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2016 Feb 02 – THE SHAMAN IN THE WORKPLACE

Reconciling your Job With your Work – 

We all came into this world with a certain mission, and work, to learn, to give and to live. So our task becomes: How do we get our Job, where we earn our bread and pay the rent, to equal our Work – to get them to coincide and overlap, somewhat at least. That is increasingly difficult in a society that doesn’t routinely value the personal spiritual journey. Difficult, but not impossible.

WorkWe start by learning to manage upward. That can be challenging for those of us whose ideas about management lean toward those who report to us. But if we are to transcend the average workplace milieu, we need to know how to manage our boss. Once we are able to influence the superstructure that we walk into every morning, then we can begin to create an environment where we, and others, can begin to thrive and get our job done.

Most of the time we are dealing with bosses and control structures that are totally disconnected emotionally. When we introduce an emotional quality – which does not mean emoting or becoming emotional – then we usher in the realm of feelings and values to every interaction. It’s as simple as starting a meeting with, “How are you doing today,” or “Would you like a cup of tea,” before getting to the agenda.

Remember, you are dealing with bosses who are under tremendous pressure, so by asking how they are, or if there is anything they need or want, you are opening the door to a conversation that is normally not found in the workplace. You begin to create an environment that is more feeling-driven.

Feelings pervade every human interaction, but they are rarely acknowledged in the workplace and hence become hidden agendas and means of manipulation. All too often we end up resenting our bosses and then the feelings that permeate the space are of hatred and violence. Feelings need to be brought out into the open where they can create a positive environment instead of a negative one.

You can go about this in a way that is non-threatening by steering the conversation toward the underlying values of your place of business. How can you personally add value to what you do? How can you show customers that you honor them and not just their purchasing power? How do you manage the top line (value, communication, human interaction) and not just the bottom line? When you do this, in effect you are bringing the sacred into the most crass and profane setting you can imagine. And when that happens, organizations change.

To be clear, sacred doesn’t mean lighting candles. It means doing what you can to better the planet, better your customers and better your workplace.

This exercise is extremely important because the workplace is killing most of us today through unremitting tension, negativity, stress, and financial pressure. We can change that, and the three keys to success are feelings, meaning and value.

At the Light Body School we have students who work in the Department of Defense who are bringing these qualities into every conversation – every dialogue. So we are dismantling the command control structure in the workplace that we inherited from the military and replacing it with a more humane model of collaboration and frank, honest communication that is feeling- and meaning-driven.

We can do it – we must do it.

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