The Role of Sin, Alienation, and Reconciliation.
The word “toxic” has taken on special meaning when applied to the workplace. When we hear someone speak of toxic bosses, toxic coworkers, or toxic working environments, we usually have a pretty good idea of the character of the relationships to which they are referring. We might not know the details, but we certainly know that something has gone wrong.
Most workplaces are not usually toxic, nor are most working relationships — in fact, quite the opposite. But most of us do run across workplace toxicity from time to time, and when we do it usually has a way of spoiling the fulfillment and satisfaction we might hope to find in our work.
Our goal should be to restore relationships, build community, and remove the dysfunction so that our work can be more effective, more fulfilling, and more beneficial for ourselves and for others.(Time: 11:10)
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Maybe your body can help.
There’s a lot of talk about spiritual practices, especially prayer and meditation, that can help us deal with stress.
But there’s another approach that might help — connecting with our bodies.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Leah Weiss of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Hope Lab, recommends some things to help us become anchored in our bodies, as a way of dealing with work related stress. She recommends things like paying attention to a single intentional breath, noting our physical response to stressful situations, and magnifying small, physical pleasures — like the first sip of coffee.
There’s more and the article can be found here.read more
Most of us have had times when we seem to be going backwards in our career or in our work life. Or maybe times when we seemed to be dead in the water while everyone else was moving forward.
But in these situations are we really moving backwards? Or might there be something going on, out of sight – – something that is laying the foundation for new growth – – something of which we might be completely unaware?
There is hope.
We might not be able to change our objective circumstances, at least in the short run, but we can control our response. . .
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In this episode, we will begin by focusing on the work of psychologist Richard Lazarus and the importance of how we appraise potentially stressful situations.
We also draw out possible spiritual and religious connections. (Time: 13:23)
Some of us have trouble leaving our work behind at the end of the day and have an unfortunate tendency to bring our stress and other pre-occupations home with us. This not only makes it difficult to recharge our batteries, but can also hinder our non-work relationships and activities.
Jackie and John Coleman (“Don’t Take Your Work Home with You”) offer a number of ideas that might help. For me, one in particular stands out: “have an end of work habit”. I would like to explore this idea further.
Perhaps we could develop a ritual of some sort to help us make the transition from work. . .read more
Burnout is a big problem in the workplace. It is an organizational, psychological, and spiritual problem and is usually thought to be the result of intense, prolonged stress. The primary symptoms usually include chronic exhaustion, an absence of meaning in our work and our work relationships, and a sense of powerlessness leading to a lack of a sense of accomplishment.
We discuss the causes of burnout and possible solutions, including those involving our faith and spirituality, in the podcast episode linked below and in a new article.read more
No one can predict the future, but we seem to be moving into a period of crisis that will put unusual burdens on leaders. Cultural and institutional changes (and in many cases failure) will call for leaders grounded in a broader, deeper perspective. Our institutions of faith and spirituality could play an important role in helping us prepare for this future.read more
To prepare for our recent Spirituality for Busy People class, I reread some of psychotherapist and scholar Kenneth Pargament’s classic book The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice. One of his key observations is that while religion can provide relief during times of stress, the actual form of religious coping matters a great deal. According to Pargament:
The seemingly straight forward question, ‘Does religion work,’ could not be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Instead, the answer depends on the kind of religion one is talking about, who is doing the religious coping, and the situation the person is coping with. Depending on the interplay among these variables, religion can be helpful, harmful, or irrelevant to the coping process. (p.312)
Workplace stress is a common problem with important consequences for both our health and our effectiveness. A spiritual practice known as the prayer mantra can help us calm down, place our problems in a more realistic perspective, and act with greater strength, insight, and resilience. It can also help us stay on track at other times. (Time: 6:52)
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No one can predict the future, but we seem to be moving into a period of crisis that will put unusual burdens on leaders. Cultural and institutional changes (and in many cases failure) will call for leaders grounded in a broader, deeper perspective. Our institutions...read more