Iam not a Buddhist but reading through the noble 8 fold path of Ancient Buddhist philosophy talks about right mindfulness but right mindfulness is not possible unless on follows the 7 preceding steps of the pathway to meaningful living and the cessation of suffering.
Having read the simple but meaningful book the Noble Eightfold path by Bhikku Bodhi I was convinced much of it is what will keep employees motivated to achieve goals. I have take the Time to look at the 8 steps and to correlate it to an organization and motivation.
- Samma Ditti – The right view
Understand the nature of reality and the path to transformation. This to me is about the first step towards self motivation. When organization invest in helping their employees carve out a life purpose or life mission or organization has a strong mission and vision it becomes the compass that drives drive individual and organization performance. A better way to lead your team that the regular carrot and stick.
- Samma Sankappa – right Intention
This includes the right thought, attitude and acting out of love and compassion. when members of your team spend time developing the right thoughts and attitudes and act out those thoughts and attitudes all members of the team act in a manner that is cohesive, progressive and productive. Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of highly effective people talk about the see, do, get cycle. which meant that how we see the world our paradigms and perceptions is how we act or behave and our results are based on it. Thus the right attitudes, perceptions and beliefs which creates the right intension of your team members will build stronger teams.
- Samma Vaca – right speech
This includes honest communication in a non – harmful manner. Much of the relationship issues that arise are due to misunderstandings during communication. A Stephen Covey states in his 5th habit if we can take the time to seek first to understand and then be understood the relationships will flourish. Taking the time to be empathic towards your fellow team mates and communicate in a manner that the others in the team feel that they are genuinely cared for, give improvement feedback in a manner that is growth fostering and doesn’t destroy self – confidence and self – esteem will lead the way to a highly motivated team.
- Samma Kammanta – right Action
Action that is non – exploitery of one – self or others. Leaders need to ensure that they neither exploit them selves or their team members. This essentially being mutually respectful towards each other, time, energy and private time. This helps promote better work – life balance and thus enables teams to function effectively. Its being conscious regarding calling employees during off days, family time and holidays unless the office is in crisis and cannot find an alternative to solve the crisis. It should never be the default to call the employee who is on holiday. This also applies to oneself as the leader as well.
- Samma Ajiva – right Livelihood
A livelihood based on non – exploitation and ethical in nature. Just as a strong tree needs deep root system to stand strong and tall, in order to ensure that one is passionate regarding once livelihood it must be in keeping with their personal values. Thus helping one to have no cognitive dissonance which creates inner peace. This applies to the larger organization as well, when organizations are driven by values it creates congruence throughout the organization. In return creating a workforce working together towards common agendas.
Today organizations talk about talent management very simply putting the right person in the right job which creates a high level of motivation. This is the same concept that was discussed 2500 years ago.
- Samma Vayama – right Effort
Consciously directing all our energies to the transformation path. We call it the equity theory where people by nature want to put in the right amount of rewards. By creating a performance driven culture where reward and recognition is based on performance employees will remain highly motivated. A simple mechanism of creating a culture of unbiased performance drive is what an organization needs to have employees out in the right effort.
- Samma Sati – Right mindfulness
Includes being mindful of the things one does, their thoughts, feelings, the relationships and the reality and is a culmination of the above seven concepts. It is easier said than done when leaders and management focus on developing vision for the organization, treating employees fairly, managing talent and improve communication within the organization employees can stop worrying about non – value adding actions and focus on results.
- Samma Samadhi – Right Concentration
This means to focus on attaining the highest level of mindfulness. From an organizational point of view it is when employees know that they are an asset and that this asset is appreciated for their contribution, they feel that they are adding value to the organization, there is belongingness and are rewarded fairly that they can focus on the work process and forget about the rewards. Creating the right environment for the team is the primary role of the leadership and this will help employees concentrate on the work at hand and achieving goals.
The philosophy might be 2500 years old and yet is so apt for todays management of a sustainable and successful organizations. It offers simple tools of leadership, Motivation, Team work, effectiveness and productivity. Every religion and philosophy offers such profound tools to drive a business and yet we forget the wisdom of those ways and then struggle to achieve business strategy. This was my contribution to helping bring to light the wisdom available that is even more important in todays business context.