In her book, The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness, @EmEsfahaniSmith states, “If we want to find meaning in our own lives, we have to begin by reaching out.” She points out that we find meaning in others, not in ourselves. 

In her book, she highlights the work of organizational psychologist Jane Dutton from the University of Michigan. Dutton studied the impact of interaction patterns in the workplace. She found that connections at work also have an impact on the meaningfulness we experience outside the workplace. This finding illustrates the potential for the power of meaning to enhance the powerful and ever present work/life dynamic. 

Esfahani Smith also shares the powerful impact of having a meaning mindset. As she states, “…Meaning arises from our relationships with others.” Her review of the research reveals that a sense of belonging is the number one driver of meaning. She concludes, “…if we don’t feel a sense of belonging on the job, both our jobs and our lives will feel less meaningful.”

The multitude of sources that Esfahani Smith mentions throughout this book make it an immensely important text on the subject of meaning. Perhaps more important to the reader, are the actionable insights. She describes the potential to transform organizations through moments of connection that revitalize the emotional and physical health of employees. 

At Meaning-Centered Leadership we couldn’t agree more. Organizations must focus on engaging their workforce through building personal connections and creating a sense of meaning and purpose. It starts with Engagement: building trusting relationships, showing care and concern, and communicating and listening to others. 

For more on bringing the power of meaning to your organization check out: Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Employee Well-Being and Employee Success.  or contact us at