I’ve written before about setting reasonable goals that stick with your team(s). Something that can distract us from progressing on our goals is a lack of awareness of our needs. So, let’s focus on the need for being truthful as a leader.

Truth here is not being defined simply by not lying to your staff or partners or board. That should be a given. The essential truths I am referring to are those that you understand and acknowledge about yourself and your needs.

In the book, The Magic of Tiny Business, Sharon Rowe shares her thoughts on maintaining a laser focus on what is essential by living an intentional life through a tiny business. 

She references a conversation with an old friend about a hypothetical scenario of having to live on the water for more than a week. The friend says, “as long as I have my French press, I’m good. No matter how wet, rocky, steamy, or smelly the boat gets, if I can have a hot cup of coffee from the French press in the morning, all is good in the world.

I was reminded of this story over the weekend in a yoga intensive training while discussing Satya or “truthfulness”. We completed a meditation exercise where we identified all the elements that contributed to a recent good day for us, and then journaled about the few that are our non-negotiables. Our French presses. Our truths.

The usual suspects of fresh air, sunshine, good food, hobbies, and exercising showed up on many of our lists. One element that stood out to me is that when I recalled a good day, I was listening to music. R&B in particular. And I suddenly realized during this exercise that I couldn’t think of the last time I listened to music intentionally.

These days if you see me with my headphones in, I’m listening to one of many podcasts or audiobooks about business, personal development and finance, or current events. A stark change from my listening habits 5 years ago.

So, recently, I made a playlist on Spotify from some of my favorite R&B tunes from the 1980s through the 2010s and enjoyed singing along for a few hours while I meal prepped.

And now I’m looking forward to bringing this intentional listening back into my daily routines, even if just for a few songs. Because it is something that I can control that brings me joy, which is essential to me.

Being truthful about our energizers and strengths (and our de-motivators and challenges) helps everyone to be more present at work and at home. To be able say yes to the right things and pass on opportunities that do not serve us. To be able to come back to our goals when we’ve gotten off track.

Take a few moments to ask yourself:

  • What needs to be true for you to be content? What needs to be true for you to be productive?

Team-building Activity:

  • Once you’ve answered this for yourself, I challenge you to take these questions to your team and share around the room as a team building activity. As the team understands everyone’s essential truths, empathy and accountability can help your team through difficult discussions or situations in the future.

On those days when things just aren’t going your way, and your team just isn’t clicking, you can step back to see what needs are unmet and work towards a restoration or resolution, even if it’s small or temporary.

As the leader of an organization, whether it be for- or non-profit, it is important to stay in tune with the essential truths for you and your organization. You then must be intentional about allowing these truths to be acknowledged and incorporated into the workplace so that everyone can be their best selves.

Are you struggling with building relationships with and amongst your team members? Reach out to let us help with your team dynamics.