Playing with Workplace Words
Are Workplace Words Important?
Often before leaders and owners of organizations purchase my company's services, I am asked for a list of references and credentials. Without hesitation, I can list where and with whom I have worked. When it comes to the question of higher education diplomas and degrees, I offer jokingly that I am a man of letters. I show that I have more letters after my name than I do in my first and last name put together – D.For, BA, HBOR, MSc, EdD (16) --- Stephen Hobbs (12).
Moving Letters Around
It was in telling that story one day that I became aware of the importance of letters. In particular, I learned how the letters of the English alphabet are arranged to form words that express thoughts. A client was playing with the word 'stressed' when he turned 'stressed' around and saw 'desserts'. He said, "If you are stressed, look at your situation another way and go have some desserts." I think you would agree that sometimes taking a break is helpful.
Then I began adding, deleting or switching letters in other words. When it comes to adding a letter, consider the word 'information.' What letter can you add to give this word new meaning?
If you suggested 'c', that is how I see it as well. By adding 'c' you have the words 'inform action' because that is what information does for you. Information informs action. With information you can make correct, guided decisions. So how you see information has a lot to do with how it informs action.
Fun, isn't it?
When the word 'reactive' crossed my path, my ears and eyes perked up. When I heard the word it was in reference to how work is carried out. You have heard it said, "We keep reacting to the client. When are we going to do it another way?" or "How much are we learning if we keep reacting?"
So let's put the word 'reactive' to the test. Can you see it another way?
What happens when you move the letter 'c' from the middle of reactive to the front of the word? You have creative. Let me explain the words as I 'c' it. When you are reactive, you see things while you are in it. By being in it, you may be limited by the information you have to make decisions. If you are creative, you may see more things before they happen. You develop choices from which you make informed decisions within the workplace.
Connecting with the Workplace
Describing and explaining workplaces as reactive or creative is a function of seeing things differently. It was from this perspective that the book Creating the Well-Living Workplace was written. The book consists of 139 insights that complete the phrase, "The well-living workplace involves __."
These insights serve as beacons for creating the well-living workplace. From that book, statement #4 fits with the message in this article:
The well-living workplace involves transitioning your workplace from a reaCtive perspective to a Creative perspective . The transition occurs because of how you “C” – see it!
Questions for Later
1_ Where in your workplace does information exist?
2_ How does seeing that information inform action?
3_ Instead of being reactive, what happens when you are creative?
4_ Can you see the issue in another way?
5_ As you seek information and ways to be creative, are you noticing anything different about your workplace?
I appreciate that playing with the letters of a few words may seem trivial on one level. However, this playing with letters can help you see 'c' things in a creative and informative way within your workplace. They may well reduce how stressed you become. Care to join me for some desserts?
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