Spiritual Awareness For A New Future Of Work · ShiftWorkPlace

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Spirit of Work Episode 2: Spiritual Awareness For A New Future Of Work

Spiritual Awareness for a New Future of Work

Without the experience of work as spiritual, we see only parts of the whole.


  • “People’s behavior starts to autocorrect with self-awareness.”
  • “We can’t create a new future of work if we can’t imagine something different or better.”


Website: shiftworkplace.com

Episode Highlights:

In Episode two of the “Culture and Leadership Connections” podcast, the focus is on the need for spiritual awareness for a new future of work. The episode begins with an excerpt from the book about a traditional Jewish story featuring a rabbi whose selfless actions inspire others. It illustrates the power of leading by example and highlights the importance of spiritual awareness in leadership. 

Following the story, the excerpt from the book proposes that with humans as spiritual beings, work is an expression of the soul. This leads to the importance of seeing the spiritual nature of work to avoid missing the whole for the parts. In the story of the blind men and the elephant which follows, each man thinks he understands the elephant because of the part he is able to touch. One thinks the elephant is like a fan because he touches the ear. Another believes the elephant is like a tree trunk because he is near a leg. This story relates to our understanding of work as incomplete when we can only see individual aspects of work.  

As a personal application of the elephant metaphor, I share a personal story about a dental problem I experienced. A dentist, hygienist, an oral surgeon, and a naturopath all had ideas and suggestions on how to help me with my dental issue, but there was no comprehensive approach because none could “see” the whole issue. If these experts had worked as a team, building on each other’s expertise, imagine how much faster I could have found a solution. 

A workplace example of referring to a part without consideration of its effect on the whole, could be an employer keeping toxic managers for their operational knowledge, despite the emotional and psychological impact on other employees. Contrastingly, a cruel manager who is affected by a passing comment, has a moment of self-awareness and realizes the impact of his behaviour, prompting him to make changes.  

I also compare the spiritual nature of work to the metaphor of a spider’s web is introduced, with the spiritual nature of work like the mysterious capacity of the spider to weave a complex and beautiful web, and each strand of the web as individuals contributing to the purpose of the whole. If one strand is weak, the entire web is affected. 

A shift towards understanding our interconnectedness as human beings as part of the spirit of work leads to a more positive and respectful environment.

Key Takeaways from the Episode:

Spiritual Nature of Work: The foundational premise is that humans are essentially spiritual beings, and work is an expression of the soul. 

Leadership by Example: The episode underscores the power of leadership by example, using a traditional Jewish story about a rabbi whose selfless actions inspire others. 

Holistic Perspective: The blind men and the elephant metaphor is used to stress the importance of a holistic perspective in understanding workplace issues. 

Transformation through Self-Awareness: A real-life scenario is shared where a toxic manager transforms after a passing comment prompts self-awareness. 

Metaphor of Spider’s Web: The metaphor illustrates our interconnectedness and shows how each person’s actions impact the entire organization.

Reflection Question

How could your workplace be better if interactions with others were animated by a deep sense of respect for the dignity of others? What would be different?

I would love to hear your own insights and stories. Email me at marie@shiftworkplace.com or leave a voice message on our podcast page https://shiftworkplace.com/podcast/

Want to get your copy of the book, “The Spirit of Work: Timeless Wisdom, Current Realities”? Go to: https://shiftworkplace.com/the-spirit-of-work/ to order your copy!  


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