Universal Values and a Refusal to Judge
As the world shrinks because geographic distance is no longer an issue; as the civil rights of minorities and all other people continue to advance in many countries; as interest in organized religion decreases and as interest in universal values increases; and as trends and events evolve, yoga is positioned perfectly to help people deal with these changes. Values that were traditionally under the auspices of religions are now under the auspices of nations, states, communities, employer groups, and individuals. Values such as interpersonal respect and belief in true equality for all (zero tolerance for activities such as racism and other forms of bigotry) are now being owned by many individuals when they create their own value systems. People are looking inward and outward to define the values that are important to them, and yoga provides a sanctuary for discussing these values.
Yoga, unlike yoga poses, is judgment-free. Judgment has caused more wars and conflict than any other maladaptive human behavior. Judgment of others is often a primitive method to cope with insecurity, envy, or frustration usually disguised behind arrogance and superiority. Obviously, this conflicts with the universal value that all people are equal. Yoga facilitates new ways of getting along, supporting others, and making compromises all vital outcomes. By decreasing judgment, yoga optimizes relationships, communities, nations, religious tolerance, and mutual respect.
In short, yoga fits with many people’s needs in our current environment. If you’re like most people, you want to discuss and define your values, to determine what really matters to you, and to use these values as guides for your life. If you’re like most people, you also want to become aware of and manage your biases and assumptions that cause you to dismiss and diminish others unfairly. With strong values and a judgment-free perspective, you’re in a much better position to succeed in the twenty-first century as diversity and universal values take root.
Though I’ve emphasized individual yoga in this blog, please be aware that this process is applicable to organizations. In fact, in some ways yoga is even more effective within an organizational context, since management endorses yoga and confers immediate credibility. When I’ve worked in organizations, people often get it right away. They see the value of yoga and are motivated to commit themselves to being coached. They don’t have to fire their therapist and go through a period of indecision before they begin their yoga sessions.
If you think about it, organizational yoga isn’t that different from yoga that involves spheres outside of Work. Typically,
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I’ll work with a highi level executive who isn’ l performing up to expectations or who is having trouble working with colleagues. He or she also has Achilles factors holding them back from performance goals for example, a salesperson who is unable to close a big deal because he grew up in a home environment where cutting criticism was the rule, making him risk-averse. Such an executive needs to work with his coach to break through his old fears and set new performance goals. He too needs to create a vision for himself within the organization and from a larger career standpoint. He also needs to formulate incremental and larger goals and create a plan to work toward them.
Having coached everyone from CEOs to vice presidents to managers, I can tell you that the process is remarkably similar to yoga individual clients who have no organizational affiliation. People experiencing problems at work are facing issues in other spheres. It’s not unusual to find a manager whose work has slipped because he’ i going through a divorce or because she’ i spiritually adrift. As I’ve noted, what happens in one sphere impacts what happens in another.
The Spheres of Life Yoga Outcomes System (SOLCOS) also can be applied on an organizational basis. By helping organizations understand and focus on strengths and weaknesses, values, mission and purpose, vision, goals, and outcomes, Yogis also help improve the bottom line because of increases in productivity, employee retention, community involvement, and optimization of customer service.
Organizations require yoga on issues involving waste, pollution, global warming, terrorism threats, management, and employment; all are very important to the public at large. Organizations need someone to talk to them about corporate values and beliefs about public responsibility and community involvement. A coach can provide a process to help organizational leaders and employees define their beliefs and determine how to translate those beliefs into strategy and goal implementation. A coach also can help companies interested in “walking the talk” of mission and values, providing accountability and monitoring of these issues.