In a thought-provoking episode, Jenn DeWall has a candid and vulnerable conversation with Chris Meroff about the quest for fulfillment at work and at home. As CEO and founder of DCX Community, author, Chris Meroff has dedicated his career to helping professionals find sustainable success and fulfillment in their work.
With a diverse background spanning various industries such as hospitality, restaurants, farming miniature cows, and leadership development, Chris brings a wealth of experience to the table, and shares his personal fulfillment journey. Jenn and Chris explore the importance of fulfillment, its challenges, and the role of empathy and vulnerability in finding true satisfaction in work and life.
Meet Chris Meroff, CEO and Founder of DCX Community
Chris shares his personal journey, which began at a young age when he joined his parents in their business. Initially, he held the belief that work would naturally provide intense passion and fulfillment. However, the reality of work being just work, with its ups and downs, challenged his expectations.
Struggling to strike a balance between his professional and family life, he often felt like a failure as both an employee and a family man. Fueled by a desire to create a better work environment, Chris ventured into entrepreneurship in 2011, focusing on establishing a company that is employee-centric rather than client-centric. By doing so, he has found that if leaders take care of employees, they will take care of the clients.
The Elusiveness of Fulfillment
Despite his initial success as a business owner, Chris found himself increasingly unfulfilled after a few years. This realization led him to question why so many people, including himself, were unable to find fulfillment in their work.
Disturbed by a study revealing that 72% of individuals dislike their jobs or the people they work with, he sought to understand why finding fulfillment in life seemed elusive, especially with the emergence of new generations like millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce. Through extensive research and conversations, he discovered that true fulfillment is intertwined with emotional and psychological well-being and our connection to others.
Embracing Empathy and Vulnerability
Recognizing his own shortcomings as a leader, Chris realized that he had neglected to demonstrate empathy and vulnerability in his role. This realization prompted him to embark on a transformative journey, focusing on developing these crucial skills. He decided to get out of his comfort zone, and start learning and growing on a deeper level.
Empathy became a cornerstone in understanding and connecting with others, while vulnerability proved to be a significant challenge for someone accustomed to taking care of those around him. Overcoming his discomfort, Chris recognized that allowing others to support and care for him would lead to a greater fulfillment and connection.
Acknowledging Feedback and Embracing Vulnerability
Jenn shares a relatable scenario where individuals receive negative feedback, triggering a defensive response and the desire to protect oneself. She recounts a client’s urge to schedule a meeting to defend themselves against the feedback.
Chris emphasizes the significance of vulnerability and empathy in such situations, urging individuals to embrace vulnerability instead of armor up. He encourages using phrases like “I’m sorry” to initiate an emotional conversation with empathy, owning any actions that may have been perceived negatively. By doing so, one can let go of shame and allow for growth and understanding.
The Power of “I Don’t Know” and “I Need Your Help”
Continuing the discussion, Chris highlights two additional phrases that foster vulnerability and connection. He shares the importance of acknowledging one’s limitations and embracing humility by saying, “I don’t know.” These phrases are essential to building positive relationships at work, and in life.
As leaders, we often feel the pressure to have all the answers, but admitting our limitations opens the door for collaboration and growth. Similarly, Chris stresses the power of saying, “I need your help.” By recognizing that we can’t do it all on our own, we invite others to contribute their unique perspectives and talents, fostering a sense of unity and fulfillment.
Identifying and Overcoming the Lies We Tell Ourselves
Jenn and Chris delve into the lies we tell ourselves and the impact they have on our mental well-being and fulfillment. Chris shares his own struggle with paranoia and the belief that he was unlovable if he revealed his emotional messiness.
He underscores the importance of recognizing these lies and seeking truth through honest conversations with trusted individuals. By opening up about our thoughts and fears, we can break free from the mental health issues caused by these lies and build stronger connections with others.
The Messiness of Being Human
Jenn and Chris emphasize that everyone struggles with their internal battles and insecurities, regardless of external appearances. They discuss the societal pressure to project an image of normalcy, despite the internal self-hatred many achievers and perfectionists experience. Acknowledging our messiness and embracing vulnerability allows us to let go of comparisons and unrealistic expectations, paving the way for true fulfillment.
Embracing the Journey to Fulfillment
The conversation concludes with a reminder that embracing vulnerability and dispelling lies is an ongoing process. Both Jenn and Chris encourage listeners to recognize their own struggles and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. To feel fulfilled takes a little work every day. By fostering empathy, vulnerability, and honesty, individuals can create a more fulfilling existence and build stronger, authentic connections with others.
Where to Find More from Chris Meroff
To find more from Chris, please visit his website at ChrisMeroff.com, or at DCXCommunity.com. You can also connect with him on social media or LinkedIn, or check out his best selling book: Align: Four Simple Steps for Leaders to Create Employee Fulfillment Through Alignment Leadership. And don’t forget to look out for his upcoming book in October!
And, as always if you’re a leader looking to develop your team or looking to develop yourself, head on over to crestcom.com. We would love to have more conversations with you to help you be your best by giving you the tools that you need to succeed. Thank you so much for listening and I hope that you practice some self-compassion today. Until next time.