HeartWorks: Brian Muldoon, Consultant, Whitefish, Montana
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Training Curriculum

The Compassionate Workplace

img-brainmodel.gif (16517 bytes)What we call the human brain is actually a network of five distinct sub-brains, each of which evolved over millennia. Perhaps the most powerful of these brains is the one that is found in the 40,000 neurons located in our heart. The recently-discovered "heart-brain" is the subject of a new branch of science called neuro-cardiology. The heart-brain has its own way of thinking that can best be described as "wisdom." When we learn to make decisions from the heart, it literally causes the other four sub-brains to come into alignment. When the five sub-brains are aligned, we are confident, creative and stress-free.

Beyond the biology, it is vital to understand the full range of human emotions and how they are stimulated. Emotions and feelings are not the same thing. Emotions are basically physiological reactions; feelings are our interpretations of those chemical and neural processes. Cultivating our emotional intelligence means learning how to respond from the heart, rather than simply reacting to an unexamined biological trigger.

In this workshop, we move through the three levels of workplace engagement:

  • Emotionally Indifferent. At this level, we train ourselves to disregard others’ feelings and limit our communications to "facts" only.

  • Empathic. Through empathy we learn to read the nonverbal signals of another person and therefore are able to correctly identify their feeling states.

  • Compassionate. A compassionate person not only recognizes the feelings of another, but is also moved to respond in some way. Sometimes we confuse compassion with mere sentimentality and thus avoid it; but, in fact, compassion is the glue of human relationships and is essential to the formation of trust. Compassion is what keeps us human and connected to each other.


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