The Five Elements of a Healthy Work Relationship
Now, let’s remind ourselves of the five elements that constitute a healthy relationship with work. These items are:
- Alignment with your gifts and talents and your boundaries.
- Work serves you.
When you design your relationship with work, you want to make sure that you are keeping in mind the True Nature of Work as well as the five elements. With this in mind, you can ensure that you incorporate this information into your design. For example, if you haven’t experienced a great deal of fulfillment in your relationship with work up to this point, you want to ensure that fulfillment is front and center in the design.
Okay, let’s get started.
This is going to be a very free-form exercise. Think of it as a brainstorming session. We are going to focus on defining three areas that comprise our relationship with work. We are going to define what we need in a relationship with work, what we expect from our relationship with work and define our boundaries with work. Don’t be concerned if you feel that the areas are overlapping. That’s perfectly okay. Let’s take a look at what we want to include in each area of our relationship with work.
My Needs: This category defines the basics. For example, you need an acceptable salary; you might need friendly co-workers; you might need recognition; you might need an autonomous management style. Your needs are your bottom line.
My Plentitudes: We have spent a great deal of time thus far identifying the lack in our relationship with work. In the plentitudes section, our goal is to declare what will take our relationship from empty to plenty. We want an abundant, plentiful relationship with work. This is your chance to craft what that needs to look like.
My Alignment: Here we will declare how being in alignment with our gifts and talents look in our relationship with work. You will draft statements that help you focus on ensuring you are work is lined up with what you love to do.
If you haven’t identified your gifts and talents yet, no problem. Just do the first 2 sections of the template and come back to this section later.
Key points for the Design Your Relationship with Work template:
- Sometimes it’s hard to identify what we need in a relationship with work. If you are struggling, I suggest you start by listing what it is you don’t want. It is a lot easier for many people to start with what they don’t want or what they don’t like. Once you have that list, you identify what it is you do want by listing the opposite of what you don’t want. For example, “I don’t want to be micromanaged” would translate to “I need to be able to direct my own work.”
- For this step, you will need to dedicate a good chunk of time. The more exact and precise you can be, the more ownership you will have over your relationship, as well as be better positioned to make future employment decisions. I recommend the first time you do this exercise just put everything on the paper that you can think of. Set it aside for a day or two and come back to it. Look at what you wrote and begin to analyze all of the items to ensure that you are designing a relationship with work that will work for you.
- If you find yourself struggling with this process, here are some questions to get the juices flowing.
Being rigorously honest with myself:
- What do I want from work?
- What should work look like for me?
- What do I want work to feel like?
- How do I want to feel like at the end of the workday?
- What don’t I have now that I truly need to have on a daily basis?
- Like the other steps we have completed, there is no right or wrong way to complete this template. You can complete all three sections of the template at once or do one at a time. Do what works best for you.
Here is the sample template which, by the way, is the actual template I completed when I started my journey to have a healthy relationship with work
|My Needs||My Plentitudes||My Alignment|
|– I need freedom.
– I need to be able to direct my own work.
– I need work that excites and challenges me.
-I need to focus on doing work that is in alignment with my gifts and talents.
-I need to work with people that are respectful and kind.
-I need to be part of a supportive community, and that support my mission.
-I need flexible hours.
|– My work fulfills me. It makes me feel whole. At the end of client sessions, I feel abiding contentment.
– My work allows me to give voice to my gifts and talents as well as my expertise. As a result, I feel seen and heard.
– Through my work, I have the opportunity to give my best; my best expression.
– I am in the driver’s seat. I control the course of my career.
– I experience reward for the work I do in the way I want it.
– I am proud of my voice, my gifts and talents. The work I do prospers my clients and myself
|– My work is an avenue for my love of helping people be at peace with work.
– My work is an avenue for my love of helping people attain the lifestyle they desire.
– In my work, I get to hold the high watch for my clients – I believe in their ability to achieve their goals until they can do it for themselves.
– I am able to share my ideas and processes.
– I am able to help clients feel safe and secure while they are making life and career changes.