To look at the idea of working with heart, we can focus on three questions.
1) What is working with heart?
We may say it’s an attitude, a way of being. When working with heart we are fully engaged. In this sense, it’s a demonstration of our presence, our connection with the task and with those we encounter through it.
Yet bringing heart to our actions is not sufficient on its own. Certainly it’s not a substitute for preparation, coupled with meticulous execution. Perhaps then we should see it as the starting point for our efforts.
2) Why work with heart?
When we believe in what we are doing we will want to put heart into our work. After all, if our heart is not in it, why are we?
Because we care, we will bring focus and attention to our actions. The ‘just going through the motions’ approach cannot exist when heart is present.
Working with heart is a personal matter of choice. Yet we might discover when working with heart others begin to follow suit. And this is surely constructive for any workplace today.
3) When should we work with heart?
The uniqueness of the moment means we never get a second chance to make our first impression. We will be remembered for how we are in each instance. Working in a half-hearted way interferes with our performance by impeding our potential in the present.
By holding our heart back we not only short-change those involved in the work, but hinder our full being from shining bright. If we wish to progress in our career ‘playing small’ can only work against us. Others cannot be expected to see what we don’t show them.
But what if those managing the workflow don’t care whether we work with heart or not? Let me answer with the words of Earl Nightingale: “Jobs are owned by the company; you own your career!”
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