What Would Buddha Do at Work, Extracts

First recognize that you are responsible for your own future.
Second, recognize that you always have a choice.

Mission statements for your organization and life are key to enlightened work. The mission statement is a compass to guide your priorities and decisions so you do not become lost in day-to-day activities.
Part of the Eightfold Noble Path is choosing Right Livelihood. Do work that helps rather than harms living things.
It is not wise to become too attached to one job or career. Things change, everything is transitory. Find your freedom in that truth.
Do great work, all the time.
Start work before the boss gets in, and leave after she does.
Do not take more than you should. Taking home a pencil or minor office supply is stealing.
You represent your employer, so uphold the company name.
Your self-confidence increases when you know you have done good work. Good results come from healthy self-esteem.
Action always beats inaction. Making mistakes is better than not doing anything at all. If you aren’t making mistakes, it means you are not taking risks and not trying hard enough.
You are a work in progress. You are responsible for your own self-improvement.
Practice yoga or meditation to learn how to focus.
If you have ten things to do and only enough time to finish six things, choose the right six and go home without worrying about the four you had to let go.
There is nothing you can do about the past and you cannot predict the future. The only time that matters is now.
Speak your mind and share your ideas. Do not keep them to yourself.
Under-promise and over-deliver. Keep all commitments.
Talk is cheap. People like to see action, results, and follow-through.
Your internal moral compass will warn you when you are violating your own integrity.
Respect company property like it is your own.
Go about your work quietly and deliberately. There is no need to make public all your efforts. Results will speak for themselves.
There is no single right way to solve a problem. The problem itself is always changing.
Be flexible and learn to live with uncertainty.
Admit you made a mistake. It means you are teachable and humble.
Do your best work. Promotions and perks are only side effects of doing brilliant work.
If you wear self-confidence, it doesn’t matter what you are wearing.
Celebrate the successes of others.
Physical and worldly things like money are necessary for survival but they will not make you happy. The best things in life aren’t things.
There is nothing wrong with personal wealth as long as it is put to good use. Good stewardship of money comes from a sense of integrity. Wealth must be used for your family, employees, and friends. Give to spiritual organizations.
Real happiness comes when we are free from cravings and endless desires.
Treat money like a visitor we respect but we know can be dangerous.
When depressed, the best way to feel better is to do something for others.
Only inferior people need a code of ethics. If you know in your heart what is right and wrong you do not need to be told how to behave.
You don’t need a lot to get by. Work with what you’ve got.
Learn from every opportunity, even if it means taking on a task you don’t want to do. It may be that nobody else can do the job except you at the moment.
Hypocrisy happens when you fool yourself.
Gossip is a waste of time.
Surround yourself with people you admire and respect. When you work with someone better than you, your performance will improve.
You can change.
Make every day productive.
It is healthy to balance work and personal life. This is the Middle Way.
Think for yourself. Push yourself to achieve higher goals.
It’s easier to just follow the pack and be mediocre. Living a life of integrity is hard work.
Wealth and power won’t make you happy. Health, love, and peace of mind will.

Buddha’s tips on effective handling of customers:

Be compassionate. Do not meet his anger with yours.
Be grateful. Thank the customer for bringing the problem to your attention.
Listen. Take notes so the customer will not have to repeat his story to your boss.
Emphasize what you can do for the customer, not what you can’t do.
Get help from a coworker or from your boss.
Explain and educate the customer as you interact.
Commit to what you can do to fix the problem. Always deliver more than you promised.
Thank the customer again for the opportunity he gave you to serve him.
Follow up. Keep to your commitment and do what you said you would do.

Buddha’s Basics on being a good boss or employer:

Assign work employees can manage. Make sure job requirements match the employees’ skills and talents. Keep them challenged by assigning special projects, cross training, or job rotation.
Give employees free food and enough money. Productivity and health are related. Pay them well and care for them, and they will pay you back with good work and loyalty.
Support them in sickness. Provide healthcare for all your employees.
Share the bounty. Profit-sharing and other equitable means of sharing the wealth will let your people know you appreciate their efforts.
Grant leave when appropriate. People are not machines and should not be treated as such. Maternity and paternity leaves, sabbaticals to “recharge the batteries” and special days off for families are very important to increasing productivity. Recharged workers make up for lost time after a refreshing holiday with new ideas, more energy and less stress.

Buddha’s notes on capital:

Never abandon what can still be useful. Repair it. Invest in quality well-made furniture, floors and fixtures.
Select and hire carefully. People must be cultivated for long-term, and not dumped at the first sign of tough times.
Be moderate in consuming resources. Recycle paper. Fly coach instead of first class. Share office spaces and dining spaces.
Real success depends on the virtue and character of leaders. No amount of charm will make up for the lack of confidence people have in you.

Hiring according to Buddha:

Begin inside. Clarify what kind of person you are looking for. Define the character, competence, and culture of your people.
Be methodical. Do your homework by looking at track records and cast the net as wide as possible. Do no limit the search to obvious candidates.
Be clear about tasks and duties the candidate needs to do.
Consider what it takes to be successful in your organization or department. List traits.
Involve other people in the interview process.
Ask behavioral questions. What happened to them in a particular situation in the past and how did they handle it?
Use tests to bring out skills and abilities.
Ask about her other skills.
Be honest about the job, the pay, the hours, and the duties.
A person may pass the interview with flying colors, but may be terrible at the actual job.
Training according to Buddha:

Trainers must not make false promises by oversimplifying the complexity of the business.
Recognize that every person learns differently and at a different pace.
Create an environment where people are challenged, work together to solve problems, and collaborate to achieve the targets.

Conflict resolution:

When someone is provoking divisiveness, try to get that person back in harmony with the larger group.
Go to the person privately and counsel him. Do not humiliate him in front of coworkers.
If that fails after three times, call the group together in a group intervention so the troublemaker can see how his actions affect everyone.
Splintering into factions will hinder productivity. Do not abandon a person, the leader and team must make every effort to help the person mend his ways.
In a crisis, take action immediately. No amount of spin doctoring and damage control can substitute for concrete action.
Turning a floundering

Author : Franz Metcalf & BJ Gallagher Hateley
Publisher : McGraw-Hill 2002

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