Spiritual Intelligence

I started facilitating in an era when even emotional intelligence was seen to be too “fuzzy” to be taken seriously in the workplace. In the 90’s it was really tough going to sell “soft skills” into organisations. Thankfully this has changed radically. Most managers have seen and understood the value of emotional intelligence and it is now a common term.

But “Spiritual Intelligence” is still a rather sticky topic.

I sometimes introduced meditation into workshops disguised as relaxation or breathing exercises or even stress management strategies. And even so, some people will ask if this is some kind of eastern religion that I am asking them to practice. But, I predict this will change. Even Harvard University now includes mindfulness meditation as part of their authentic leadership programs.

Rather than imagining your employees sitting around in robes and malas, saying ohm and chanting mantras, lets take a look at the real value awareness can bring.

Why you do the things you do

SQ offers clarity of purpose. Are you working just to make money or are you and your team also making meaning? Are you able to express and live your core values in your office?

Work life balance

Do you take the time to stop and take stock? Often we spend too much time and energy being busy in our heads. Of course our mental and intellectual capacity brings value, but the other aspects of a balanced life (physical, emotional and spiritual) bring great value to our work life. In the years that I worked as a Hospice care giver supporting those with terminal disease I never heard anyone facing death say they should have worked harder.

Stress less

Burnout is not very profitable. And if you think you are too busy to relax – try fitting a heart attack into your schedule. Meditation and simple techniques like focusing on our breath can bring amazing benefits to our health and well being by reducing stress levels.

Are you where you are?

When we track our thinking, we start to notice how often our thoughts are either in the past or in the future. Meditation or mindfulness helps us to direct our energy to the only point where we have power – right NOW. Present mindedness keeps us focused on the task at hand.

Get out of the vortex

Repetitive purposeless thinking becomes a trap. Worry thoughts are like spirals and the more we worry, the harder it is to escape the vortex. When we learn to quiet the chatter of the mind, we are able to focus on that which needs to be noticed in that specific moment.

Seeing the wood for the trees

Clear seeing is a byproduct of meditation. Lets suppose someone walks into your space and looks at you with a frown. If you are like most people your mind will use this as an opportunity to get busy and within a split second your thoughts have begun to calculate what could be wrong. If that person is your manager you might even be thinking: “What have I done?” Clear seeing implies that I simply see a person with a frown who looked in my direction. I am able to respond rather than react.

I will write more at another time about some techniques we can use to develop mindfulness and awareness. Image

For a brilliant article on mindfulness and leadership, follow this link:

https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/can-meditation-make-you-better-leader

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Would you still do your job if you won the lottery?

I’m really, really blessed to love my job! I know this, because as a facilitator and trainer I regularly see people who really, really don’t.

Years ago I was working as a coach and got offered a project aimed at helping retirees to decide what to do with their retirement “packages”. What saddened me the most is the extent to which people got tied into the idea that their entire identity was defined by their jobs. “If I’m no longer Joe, the investment banker, then who am I?” Almost second to that were the people who felt that they “once” had a dream to do something that felt meaningful to them. But, predictably they never took action and then at the age of sixty had regrets. Painful regrets. Here were a bunch of bankers who filed their passions to be a veterinarian, carpenter, small business owner, or game ranger and spent their working lives doing what they detested.

Please wake up today and take a look. We spend so many hours a day at work. Are you where you want to be? Are you really doing what you should? Does your occupation bring joy to you – and do you bring joy to others while doing it?

If you win the lottery, would you still want to do your job? I would. And that is how I know I am on the right path.

So, what to do?

Make your hobby a job

Someone once said: “Do what you love and the money will follow.” If you happen to know who that someone was or is – please let me know! When work feels like your purpose, that is when everything falls into place.

Do it for free until you can charge

I ran workshops in the community and gave my time to facilitate at no charge. It was through one of these projects that a door opened into the corporate world. Someone noticed and gave me an opportunity. When you love what you do, your passion will be inspiring!

Be willing to be wrong

Your first career choice is just that – the first. So, if it makes you miserable, do something else. I will be delighted if every person I encounter is doing what he or she loves. Imagine a grocery check out person who loves what she does? I would like to meet her and share a joke and a smile at the end of a hard day!

It’s never too late

My ex father in law did what his parents wanted him to do. Spent almost 30 years in a career he didn’t love – but you know the drill, – big, safe company, benefits, and security. Yes, he was a brilliant engineer employed by a well-known and respected company. Then, he finally retired and instead of surrendering to golf and his wife’s dreams he went back to school. He now does what he loves. Finally in his eighties he is working with people as a social worker and loving it. So different to engineering! – It’s never too late!

Yes, you can!

Tackle the thoughts that lead you to insecurity head on. Are those thoughts true? Really? Really, really? Take a long hard look and be sure that your belief that you cant is not based in what your aunt Mavis or your first grade teacher said. If all else fails – remember that there is nothing that you and God together cant do. Notice how your “I can’t” thoughts undermine your energy level.

Make God your business partner

Please know that I am not here to support religion. None of it! But, in your quiet time, ask your version of God for help. Prayer is amazingly powerful. And, God is the greatest business partner you can find!

Make time for nothing

When we are excruciatingly busy DOING, we seldom make time for being. Stop the business and be with what is true right now. You don’t need to go to the Himalayas or even learn a meditation technique. Just STOP for a few minutes every day. Reflect on what is working and what needs work. Don’t fixate or analyse – learn the art of reflection.

As always I love to be witness to you process and experience- so, feel free to share and ask!

 

 

 

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Support across time zones

I have once again been blown away by the power of social networking.

A few weeks ago I ran a workshop in Singapore. It was an intimate, but diverse group from Singapore, India and Brunei. Being a South African by birth and working in many different countries has given me an appetite for working with diversity. When we are on workshops with diverse cultures we often discover similarities along with our differences. This group was no exception. Being in similar roles in different organisations and different countries with different cultures, they still face the same day-to-day concerns. It can be a huge relief to realise that we are not the only ones!

Some of the themes that arose were interpersonal issues, issues around communicating and concerns about how to manage time. Of course there are also questions about how to have difficult conversations with people at more senior levels in the organisation.

What has amazed me about the group in Singapore is the way that the participants have continued to support one another after the workshop ended. They formed a WhatsApp group and send regular encouraging morning messages to one another. I think that’s great! Right across borders, language and time zones our similarities are greater than our differences.

The only drawback for me has been that being in a different time zone at the moment (when I forget to switch my phone on silent) I receive their “good mornings” at three a.m. in South Africa!

I love working in Singapore. It’s safe to walk around at night, so my evenings were often spent exploring and finding new tastes for dinner. This time I decided to give the shop that sells “Pig organ soup” a miss. Maybe next time. The streets are clean and the trees and gardens beautiful.

Because I travel so much, I have found social networking to be the best way to stay in touch. Sometimes it can be a little tricky as the lines between personal and professional life can become blurry. So, I keep the two quite separate – Facebook for the personal stuff and LinkedIn for business. It saves my clients from having to see me posting about my cat. (She is cute though.)

You are invited to find me on LinkedIn – Liesl Gini. I have recently reviewed my profile and added some more information and a recent photo.

IMG_2495     IMG_2477     IMG_2498

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Blogging

After hearing great reports about blog-sites as a viable alternative to traditional websites, I have decided to try my hand at doing it myself. 

I enjoy the freedom and flexibility to be able to change and edit my content. it is also a new way for me to be able to share links with clients.

I’m looking forward to the journey! Next step – to get my corporate information up here.

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contact information

 

For more information about workshops, coaching and consulting email me at  –

liesl.gini@gmail.com

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