Kharissa Parker is a news producer, writer, certified health coach, and columnist for Startland News. For more of her self-care tips on how to keep your cup full, visit kparker.co.
Editor’s note: This commentary on relationships — and how getting along with co-workers begins closer to home than you might think — wraps up Parker’s series on the 7 Pillars of Self-Care.
Though I don’t ascribe to what I call the institution of American church culture (that’s another story for another day), one of my favorite passages from the Bible is Matthew 22:36-40. If you’re not familiar with it, this scripture tells the story of when a group of self-righteous religious folk called Pharisees attempted to trip Jesus up on the laws of God.
They did this by asking him which one of God’s commandments was the greatest. Jesus replied saying that the greatest is to love God, but he didn’t stop there. He added that the second commandment is equal to it, which is to love people as you love yourself.
What’s interesting is that within these four simple verses is a message of self-care — one that is echoed within the seven pillars we’ve been studying over the course of this series. What Jesus was saying is that in order to love people (the seventh pillar: relationships), you have to love yourself first (pillars two through six) and in order to love yourself, you have to love God (the first pillar: spiritual alignment).
Regardless of if you’re a Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, agnostic, spiritual, or seeking, the principle behind this great commandment is the blueprint for creating a life of abundance and fulfillment. So, how does that look from the perspective of workplace wellness? As we explore the answer to this question, you’ll see just how all of the other pillars set the stage for this last one.
Setting healthy boundaries in the office
Boundaries are important because they make expectations clear for all parties involved. Don’t want to chat after hours? You don’t have to. Want people to respect your time away? Don’t answer the phone or check emails while you’re off. Setting boundaries is really just the beginning and they’re irrelevant if you don’t enforce them. So long as boundaries align with work expectations, they teach people how to treat you and what to expect from you in a manner that upholds office standards.
Knowing when to agree to disagree
Having healthy relationships with your coworkers also involves knowing when to say, “I respect your opinion, but I don’t agree with it.” What’s interesting is that we have a tendency to blur the lines between agreement and respect, but in reality agreeing to disagree is part of the ball game. It’s very possible to respect someone’s stance while maintaining your own.
Holding space for compromise
At the end of the day, it’s about putting forth the team effort to achieve one common goal. Sometimes being right is secondary and being willing to compromise — especially when majority rules — is just part of the process. There’s a time to get your point across and there’s a time to be a team player. Set your ego aside and read the room.
Doing unto your co-workers as you’d have them do unto you
It’s the ultimate golden rule. This isn’t about being a doormat or never acknowledging your expert opinion, but is about the energy behind your words and actions. As the age old adage says, it’s easier to win over bees with honey than vinegar. At the same time, bees don’t waste their time explaining to flies why honey tastes better than poo.
Choose your words wisely and move intentionally.
Fueled by her expertise as a news producer, writer, and certified health coach, Kharissa Parker is passionate about helping entrepreneurs in Kansas City achieve their goals without sacrificing self-care. Check out her brand, The KP Method, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.