If you’re like most modern-day workers, you’re probably so torn between emails, smart phones, task lists, and deadlines that your human-listening skills aren’t what they should be. Think about the last conversation you had with a coworker. How much of that conversation do you remember? 50%? 20%?
Now put yourself in the speaker’s shoes. If you’re sharing with your boss, and your boss only remembers 20% of what you shared, then why even bother sharing at all?
At Ziksana, we believe that successful leaders move beyond listening to hear and instead build the skill of listening to appreciate. We call this Appreciative Listening. The goal of Appreciative Listening is to make the speaker feel valued, and truly understood without judgment. By combining active listening with positive psychology, our Appreciative Listening framework makes it simple and even fun to listen to those who we agree AND may disagree with.
Our play goal: to inspire our sense of wonder and awe, and to spend time connecting with each other.
Our productivity goal: to find new ways to connect people and think about work and play differently. To do so, we took time to actively reflect on how we can connect our new learnings to the work that we do.
Team Ziksana moved! We are actively using our new office design to improve productivity and workflow. We’ve learned that face-to-face interactions and spontaneous conversations are important to productivity. HBR data suggests that chance encounters and unplanned interactions improve performance. We recognize that office space is a strategic tool for growth because a well-designed workspace serves as a communication tool that can promote exploration, engagement, and energy.
In this short video tour, Team Ziksana’s President, Akshay Sateesh, invites you to take an inside look into our progress and process for office design:
To develop leaders, executive teams can implement the creative arts at work to train employees to embody a playful mindset for a more activated company culture. For companies facing an uncertain future or dealing with a tricky, incipient problem, embracing the creative process at work is just what your company needs. The creative arts – defined as theater, dance, art, or music – train employees to embody a playful mindset– to be curious, to ask open-ended questions, and to see the big picture, all which fuel productivity.
Jason is an intrapreneur at a local car dealership in San Diego. He deals with brokers on the phone instead of customers in person most of the time, so his work is quite solitary in nature. He and I share this secluded style of work, where we interact with coworkers frequently but the majority of our most productive work is completed by ourselves.
Why is rest so hard to take? We’ve made routines around “go-go go!” Our to-do lists are never-ending. Many of us insist on overworking for fear of letting our teams down. We feel like we don’t have the luxury of time to slow down and simply be with ourselves. But taking time to reset, recharge, and be alone in silence is an underutilized tool for effective leaders: to recharge fully now is to invest in becoming our best.
So, in a commitment to fully recharge, I take 10 minutes to sit quietly alone in silence before the day begins. I do this to be present to my own body and thoughts before applying myself to the tasks and challenges I need to solve each day. I find that priming my days with dedicated time to sit with myself in silence is vital to my success, leaving me more self-aware, focused, and ready to face the day.