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Workplace Zen: Middle path at work

The Bell Curve

The Bell Curve

The Bell Curve for performance appraisal: If there are 100 employees in a company, 10 employees are branded the top performers, 10 employees the poor performers and 80 percent are branded as average performers.
In a rating driven system, no employee can escape the bell curve. And these assumptions are failing to motivate employees.

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Workplace Zen: Middle path at work

Workplace Zen: Middle path at work

https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/workplace-zen-middle-path-at-work-25161c311a73

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

The Bell Curve

The Bell Curve for performance appraisal: If there are 100 employees in a company, 10 employees are branded the top performers, 10 employees the poor performers and 80 percent are branded as average performers.
In a rating driven system, no employee can escape the bell curve. And these assumptions are failing to motivate employees.

Workplace Zen — The 3 T’s

  • Think: Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions inspire others.
  • Talk: Dilute the speech about your accomplishments. If we stop talking about ourselves, we find much to learn about.
  • Toil: be very present in everything you do. Work hard when you have to, relax when it's time to relax.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

A Zen Parable
There was a man riding on a horse. When a man walking on the road asks him where he is going, the rider replies, “Why are you asking me? You should ask the horse.”

The ho...

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions. -Salovey and Mayer (1990)

Emotional Mastery

It manifests itself in the kind of statements we make about ourselves, in relation to our emotional skills and success.

Qualities such as confidence, awareness and optimism, come under the umbrella of emotional intelligence. 

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Everything Changes

During a Q&A session a student said to master Roshi he’d been listening to his lectures for years but couldn't understand. So he asked Roshi to reduce Buddhism to one phrase. "Everything cha...

Empty Your Cup

A university professor researching Zen sought master Nan-in, who served him tea. Nan-in poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Non-Judgment

A farmer was consoled by his neighbors who claimed it was bad luck his horse ran away. The farmer replied “Maybe.” The horse returned with more horses, so his neighbors said it was luck. The farmer said “Maybe.” Later a horse broke his son leg and the neighbors said it was a misfortune. The farmer said “Maybe.” The next day his son escaped conscription thanks to his broken leg and the neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. The farmer said “Maybe.”

Time goes on and good and bad are two sides of the same coin. Being aware of this allows us to find peace and happiness.

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What Zen Is Not
  • A habit
  • Simplicity
  • A state of peace
  • A state of mind
  • A minimalist aesthetic
  • Living simply
  • A destination
  • Just being in the moment
On Zen
  • “Zen” is a shorthand for Zen Buddhism, introduced into China in the 6th century, and emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means.
  • Zen is a path to fully awaken to your original nature, which is present at all times.
  • The word Zen comes from the Chinese word “chán” and the Sanskrit word “dhyana, ” which means “meditation. ”
  • A Zen mind cannot be understood from the perspective of our ordinary, dualistic mind.
  • Zen practice may calm our minds, bring more clarity, and infuse us with greater kindness.
Shunryū Suzuki
Shunryū Suzuki

“Zen mind is one of those enigmatic phrases used by Zen teachers to make you notice yourself, to go beyond the words and wonder what your own mind and being are. This is the purpose of all Zen teaching—to make you wonder and to answer that wondering with the deepest expression of your own nature.”

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Research on communication

Research found that only 7 percent of communication comes from the words you use; the rest of what you communicate comes from your voice and tone (38 percent) and your body language (55 percent).

Connecting with people
If you really want to communicate effectively, you need to connect and converse with the people around you—beyond words on a screen.
Embrace small talk

Small talk might not be that meaningful, but it does have a few benefits: it can make you happier and it can boost the brain’s executive functions responsible for everything from attention and focus to time management to organization.

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Thinking like an actor

We can use performance techniques off stage to create a reality of our choosing.

Using acting techniques isn’t the same thing as manipulating people, or being phony or fake. Instead, i...

Know your big picture goal

An actor always performs with a clear purpose or motivation in mind. When you’re thinking about your next high-stakes situation, ask yourself the same question that actors ask when developing a character: “What’s my end goal?”

Think about your long-term objective, not just the immediate one. 

Think about the other person

... and how you want them to feel. The choices made by an actor during a performance — in speech and movement — are in the service of attaining their goal and achieving a specific impact on their audience.

Not everything you say or do is going to work, but if you can fluidly play one action after another in pursuit of your objective, it gives you this ability to improvise in the moment and be flexible.

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“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
Joseph Campbell
The Elements of Ritual
  • Create your environment, because it will affect your practice.
  • As you start, set an intention for the ritual.
  • Bring presence and full appreciation to the act.
  • Rituals can be a space for contemplating what’s important to you.
  • Close in gratitude for whatever you just did.
Rituals to Consider
  • Start your day with intention, gratitude and reflection.
  • Email & messages: Transform them into a ritual of connecting to others, of carefully considering issues, of crafting language.
  • Exercise: Bring it to be an act of love for your body, an act of connection to your environment, an act of full presence.
  • Meditation: Make it a simple ritual of full appreciation for the moment.
  • Sleep: Make it a time when you reflect on your day, prepare for your time of rest, slow down and appreciate your life.

"One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ab..."

Tony Robbins
Don't reinvent the wheel

Mimic and get help from someone who’s already learned it to get tips and save time.

In order to achieve mastery faster, our first step should be to consult the top players in the field and model the path they have already carved out for us.

Deconstruct the skill

...into its basic, fundamental components, to find the most important things to practice first. This shows that very few things actually make a difference in any aspect of our lives, including learning.

Use the Pareto Principle: which describes a goal of generating 80 percent of results by putting in 20 percent of the effort.

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The Inventor Of Rock & Roll
The Inventor Of Rock & Roll

… was originally, according to Billboard Magazine, Rhythm & Blues music. This was until Producer Sam Phillips (Sun Records), the ‘inventor’ of Rock & Roll, started promoting little known ar...

Sam Phillips

He was not looking to make big money. His heart always wanted to do something great and original, to leave a mark. He recorded new music from upcoming artists, only to stop doing that once the real surge in sales was about to begin.

Race Music

... was the original name given by Billboard to the genre which was later called Rhythm & Blues.

Black artists were more creative, edgy, talented, and had a wild style that was light years ahead of white performers. This made ‘race music’ popular across all demographics and regions, something that was picked up by many record companies, including Sun Records.

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Focus On Baby Steps

For some goals, you need to sustain something for a long time, but most can be broken down into smaller, more approachable goals. 

Dividing goals makes the process seem less overwhelm...

Weaknesses Holding You Back

Take a minute to think about what you always wanted to do, or what you’re doing now.  Ask yourself:

  • What are your fears?
  • What do you see as your weaknesses?
  • What are your limitations?
  • What’s holding you back?
Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Believe that your weaknesses can be turned into strengths. Always find your strengths, examine your weaknesses and how to turn them into an advantage by using your strengths or developing new ones to find ways around it.

Stale Office Air

The air you are breathing in enclosed spaces could be impairing your cognitive function.

Bringing more fresh air inside, or having a good ventilation syste...

Poor Lighting

Being close to natural sunlight can make or break an employee’s experience. 

Productivity gains (and losses) are connected to employees’ environmental conditions, so companies that create ideal office environments with abundant natural light and unobstructed outdoors views will reap the dividends.

The Colleagues You Sit With

People’s moods are contagious. When your co-worker is rude, you will start to catch their bad attitude, too.

Sitting within a 25-foot radius of a high performer could positively boost the performance of colleagues by 15 %.

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