I still remember my first day at work 20 years ago. Excited and apprehensive, I had walked into office. What followed in the years to come was a series of ups and downs, achievements,celebration, struggles,floundering,observing, reacting, responding and a lot of learning. In these years I have learned that it's all about oneself and not about the other. What is it that we choose to perhaps do, or even think in any given situation/circumstance determines the outcome - at work or outside work.It shapes our very destiny. The Vipassana meditation retreat gave me brilliant insights into the human mind,including my own! I had always been spiritually inclined and I evolved even more after this. Spirituality gives one knowledge of how to live and work with values. And it gives us power to be ethical, power to imbibe and work with principles in our professional life. It gives one the strength to stay away from negativity. It teaches how to transform negative energy at our work place.
It helps not to succumb to negativity. Spirituality, in other words strengthens you. It helps you empower yourself and empower others who work with you. It helps you nurture and grow people. And when people grow, productivity grows, the output grows and the organization grows. How do we empower, develop and nurture people? What is it that we can do to prevent negative energies from impacting ourselves, our output and work ?
I think,as a leader and as a colleague (senior,junior irrespective) always,always recognize and applaud other people’s achievements, however small it may be. Praise them - in public. And more importantly, mean it. I have in my career of two decades , come across bosses who don’t really mean what they say. When they say something good about you, they are just doing it to make you feel nice. They do not also necessarily believe what they say. They are simply saying it to keep you happy. This doesn’t go long term. For both people involved. For the leader – mean what you say,do not deceive people for they trust you , and believe your words. By not really meaning what you say will have you saying the opposite about the very same person who you had praised and applauded just sometime back. In standing by and honoring your words you will be seen as trustworthy, believable, sound, dependable, responsible and reliable. A person of substance. Qualities which will hold you in good stead through out your life, in more ways than you can imagine. Mean what you say, always. You get what you give. What goes around, comes around. Sooner or later things have an uncanny way of catching up with us.
Feel happy when someone does well or something good happens in someone’s life. If you want to grow in life, do not grudge other people’s success or happiness. Help them grow and you will blossom. Be genuinely happy in their achievements. Don’t we like it when someone gives us three cheers, congratulates us, when we see people smiling with us and shaking our hands at something we have achieved or done? It is a great feeling.So, always acknowledge and feel happy at other people’s happiness. Give. Give with no expectations.
And return with gratitude. Be thankful for whatever you have in life (even if you think it is meager). Remember some people do not even have that. Count your blessings and surely they will increase. If a promotion/ increment/ award/ recognition comes your way, be very grateful. Remember, some people may have the same caliber/may have put in the same effort and yet not receive what you have been fortunate to get. There is no room for smugness or arrogance. Gratitude and humility should be filling you up. Always be thankful for everything that you get, however small you think it may be.
Never ever run anyone down. After all, everything is relative. You do not know their story. Keep the focus on yourself and not others. Be empathetic. And do not lose sight of the fact that you have a job to do, the reason why you joined the organization in the first place.
Empower people.They are everything.Teach,train,guide, give of your knowledge, explain your words and actions. They will perform. Do what you can do, what you should do. We have control over our own thinking and action and not others.
Take corrective action where you need to, without taking any negativity (of the person) on to your mind. If we do not do this, we succeed in embracing and making that negativity ours. This should be avoided very mindfully. Simply no ill will, no negative, detrimental emotion should find its way inside our hearts and mind. Our energy field should be white and wide and we should consciously maintain that. Correct if you have to, without ill will.
The thing to always remember is this: every human soul is on its own journey, not only in this lifetime but thru many such lifetimes. We reap today what we have sown in the past.So,plant good seeds by way of deeds and thoughts and you will reap a rich harvest. Our present situation is nothing but a result of what we have accumulated in the past. Why two people of equal caliber/similar background/qualifications/experience/capabilities/intelligence experience different degrees of success? Why someone has to really work very hard to achieve the same result which the other person gets by putting in just about half the effort?
We, many a time find ourselves in situations, which we feel we have no control of. But the fact is that we do have control, we have always had control, only we didn’t apply it. Control on our thoughts, control subsequently on our words and finally our actions. Negativity – anger, jealousy, insecurity, arrogance, deception, speaking ill of someone first erupts in our minds as thoughts, comes out next in our words, and finally shows thru in our actions. What we send out, will always, always come back to us. This is the law of Karma as laid out in thoughts, words and actions. Even a wrong thought has a precise way of boomeranging
So, let’s do a favour to ourselves. Negative emotions leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. The feeling we are left with when we laugh listening to a joke as opposed to a burning sensation (of let’s say jealousy) is so very self explanatory and clear in itself that it doesn’t really require any elucidation. We are harming our health and shortening our life by these negative emotions. Nobody gains. What the two contrasting emotions (we experience) actually requires is self introspection and self awareness. If we can master this, work and life will be a breeze.
Transforming negative energy
Now if someone is sending negative energy to us we have three ways to respond : -
I absorb it.
I consume it. What I consume, I become. It follows then that I feel very hurt, wronged and rattled.
I reflect it back.
You criticize me, I criticize you back.
I transform the negative energy
You may be critical of me but I know myself. I approve myself. I am working to make things better. I understand it’s your sanskar ( deep rooted ingrained habit) of criticising others. You sent me negative energy but I transformed it by understanding myself. You are not able to understand me which I want from people around me. But I know and understand myself. Therefore, I transform negative energy (which I get from people around me) to positive.
Practicing spiritual principles at work will take any organization several notches higher in productivity and efficiency. Strong, empowered positive employees make strong organizations.Like my friend Jeet says, Value based leadership is the future.
(Author - Shweta Sinha: Business Head - BW Businessworld firstname.lastname@example.org )