Make your workplace as spiritual as you are

Joan F. Marques - MBA, Doctoral Student
Burbank, California - November, 2002

"The foundations of a person are not in matter but in spirit." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

As we proceed with our daily routine, and life happens to us no matter what other plans we make, our level of experience and wisdom grows. We become more moderate; more yielding: more receptive. The sharp edges fade and the relativity of things becomes apparent.

An awareness that usually accompanies this list of maturity transitions is the desire for a spiritual environment wherever we operate, and--since we spend a third of our life over there--not in the least our workplace. In a spiritual workplace we learn to accept our colleagues, supervisors, subordinates and customers for what they’re worth, and we learn to respect their points of view no matter how radically these may oppose ours. We may as well realize by now that spirituality doesn't have to mean agreeing with everything and everybody, but rather valuing the fact that others may have different perceptions about certain issues. We should also realize that these diverged viewpoints from the ones around us don't have to form an obstacle toward the creation of a pleasant and productive work environment. On the contrary! They can enrich our awareness if we care to listen, and they can help us determine whether our old points of view are still acceptable within our matured state of mind, or whether they need to be updated. More importantly, an empathetic attitude at work creates a bond among colleagues that stretches beyond the boundaries of the work environment. Voila! A huge step toward spirituality in the workplace was just made!

Of course there will always be people who won't respond to a positive attitude, no matter how hard we try. That may have to do with branding: these individuals may have decided from the very start that they wouldn't like us, regardless of how nice we would try to be or how well we would perform. With those unwilling souls we can't do much more than remain correct in our approach toward them, while at the same time we make sure to protect our dignity by not giving away too much of ourselves.

If the above posted theory flies, then we just painted a possible--and simple--concept for establishing spirituality at work: respecting and accepting others for who or what they are, and remaining righteous toward those who have a clear antipathy against us.

Yet, if the last mentioned category holds powerful positions, or forms a majority in our workplace, we may as well consider a change of jobs and take our spirituality elsewhere. Remember, if spirituality in the workplace translates itself in our level of job satisfaction, then the ultimate spiritual workplace may very well be the one we create ourselves from scratch: our own entrepreneurial organization. However, even if we are not all interested in becoming our own boss and our own workforce at the same time, we can still determine the level of spirituality we prefer at our workplace: by displaying the earlier mentioned behaviors of respect and correctness toward colleagues, or by simply changing workplaces until we found the right fit. It's been quoted before that "Physical strength is measured by what we can carry; spiritual by what we can bear."

If we are all spiritual beings with a human experience, then every workplace where people come together to perform is a spiritual one. What we have to strive for is that the degree of our workplace's spirituality aligns with our personal spiritual needs. Once the match is factual, the results will speak for themselves: the increase in job satisfaction will be phenomenal, and productivity will reach dazzling heights.

Unknown Source (Unknown). TPCN - Great Quotations. 2000 Cyber Nation International, Inc. Available: [2002, Nov. 24].