January 10, 2023

237: Create the Conditions for Joy in the Workplace with Akaya Windwood

Managers often focus on creating work environments that cultivate inclusivity, productivity, and innovation – which are all important. However, when was the last time you intentionally created an environment for… joy? Turns out, when employees are joyful at work, they are more likely to be productive and work harder to achieve their goals. In fact, joy in the workplace can lead to a more successful team and a better working experience for everyone involved – and it’s up to the manager to create the conditions to make that happen.

Today’s guest is. Akaya Windwood. Akaya advises, trains, and consults on how change happens individually, organizationally, and societally. She is on the faculty for the RSF Social Finance Integrated Capital Fellowship and is the founder of the New Universal, which centers human wisdom in the wisdom of Brown women. She was the president of Rockwood Leadership Institute for many years and directed the Mycelium Fund.

Akaya and I talk about the bits of wisdom she and her co-author collected over the years on what it means to foster joy in the workplace and how you can too.

Members of the Modern Manager community get a chance to win 1 free copy of Akaya’s book, Leading with Joy. Sharing vignettes about the authors’ insights and stories and discussion questions to go along, Leading with Joy promotes a courageous and compassionate approach to leadership that can sustain purposeful action and social change. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: How to Create a Joyful Work Atmosphere


Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeadingWithJoy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leadingwithjoy/

Website: https://leadingwithjoybook.com/

Key Takeaways:

  • We can’t force our team members to feel joy (nor is our responsibility to), but we can (and should) create the conditions for people to find joy.
  • Happiness is an emotion from an external experience while joy is a bodily sense from within.
  • We need to practice experiencing and discovering joy intentionally and mindfully.
  • Set aside time for conversations with colleagues about what joy means to them and how you might help foster joy in the workplace.
  • Micromanaging destroys trust and joy. Managers micromanage due to their own anxieties.
  • Remember to only do what is yours and trust others to do theirs. You don’t need to do it all.
  • Approach colleagues first with what you appreciate of them. Then ask what support they need from you. This creates a culture of gratitude.
  • Imagine what it would feel like if people left interactions with you feeling appreciated and affirmed.
  • Be intentional about the seeds you are sowing now. You never know what they will lead to in the future.



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