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Two are better than one in the workplace

A PQ above 75% is a good start, but still requires optimisation to reach greater heights. By working on our mental fitness, we can unlock our full potential and achieve excellence.

I may seem to contradict the Bible's wisdom that 'two are better than one' (Ecclesiastes 4:9), but bear with me as I explain how my statement actually supports this timeless truth. In the context of the workplace and any other collaborative setting, two (or more) individuals working together can achieve far more than one alone.

To understand how humans optimise their potential, we need to consider four essential dimensions: mind, emotions, body, and energy (as taught by psychospiritual leaders like Sadguru Jagadish Vasudev).

When these aspects are in balance, individuals excel, radiating positivity and fostering meaningful connections that lead to success in relationships, work, and beyond.

In this column, we'll explore how this phenomenon applies to workplace relationships and productivity, illustrating how 'two are better than one' in achieving greatness together and two are worse than one without this balance.

Before exploring how this concept applies to workplace relationships, let me first explain the underlying idea. Sadguru Jagadish Vasudev teaches that four dimensions - mind, emotions, body, and energy — are interconnected and impact our overall well-being.

His book, Mind is Your Business, highlights the mind's central role in harmonising these dimensions. By understanding and optimising the mind’s functioning, the other three dimensions fall into place, leading to a balanced, productive and fulfilling life.

The mind generates thoughts, which in turn produce emotions. By correcting the mind's workings, emotional balance follows.

 Emotions then influence the body, illustrating the psychosomatic relationship between the two. This connection is so strong that it can even manifest as psychosomatic diseases when the body-mind relationship is strained.

With this foundation, we can now explore how this dynamic plays out in workplace relationships, such as manager-subordinate, colleague, and employee-customer interactions, which are crucial to business success.

The mind-body connection forms the basis of one’s energy, influencing how we interact with our environment, others, and our workplace relationships.

By understanding and controlling our mind's workings, we can harness our thoughts to achieve success and happiness in life.

However, if we leave our mind to its default state, compulsive thinking can take over, disrupting our overall well-being, relationships, and performance, including workplace productivity.

Therefore, it's essential for individuals to take charge of their mental faculties to unlock their full potential. If we fail to understand and practice this, we risk scratching the surface of our capabilities and wasting our potential.

When we are not balanced in mind, emotion, body, and energy, we experience inner turmoil, unhappiness, and suboptimal performance as individuals.

Even if we think we are doing well, there's often untapped potential. A professional can help measure our positive quotient (PQ) using tools like Shirzad Chamine's, revealing how our mind supports or sabotages us.

A PQ above 75% is a good start, but still requires optimisation to reach greater heights. By working on our mental fitness, we can unlock our full potential and achieve excellence.

When we have a low PQ, we bring negative energy to the workplace, leading to conflicts with colleagues, supervisors, and customers.

This negativity amplifies when we interact with others who also have low PQ scores, creating a toxic environment.

A score below 50% means our mental function is distorted due to imbalance in the four dimensions of mind, emotion, body, and energy.

When two individuals with low PQ scores work together, their negativity compounds, leading to average or poor results, conflict, and potentially a messy outcome.

 By recognising the importance of mental fitness and PQ, we can take steps to optimise our potential and create a positive, productive work environment.

When negative energy affects a team, the impact multiplies, leading to a toxic and underperforming collective.

As a facilitator of team building sessions and workshops, I begin by assessing individual team members' Positive Quotient (PQ) scores, then calculate the average to illustrate the collective impact.

 This exercise helps team members recognise that their colleagues’ performance directly influences their own success, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and discouraging selfish attitudes.

To encourage teamwork and collaboration, incentive schemes should include team-based elements, promoting collective goal achievement and rewarding team success. By doing so, teams can harness their collective potential and achieve greater gains together.

While we offer courses for managers and leaders on conflict management and courageous conversations, we are only scratching the surface of human connections for performance. We're reactive, rather than proactive, in promoting optimal human performance.

Imagine a workplace that prioritizes human connection and performance from the outset, fostering an environment of engagement and well-being.

The benefits would extend beyond productivity to human happiness and equanimity.

As Zig Ziglar said: “What you become by achieving your goals is more important than what you get.”

A balanced human, with harmony in mind, emotion, body, and energy, creates a positive impact.

Conversely, imbalance in multiple individuals creates a toxic environment.

It’s crucial to recognise that two unbalanced individuals are worse than one, and a team with multiple imbalanced members is a disaster waiting to happen. By prioritizing human connection and performance, we can create a harmonious and productive workplace.

  •  Bhekilizwe Bernard Ndlovu is a human capital executive in Zimbabwe, specialising in human resources management, training, development, and transformation, behavioural change, applied drama, personal mastery, and mental fitness. He is also a PhD researcher at Wits University, investigating violent strikes in the South African workplace. With experience as an HR practitioner in Zimbabwe and operations roles in South African social marketing organisations, Ndlovu remains passionate about people affairs and performance management. Reach him at bhekilizweb.bn@gmail.com

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