Spiritual intelligence: Building SQ

Spirituality and religion

The word spiritual comes from the Latin word ‘spiritus: that which gives life or vitality to a system’. To be very clear at the outset, the traditional belief of spirituality being synonymous with religion is misleading, if not erroneous. For most people, the need and desire for building on spirituality has very little if anything to do with “religious faith”.

How religion defines us

Religion does characterize human beings; but is usually connected to the formal institution-based denominational worship of God. People who learn from their religion (whatever it may be) are religious people: they translate religious learning into everyday decisions to pursue things that are meaningful. People use religion to make their lives fulfilling and have an impact on the world around them. This difference affects people in their work lives too.

Spirituality at work

This does not in any way imply religious rituals at the workplace–today no one either wants that or believes it to be appropriate. The search for spirituality at work means that people are looking for feelings of personal consequence. At its deepest level, this kind of gratification – contributing to one’s greatest capacity and realizing their purpose in life – is spiritual. People (in all jobs and roles) want to feel that they matter and that the work they do matters. They want to leave this planet fulfilled and not with a sense of not being accepted and recognized.

The Sleeping Spirit

An understanding of ‘spiritus’ entails consideration of the ‘higher self.’ This self is bigger than the ego (which all feed to, forgetting that there can be something higher than it). Each one is a spiritual being; one’s own thought, beliefs, values and assumptions create each one’s personal world. Finding meaning of this world constitutes awakening the spirit.

Spiritual Quotient (SQ)

SQ is the regulation of emotions; and their application to direct thought and action. The realization and introspection model helps to understand the influence of these on work life. Competencies like self-awareness; spontaneity, compassion, fundamentalism as well as diversity acceptance are the standing pillars of spiritual intelligence. These help raise the Spiritual Quotient (SQ), which along with an Emotional Quotient (EQ) drives success.

SQ is distinct from religiousness

‘Spiritual’ in relation to intelligence has no connection with organized religion. A person may be high in their Spiritual Quotient (SQ) but may have no religious faith or belief in form of God. Equally, a person may be religious but low in their SQ. Those seeking meaning form their life and more so from their work; are on their path to attaining that spiritual realization. Spirituality at work is deeply linked with job satisfaction and contentment with life in general. The better the working environment, greater is the individual performance and higher the ability to make meaning of that existence.

Dana Zohar’s SI Principles

The basic premise is that spirituality is distinct from religion. Principles of Spiritual Intelligence include:

  • Being aware of value systems
  • Being responsive every moment
  • Acting and living from beliefs
  • Seeing a sense of belongingness
  • Feeling empathy and compassion
  • Valuing differences in people
  • Standing for what you believe in
  • Being a humble part of the whole
  • Assessing the root cause of things
  • Seeing things in a wider context
  • Learning from mistakes or failures
  • Desire to give back to the world

Spiritual intelligence at work

Building the spiritual quotient at the workplace has several advantages for the person and the organization

  • Capacity to relate to things
  • Ability to find meaning in work
  • Desire to offer the best effort
  • Deriving satisfaction from action
  • Building empathic relationships
  • Seeing higher purpose in actions
  • Commitment to human values
  • Deriving higher job satisfaction
  • Building better group dynamics

Corporate workshops

These workshops are easy to plan, convenient and beneficial.

  • Conducted by suitable experts
  • Are interactive and participative
  • Feedback measures are provided
  • Mitigate introspection and change
  • Part of a comprehensive module