Frequently Asked Questions
While faith can refer to one’s religious tradition, it also refers to our readiness to be transformed and led by the Divine.
Spirituality is related to faith in that our spirituality is focused on that aspect of reality in which we have the most trust. This reality is frequently articulated in religious terms.
Religion is system of thought or worldview that describes how people can best relate to each other and the Divine in order to achieve ideal personal, familial, and social ends. When a person places their faith in the Divine, they enter more fully into that relationship through spirituality.
Differentiating Types of Services
Given its overlap with spiritual direction, Spiritual Coaching is rooted in the Christian tradition. However, you will not need to accept a particular doctrine or creed. If you are a person of faith that has chosen to not associate with a religious tradition or if you are a person who grew outside of a faith tradition, Spiritual Coaching is still appropriate.
I draw from published articles and books to support these claims. In most cases, the claims are drawn from articles published in peer-reviewed journals that base their claims on empirical research. There are two exceptions. While corporate spiritual discernment is a central component of some faith traditions, I am not aware of any research-based evidence for the Spiritual Discernment claim. For Vocational Clarity and Alignment, the claims are based on a combination of emerging empirical evidence (the research has been done in other countries where the association of workplace spirituality and organizational performance is more widely welcomed and studied) and secular research. If you would like to discuss the research evidence in more detail, please contact me directly.
Each of the service areas are associated with developing the organizational level of workplace spirituality. Due to the strong influence of organizational context on individuals, these service areas will also influence the workplace spirituality of organizational members.
For the research-based model of workplace spirituality: Spiritual Discernment helps an organization Develop its Inward Life, Vocational Clarity and Alignment helps an organization Align with Higher Purposes, while the remaining content areas help Engender Loving Relationship.
From the perspective of the faith-based model of workplace spirituality, Spiritual Discernment helps an organization Amplify Spirit, Vocational Clarity and Alignment helps to Encourage Faithfulness. In addition, Substantive Engagement, Climate for Compassion, and Synergistic Collaboration help Build Capacity for Spirit while Climate for Fairness, Climate for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, and Conflict Transformation help Reduce Obstacles to Spirit.
It is very unlikely. As long as your organization does not exclude or discriminate against a member or members of the organization, there is no basis for a lawsuit.
Two of the Spiritual Advising service areas have a faith component are: a) Vocational Clarity and Alignment and 2) Spiritual Discernment, as they are based in a belief in a loving, purposeful higher power with whom humans can relate. Four areas are rooted in spiritual beliefs or religious values but do not require a belief in God: 1) Climate for Compassion, 2) Climate for Fairness, and 3) Climate for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, and 4) Substantive Engagement. The remaining areas: 1) Synergistic Collaboration and 2) Conflict Transformation are not explicitly associated with faith or religion.
If you believe that introducing these topics to your organization might create a legal challenge, please let me know prior to agreeing to a contract so we can discuss your concern fully.
Workplace spirituality is the recognition that employees have an inner life that nourishes and is nourished by meaningful, purposeful work that takes place in the context of community and connectedness (see Houghton, Neck, & Krishnakumar 2016).
Businesses and organizations support workplace spirituality in ways that go beyond implementing policies and procedures when they “develop an inward life, align with higher purposes, and engender loving relationship within and beyond themselves” (Pfaltzgraff-Carlson 2020).
Jeffery D. Houghton, Christopher P. Neck, & Sukumarakurup Krishnakumar (2016). The what, why, and how of spirituality in the workplace revisited: a 14-year update and extension, Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 13:3, 177-205, DOI: 10.1080/14766086.2016.1185292
Rhonda Pfaltzgraff-Carlson (2020). Reconceptualizing organizational spirituality: Theological roots for scientific and practical fruits, Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 17:3, 249-269, DOI:10.1080/14766086.2020.1762712
The purpose of spiritual leadership is to create vision and value congruence across the individual, empowered team, and organization to foster higher levels of employee well-being, commitment, and productivity. Spiritual leadership is sourced through an inner life or spiritual practice that generates hope/faith in a vision of serving others through a culture based on altruistic values to satisfy universal spiritual needs for calling and membership.
The spiritual leadership model has seen extensive testing and support in a variety of organizations and cultures, including having a positive influence on organizational commitment, job satisfaction, altruism, conscientiousness, self-career management, sales growth, job involvement, identification, retention, organizational citizenship behavior, attachment, loyalty, and work unit productivity and being negatively related to inter-role conflict, frustration, earning manipulation, and instrumental commitment (Yang & Fry, 2018).
Mari Yang & Louis. W. Fry (2018) The role of spiritual leadership in reducing healthcare worker burnout, Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 15:4, 305-324, DOI:10.1080/14766086.2018.1482562.
Within the Academy of Management (AOM), the preeminent, global, professional association for management and organization scholars, a number of researchers study the role of spirituality and religion in the workplace. About twenty years ago, these researchers came together and formed AOM’s Management, Spirituality, and Religion Interest Group. The scholars in this group focus on developing interdisciplinary, theoretical, and applied research and pedagogy related to the relevance and relationship of spirituality and religion in management and organizational life.
While the field is relatively new, research has documented many individual and organizational-level benefits associated with workplace spirituality. While conceptual and empirical articles associated with workplace spirituality, and related topics, are published broadly, the primary journal that publishes this research is the Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion.
If you are interested to know more about the research evidence, please contact me. I am open to presenting to groups, developing webinars, and offering training programs on these topics, so let me know what interests you most.