Science tells us that everything is connected to everything else. We also know that our thoughts are connected to our choices
which are connected to our behaviours
which are connected to our results. In the great scheme of things, nothing exists in isolation and everything affects and is affected by everything else. That includes what goes on at work and its impact on our lives.
We spend more waking time at work than anywhere else in our adult lives. So, who exactly is it that's going to work? You come out of your family system, I come out of mine, and Bruce down the hall comes out of his, and we all go to work, bringing with us the structure of our 'reality'. That includes our expectations of ourselves and others as well as our limitations - our own and those we impose on each other. Yet, we never talk about any of these underlying beliefs, values and attitudes since we've created work environments that frown upon such things
even when all that we do is shaped by them!
Work isn't a place to talk about such things, since we're supposed to focus on the job, keep it professional, and get on with it. Trouble is, each of us is shaped by these very family systems - by the beliefs, values and attitudes of that system - which come to work with us. That information is wired right into the nervous system in the body - and try going to work without your body! And yet, even though we know today that our belief systems are the actual structures of and perceptual filters for our experience, there's no room for us to discuss these in the work place. Does that make sense to you?
When was the last time you questioned the continued usefulness of beliefs and attitudes you've brought forward from your youth? Have you ever noticed how certain situations follow you everywhere you go (lousy bosses, lazy co-workers, unreliable subordinates -pick your favourite!)?
and have you ever noticed that you are the common element? Who do you get to be when it's always someone else's fault?
Do you know the top 3 values that drive your life? Have you ever discussed your values with your boss, colleagues or staff? Are you aware of the impact your values have on how you interact with others and the choices you make each day? Are the values you claim for yourself aligned with your actions (in other words, do you walk your talk)? What prisms do I view reality through that have become so present for me that I don't notice the distortions any longer?
In the words of William Blake "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."
This article was originally published in Australian Business Magazine, March 2002 issue.
You may reproduce it in its entirety with appropriate acknowledgement of the authors.