Rhythms: Making the Workplace Work with You

Towards the end of my last job, I was involved in this leadership training program they offered.  Basically, you took a few months of classes, learned about the business, and your opportunities for advancement went up exponentially.

Each class revolved around a unit featured in this giant binder we were given.   One of these units was titled “Rhythms”.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t actually know what this section was about.  I never finished the leadership training.  Instead, Radiate Digital stole me away (a fact I am very greatful for).

But I can imagine.

Because lately, here at Radiate Digital, I’ve been seeing a change.  A beautiful evolution that into something that can best be described as this:


Growing Pains and Awkward Adolescence.

This is how meetings with Steve generally go....

My position was the first of its kind at Radiate.  There was a lot of discussion, planning, training, and paperwork (which thankfully Steve had to do).  Sure, I had done many of the duties before(as a freelancer for Radiate Digital), but this was very different.

Not just for me, but also for Steve (aka “The Boss”)

New employees aren’t just affected by the work place, but directly affect the work place themselves.  It’s a symbiotic relationship that both parts must adjust too.

I had to learn how Steve wanted things done and how he reacted to different situations.

Steve had to figure out how much I could handle, and he had to learn how to let go of some responsibilities

In the beginning, things were a little off.  I would take on tasks one at a time, finish them, and then wait patiently for Steve to give me more work.  But overtime, the work flow grew more consistent, the objectives were much clearer, and I became considerably more independent.

Dancing to the Wrong Beat.

Steve and I have known each other for a while now.  We got along very well before I started this job, and thankfully, it hasn’t made us hate each other.  The risk is (and we had a long discussion about it when he hired me) we could easily fall into the wrong rhythm.

Steve loves to share stories.  I love to talk about movies.  Both of these things can eat away the work day.  Having a good relationship with your coworkers is great.  Being able to talk to them and have fun makes work so much better.

But there comes a time when you simply have to get work done.  It’s hard to finish anything when you’re cracking jokes every ten minutes.  If this situation isn’t dealt with, it will only become worse and the work places changes from a job to a hangout spot.

You may love your place of employment (as I do), but never forget that it is where you get your work done.  That is the primary function.

Plugging into the Matrix

How do you cut out the excess chatter and get work done?  That is up to you (and it’s all a part of finding your rhythm).  For me, I turn to my computer screens, put the headphones on, and crank up the Spotify.

Sure, Steve has to basically throw things at my head to get my attention, but that’s just a part of how we do.  It’s a piece of our rhythm, and it works.  We refer to it as being plugged into the Matrix or being “wired in” Social Network style (the movie references are abundant at Radiate Digital).

Finding the Rhythm that Works for You

Different business do not operate the same. That’s why a lot of the corporate America, cubicle, boiler-room environment sort of imploded.  Everyone was trying to operate in the exact same cookie-cutter way, and it made everyone miserable.

I think each place has to find their own way, their own rhythm that works and makes other people jealous of how well it works.  Look at Google or Zappos or Pixar.  The way they do a lot of things seems crazy.

But it works.

And you can’t argue with results.

Do you feel like a cohesive part of your job?  Has your business found its rhythm?

Written by Timothy Snyder
on June 18, 2012