Creating Safe Spaces in Business

Business Soul Food Episode 39

Without a safe community in your business space or community, people don’t feel trust, they’re not going to safe to share their stories, and have conversations.  Maybe you think you don’t want people to be having long in-depth conversations in your workplace. However, it really is important that people have that opportunity to create relationships with those they are working with. This enables them to build the trust that they need to be able to feel safe and able to share in the community.  When they are able to share their own personal stories it helps others to understand where they are coming from and what they are about.

When people are in a safe community, safe workplace, they become free to imagine and risk something new, in their own lives and within the business and community that they are apart of.  Then they feel free to imagine. This is where real innovation comes in. It brings them to a point where they feel they can safely share their ideas, that they’re not going to be ridiculed, that their ideas are valued. They feel that they what they have to offer will be appreciated and that others are going to listen and share and maybe contribute to help their ideas to grow and blossom.

It is really important for people within a business, within a community to feel they are in a safe space. To feel trust amongst the people they are working with, that they are able to share with each other and they are able to build upon each other’s ideas and initiatives.  This is what building a community within a business is about.

This is something that I am very passionate about; where people are able to feel their own personal sense of worth and purpose when they go along to work each day.

All great leadership starts with listening

Business Soul Food episode 38

All great leadership start with listening. That means listening with a wide open mind, heart and will. It means listening to what is being said as well as to what isn’t being said. It means listening to the latent needs and aspiration of all people.” Otto Scharmer, Professor at MIT, author of “Theory U.”

A lot of people go into leadership and they think that to be a leader, they go in with their ideas and push their personal agendas. They don’t listen to what it is that people are actually wanting or needing. Sometimes others have the better ideas.

Leadership is really about taking that step back, being able to hold space for people, and being able to open up to allow others to develop their own thoughts, needs and aspirations and to be included in what is happening. It’s not about standing up and saying you will do this.  It’s about standing together and working together, and finding the solutions together. It’s about listening to what is emerging in the future for that group or business. Allowing that to come forward rather than forcing your own opinion.

So leadership is about listening, and helping others to come forward and holding the space so that they are able to be the best that they are able to be.

Achieving the Highest Future Potential

Business Soul Food Episode 37

I have spoken in the previous articles about The Wholistic Prescription for Achieving the Highest Future Potential in Business and Organisations. I have gone through Step 1 – treating the cause. So we’ve dealt with the underlying cause of the “dis-ease” in your business. Step 2 – Creating a health environment, We’ve created harmony and a workplace that people feel comfortable, safe and eager to work in and now we are up to the most exciting stuff – Step 3 – Achieving the Highest Future Potential.

So what is your business called to be in the world? You could sit and do some planning, but how about you let the business and the future speak. Well, we’ve tried digging in around the past for ideas, we’ve tried to come up with new ideas, but we’re have they led? Only so far. We continue to go around in circles and get results that nobody wants. Let’s stop looking in our heads for the answers and be willing to go beyond the why.

By this I mean to let go of our own personal agendas, the logical and our own personal whys and allow ourselves to be guided by where the future is calling us to be.

So, how do we do this?

Will, we can start with all that we have, gather the information in, work with your people, talk with them, ask them to be involved in the creative process. Take all your ideas, or your knowledge and resources and let it go. Yep, let it go. Then breathe. Slow down.

Take time together to allow reflection and in the silence new thoughts and ideas will start to emerge. Ideas will start to bounce of each other and here you will be guided by where the future is leading. You will envision the highest future potential of the business and the people involved.

Once new ideas are born like this, the whole team is invigorated and feel that they are a part of this new direction. It is not “your idea” it is “our idea” and they want to see it grow and develop into success as much as you do. They will be ready to get on board.

I hope you’re getting the idea that I love the creative energy that comes when people come together and allow the spirit to breathe through them. Here amazing things happens. Think about for yourself If someone comes in with an idea, they have to really work at selling it, no matter how good an idea it is, it will always be their idea and the progress will fall back to them. But if the whole team is involved in its development, there is no selling the idea, it is everyone’s and we’re all on board.

What you can achieve with this is limitless, when you are willing to go beyond the why and listen to the soul of the business new ideas, programs and innovations emerge and you can create the legacy you have always dreamed of.



The Treasure Hunt

In the not so long ago times, where we wanted to go somewhere, we would get out our map and plan out our journey carefully. We would have to remember which way we would have to go. Write it down; take a right turn here and left turn there and follow this road for so far, then go this way and that way. That was quite the normal way of planning our journey.

These days, we have GPS. I have a Sat-Nav in my car and when I want to go somewhere the destination is put in there and off I go. I don’t have to plan, I don’t have to think about, I just go.

This and it is like letting the Spirit breathe, in our life, in our business; except one thing. If we are really letting go, we don’t necessarily have to set the destination, it’s already set for us. So off we go on our journey. We leave home. We listen for those directions. Turn left in 200 metres. So we turn left and so we follow the road, as directed for 5500 metres, or something like that. We follow the road and we make the turns where we are told to make the turns. We are told which exit to get out of on a roundabout. We don’t know which direction we are going to take. We don’t know where this path is going to take us. We don’t know what we are going to see along the journey. It’s a surprise. Sometimes we get excited. We see something and we want to stop somewhere and enjoy that scenery for a little bit. Other times we miss the turn off. My previous Sat-nav would get quite angry at me at that point and say in a stern voice “Recalculating.” My current one isn’t so grumpy, and just reassesses and tells me another route to go to get to that same destination.

