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How We Work by Leah Weiss Book Review: Mindfulness and Compassion guide for Working Professionals

How We Work by Leah Weiss Book Review: Mindfulness and Compassion guide for Working Professionals

I received this book for free from Publisher, TLC Book Tours for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity and Embrace the Daily Grind by Leah Weiss, PhD
Published by HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Genres: Healthy Living, Inspiration, Nonfiction
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher, TLC Book Tours
Amazon Kindle* | Amazon Paperback*
Goodreads
three-stars

Blurb:

3* I liked it. How We Work* is a well researched, technical look into mindfulness and compassion and how to use it to become happier in our personal and professional lives. This book is a good addition to your library if you struggle with job satisfaction or dealing with a difficult work situation or environment.

Synopsis:

“I have long thought that what the Buddha taught can be seen as a highly developed science of mind which, if made more accessible to a lay audience, could benefit many people. I believe that Dr. Weiss’s book, in combining such insights with science and good business practice, offers an effective mindfulness based program that many will find helpful.” –His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

 

A practical guide to bringing our whole selves to our professional work, based on the author’s overwhelmingly popular course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In today’s workplace, the traditional boundaries between “work” and “personal” are neither realistic nor relevant. From millennials seeking employment in the sharing economy to Gen Xers telecommuting to Baby Boomers creating a meaningful second act, the line that separates who we are from the work we do is blurrier than ever.

The truth is, we don’t show up for our jobs as a portion of ourselves—by necessity, we bring both our hearts and our minds to everything we do. In How We Work*, mindfulness expert and creator of the perennially-waitlisted Stanford Business School course “Leading with Mindfulness and Compassion” Dr. Leah Weiss explains why this false dichotomy can be destructive to both our mental health and our professional success.

The bad news, says Weiss, is that nothing provides more opportunities for negative emotions—anxiety, anger, envy, fear, and paranoia, to name a few—than the dynamics of the workplace. But the good news is that these feelings matter. How we feel at and about work matters—to ourselves, to the quality of our work, and ultimately to the success of the organizations for which we work.

The path to productivity and success, says Weiss, is not to change jobs, to compartmentalize our feelings, or to create a false “professional” identity—but rather to listen to the wisdom our feelings offer. Using mindfulness techniques, we can learn how to attend to difficult feelings without becoming subsumed by them; we can develop an awareness of our bigger picture goals that orients us and allows us to see purpose in even the most menial tasks. In How We Work*, Weiss offers a set of practical, evidence-based strategies for practicing mindfulness in the real world, showing readers not just how to survive another day, but how to use ancient wisdom traditions to sharpen their abilities, enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills, and improve their satisfaction.”

 

My Thoughts:

I saw “reclaim your sanity” in the title of this book and immediately thought this was a book for me. Even though now I’m a stay at home mom of 3 boys (who are in school all day) and a work from home blogger trying to launch a blog/business, I still feel like my days are kinda crazy, especially when the kids get home and we are heading in 10 different directions for school and activities. What mom doesn’t feel like she needs to reclaim her sanity every once in awhile?

Well, let me tell you, this book was difficult for me to get into. In the beginning, I had to read it in small doses because I found it to be very technical, I guess you could say, relying heavily on research studies and ancient philosophy to illustrate the author’s points. It also focused heavily on professionals working outside the home, so for them, this book would be much more valuable. 

That being said, I did learn some important lessons worth taking into consideration as they can be applied to whatever your work status is. 

  • I worked outside the home for my first 13 years of motherhood as a CPA, accountant and internal auditor (talk about insane juggling a stressful full-time job and 3 kids). How We Work* helped me realize how toxic that environment was and how it contributed to worsening my health due to Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune chronic illness that impacts my joints.
  • How one of the first studies on the impact of mindfulness was first done on chronic pain patients to see if improving their mindfulness would improve their ability to cope with pain (hint: it did).
  • How finding your purpose in your job improves your satisfaction
  • How having compassion for yourself is just as important as the compassion you show others
  • How to fail better through constructive feedback and reflection
  • Helpful Accomplish This actionable steps to take at the end of each chapter to implement what is discussed.

Overall, I liked this book ok, it was harder to read cover to cover since I typically read right before bed and I had a harder time focusing on the technical content at the end of my exhausting momlife days. I think if I was still working outside the home, I would totally benefit more from listening to the audiobook version* (free with an Audible trial) on my commute to and from work to help get me in the proper mindset before I start and at the end of my workday. Or if you incorporate reading into your morning, pre-work routine, then How We Work*  might help you start your day on a positive note. 

 

About Leah Weiss, PhD

Leah Weiss, PhD, is a researcher, professor, consultant, and author. She teaches courses on compassionate leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is principal teacher and founding faculty for Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Program, conceived by the Dalai Lama. She also directs Compassion Education and Scholarship at HopeLab, an Omidyar Group research and development nonprofit focused on resilience. She lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and three children.

Find out more about Leah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

tlc tour host

 
Be sure to visit the other bloggers on this blog tour too for more reviews and reflections about How We Work* !

Tuesday, March 27th: Tina Says…

Wednesday, March 28th: Dwell in Possibility

Monday, April 2nd: Instagram: @wellandworthylife

Wednesday, April 4th: Instagram: @teachlikeagirl

Thursday, April 12th: Wining Wife

Tuesday, April 17th: A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, April 24th: Instagram: @the.feminist.teacher

Wednesday, April 25th: Instagram: @Novelmombooks

Monday, May 7th: Mom’s Small Victories (that’s me!)

TBD: Instagram: @debamariewilson

TBD: Instagram: @whenigrowupcoach

TBD: Instagram: @writeonwithmissg

 

Other Books Like This You Might Enjoy: 

The Mindful Day by Laurie Cameron – 5*, short chapters and actionable steps to implement a habit of mindfulness into your day.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – 5*, still my favorite book on dealing with people in difficult situations and finding a win-win solution to problems.

 

 

Pin for Later:

How We Work is a well researched, technical look into mindfulness and compassion and how to use it to become happier in our personal and professional lives. This book is a good addition to your library if you struggle with job satisfaction or dealing with a difficult work situation or environment.

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5 Comments

  1. Everyone has a different work style. And we also learn from other’s experience. I loved the excerpt of the book. I am willing to read it.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour. This seems like a valuable point for all of us: “How having compassion for yourself is just as important as the compassion you show others.”

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