Session Eleven

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Hey ElevenEleven Community, 

This week we’re kicking off SESSION ELEVEN, a series that explores the human side of business through awakened conversation. This chapter is hosted by co-founder Alisha, who’s answering burning industry questions submitted by our community.

Q: What are some ways to create a culture of open dialogue and inclusivity? Specifically, for women with needs such as work flexibility, maternity leave, and childcare.

AA: There is no question a culture of dialogue and inclusivity needs to start at the top and disseminate into the organization. How are the leaders in your business actively bringing these important conversations to the table? Better yet, how are your leaders demonstrating that parental needs in a business matter?! Do they themselves create a flexible schedule that truly shows their team that leaving at 3pm to attend your childs’ play is completely acceptable? Further to these actions, to truly create an open dialogue in your culture your leaders need to be asking the right questions to their team, what actually matters, and what needs do they have that they want to see addressed. Don’t make assumptions here, ask the important (sometimes hard) questions!

Q: What are your favourite team-building exercises?

AA: When you are spending time with your team, for me it’s less about the exercise itself and more about the connection and authentic conversation you are able to create within your team. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are being forced to have a fun “team day” when all you can think about is your compiling inbox. Sometimes you can have incredible success with a highly orchestrated day long, outdoor team building event; you can also build incredible connection taking your team out for dinner and kicking off conversation with a simple question that is answered around the table (Saje Natural Wellness has an amazing set of question cards called “Connect Offline”). Sit with someone new, talk about things that matter, and throw in a glass of wine and you’ve got yourself the start to a great team building event.

Q: What do you do to unwind and recharge your creativity when you're in a rut?

AA: For me, being in a rut signifies to myself that I need to get still. It means getting rid of the noise, the constant stream of thought, and the bombardment of social media. It’s about getting quiet with myself and listening to my own intuition. It could be meditating, a run, or spending some time reflecting on my goals. These are grounding practices that allow me to open up creatively. 

Q: How can I approach a conversation with my superiors around the potential to work remotely?

AA: When approaching this conversation, think about your superiors biggest fears of a remote employee: Are you actually working when you say you are? How will I get a hold of you if I need to? How will you continue to work cross functionally and build relationships within the business? A lot of these questions are actually misconceptions about working remotely, however, it’s important to be proactive and really think about making this as seamless of a transition as possible. Put a plan together that addresses any issues before you bring this to the table with your boss. Additionally, ensure you make it clear what kind of value this kind of flexibility brings to you as an employee! 

Q: What are you currently working on in your own path?

AA: This is such a timely question considering I just saw the queen, Oprah Winfrey herself, discussing this exact topic! What I have become really present to in my own life is how am I giving back to my community, what can I offer that could potentially bring some kind of joy, support, fulfillment, or success to others. I’ve struggled with the thought that what I have to offer feels small or insignificant—however, I am committed to starting somewhere and am completely open to where it takes me.


If you want to submit a question for the ElevenEleven team, reach out or shoot us a message @eleveneleventalent on Instagram. 


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