Today. Another Wednesday. It shows up around this time each week. Week in and week out. Wash, rinse and dry. Repeat. The comings and goings of life.
As humans we want patterns and continuation. We create routines, both conscious and unconscious. Yet our routines, if not careful can define us. An endless set of Wednesdays await.
There is a different way though and we do have control. While routines can be very helpful, the trick is to step up and add ritual to our day, for ourselves and for our work groups.
Think of ritual as action with intention and attention. We build meaning around rituals. There is symbolism involved and awareness of the process, not just the result. With ritual we slow down and recognize where we are, why we are, and who we are.
As a leader I recognize the need for ritual in my workgroup. While we remain under stress as an organization, it is important to hold, and even create, new rituals. Through these actions we hold and strengthen our center – that place of meaning for the group.
Here are a few examples of workplace rituals I recognize in my workplace. What rituals do you have in your work group?
Monthly management meeting – a shift from strictly production focused to a wonderful gatherings full of learning, food, fun, and even dancing on occasion. We strengthen what holds us together and assure we are set to go forth into a new production month united.
Potlucks – from the occasional potluck several times a year, we now recognize the importance of food to bring us together. We now typically have a monthly potluck. Our potlucks are a ritual and through food (lots of food) we gather and reaffirm our group.
Get Up and Move Time – This started last year with a few employees gathering twice a day to do some stretches and walk either up the stairs or around the block. It grew to involve a large part of the department. Back then we had up to 20 or so people show up for any given stretch time. Today, with few of us left, we may get 5 people to show up. Yet, the ritual continues. Twice a day the call goes out … “Gathering Now. Get up & Move People!”
And move we do. A ritual that holds our group, our tribe together.
Missing that Get Up and Move!! Gotta get back to doing that myself more regularly… and Michael and Bob, wow, dudes!
Thanks. Wherever I go I will remember the Get Up and Move! It is with me for the life of my business career. Just do it!
Michael – great post. Ritual and building community flow together. Through thick and thin, it keeps us unified. Keep fun in the workplace! By the way, I saw that picture taken of you around your 50th pullup!
Thanks! In my dreams 50 pull ups. Yes, we are a community. Those with us still and many who have left. Ritual and community building are so important.