Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review of "Rethinking Your Work: Getting to the Heart of What Matters" by Val Kinjerski, PhD

Book Review of "Rethinking Your Work: Getting to the Heart of What Matters" by Val Kinjerski, PhD

Review by Roger Ellerton

This book is a must read for managers who want to create a great place to work for their team and for anyone who is looking for more enjoyment and productivity from their work.

The book is clearly focused on the work environment and what you can do to create work of passion and enjoyment for yourself and your team. Occasionally, there are references to other environments such as family and I suggest that all of the ideas, concepts and tools presented are equally applicable in your family life, indeed wherever you are – you are only limited by your imagination.

As I was reading the book, I often wondered if a title such as “Creating Spirit at Work” might not have been more appropriate as this is the focus of the book. But then this may have driven some potential readers away – assuming the book is about religiosity, which it isn’t.

The book is divided in two parts:

Part I: Understanding Spirit at Work.

Here the author presents real-life examples to describe and provide us with insights as to what is spirit at work and illustrate that it can be achieved in different ways. Some of us may have had fleeting experiences of it, others extended experiences and then there are those people for whom it’s just a way of being. For all of us, it’s something we desire even if we cannot fully describe it.

According to the author, spirit at work is present in people who are passionate about and energized by their work and there are four distinct dimensions: mystical experience, engaging work, sense of community and spiritual connection.

Part II: Fostering Spirit at Work.

This is where the book comes alive for me. Here, the author leads us on a journey, providing tools, stories and exercises along the way, for us to discover and create our own spirit at work. As mentioned earlier, these tools are equally useful at home and in other environments.

The author notes that although spirit at work is influenced by the work environment, it’s really created deep within each of us.

Part II begins with a discussion on appreciating yourself – for some of us, recognizing our own talents and contributions is difficult – and respecting and recognizing the presence and contribution of others.

The next three chapters explain and provide exercises for discovering or enhancing spirit at work, specifically, they deal with: positive thinking, living in the moment, optimism, gratitude, forgiveness, courage, service, kindness, happiness and hopefulness.

The book is full of great ideas and exercises, however if you don’t actually do something, then the book is simply a nice read. Thus the author ends with a clear call to action.

As I said earlier, this book is a must read and it clearly stands on its own. However, as an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) author and trainer, I was struck by how many of the ideas and concepts are similar to or fully in alignment with those from NLP. For those of you who have studied NLP, the material in this book will enrich your understanding and application of NLP concepts. And an understanding of NLP has the potential of making the material in this book even more useful and effective.