Why encountering vastness makes us more spiritual, generous, and content
Read the full article at: www.theatlantic.com
Businesses are not typically in the business of providing awe for their employees. That would be a bit much. Yet, after reading Matthew Hutson’s article on what experiencing awe does for the human spirit, it might be something for a leader to consider.
“As vastness expands our worldview, it shrinks our ego. Awe makes us spiritual and …feel a greater sense of oneness with others. And this oneness can make us nicer: Researchers found that inducing awe—say, by having people stand in a grove of tall trees—increased generosity…Awe also shapes our sense of time. One series of studies found that awe made time feel more plentiful, which increased life satisfaction, willingness to donate time to charity, and preferences for experiences over material products.”
We can’t constantly gaze into the heavens or move our desks into the forest, but leaders can recognize that we as humans respond to things of the spirit and the heart – the things of awe – and cultivate them.
And the great leaders do. Great leaders appeal to both the hearts and minds to get full commitment from their employees. They know financials alone won’t cut it. Successful companies believe their missions must aim for something greater than themselves, something bigger than merely selling widgets to their customers. Successful leaders empathize, value honesty, encourage ideas, reward effort and instill trust. Successful leaders believe their employees are valued, treasured resources and treat them as such.
We humans need that and thrive on it. We need that particularly in the workplace where we spend so much of our time and give so much of ourselves. We need to feel that we matter, that we are appreciated, that the work we do is meaningful. And maybe, surprising us with a little drop of awe every now and then wouldn’t hurt either.
Contact us and we can help you explore ways to provide a work environment that brings out the best in your employees.