The New Balance in Employee Engagement is Jagged and Precarious
I know you have seen them. The stack of smooth stones that offer a visual of calm and tranquility. I confess that I have always been attracted to them and even used them on the cover of my first book, Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.
I trust you are also aware of the the increasing abandonment of the term work/life balance. Many say we can’t achieve balance because of how we work today and the influences of technology and the expectation to always be “on.” It is problematic that we would use a balanced and smooth ideal image when jagged and precarious captures more of the lived experience of work, wellbeing and engagement for most of us.
Let’s embrace a new balance for work and life in 2016. This balance has rough edges symbolized by the third stone in this stack and balance is fleeting, temporary, and precarious as symbolized by the almost tipping top stone on the top of the stack. I believe 2015 asks us to get more comfortable with things being jagged. We need to find our equanimity in edges and crevices and cracks.
I placed some crayons beside the stones to symbolize our need to work and play with what we’ve got and not dream of everything being smooth. Zen perspectives embrace impermanence and ask us to stop being so smooth and rather to be mindful and accepting of what actually is.
I encourage you to embrace jagged work, such as:
- Leaders who are frayed and flawed
- Projects without enough time or budget
- Fluctuating states of health
- Energy that peaks, dips, and twirls
- High degrees of uncertainty about future work.
- Co-workers who can be just plain difficult
The new balance of life and work as we move towards 2016 is jagged, resilient, real, imperfect, and impermanent.
Learn to live it rather than trying to live up to some ideal.
David Zinger is an employee engagement expert and speaker who believes are best work can come when things are not smooth and balanced but rather jagged and precarious.