A Calm Storm

The blog of Sholeh Samadani Munion

Little did I know…

I thought I was prepared. I had the box of cereal ready, and I remembered that I had strawberries in the fridge. I casually open the fridge to get the milk…

horrors! NO MILK!

So instead I feasted on some hummus and cheese with chips. For breakfast. haha.

Interesting topic at lunch today: What motivates people in the workplace? Some would say money, but of course we know that it is so much more than that. And then you take a unique place like the Baha’i World Centre (where I am serving), where people come to serve, not to climb the corporate ladder or start a company.How do we motivate the people around us in the workplace? People usually think of motivation in a “top-down” approach: that is, the upper levels of an organization use incentives of some kind to coax employees to work at a certain level. But what happens when employees take an active role in managing the people they report to? When they explain to their managers how they work best? When working on a team, do we take the time to figure out each other’s styles of project management or personal interaction?
I am now halfway through The Tipping Point, started Reading Lolita in Tehran, and about 1/3 of the way through Muhammad and the Course of Islam. I am having so much fun reading these books. I think I will want to read the last one a second time, since I feel like I’m getting the story, but not enough to explain to people.


4 thoughts on “Little did I know…

  1. Reading Lolita in Tehran is an amazing book. It is one of my favorites. I have not heard of Muhammad and the Course of Islam but the title sounds interesting. I will have to check it out.

  2. Money isn’t really an effective motivator, even in the corporate ladder. Companies have found easy ways to help employees work better: providing flexible hours, decisions over choices, and confidence the work being done is valuable. Some (corporate, public, or non-profit) are better than others at providing these sorts of motivators.

    As a supervisor I tried to use and instill Baha’i values. While I worked for a university, my employees were all students. I trusted them to make good decisions and provide constructive feedback in consulting on important decisions. My bosses were all impressed at how competent they behaved which I attribute more to them being treated as such than as children.

  3. Lara: Let me know if you have trouble finding it, I’ll help you out.

    Ez: Right on. So much of the way people interact with each other depends on the way they are treated and the way they are expected to act.

  4. I think an atmosphere that effectively utilizes the concepts and principles of Bahai consultation could literally transform the workplace. That said-my last job at one point used negative numbers as a ‘motivation’. For example: your sales goal for the day is $3000. You sell $1800. Your number for the day is a -$1200. Fantastic.

    I really like the quote from ‘Office Space’ when the guy mentions that people only work hard enough not to get fired. That was true for me for a long time….but back to the principles-courteous expectation and mutual respect go a long long way, I think!

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