“Compassion in the Workplace” Session, November 16, 2012 – Festival of Faiths, Louisville, KY

“Compassion in the Workplace” session on November 16, 2012 dream from the Festival of Faiths in Downtown Louisville, KY

by E. Joseph Steier and Dianne Timmering

Our move back to Louisville two years ago seemed perfectly timed with a city-wide charge to create and launch a “lifelong wellness and aging” movement that we could play a major role in. At the same time, the expanding Festival of Faiths International conference was growing and the launching of the compassionate city charter by our new mayor that we were blessed to sign-on early, made it a divine exodus from south Florida seem like a dream come true.

Last week, as Dianne and I sat in a packed room with standing room only, we are surrounded by business leaders, top researchers, spiritual leaders, and just really engaged people getting ready to dig into a panel discussion on “compassion in the workplace” and hear about our spirituality model and other models which link the spiritual and compassion to human well-being. Dr. James Doty, a Stanford neuro-surgeon, and leader in altruism and compassion, started off our panel with the thought on what is compassion, what is non-compassion where one feels no part of anything. Does the lack of compassion in the workplace lead to bad stress and issues with productivity? And what is the cost of bad stress in biased decision making, weakened performance?

There were more deserving leaders than Dianne and me, like Paul Thompson with Bridgeman Foods, Tori Murden McClure, the famed president of Spalding University, and Phil Marshall, CEO and president of Hosparus, the panel sponsor.

But here are the takeaways, we really want to dig into-

People are starting to notice Louisville and the Compassionate City charter -this can be a framework and healing ideology to unify our divided culture and heritage in the same way Merton’s epiphany manifested; a rebirth and transcendence a foot in the stream of our city’s people.

Conference attendees came from everywhere in the U.S. included several delegations from Canada to experience this event. And so is the Dali Lama next May coming to our fair town to embrace this soulful city, to expand this compassionate city charter and contemplative partnership so the vision that Thomas Merton delivered in Bangkok the day he died (Dec. 10th, 1968) visualizing an east-west spiritual balance between western self-directed personal empowerment and eastern selfless reflection can merge to capture what are both mankind’s greatest attributes.

Remember, I did not like the previous workplace environment that I worked in very much either but we may be at the end of the western highly directive command center business model that gave corporate a bad name in the workplace anyway. This will be the next industry leadership cycle requiring embracing the concept of shared leadership, collaborative external partnerships, real transparency, embracing servant leadership where we all must know the work . . . So . . . why not try being a compassionate workplace by being an early adopter if it’s going to happen.

Is compassion rooted in ancient religion? All compassion really means is that to be human is to embrace suffering–knowing it is an intersection to fellow man. If we share and reflect upon it, that everyone’s journey is equal in divine purpose, then we can drive toward the attempt at being present while possessing a non-judgmental awareness. God knows in me, that to feel deep personal suffering made me embrace forgiveness as the only way to heal and stay close to God. And knowing that we were on a parallel track of convergence with everyone in this room make us just feel more connected.

During the panel we learned a ton. One key learning jewel: Dr. Doty made an important point about the compassionate workplace state of mind . . . we must be totally self-aware, if there is a problem that you as a leader are the reason it exists, the critical party that must accept fault for it not being in optimal state, only then can you can help lead the real solution and create the condition around you so everyone owns the collective win . . . something we need to continue to embrace.

Then the magic happens . . . the science of Happiness occurs–your stakeholders have freedom from fear, a new sense of control, relationships with building trust, and they can contribute to something bigger than you and them for the opportunity of transcendence and purpose because you have given them the compassion to be.

Dianne H. Timmering
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

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EVENT – Hall Of Fame Induction, Louisville South Facility – November 7, 2012

Below is the text of the prayer and blessing given at the Hall of Fame Induction Event at the Louisville South Facility on November 7, 2012.

How many countless lives have you served, have you changed, have you loved, have you saved.

