Why Angela Almaguer Creates a Judgment-free Zone at Work

The Head of Latin American and Caribbean Regional Events shares her tips for encouraging colleagues to bring their whole selves to work.

I try to be very intentional with my time, and I use many Microsteps and strategies to put my best foot forward every day. I meditate every morning and program my day to be efficient, productive, and filled with positive energy. I take mini breaks whenever possible; I’ll often go outside to reconnect with nature when I find a spare moment. I also look for the positive side of everything, both at work and in my personal life. If I can’t find a positive side, I see it as a life lesson and ask myself what the experience taught me. When interacting with others, I do my best to recognize the human side of everyone around me. To create boundaries with work, I disconnect after 6 p.m. every day and I avoid working weekends — that’s my recharge time. 

14 years ago I became a reiki master, which totally changed my perspective on life. For those who don’t know what reiki is, it’s a form of energy healing, a subset of alternative medicine. It’s used to release stress and to re-energize a person’s energy fields, called chakras — it’s also used to help cancer and autism patients.  

Reiki helped me realize there’s always a story behind every action, consequence, or reaction. We tend to live so fast we forget the present is indeed a gift. I learned not to take people for granted, to enjoy life as much as possible, to listen not just hear, and to be open to others’ opinions because they have the same value as my own. I learned there’s always room for spirituality in whichever form fills your soul. I learned each problem has a solution and if it doesn’t get resolved today, it will tomorrow, so worrying is not an option. I learned to let go of things I can’t change.One of the ways I practice these principles at work is by letting people be themselves without judgement. If you want your people to bring their whole selves to work, you have to create space for that. You have to show them that you care about them and that they won’t be judged for being authentic. Seeing other people find their confidence brings me so much joy, because I can relate to that experience. I had to learn to value myself and reach my own inner confidence. If I can help others achieve that same goal, I feel I’ve done my job.

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