Spirituality in the Workplace – Part 2
Our series on returning to the workplace continues.
In the last article, we focused on a few tools to keep you more heart-centered and more positive. In this article was are going to focus on relationship skills. So put your mask and gloves on, or HazMat suit and let’s get ready to verbalize!
We are Emotional Beings
The new normal is distance. This does not refer to physical space, but emotional distance. We are emotional beings and we need social interactions. As we distance ourselves from others it is natural to get depressed, moody, and anxious. If we avoid close relationships, it can make it almost seem impossible to do so. Therefore, a little coaching may be all you need.
To establish social connections, it is important to “Lean Into” the situation. Think about walking into a room full of doors. All these doors represent possibilities for you. If you don’t even try to open a door and feel destined to fail, that is called learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is an integral part of depression. If you wish to go after new opportunities, then all it takes is leaning into a door to see if it opens.
Many people try to smash down doors and when they do that, it usually isn’t a match for them. Forcing ourselves onto others leads to people putting up walls. Gently lean into new opportunities and if they are a match, then you will have success. Yes, yours truly tried to smash down the door to an old relationship and yes, the door opened, but when I got inside, I realized that it was a bad idea and all the reasons why the relationship ended came to mind, so I eased on out of that difficult situation.
What is right for you will naturally take place, all you need to do is make some effort. If the door is locked then moves on, there will be another door that will be more important to open anyway.
Once the door is open, then what? Here’s what we were never taught in grade school. How do we interact when we are in relationships? This doesn’t only relate to love relationships, but friendships, and at work. The key is making people feel good.
Because the relationships with others will mirror the relationship we have with ourselves it is important to like yourself first and foremost. Why would people like you? If you have good qualities, remind yourself about this and then go about interacting with others. If you don’t like yourself, then you have some work to do on you.
The Key to Any Relationship… Know and Like Yourself
Many people come into treatment never having a relationship with themselves. Getting to know and like yourself is the key to any relationship to move forward. Eventually, you are going to have to be yourself, why not start the process today?
It is important to understand that job satisfaction isn’t only in the work product, but it also refers to the relationships you have with others. Burn out is created when the job is seen as just a job and your social interactions cause grief. Understanding that people just want to feel good. It is in your providing the feel-good to other people that will bring forth great work relationships!
What is the number one communication skill? You would think that heart-centered sharing would top the list but actually, it is a close second. The top communication skill is listening. How often do you really listen to somebody? Most of the time when a person is communicating to us, we are formulating a response before they are finished. Did you hear everything that was on their mind? Here is where spirituality comes into play. Take the time to listen to the other person fully, then repeat back to them what you heard. “So what I am hearing you say is this, that, and the other thing, is that correct?”
In using “Perception Checking” we are demonstrating to the other person what they are saying is important to you and you want to make sure you understand them.
How many times in your life have you ever felt heard? It takes a full effort to “Seek to Understand before being Understood” as Steven Covey said. My father said you have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.
Is it important for you to be right? Do you need to win in communications? If you make yourself right it makes the other person wrong. That formula spells disaster. Can you make it alright to be wrong? Take a moment to ponder that.
“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee
It is very adult to admit our mistakes. In doing so, we get the opportunity to learn and grow and minimize making the same mistake again. I agree with the person that tells you about an error. Thank them. They may be annoying, but would you rather be right or be at peace?
Narrative Therapy Approach
Narrative Therapy is a psychological approach that deals with the stories we tell ourselves. Memories are often stored as stories. When the old stories are being stored as us being a victim, the therapist works with a client to change the story and highlight the strengths they had during this upsetting time. This is called reframing.
Let’s look at this spiritually. The mere fact that somebody is communicating with you, means that it is important to them. How wonderful is that? Looking at social interactions as sacred and meaningful takes effort on the listeners’ part to grasp what is important to the other person. Then you have a choice to make what they say right or wrong, good or bad. In making things negative, it drags you down and leads to depression. If you take the opportunity to just look at their information on face value without the emotions getting in the way, you will see the intent behind their message.
Are people innately bad? Actually everybody is doing the best they can. If we look for the negatives in others we will find them. Is that how you want to live life, only looking for faults? If so, then the flip side of that is you always looking at your faults. Lighten up, catch others doing something right. Catch yourself doing something right. It’s better for your health and wellbeing.
Setting Your Intentions
Set an intention to honor the person you are interacting with. It may become apparent that both of you have lived for decades and life circumstances have led you both to this moment in time. In all actuality, it is a miracle that you have both made it this far in your collective lives. So listen to what they have to say. Repeat it back to them. When it is your time to communicate, center yourself in your loving heart and respond.
This heart-centered communication ensures that the message sent is being received.
Now, you may be fighting the corporate culture of putting people down and bonding in drama. People put others down when they are down. Misery loves company. There are a few tricks I do when this is happening.
- Thank them: “Thank you for caring enough to share that with me.” This can be a surprise for someone looking for a fight. This shows them that you are in a good mood and refuse to lower yourself.
- Agree with them: “Yes, that sounds like something I did a year ago and I am so grateful that I have learned and grown from that situation.” The key here is not labeling yourself forever about a misdeed. Did you learn from that situation? If so, move on. People learn through making mistakes. Highlighting the learning is the key.
- Looking for projections: This refers to people easily seeing in you their problems. You spot it you got it. How would they know you are an idiot unless they are one themselves?
- Intentions: Above all, set positive intentions before any interactions. (Please refer to part one).
Let’s face it. At this time in our planet’s evolution, we have learned to separate and cower. This has been the real pandemic. To expand, share love, and have upbeat communications and interactions will help us thrive.
We hope this article is of help. More on this subject is to follow.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in-person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.