Spirituality is a tricky word to use in any discussion about business. Spirituality takes on a variety of meanings that range from religious experiences to healing crystals and is often tied to personal development and practices. But spirit can play a role in the overall development and maintenance of a company. Mitroff and Denton, in their study of spirituality in the workplace, found that senior executive, HR executives, and manager all felt that spirituality was an appropriate discussion for the workplace when defined as the interconnectedness of people and places, and differentiated from discussions about religion. They reported that people believe strongly that unless organizations learn how to harness the whole person and the immense spiritual energy that is at the core of everyone, they will not be able to produce world-class products and services.
Spirit originally derives from the Latin word spiritus meaning breath or inspire. You could say that, with each breath, an individual chooses whether to fracture or strengthen an organization. The choices you make define the overall foundation of the enterprise. When the spirit of the business is cohesive, then individuals integrate more seamlessly into the fabric of the company. For employees, spirit provides authenticity and self-awareness as part of the framework for how they work. As Ashmos and Dushon stated in their article, Spirituality at Work, people want to feel connected to work that is important, and they want to feel connected to each other.
These three actions, when incorporated into the environment of your organization, offer inclusion and acceptance that support the spirit of your business. These behaviors help to fortify the whole company by reducing fractures that weaken interconnected relationships between people and the world.
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1. Words and Actions Match
The words you say and the actions you take are a foundational part of the spirit of your organization. When you have an awareness of how your actions and your words impact people and situations around you, then you are better able to see the big picture. You can more effectively recognize how you connect with other people and the world when you understand the impact your behaviors have on the surrounding environment. Matching your words and actions provides authenticity that tells people your true nature. When your words and actions do not match, then there is a fracture in behavior and people do not know which is your true nature, your words or your actions.
2. No judgment of good or bad, or wrong or right
It is very easy to play the blame game. There is a subtle difference between saying, He is wrong. versus, I do not care for that situation. When you take away blame, you reduce the chance of decreasing personal value and increase the chance of keeping individuals accountable for their work. People work more cohesively together when there is not a dividing line, real or imaginary, holding them apart.
3. Focus on the goals, not the problems
Fear of the unfamiliar, many times, puts people into a protective mode. Fear of not being accepted can also introduce a protective wall. The focus of work, when fear is present, shifts to people protecting their turf and looking for problems that separate them from other employees. Problems cause barricades. Goals encourage focus. No matter who you are or what you believe, putting energy into completing the goals keeps the focus on the end results and binds people together in a collective breath of success.
Individuals and organizations who embrace these three actions help to build trust and reduce fractures that can ultimately break down companies. The spirit of your enterprise becomes more cohesive when you connect people to each other in ways that inspire instead of fracture your business.
Writer, researcher, and advisor on human potential for personal and organizational development. Dr. Reed has mentored people from a variety of organizations to include businesses, not for profit organizations, schools, allied health agencies, Chambers of Commerce, governmental entities, and churches. She has taught courses on world religion and world cultures Viewfullprofile