Dion Leadership has decided that 2022 is the year to “lighten up.” No, we don’t mean our intensity in bringing you relevant and timely culture and talent development solutions. And our mission hasn’t changed. We are still committed to helping you create organizations where employees start every day excited and end every day accomplished.
We mean our website colors and design.
We went from dark to light.
Check out our new homepage to see for yourself.
So why are we writing a thought leadership blog post about this website design update? Because we think it serves as an excellent metaphor for the 2022 wishes of many employees, teams, and organizations.
It’s Time for a Change
Why did we make this change? It’s not that we didn’t like our website design. In fact, we often get compliments on the website from clients and colleagues, so we were a little reluctant to fuss with it. Nonetheless, there was something pulling at us to make a change. As we reviewed the site, it felt dark, serious, and heavy. We realized that over the last two years we had been choosing the darkest choices from our brand color pallet.
As we contemplated this change, we realized something important. This wasn’t just about color preferences and more white space. This was a manifestation of our greatest hopes and deepest desires for 2022… to lighten up.
Let’s face it—the world has felt heavy, dark, gloomy, and ominous lately. Even as I write this blog post, COVID continues to rage, putting many of us on edge. As leaders, we all have a mindset choice to make. We can succumb to that darkness and let it permeate our mood, our work, and our life. Or we can choose to counter it with a mindset of hope, a commitment to our well-being, and the human-centered projects we choose to pursue.
We can choose to think and act brighter. We can lighten up. And you just may be the spark that your team and your organization need right now.
How? I offer you these three suggestions to help you lighten up in 2022.
1. Pay Attention to What You Wear – Your clothes influence both your mood and behavior. And while impact of a wardrobe varies from person to person, researchers have found that clothes have a systemic influence on our psychological processes. They call it enclothed cognition. Licensed clinical psychologist Sheva Assar advises that the behavioral act of getting dressed can have a significantly positive impact on our mood, confidence and behaviors in this Huffington Post article. I have my own personal experience with enclothed cognition. Several years ago, I was miserable in my job. One morning after getting dressed and sitting down at our breakfast table, my wife commented on how I was wearing all muted colors and soft, baggy clothes. I realized that my clothes were serving as a kind of safety blanket. This realization led me to rethink my work and the choices I was making to be a victim of the situation versus trying rise above it.
2. Morning Rituals – Find ways to start you day lighter. If the morning news is bringing you down, take a break from it. Stay committed to your exercise and mindfulness routines—even when you don’t feel like it. Get outside so you can feel the sun on your face. Hug the person you love before you sit down to start your work for the day. Habitually doing the things that bring you joy at the start of your day can carry you all the way through.
3. Complete a Visual Audit of Your Surroundings – Does the room you work in get plenty of light? If not, can you open the shades or curtains to let more light in? Are there bright colors, artwork, photos, mementos that surround your workspace and give you joy when you look at them? How about your computer and phone screens—can you lighten up your color palettes, screen savers, or the photos chosen for your lock screen? Ask yourself what image makes you smile from ear to ear and then put that front and center. These are the images that you see several times each day. Are they lightening your mood or making it heavier?
Yes, the pandemic is still here. Yes, we still have supply chain issues and talent shortages. Yes, we still can’t vacation without restrictions or eat out as we prefer. I am not advocating that we ignore the difficulties of our situation. However, choosing to dwell on the negative or wallow in melancholy over a situation that is out of our control does not serve us or the people we lead. You can choose to create an amazing staycation. You can explore new takeout places and set an at-home ambiance that rivals a five-star dining experience. Putting my leadership coaching hat on, remember that your mindset determines your behavior.
I do some cycling in my free time, and I have read insights from those truly accomplished elite professional athletes. They report that when faced with rain or some other kind of inclement weather, they will consider it an exciting challenge instead of an annoying obstacle that was put there to defeat them that day. These cyclists, who refuse to be mentally defeated by their circumstances, are the ones who win their races more often.
Regardless of actual or perceived inclement weather, talent shortages or other thorny business challenges, or frustrations with personal life constraints, please consider lightening up your outlook. Practicing resilience will do wonders for your well-being and positively impact those around you. I wish you a new year that refreshes, brightens, and lightens. I hope you find a path that serves you in the healthiest way.
Please reach out if you’d like to discuss how to lighten things up in your organization.