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Being Buddha at Work

Book Description

Offers ancient solutions to today’s problems and provides new perspectives on timeless troubles For people seeking to bring spiritual values to work or seeking to discover new beliefs and values through their work Coauthored by Buddhist scholar Franz Metcalf and workplace expert BJ Gallagher Buddhism has for thousands of years provided a spiritual foundation for the daily lives of millions of people around the world. But does Buddhism have anything to offer us—Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike—in today’s world of work? Metcalf and Gallagher think it does. Spiritual wisdom, Western or Eastern, inspires and instructs us in living a good life. And that’s just as true at work as at home. Buddha mind—a source of calm, compassion, and insight—exists within each of us, not just the historical Buddha. Being Buddha at Work shows how to embody that mind in the stress and clamor of the workplace—how to tap into the Buddha consciousness so we can relieve daily tensions and greet challenges with awareness, equanimity, and good humor. The book is divided into three sections. The first, “Becoming a Mindful Worker,” covers Buddha’s wisdom for our own work; the second, “Cultivating Mindful Work Relationships,” focuses on how to work with other people; the third, “Creating a Mindful Workplace,” deals with broader organizational topics. There is wisdom here for everyone—from frontline workers and team members, to supervisors and managers, to top executives and organizational leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction: Putting Buddha to Work
  8. Part I Becoming a Mindful Worker
    1. Choosing Mindful Work Creating Right Livelihood
      1. Advantages of mindful work
      2. Choosing the right career or job
      3. Becoming a great employee
      4. Self-esteem
      5. Dealing with distractions
    2. Practical Enlightenment Chop Wood, Carry Water
      1. Beginner’s mind
      2. Establishing priorities
      3. Time management
      4. Procrastination
      5. Too much e-mail
      6. Getting lost in cyberspace
      7. Selling without selling out
      8. Really distasteful jobs
    3. Quality of Work Life The Middle Way at Work
      1. When smart people do dumb things
      2. Discouragement
      3. Rumors and gossip
      4. The company you keep
      5. Achieving work/life balance
      6. The cost and benefits of integrity and wisdom
    4. Being Successful How Do You Define Success?
      1. Achieving goals
      2. Multitasking
      3. Finding the “right” answer to a problem
      4. Admitting mistakes
      5. Getting promoted
      6. Celebrating accomplishments
      7. Happiness vis-à-vis success
    5. Money and Happiness What’s the Connection?
      1. “The root of all evil”
      2. Personal wealth
      3. Creating a long-term spending plan
      4. Greed
      5. Getting rich
      6. Financial setbacks and losses
      7. Financial hardship
      8. Planning for retirement
    6. Dealing with Change Riding the Waves of Impermanence
      1. Resistance to change
      2. Anxiety, fear, and stress
      3. Losing your job
      4. Changing careers
      5. Finding new work
      6. Taking care of yourself in difficult times
  9. Part II Cultivating Mindful Work Relationships
    1. Working with Others Unity in Diversity
      1. Getting along with others
      2. The golden rule
      3. Influencing others
      4. Doing something extra for others
      5. Double standards between ourselves and others
      6. Work spouses
      7. The importance of listening
      8. Receiving negative feedback
      9. Teaching or training a coworker
      10. Criticizing someone
      11. Encouraging personal accountability
      12. Helping others deal with change
    2. Dealing with Difficult People Seeing All Beings as the Buddha
      1. Dealing with jerks
      2. Coworkers who lie
      3. Handling people pleasers
      4. Being bad-mouthed
      5. Anger
      6. Adulterous affairs at work
      7. Whiners and negative people
      8. Conflict with a teammate
    3. Customers—Love ’Em or Lose ’Em Customer Service as Bodhisattva Activity
      1. The importance of customer service
      2. Encouragement for customer service people
      3. Handling an angry customer
      4. Bad customer service
      5. Public relations
  10. Part III Creating a Mindful Workplace
    1. Leadership and Bosses Lead, Follow, or Get Off the Path
      1. True leadership
      2. Identifying and selecting good leaders
      3. Becoming a great employer or boss
      4. Bosses who surround themselves with “yes” men
      5. Tough, demanding bosses
      6. Executive egos
      7. Power struggles
      8. Terrible bosses
    2. The Big Issues Beyond the Bottom Line
      1. Making a profit
      2. Bottom-line thinking vs. Buddha-mind thinking
      3. Writing a mission statement
      4. Investing in the future
      5. Developing a learning organization
      6. Encouraging creativity and innovation
      7. Corporate responsibility
      8. Going green
    3. Work Practices and Processes Practice Is Awakening
      1. Short-term versus long-term thinking
      2. Designing work processes
      3. Technology
      4. Business gurus and consultants
      5. Improving communication within an organization
      6. Running a mindful meeting
    4. The Care and Feeding of Employees Your Team as Your Sangha
      1. Selecting and hiring the right person for the job
      2. Motivating people
      3. Expectations
      4. Employee training
      5. Increasing employee morale
      6. Job security
      7. Guiding career development
      8. Incentives and bonuses
    5. Solving People Problems There Are No Answers—Pursue Them Lovingly
      1. Policies and procedures
      2. Employee diversity
      3. Stereotyping
      4. Sexism
      5. Sexual harassment
      6. Squabbling coworkers
      7. Firing someone for poor performance
      8. Lack of trust
    6. Organizational Change Everything Changes; Nothing Remains without Change
      1. Reorganizing, mergers, and acquisitions
      2. Outsourcing and rightsizing
      3. Corporate crises and scandals
      4. Turning around a business
      5. Starting a new business
  11. Glossary of Buddhist Terms
  12. Notes on Sources
    1. A Word about Sources
    2. Notes
  13. About the Authors