Compliments of Creature Comforts via Flickr

I would offer only miracles today for I would have them returned to me (A Course in Miracles).

What if the best way to benefit ourselves was to benefit other people? Recently I gave a bag of unwanted items to charity, a chore which required a few minutes out of my day. Not only did this make me feel great (but it lightened my material load to boot!).

Think back to a pivotal moment in your own life when someone came to your aid. Being there for another person sets into motion a stream of positive affect, attracting more auspicious moments.

Some organizations not only realize the value of giving, but they reward their employees for serving their community. Giving back enhances reputation, generates goodwill, and increases motivation. The end result of happy employees comes full circle in the spirit of pay it forward.

It’s difficult to give if you’re  in the lower end of the emotional spectrum: e.g., experiencing emotions of condemnation, envy, defensiveness, and anger. Service replaces that which is brutish, petty, and vindictive, filling our mental catacombs with activism in one’s area. Every relational act is a demonstration of customer service – each communication, inflection, and every intention is either a gift or a curse to those around us.

The short term satisfaction from sadism will boomerang. Because there’s lag time and the results are not immediate, we often don’t make a connection between our heinous acts and their subsequent reprisal. Instead of thinking about what you can opportunistically obtain, consider what you can give – and make a concerted effort to improve the lot for your peers. In so doing, you will both be healed.

Giving is a mood, or a mindset; it’s a generosity of spirit and a desire to improve others’ lives. Its practice on a regular basis implies selflessness, and a sense of connection. Givers may in fact be more in touch with The Field – the immutable life force running throughout all creation. Perhaps giving then is a way to enhance intuition and serendipitous occurrence.

A giving spirit removes distraction, the mental blinders that induce claustrophobia. Our gifts retrieve a storehouse of non-material goods, which in turn produce creature comforts.  

While out of town I experienced giving  in a profound way. When I returned from my conference, there was a handwritten note (in my hotel room) from the maid!  She wished me a relaxing stay and a safe trip, among other things. Although I’ve stayed in many hotels, I’ve never had a maid who customized my experience. Another example of individuals “personalizing” their job is Johnny the bag boy. This week, be thinking about ways you can “make memories” by personalizing the way you interact with your co-workers.

Arm chair management will get you angry employees – the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” model works if what you want is a revolving door. Bad emotions result from a flawed organizational scheme. Although factory bosses used authoritarian and fearful tactics to accomplish their goals, in the 1980s a new breed of managers, known as “people centered,” achieved deadlines through nurturing individuals.

Correspondingly, objectives at ServiceMaster stress diversity, connection, servant leadership, corporate communalism, and civic engagement. They include the willingness: 

  1.  To accept and build on the abilities of ordinary people and expect extraordinary performance
  2.  To harness the power of a common purpose
  3.  To celebrate work, productivity, and profit
  4.  To encourage empowerment, ownership, and accountability
  5.  To recognize that learning is a lifelong experience
  6.  To demand of leadership service by example
  7.  To recognize the benefit and reality of diversity

Considering all the benefits, I’m surprised that service isn’t more common within companies.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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