Apr 19

More on “Bringing Your Whole Self to Work”

“Work is Love made visible” — Kahlil Gibran

With these opening words from Tami Simon, the tele-workshop on conscious workplace launched with a bang and a grounding.  Tami is the founder, leader, and voice of Sounds True – a publishing company with a focus on mindfulness and known round the world.  The workshop was hosted by Waking Up the Workplace: a global conversation to awaken a world of conscious business.  These ideas follow wonderfully to my other post on “the whole self at work”.

Then Tami proceeded to share her own wisdom and insights from 25 years of leading a conscious business. Here are my favorite take-aways:

  • If even a part of us is in hiding, then we are not really in relationship.  This is even true at work.
  • We humans need reflection time to digest our experiences and learning.  Though Tami’s days are heavily scheduled she schedules down time to be quiet, to process and reflect.
  • In addition, every meeting starts with a minute or two of silence.  The minute Tami said this I thought of a couple of benefits from this practice – such as breaking from the day to be present in the meeting, and having a moment to process what came before to enable that presence.  Then she took it to the next level and said that this practice means that everyone in the room is starting at the same place – a place of quiet and focus.
  • She focuses on creating a workplace and business based on the ethos of human wholeness

As with many educational situations, some of the best information came in response to the questions.  To start, I asked Tami to share 1 or 2 simple things that someone can do to bring love and and Open Heartedness to the workplace, even a workplace that might not be as mindful as Sounds True.  She responded with a couple of great ideas that allow us to feel like we are not completely shut down in the workplace, and at the same time allow us to stay in our sense of self:

  • Physically connect with your own sense of heartfulness so your actions are real. People tune in to us where we are, so when we are in our heart, they will come there too, even though you don’t say a word. (Tami did not provide specific ideas, I think that any mindfulness practice is great – even smelling a flower.)
  • Take care in your emails. They are becoming quite rushed – often have no intro, no name at the beginning, no real signature.  Take time for a real signature or even “with love” or “xxoo.”  (See my note on how John Mackey of Whole Foods signs his correspondence.)
  • Be really clear in your ideas and your requests.  Work to create language that might be able to be received. (I love this because is relies on being grounded in the respect of working to understand the viewpoints of others.  Respect is one of the key tenets of Open Hearted Works!)

The second question was from a consultant who asked about bringing consciousness to her clients who might be sensitive to the terminology.  Tami replied that consciousness is not a big topic – it’s about human fulfillment and every action that encourages that will bring consciousness.  Whatever we do to craft “language that might be able to be received” is expanding consciousness, even when the specific words are not used.

For me this was an hour very well spent.  Thank you to Diederick, Ewan and Jeoren of  Waking Up the Workplace, and of course to Tami Simon and Sounds True.

What does consciousness mean to you?  What techniques are you using to be more conscious, connected and respectful in your daily life: in- and out-side of work?

About the author

Lisa Hamaker

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