Are you handling a personal crisis in the office? Struggling at work after a breakup? Or simply struggling with a hostile work environment in general?
As people, whether in a team, a company, or a love relationship, we are very good at judging each other, having positive or negative assumptions and, in general, making ourselves feel better by deciding the other person’s reality for them.
So what instead makes companies, or coworking groups of any kind, collaborate well? What is it that binds them together towards a shared common goal? Well, as Richard Barrett, through his popular ‘Cultural Transformation Tools’, and many other great leaders past and present, have recognised, it is ‘Values’ that are most responsible for team effectiveness and creating the most ideal work environment!
Take a small start-up company for instance: a small team of four, all with the same shared intention to make the best damn milkshake ever known in Amsterdam! Yet they all have completely different ways of going about it. John, for instance, likes to sleep in, enjoy the sun while it’s out and work late into the night, if needed. Lucy enjoys checking in every day before work because, for her, human connection stimulates her to do well for the team. Barry and Sue (the other colleagues) are more quiet, introvert and also traditional in their ‘9 to 5’, ‘Monday to Friday’ schedules.
The power of understanding values is the capacity to see these habits as ‘objective characteristics’ rather than ‘subjective (so-called) truths’...
Therefore, in honour of our 4 milkshake-inspired, make-believe friends we can appreciate John as having the values of Freedom, Ease and perhaps Flexibility; Lucy’s as Connection, Communication and Empathy; and their other colleagues as clearly valuing Structure, Personal Space and Clarity.
We’re all Value-able
Any co-creative effort (just like every coworking space also) contains a multitude of values in this way; and all of which are quite literally value-able! After all, Lucy needn’t become an introvert herself in order to appreciate the potential benefit of personal space, or even silence, once in a while for example; and when these others’ values are appreciated, she can honour her own without condemning her colleagues for being different.
Coworking spaces, available through Common Grounds, allow many of such opportunities to meet those who share similar values to yourself, as well as learning from the unique and revealing values of others. Furthermore, the excellent variety of different locations means you’ll always have someone, or something, new to learn from.
Try asking a fellow co-worker that simple question: what do you value in life? Or perhaps: what do you value in your work? You’ll be sure to make some value-able friends in no time!
Every CEO, team leader or owner of a start up has the ‘right’ answer. Listen to enough podcasts, read enough from the business section in your local bookstore and hear hundreds of interviews with millionaires and you can too easily convince yourself of two things:
1. That your business is small time, unimportant and therefore abides by different laws than those companies you always aspired to become
2. That you obviously must just not be talented, intelligent or hardworking enough; otherwise your company would be bigger and you’d be richer
I’m here to tell you that neither of these are necessarily true. Not only that, but your humble somewhat ‘unknown’ company might even be doing more good for the world (and for yourself) than you sometimes give yourself credit for, and that you needn’t take on Mission Impossible in order to build and sustain a healthy and profitable business.
We at Common Grounds know this better than anyone; a small group of guys looking to eat well, workout plenty, laugh and play whilst building up this exciting company of ours!
What is Money?
First things first... What is money, actually? And why does anyone give a damn about it?
We use money for one specific reason only: to exchange for the goods and services that make us happy. That includes the basic essentials, such as food and shelter, required to survive, as well as the gym membership, phone contract, running shoes and smart attire that help us thrive.
In a nut shell, money is what enables us to both live and to make life worth living!
I want to be happy, satisfied, content, joyful, inspired, alive. Whatever the word is you most often choose, you and every other person in your company have that in common.
Without a large, profitable business it’s harder to feel happy in your everyday life. This is what we’re told. That money is energy, resources, options, power.
It’s true, but let me tell you what is also true: the curve very quickly declines. The honest answers to almost all of life’s questions have nothing to do with money. Money keeps you alive and allows you the space and time to breathe; to figure out what else there is to do with this life of ours. But that’s well and truly where it ends...
Keeping It Simple
With all this in mind, let’s focus on some wholesome strategies to keep your business healthy, happy and alive:
Put People First – Billionaire Richard Branson is famous for this one: base your daily / weekly schedules around meeting your employees’ basic needs and watch their team effectiveness, focus and productivity improve, as well as (over time) your profits also.
Invest In Your Own Happiness – as a leader or businessman of any kind, your own wellbeing plays the biggest role in deciding how you, in turn, treat your business, its employees, work environment and (eventual) profits. Investing your time and money in those things that help you to stay happy and healthy will pay dividends in the long run. Trust me!
Build The Company You Want To Be Built – It’s normal for authors to deliberately write the book they wish had already been written. Business owners are no different. We each have our own unique perspectives, character traits and personal qualities. Each of us wants to be seen and recognised, deep down, for who we are.
Tailor your company, its ethos and day to day habits to your own original self. This is also the best way to find out quickly (and efficiently) if running a business is really what you were made to do...
Be Efficient – the best businessmen don’t work hard, they work SMART. 12 hour work days are nothing to be proud of. Sure you might need to do it once in a while but any half-conscious human will correctly inform you that it’s not a sustainable, nor healthy, approach to building a business.
Streamline your tasks, get rid of unnecessary formalities, outsource what you can and make the day to day practicalities as simple and efficient as possible. The more simply and easily you can handle the ‘work’, the more time and energy you’ll have for the fun stuff!
Common Grounds knows that business, actually, is a playground of ordinary social delights. It’s variety of coworking spaces allow you the perfect environment and set up to try out these simple strategies and more.
Sign up today and see how your small company can begin to work more smartly, socially and sustainably in no time!