Peace in the Office

Working environments, especially law offices, aren't often thought of as places where peace of spirituality can be discussed. Yet, many offices could use more peace to defray the stress caused by the very nature of the work done in those offices. Peace is also a very intimate word because it has very personal meaning for each one of us. Quite simply, peace in the office begins with you, what's going on inside of you when your internal "peace thermometer" goes off the scale, and how you deal with it. As the Personal Creed poems imply - the only person you can really fundamentally control and change is yourself. All others will choose how much your power, leadership, or influence will cause them to change themselves.

With that in mind, let's look at Steven Covey's quote:
"Seek first to understand...
Then to be understood.

It is important to understand the several ways we are diverse and how understanding that diversity can make us, our office and the people in it, a very powerful and peaceful team. In understanding our diversity:

For instance, some people are extraordinary listeners, but not good writers. Some great writers are terrible listeners. Some people are extremely good at sorting out technical data, but are very uncomfortable with relating to feelings of any kind.

Some people are dominant drivers who like to get things done quickly. They are highly organized, systematic in their approaches to problem solving, can handle much ambiguity and abstract information, and speak very articulately. But others may be uncomfortable around these folks because dominant drivers may have a tendency to not listen well, may be unsupportive, or may lack amiable/personable characteristics of warmth nd compassion.

Some folks are competent in one area or task and are very fearful of making mistakes when given a new or unfamiliar task to perform. Their perfectionistic/conscientiousness tendencies often don't allow for an attitude of experimentation to surface that allows the making of mistakes with the new learning to be OK.

Some people can hear information or instructions one time and remember them verbatim. Others must see the information and/or do something with it before it is learned. Some are good with people, others are good with data or things. Some are good with details, while others prefer a more global perspective. That is the value of diversity.

The good news is that even though we all have predominant style, we can stretch into new areas or styles, especially if we develop a positive attitude toward that stretching. An appreciation and understanding of others' styles is paramount to this process. In order to stretch and flex, look for things you haven't been seeing before, listen for things you haven't been hearing before, and feel things you haven't been feeling before. Remember to enjoy the stretching and growing!

Claudia's version of the Peace Poem

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