My husband proposed to me on Independence Day. He gushed about our love for each other, his adoration for my independent nature, and excitement for a future where we can grow together yet maintain our individuality. We think nothing of going our separate ways for an evening or weekend, and value the quality time we share when together.
I love being part of a team, and value our ability to bring independent thinking and activities to the partnership. The same is true of teams in the workplace.
Like in relationships, independence or autonomy in the work place often results in higher productivity and job satisfaction.
As the old adage says “give a woman fish and she’ll eat for a day. Teach a woman to fish and she’ll eat for a lifetime.”
Today, where working virtually is commonplace, interesting challenges are posed. Workers are forced to self motivate and supervisors to set structure and guidelines where all can succeed. Providing clear, realistic expectations and real-time feedback are key to success.
Certainly managers can expect a few hiccups along the way, but mistakes yield opportunities for “teaching moments” and to build team member confidence and thus increase productivity. One study showed “Employee job autonomy both at the organizational level and at the individual level is related to higher employee work satisfaction, lower intent to transfer to other community health centers and lower intent to leave”
It can be personally and professionally rewarding to take a beat to gain perspective, and I often suggest some of the following tactics to my clients:
- Step away from the project and go for a walk – the breather allows for free-flowing thought that may elude us while at the desk.
- Have a meal by yourself – whether at a restaurant or in the home, having a mindful meal is a liberating experience and builds confidence.
- Talk out a problem, out loud – hearing yourself state the words stimulates innovative problem solving. Just do it alone in a room so as not to disturb those around you!
- Write down random thoughts with abandon – let the mind loose to be creative without judgment. This is where groundbreaking thoughts can arise!
- Show initiative where you otherwise may take a back seat. – stepping out of your comfort zone allows for true growth, and an opportunity to show your commitment and creativity to those around you.
Regardless of what you do, pledge to take one small step to establish your Independence on this holiday, and note the result. Please share!
In addition, let’s all take a moment appreciate our freedoms and send some well wishes to those not as fortunate and striving to be free.
Wishing you a wonderful Independence Day.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™