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Where does spirituality fit in at work?


The idea of spirituality at work might make people feel uncomfortable. This is not about religion - though some people find spiritual guidance through their organised religion of choice.

Does spirituality have a place at work? I think so. It's not about worship, it's about the bigger picture.

Spiritual intelligence is much more about the connectedness between everything and everyone in this world. It really fits in with tikanga Māori. The wider recognition is that all people, environments, the past, the present, the future are all interconnected and therefore we have to cherish and understand each piece.

What spirituality looks like at work

You're demonstrating your spiritual intelligence at work when you recognise the bigger picture and look beyond the work you’re doing individually (or as a team). This happens when you can see the broader interconnections between your work, workflows, teams, stakeholders, customers, risks, opportunities, etc.

People with high spiritual intelligence have a sense of purpose. They understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’re connected to their work and the outcomes they’re working towards. This isn't fluffy stuff. It's absolutely critical to building hope and driving engagement at work.

Author and poet David Whyte refers to this as our firm persuasion. He states:

“To have what William Blake called ‘a firm persuasion’ in our work -- to feel that what we do is right for ourselves and good for the world at exactly the same time — is one of the great triumphs of human existence.”

The Japanese have another term for this, Ikigai. Your Ikigai is the beautiful cross-section between doing what you love, what you’re good at, what you can be paid for and what the world needs. Here’s what that looks like in action:

Grow your Spirituality at work

1. Think about your Ikigai.

  • What drives and motivates you?

  • What do you love doing?

  • Where do your strengths lie?

  • What can you be paid to do?

  • How does your work help others?

2. Know your workflow. Use some of these questions to get you started:

  • Where does your work ‘come from’ or start at?

  • Who does it get passed to afterwards?

  • Complete a RACI map and identify what people/teams are responsible and accountable and who needs to be consulted or kept informed.

  • Review your engagement touch points. How do people get information from/to you? What channels do they use?

  • What’s going well? What challenges would you like to address?

3. Create a line of sight. Recognise how your work contributes to the team success. Connect your team success to your directorate/group and organisation. Reflect on the work you do and how that helps your customers.

4. Reconnect with what makes you happy. Flexible work means we can find creative new ways to build our work around the things that fill our bucket. Take breaks in your work day to find both enjoyment and stillness.


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