To the recipients: We love you so much and are honored to be here today as a collective community to celebrate great lives and beautifully lived lives, lives that matter in every breath and moment. We thank you for the opportunity to be here tonight because of your greatness. You are ever so rich before our eyes evident by your great works and the impenetrable faith reflected in your histories. You are heroes with the richest of legacies. And tonight we celebrate those legacies so they are never forgotten. We honor you and love you and appreciate you just as your proud family and friends do sitting next to you.

Let us embrace your wisdom and exquisite beauty. Thank you for your service and courage in the building of cities, communities, persons, and a nation. For while you are hometown heroes, your mark is indelible in the rise of this great nation. You are our sage advisors and guiding stars.

I think of Raymond Shanie for he fought to free a nation and as an engineer in WWII, how many lives did he save, and how many people did he serve as a volunteer at the wayside Christian mission.

I think of Molly Grayson, a leader, an impassioned award winning artist and a caregiver in her own right as a volunteer at St. Mary’s hospital for so many years.

And what about Shelly Brown, a 21 year stakeholder, offering hope to the hopeless, encouraging living, not death, with the power to heal, one who never gives up; how many has she served, how many countless lives has she touched and inspired.

And Dr. Nair in the field of the living and restoration. How many has he healed and restored, calmed and loved with the knowledge of a doctor, as well as the compassion and love of a friend.

We have benefited from all of you and are a byproducts of your greatness. Let us all never forget this, and that for each of us sitting here tonight, purpose reigns in every breath and that courageous dreams are always rewarded. Let us celebrate these accomplishments before us, and the competitive natures and passions and dreams which never die in the blood but only sometimes in the sadness of the heart. Let us here be inspired; never losing our dreams, our God given right to a fruitful paths.

Therefore, I ask God to bless all to overflow this night, pressed down, shaken together. Bless this grateful day. Bless all hands, all feet and all hearts. Thank you.

 Dianne H. Timmering
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

“Your Call Is Irrevocable” by Dianne H. Timmering

You are here to do great things. Did you know that?

. . . for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Romans 11:29

Irrevocable is defined: not to be revoked or recalled; unable to be repealed or annulled.

Did you know that your greatness is assured. I can attest to it as I was privileged to attend the Hall Of Fame award ceremony at Louisville South last evening. Reading about the Hall of Fame recipients, I wondered: How many countless lives had they served, had they changed, had they loved, had they saved? Their “call” was irrevocable.

We were honored to be amongst such greatness and beautifully lived lives, lives that mattered and still matter in every breath and moment. They were rich, evident by their works and the impenetrable faith reflected in their histories. They were and are heroes with the richest of legacies–never to be forgotten, especially by those who embraced and benefited from their wisdom and exquisite beauty. So we honored them and thanked them for their service and courage in the building of cities, communities, persons, and a nation. For while they were hometown heroes in this moment, their mark was indelible in the rise and transformation of this great nation, as sage advisors and guiding stars.

I think of Raymond Shanie who fought for a nation as an engineer in WWII; how many lives did he save; and how many people did he serve later as a volunteer at Wayside Christian Mission?

I think of Molly Grayson, a leader, an impassioned award-winning artist and a caregiver in her own right as a volunteer at St. Mary’s hospital.

And what about Shelly Brown, a 21-year stakeholder, offering hope to the hopeless, encouraging living, not death, with the power to heal by never giving up. How many has she served, how many countless lives has she touched and inspired?

And Dr. Nair in the field of the living and restoration. How many has he healed and restored, calmed and loved with the knowledge of a doctor, as well as the compassion and love of a friend.

We are byproducts of such magnificence with the reminder that purpose reigns in every breath and that courageous dreams are always rewarded. And so we celebrated last night these lives of accomplishment, and their competitive natures and passions and dreams which never die in the blood but only sometimes in the sadness of the heart. So let us cast fiery arrows at the free will of discouragement and instead be inspired to live and pursue God-given rights to fruitful paths.

Your calling is upon you and it is irrevocable, for God is with you. God bless all.  Dianne

Dianne H. Timmering
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC