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Workplace Spirituality

Dr. Fakir M. Sahoo, Ph.D.(Queens,

Research Professor
Xavier Institute of Management

Domains of Discussion
Case history of Victor Frankl

A.The Basics
2. The Search Process
3. Process of Sanctification
4. Spirituality & Religious Expression
B. The Research
1.IQ, EQ & Spiritual Intelligence(SQ)
2.Scientific Evidence of SQ
3.Behavioural Indicators of SQ
C. Pragmatics
1.Organizational Strategy
2.Spiritual- Based Leadership
3.Work as spiritual practice



Case of Viktor Frankl

the best of that which is human
(Twerski, 1998)
A quest for existential meaning
(Doyle, 1992)
The transcendental human dimension
(Maurifeen, 1988)
A search for the sacred
(Pargament & Mahoney, 2005)



1. Spirituality is a process, it involves and discovers the scared
2. Involves efforts to hold onto the secret once it has
3. People can take a number of paths to discover and conserve
the sacred
It suggests that religious experiences may be one of the routes
of search process

Roots of Discovery Process

Innate genetic basis
Grows out of critical life events and challenges that reveal
human limitation
Importance of social context (family, institutional and cultural)

Discovering the sacred

God is central to any understanding of

Sanctification Process perception of an
object having spiritual value
God may be seen as manifest in marriage
Work can be perceived as divine calling as
Environment can be seen as creation of God
Through the process of sanctification , people
are able to discover the sacred in many
spheres of life.

3 important implications of
1.People likely to preserve & protect
sacred objects
2.Likely to invest more of themselves
in pursuit of the sacred
3.Likely to derive more meaning,
strength and satisfaction from sacred
aspect of their lives

Spirituality vrs Religious Experiences

Spiritual values are human values
Truth (Satya)
Righteousness (Dharma)
Peace (Shanti)
Love (Prema)
Nonviolence (Ahimsa)

Three Psychological Processes

Rational Intelligence (IQ)

(linked with left hemisphere of the brain)

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

(linked with right hemisphere of the

Spiritual Intelligence
(brains third neural system, the
synchronous neural oscillations that unify
data across the whole brain)

Scientific Evidence for SQ

1.Neuropsychologist Michael Persingers work
on temporal lobe (1990s)
2.Neurologist V.Ramachandrans (University of
California) work on the existence of God
spot in the temporal lobe of the brain.
This centre lights up when people are
exposed to spiritual and religious discussions
3.Austrian Neurologist Wolf Singers (1990s)
work on the binding problem.
Singer pointed out unifying function
(Previously known functions were successive
processing as in IQ and simultaneous
processing as in EQ)

Behavioural Indicators of SQ

Capacity to be flexible
A high degree of self-awareness
A capacity to face & use suffering
A capacity to face and transcend pain
The quality of being inspired by vision and

A reluctance to cause unnecessary harm
A tendency to see the connection between
diverse things (being holistic)
A marked tendency to ask why? or what
if? questions and to seek fundamental

Organizational Soul
Combine profitability and spirituality

1. Articulate values (in vision & mission

(Example: Document Management Groups
(Dublin,Ireland) vision statement
Our people can find meaning, significance
and success throughout their work, and
where personal and workplace values
align to achieve greater outward
harmony and inner spiritual life.)

Organizational Soul (contd)

2. Match people with mission
(Example: Southwest Airlines hires for attitude
and trains for skill)
3. Devote Time, Attention and Personnel to task
(An organization can have .managers who
devote time to directing programs that
integrate spirituality and work)
4. Create specific Strategy and Process
(Example: At the Greystone Foundation, New
York, a moment of silence punctuates
business meetings, Texas Instruments
serenity Room)

Spiritual Based Leader

Have a clearly held spiritual view of life
(Defining ones belief system)

Explore spirituality from the inside out

(Looking into ones own heart)

See spirituality as the basis of business


(Responding to conscience: inner promptings)

Engage in revolutionary activity

Work as Spiritual Practice

Spiritual character =
context +purpose + values
Ego Desires
Spiritual Teacher: Start early, drive
slowly and reach safely.

In Conclusion(13th Century sufi poet Rumis


I am not a christian, I am not a jew, I am not a zoroastrian,

I am not even a muslim,
I do not belong to the land, or to any known or unknown sea.
Nature can not own or claim me, nor can heaven.
Nor can India, China, Bulgaria,
My birthplace is placelessness,
My sign to have and give no sign.
You say you see my mouth, ears, nose they are not mine.
I am the life of life.
I am that cat, this stone, no one.
I have thrown duality away like an old dishrag.
I see and know all times and worlds,
As one, one, always one.
So what do I have to do to get you to admit who is speaking?
Admit it and change everything!
This is your own voice echoing off the walls of God.