It was entertaining watching advertising executive and media personality Tod Sampson try to ramp up his ability to process and retain information and react quickly in the ABC’s recent Redesign My Brain series. As the weeks progressed, these skills, as well as his divergent and lateral thinking improved impressively.
However, as Neil Levy, Head of Neuroethics at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health suggests “it’s not obvious that enhancing lateral and divergent thinking actually leads to an increase in the kinds of creativity we value”, at home or in the workplace. He admits that there is evidence though that some of the skills learned can combat age-related decline.
Many individuals and businesses are seeking ways to enhance abilities, find the key to creativity, open the door to better relationship management, and get worker buy-in to the business.
Along with IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) and physical intelligence, the newest kid on the block, now recognised as having the potential to make great achievers and even better leaders, is “spiritual intelligence” or SQ. A quick search on the Internet will show that most business development companies now acknowledge its importance for success.
A study published in the International Journal of Leadership in Public Services cited results stating that “outstanding leaders consistently identify skills and qualities relating to the spirit or soul”.
Author of the new book, SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, Cindy Wigglesworth, explains that “spiritual intelligence is the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation … (to) see and act from our higher self, our higher or nobler nature”.
If you’ve ever worked for or with someone who operates in the workplace from this perspective, you know intuitively that they’re on your side no matter what. Competition, complaint and negativity are absent from their behaviour, leaving them free to perform at a higher level. They also show their gratitude for a job well done.
Managers with SQ allow for greater flexibility to meet family demands or community volunteering and may even incorporate programs in the work place for quiet, contemplative time for meditation or prayer.
There is evidence that people who recognise their spirituality appear to be better able to cope with stress and heal faster.
The results were illustrated almost 150 years ago by Mary Baker Eddy: “Business men and cultured scholars have found that (spirituality) enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and ability to exceed their ordinary capacity.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)
Not only business people and academics, but sales staff, teachers, travel agents, mechanics, health practitioners and journalists may find their work experience enhanced and their advancement in the workplace assured as they tune into that divine nature and take the time and effort to foster wisdom, honesty, forgiveness and kindness along with their other skills and strategies.
It could be said that such spiritual capital shapes the health and wellbeing of our workplaces as it shapes us individually.