Exuberance.  When I hear the word I generally think of kids.  In fact, I was reminded of this emotion recently while at the beach at Golden Gate Park, watching young children rock out to a local band playing to the crowd.    They danced   and created a feeling of joy, regardless of who was watching and whether it was the “proper thing to do”.  They were alive and in the moment – and their enthusiasm was catchy and by the end of the song adults were dancing too.  Exuberant was the word that popped into my head, so I checked out Webster’s to see what they had to say about this word.

Simple Definition of Exuberant:

very lively, happy, or energetic : filled with energy and enthusiasm

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you'll find most mission driven organizations engaged in intense and serious work working to make the world a better place. Dedicated and committed, they speak with passion about the need to address a certain issue, concern, or reality.  And we applaud their efforts , because without their insistent voices, policies would not change, the vulnerable would not be helped, and equity  for all would not be achieved.  But it is hard work.

And I thought of the kids, and whether as we struggle for a more just world, we need to also be reminded of the value of exuberance.  This is the vision of hope reflected with energy and enthusiasm, that makes one want to join in. And if our organizations practice the exuberance that comes so naturally to children, we may be able to counter the intensity and even negativity that may challenge us. 

And remember...your marketing materials and website, also need to reflect energy, joy, enthusiasm and hope.  People want  to feel positive and invigorated.  

So, let’s add exuberance to our repertoire of emotions at the workplace to ramp up the happiness factor.  And let’s add the spirit of exuberance to our marketing and branding to create more ambassadors and evangelists for the organization. Here are some other tips :

1.       Allow playfulness and yes, even moments of being silly.  Nerf balls are great to have around and toss when things get stressed.

2.       Music can create exuberance, so allow people to dance at their standing desks, listening to their tunes on earbuds. (That’s what I like to do.)

3.       Have an outsider conduct an audit of your home page and marketing materials to see if they  feel positive and energized after viewing. If not, work on that--- maybe a video or some music will help!

4.       Potlucks, food, treats (healthy if possible) are a great backdrop for lively conversation and camaraderie, the foundation of exuberance.

5.       Costume days create laughter and  Fridays are great for this.

In sum: music, food, laughter, engagement create joy and exuberance.  Give it a try.