I've been reading lots of different cookbooks this month, and went to the library in search of more, when some work-related titles caught my attention.
How could I resist Real Happiness At Work? When I opened the cover and started reading I couldn't believe the serendipity. I'm doing the yoga Spring sadhana, and this speaks to mindfulness off the mat:
A follow-up to Real Happiness, the New York Times bestseller, Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness at Work is a practical guide to improving work life through mindfulness, compassion, and ingenuity. It’s about being committed without being consumed, competitive without being cruel, managing time and emotions to counterbalance stress and frustration. It shows readers how to be more creative, organized, and accomplished in order to do better, more productive work.
Dividing the idea of workplace satisfaction into eight pillars, Real Happiness at Work is filled with secular wisdom; core meditations on broad themes like motivation, awareness, and seeing the good in others; and more than a dozen exercises, including Moving From Me to We and When Things Go Wrong. Sprinkled throughout the book are short “stealth” meditations, the kind that are quick, private, and doable anywhere―“Let the phone ring three times, follow your breath, then pick it up” and “For an upcoming one-on-one conversation, resolve to listen more and speak less.”
The other book was Simple Sabotage, which was a bit hilarious to me, as the acronym for the organization I'm working for right now is OSS. When I started reading I recognized some parallels, but not much was offered in the way of solutions. Many of the 'tactics' described are just the natural condition of large bureaucracy vs. small business; democracy vs. private ownership:
In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—the predecessor of today’s CIA—issued the Simple Sabotage Field Manual that detailed sabotage techniques designed to demoralize the enemy. One section focused on eight incredibly subtle—and devastatingly destructive—tactics for sabotaging the decision-making processes of organizations. While the manual was written decades ago, these sabotage tactics thrive undetected in organizations today:
- Insist on doing everything through channels.
- Make speeches. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length.
- Refer all matters to committees.
- Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible. Haggle over precise wordings of communications.
- Refer back to matters already decided upon and attempt to question the advisability of that decision.
- Advocate caution and urge fellow-conferees to avoid haste that might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
- Be worried about the propriety of any decision.