Healing workplace animosity
A Christian Science perspective: On restoring workplace morale and finding solutions to problems.
—One day, a teammate at work launched into a litany of complaints, colored by animosity, about what he saw as another colleague’s poor work and attitude. I asked, “Do you think she gets up every morning trying to figure out how to ruin your day?” Taken aback, he thoughtfully admitted that she probably didn’t.
That opened the way for the three of us to find reasonable solutions for a host of problems with the work as a whole, including inadequate business processes, poor communications, and training. A positive working relationship was soon forged that resulted in outstanding customer service, improved business practices, and increased profits – not to mention happier co-workers.
That team member’s willingness to be more thoughtful and compassionate toward our colleague was vital, but it is not the whole story of what happened. His response, and the success of the team and its members, was evidence of answered prayer.
Let’s go back to several weeks before. As the new manager of this team, I found morale to be low and infighting the norm, and I recognized such division was harmful to our work. However, through my study of the Bible, I’d begun to think of God, divine Love, as the source of intelligence, wisdom, and harmony. And I’d also found that prayer had helped me reach practical solutions to many different kinds of problems. So rather than taking sides and asserting my personal opinions, I was gaining faith that it was effective to pray about this work situation with two objectives.
First, I sought to better understand the supremacy of divine Love and what it means that we are Love’s creations or ideas. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, explains: “The Principle of Christian Science is Love, and its idea represents Love. This divine Principle and idea are demonstrated, in healing, to be God and the real man” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 104). This “real man” is the true nature of each of us, the spiritual male and female of God’s creating, made in Love’s image and likeness.
And second, I applied what I was learning in my experience, particularly insights I gained from the pivotal message of Jesus that is known as the Sermon on the Mount. For example, he said to “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). I was guided by this idea to take time for honest self-examination and to increasingly remove willfulness or self-justification from my motives and actions.
Just as the gardener understands that a rose bush must be pruned so the bush can grow more beautiful roses, I welcomed this “mental pruning” that enabled me to be more kind, loving, and pure of heart. When we let divine Love guide our thoughts and actions, we see more clearly that harmony is natural, and that hostility isn’t inevitable.
Turning to God for guidance and ideas helps silence human will and personal animosity, allowing the spiritual nature of all of us to be seen and felt more fully. This conscious awareness of the supremacy of God is a living prayer, reflecting divine Love. In my case, it proved to be transformative, opening the way to define new, wise business practices to benefit the team, our customers, and the company.
The wisdom of divine intelligence is given to each of us. Reflecting upon the presence, power, and impartial nature of divine Love, and expressing Godlike qualities such as honesty, meekness, integrity, and brotherly love, opens thought to fresh approaches to everything we do and forwards success in every department of life.