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Awe and Wonder in the Workplace

Are you battling the mundane in your workplace?

Is it struggle to see the newness in every day? Are you finding it harder and harder to keep things fresh for both you and your team?

What if I told you there was a way to use that rut as a motivator for growth? To use the mundane as the beginning of newness within your team, organization or within yourself. 

In Dr. Brene Brown’s new book, Atlas of the Heart, she explores the nuances of emotion and the diversity in language behind emotion. Brown is an expert, researcher, author and podcaster in shame and vulnerability while also teaching at University of Houston in the graduate college for Social Work. In Atlas of the Heart, she dives deep into the kinds of places humans go during emotional states and are not sure how to communicate what they’re feeling while they’re there.  

Let’s talk about the places humans ‘go when it’s beyond us.’ 

Often, when we feel stuck in a rut or in the mundane aspects of work it can be hard to see beyond how we currently feel.

It can be difficult to see into the future for newness – or even find originality in the day. It can be dangerous for an organization when a team feels this way. Organizations can become content with stagnant environment. As an example, when people see that there is financial growth, it could be the only motivator they need.

Unfortunately, in a place of “room temperature” water, neither hot nor cold, people can become robots of work.

Who wants this?  

Brown quotes Ulrich Weger and Johannes Wagemann in her book, highlighting the difference and significance of awe and wonder.  

Wonder inspires the wish to understand; awe inspires the wish to let it shine, to acknowledge and unite. When feeling awe, we simply stand back and observe, to provide a stage for the phenomenon to shine.

Awe and wonder are not exclusive to ‘big’ things. I used to think that I could only experience awe and wonder in nature or a transforming event. Weger and Wagemann remind us there is simplicity in awe and wonder, and there is a way to make both a part of our daily lives.

Creating a space for awe and wonder to explore within your workplace or team allows for cushion.

It allows for newness, excitement, growth (both personal and organizational) and change. It offers a dynamic space to be in.  

First, being a host for wonder to dance within the organization shows servant leadership and organizational growth. This simply looks like creating a sense of openness, making people feel comfortable to ask questions or challenge original thought. 

Second, awe celebrates the success of when wonder takes place. Highlighting the highs and lows of the observation of wonder allows for a space of grace. This dynamic ultimately unites a team.

Awe doesn’t jump the gun…and awe doesn’t make assumptions; awe waits patiently and celebrates the nuances of people, a team, and an organization.  

How are you going to facilitate awe and wonder in your position or within your team?  

Written by Brooke Woessner, Project Coordinator for Milestone Leadership

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