Imagine If Everyone in Your Team Was Working as if They Were in the Zone?
You know what the zone is right? It’s that experience you have when you are doing something you enjoy, or are good at, and you are so into it that time seems to fly by and you just feel soooo good. This can also be referred to as a “flow” state. I’m not a body chemical genius so I won’t say endorphins or dopamine rush, but let’s just say “rocking.” Everything is clicking. Ideas are flowing and productivity is soaring and sales are happening…
I remember my son Brett’s last basketball game of his sophomore season in college, when he got into a zone midway through the second half, leading his team in a 22-point comeback, and finishing the game with 39 points and scoring 11 in the last three minutes. He was “feeling it.” He was simply unstoppable. That’s the zone. And it can and does happen in every kind of endeavor there is. Heck, I remember getting into the zone as a bartender even!
Anyway, the zone is fleeting in all things in that it just doesn’t last very long, and for many people, it almost never happens (which says something about how they are spending their life by the way). But what if it could be a normal part of the work experience?
Would that be cool or what?
People Feeling Good, Engaging in an Optimal Way, Energized, Collaborative, Enthusiastic, Maximally Productive…
This isn’t a fairy tale scenario. It is possible to create the environment that fosters this potential on purpose.
In business, the zone is like losing yourself in the work. Completely focused and dialed in. There are at least 6 things that need to be in place for this to be a regular occurrence. The first two, you cannot control but you CAN encourage, model, and support.
These first two that you cannot directly control are: Physical health and personal relationship stability. Physical health because physical energy is required to be all in at a high level and because it is also a factor in the level of emotional energy which is crucial for workplace performance, and obviously being unwell would eliminate the ability for anyone to be focused enough to be in a zone state.
Personal relationship stability because it is ultimate key to the right kind of emotional energy…a joyfully optimistic full tank. The entire person is showing up at work whether you like it or not. If the home life is good, there is a higher sense of personal security, a more positive frame of mind, and a greater ability to be present and focused.
As a leader, you cannot do anything about this directly, other than foster a culture of support for enough balance to have this happen, and of course be a role model. You can put a gym in your building, create an award/reward system, provide programming, put together gatherings that encourage activities that involve the teammate’s significant other, and anything else you can dream up…but they still have to take the action.
The Next Two Things You Can Definitely Influence to a Great Degree.
There are two sets of competencies (I call them “Core”) that help people feel, and be, more capable and less stressed. These are skills that are often missing or at best fractional.
Business is about people. Yet, very few people come to the workforce with highly developed people skills. This deficiency makes it much more difficult to execute the job skills that involve people because there is a dearth of confidence due to a lack of intuitive trust in themselves. Being uncomfortable as to how to properly engage with people in a wide array of situations will hinder the work as it leads to miscommunication and hard feelings. The first set of competencies therefore, are interpersonal skills.
The second area of this developmental challenge are productivity skills. You give your team goals, metrics, timelines, and output responsibilities. Yet, once again, there is little to no underlying platform of personal productivity skills to build on. They are trying to execute a higher set of skills on a foundation that is not supported by fundamentals. This leads to high stress and a culture where busyness and productivity aren’t often partners.
Providing training in these crucial life skills serves the employee by helping them be better in their ability to accomplish the work, but also helps them be better at home and life outside of work, which as I mentioned previously influences how they show up in the job. They become more effective and productive people in general, essentially higher functioning versions of themselves.
The Prior Two Focuses Yield the Next Two Ingredients…
This investment in training for them provides the fifth thing that stimulates the zone potential: the feeling they are cared for and valued. This is priceless. Not only have you increased their confidence and ability in tackling the job, but you have increased their sense of security in the job, and raised their overall sense of self-worth. These are huge productivity boosters.
It also multiplies their loyalty. You are helping them to grow. Grow people, and you will grow business. That’s an easy formula to understand.
The sixth ingredient will take a little longer but is right there for you to access. This is having each employee operating as often as possible in their strength zones. This is the ultimate spot to arrive at.
You likely already know that to have the ideal team, among other components, is having each player working in a strength that is complementary to all, and includes the necessary blend to accomplish the work. There is seldom any job where anyone is 100% in a strength zone in every facet, but you can get someone to a higher percentage of time in a strength zone, and the increased interpersonal and productivity skills will help them navigate the other areas with more confidence, drive, and effectiveness.
To do this, you have to invest enough time in training, and in personal connection, to uncover these strengths. Most of the people in your charge will not know what their strengths are simply because, they haven’t been supported in uncovering them in their life.
Your investment of energy in this, pays off in a big way as it puts people in the right seat on the bus, while also showing the team member that you expect them to succeed. After all, the coach rarely spends time with the players they don’t believe can make an impact. You will have boosted self-worth again, and this feeds self-belief.
Think about it like this: when someone shows they believe in you, it helps you believe in you. When you are doing work that feels good to do, because it is in your wheelhouse so to speak, you do it better and with more intensity, and get better outcomes. This further fuels self-belief and leads to even more productivity.
Human beings like doing things that feel good to do. Work can be like this. This is not an overnight thing to implement, but it is absolutely doable with the right tools.
The book “3 Circles Living” is a tool that gives people the platform for living and working that lead to this. The workshops associated with this drive the skills development deeper while also showing the support for, and investment in, the human being in the work.
This roadmap leads to more energized, confident, skilled, joyful, engaged employees who can more easily collaborate, solve problems, and produce at a higher level.
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. Stay diligent in boosting your immune system. Vitamin D, Antioxidants, Zinc, etc. all give your body the resources it needs to stay strong. In addition to my normal health regiment, which has kept me living free of medication in addition to operating daily in a high energy capacity, here are two different packs that help keep your immunity high: Winter Boost Pack and Winter Boost Pack Ultra these are available to you manufacturer’s direct at wholesale.