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Posted on: July 16, 2020

Bringing Your Whole Self to Work, a Message from Michelle Gifford

Bring whole self to work

What does it mean to bring your whole self to work? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Bringing your whole self to work means showing up authentically, leading with humbleness. Keep in mind we’re all vulnerable, imperfect human beings doing the best we can to make it through the day.

You can also think of it as having the courage to take risks, speak up, ask for help and connect with others in a genuine and personal way.

Choosing how you bring yourself to work can seriously impact how you feel about the work you’re doing. Bringing your full self to the workplace can make you happier and more productive, even outside the job. At the City, we often say that having purpose in what we do enhances our wellbeing. A sense of belonging is one of the most powerful drivers of human behavior and those who possess this feeling are able to be their authentic selves. Having this internal sense of purpose or belonging is really what makes us feel comfortable being ourselves around colleagues.

We know it’s not always easy to show up to work this way, but it is possible to show more of our true selves and be more satisfied in life! Leading with genuineness allows us to impact our work culture so that we can all be true to who we are which will hopefully unlock greater creativity, connection and performance within all of us!

After doing some research, I’ve found four things that we can do to be more effective, successful and engaged at work while encouraging others to follow our lead!

1. Be genuine
The foundation of bringing your whole self to work is genuineness, which is about showing up honestly and without complacency. Be more genuine at work by admitting when we don’t know something, acknowledge when we’ve made a mistake or ask for help. All of these take courage and require us to embrace vulnerability and let go of our need to be right.Emotional Intelligence

2. Utilize the power of appreciation
Appreciation and recognition are two different things, albeit, both important. Showing appreciation is vital in building strong relationships with others, keeping things in perspective and empowering teams. Recognition is more based on results or performance; whereas, appreciation is about people’s inherent value or WHO THEY ARE.

3. Focus on emotional intelligence
Your emotional intelligence (EQ) is about you and how you relate to others. I’ve found some of the best ways to build EQ is to practice mindfulness on a regular basis. Taking time to stop, breathe and focus allows us to be more self-aware and manage our emotions more effectively. These practices also lead to us having more compassion and understanding of others.

4. Create (and be a part of) a championship team
The work environment and those you work with can have a significant impact on your ability to fully show up, engage and thrive. On that same note, the more willing you are to bring your whole self to work, the more opportunity you have to impact those around you. When I say create and be a part of a championship team, basically that means you’re helping to build a culture that is conducive to people being themselves, caring about one another and be willing to work with another and produce great work!

These four concepts are easy to understand, almost common sense, but applying these concepts is the real work. It takes courage. If you’re willing to bring your whole self to work, you have the great opportunity to expand the impact, influence and success of your passion and help others do the same!

Senior Wellness Coordinator Michelle Gifford concludes her message with a reminder that the City has resources to help bring your whole self to work! Sign up for a session:

Virtual Lunchtime Meditation Series Tuesdays and Thursdays 
Time-Out Tuesdays 
12-12:30 p.m.
Register here
July 23, 28 and 30

Thoughtful Thursdays
12-12:30 p.m.
Register here
August 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27

Watch for an important message next week from Shanté Akafia, director of human resources and risk management, about what bringing your whole self to work means to her!

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