Episode 322: Jenn Whitmer talks about creating positive culture with complex people, conflict as a posture, and the importance of rest

Company Culture, Leadership, Podcast

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Jenn Whitmer is a renowned speaker, leader, and enneagram specialist. Jenn’s professional journey started in music education, and it was after her transition into school administration that she discovered her deep-seated passion for leadership and conflict resolution. After watching a positive workplace fall apart, Jenn made it her mission to share her powerful message of how personality and leadership intertwines, making her a perfect guest for our podcast! In this interview, Jenn tells us about creating positive culture with complex people, conflict as posture, and the importance of rest. 

Creating Positive Culture with Complex People

“Welcoming people as whole people creates more productivity at work.”

Jenn shares that workplaces should be viewed as communities, not families. By fostering an environment where colleagues are welcomed with open arms, individuals feel at ease being their authentic selves at work. This approach not only promotes diversity and contributes to a positive workplace culture where emotions are valued, but it helps people experience that wonderful sense of belonging.

Jenn’s strategy, known as Joyosity, revolves around what she calls the “Three E’s” – Exploration, Engagement, and Experience. This approach encourages colleagues to freely explore their work, become deeply engaged in their tasks and responsibilities, and ultimately have a great experience by feeling welcomed and appreciated. 

Conflict as Posture

“80% of conflict is miscommunication.”

Viewing conflict as a posture is simple – instead of thinking of conflict as individual vs. individual – Jenn says it should instead be looked at like the game ‘Red Rover’, where it’s an intertwined team fighting to break the conflict across the field. It’s not people vs. people, it’s people vs. conflict. 

Additionally, most conflict stems from limited resources and different angles. Instead of framing these situations as conflicts, consider them opportunities for problem-solving that can help the identification of miscommunications and lead to the resolution of the “conflict” in a much more straightforward manner.

The Importance of Rest

“As leaders, we should encourage people to take time off.”

It’s simple, when we’re not rested, we’re not effective. Jenn shares that most of the Western world overworks themselves and has lost the true definition of rest. Rest is recognizing that we’re limited, and when we accept and work around those boundaries, we become much more productive. 

Jenn highlights that she has three essential keys to achieving proper rest. First, she emphasizes the value of taking mini-breaks to relax the brain. Second, utilizing all of your allocated vacation time can significantly contribute to productivity. Lastly, she underscores the critical importance of tending to your body’s physical needs, which includes maintaining a healthy diet and ensuring adequate sleep to get true rest.

To learn more about Jenn, click here. To connect with Jenn, connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Instagram.

This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our faaaaaantastic team:

  • Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
  • A/V editing by Abby Giganan
  • Summary written by Mason Nichols

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