaluate how you spend your time and appreciate the unique talents of your team.