Really, it’s like a treasure hunt isn’t it.

I like to think of it like a Treasure Hunt. I get the message that I need to go somewhere or need to do this particular thing. I don’t know what that treasure is at the end of the path, but I know that if I follow this clue, it’s going to lead me to another clue, and to another clue. And eventually I’m going to get somewhere and receive some magnificent treasure. Something amazing is at the end of this journey.

And this is my reflection for today. Let the Spirit Breathe, allow yourself to be guided, and enjoy the Treasure Hunt.


Let the Spirit Breathe

Let the Spirit Breathe, that’s what I want you to look at, and listen for, as we work together in these reflections. Allowing the flow of the Spirit through your life, not just when you’re away from business, but when you are in your day to day work: When you’re working on your own, when you are working with other people, in every aspect of your business and your day to day life. How can you let the Spirit breathe?

Sometimes in life we get caught up with things, and it seems to me that we often get in the way of the Spirit breathing through our lives. This happens when we find that things aren’t going quite so smoothly. We might have this real intense belief that this is what we are supposed to be doing,  that we are going in the right direction.  However if things start to feel like a struggle, then we have to stop and review that. It may not be that we’re on the wrong track, but we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we are trying to think through this and find a way of doing it on our own.

But if we let the spirit breathe, stop what we are doing, allow the spirit to flow through us, then we can listen and hear the direction we need to be going and get started again. When we know and feel this is the way to go.

So, I hope you’d like to join me regularly with “Let the Spirit Breathe”

The Healthy Business

In the last article I spoke to you about the first step in the Wholistic Prescription to achieving the Highest Future Potential in Business and Organisations. That was about getting to the cause of the problems that are existing. Step 2 is about creating an environment that is healthy and harmonise so that we are ready to move forward with inspiration and innovation.

To have a healthy workplace we need to look at the 3 elements of Mind, Heart and Spirit.
• Does everyone feel safe enough to share their thoughts?
• Are they encouraged to develop and grow?
• Is there healthy relationships amongst teams and employees?
• Are they doing what they love? And given the opportunity to explore what it that will bring them more satisfaction in the work place?
• What are the values of the business and how do they align with employees and customers?
• What is the greater purpose of the business?
• Are employees able to express who they are on a spiritual level?
• Is there practices that can be introduced into the business which will encourage greater inspiration and innovation?
• Does your business have a higher purpose or a social mission?
I have posed a lot of questions here, but without looking at these we won’t produce that healthy and harmonise work place where people want to be, are full engaged and want to give their all. In order to reach the highest future potential that the business is crying out to achieve, then first we need to have a workplace which is conducive to this.
Now, how do we then move into achieving the highest future potential? Well, that’s the next article.

The Healing of Business

I have a Naturopathic background, so I offer speak to businesses and talk about business in terms of Naturopathic principles. From this, I have developed the “Wholistic Prescription for Achieving the Highest Future Potential in Business and Organisations.” With this I often come back to the first thing you need to do is to look at the core of the problem. If we look at the human body, if we don’t get to the cause, it doesn’t heal properly.

We get to a point that where things are critical and something devastating has occurred. In body it may be a terrible disease and we go into emergence mode. We cut dice, irradiate to kill off the disease. With a lot of treatments that’s what they are about. Just get rid of it, and it will be done. You’ll be right. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way does it?

You go back to your old ways and the illness reoccurs. You will find this is some businesses where they go through a lot of staff. They think, right, that person has gone, that problem is going to be solved. What actually happens is that the problem wasn’t that person; it was something inherent in the business.

So maybe now we’ll try some lifestyle changes. We go in with some exercise, dietary changes, basic shifting the furniture. Well, that helps for a little while, it stems the flow, but then it slowly starts to bleed again. We’ve done a few things and we gradually get back to where we were before.

Now we need to look a little deeper and start to work on attitude; looking around at how people are feeling, how can we motivate them, and creating a greater sense of positivity in the workplace. Just do some motivational talks and they’ll be right! That should do it.
Well, it works for a little while. But still we haven’t addressed the underlying problem.
At this point to we throw our arms up and give in or do we dive deeper.

When we go even deeper, we are looking for the cause of the disease in the first place. Now we are getting there. This is where we really look at the reality. There can be a number of causes that stem from different places, but there is one thing we can be sure of is that when we get to the root of the cause and treat that, we can start to heal all those other layers and stop the disease all together. Then we can start to look at the source health of the business and here we have the choice of a healthy business or a sick business.

Here we know connect with that deeper purpose and that true sense of what we can be. We start to return to making that positive impact. We can look at building the health and where the health comes from and creating a healthy environment. I will talk to you about this in the next article.

Remember that when we get back to the cause, we can clear the path to allow the health and harmony to develop.