Opening Chakras: Developing A New Mainstream Agency Culture In A Remote Work World

In what feels like a semi-permanent fractured (remote) world, certain insights have begun to sink into our new “modus operandi.”  

Among these is a shift in how we think about what is “strong” talent in the marketing world. Traditionally the “strongest” candidate has been the one with the most experience or development, anyone with the most sophisticated understanding of the platforms and methodologies we have come to need in this data-driven industry. Historically ideal candidates would have an impressive resume of consistent accomplishments, solid references and certifications.  

We are now asking questions beyond the required skills list. What are their basic, fundamental communication and connection skills? Are they able to be empathetic to themselves and others? Can they listen to what’s not being said?  

Today, post-pandemic, we find ourselves trying to build training programs that help our future talent thrive and survive in a different world.  Uncertainty is constant, change is commonplace, but clarity? It’s not. Today we need to design programs that help this new generation of the workforce uncover a deeper understanding of who they are, how they communicate, collaborate, and lead in a workplace that now more than ever demands skills that might be considered “soft.”  



Consider “Opening Chakras” as a term to use as a reference - our bucket of woo-woo - that we can’t seem to label or place into any standard training modules for this “new mainstream” agency life we are building. We need to identify, nurture and sustain these fundamental energy points within our new generation of agency talent as we upskill them and create a new culture. Here are the suggested Opening Chakras:

--Visualization for better outcomes. Encourage your team to take time to simply sit and create goal pictures in the mind before important meetings, presentations, or projects. This is a form of meditation that generates a visual picture and an affirmation for each goal. Visualization techniques help improve confidence and presentation skills as well as individual performance.  

--Develop an emotional and intuitive quotient. Help your employees manage their emotions in productive ways to relieve stress. This involves developing skills to accept criticism and responsibility and move on after making mistakes. Developing emotional intelligence is crucial to collaborative work. This chakra can be workshopped with teams. It is helpful in managing people dynamics.  

--Finding your voice @Improv. An actor’s essential toolkit is improvisation, which can help develop confidence and “flow” among team members. How? By promoting individual listening skills, reading body language and thinking on your feet. In an acting scene, a person can become whatever character they want. There are no restrictions. Just one’s imagination. Improv workshops can prove cathartic and refreshing and encourage a person to stretch beyond their daily comfort zone, enabling them to experiment and grow. 

--“Play” as a driver for innovation. Taking play-breaks throughout the workday can alter your brain chemistry, stimulating neurotransmitters related to focus, attention and learning. Play can nurture creative thinking and connectivity with fellow workers. It enhances a sense of well-being and provides the type of positive mindset that can help us solve complex problems and persist in the face of challenges. 

--Mindfulness for better attention management. Meditation and mindfulness sessions have become ubiquitous in work settings. Learning to sit and breathe and be present, quieting the mind instead of letting it constantly run wild with obsessions and plans, helps reduce stress at work. Learning how to incorporate even just a simple 10 meditation break into a workday will help create more meaningful outputs and productivity among your team members. 

--Learning to disconnect to reconnect. What more can be said about establishing a work-life balance?  Pay attention to family, leisure and health, as much as work. Don’t let work interfere with private life, or private life will end up interfering with work. Teach your team to say no, and communicate boundaries with them so they can truly unplug. It will make for a happier work world. 

This sorcery, dare we call it, these skills-for-the-soul, should be incorporated into agency training programs. They can help elevate top talent today. After all, “soft” isn’t just about delivering tough feedback, managing group dynamics or how to sustain motivation. It’s a more profound knowledge of self in a context of uncertainty and spontaneous corporate and personal pivots, lay-offs, downsizing in the throes of a change management culture.  These “soft” skills are what are strengthening organizations today. 

Talent Development programs in 2022 will make our organizations more human-centric by ensuring that our people look inward to seek mastery of self as much as they look outward for mastery of “skills.”

Next story loading loading..