If you’ve spent any time browsing our website you’ve probably seen the term Integrated Learning. The definition of Aretê refers to striving for excellence through an integration of The Four Aspects of Being which are the mind, body, heart and spirit. Integrated Learning, as a term, describes our use of a unique blend of cognitive and experiential training methods that engage all Four Aspects of Being in each of our participants. This is the foremost underlying principle that guides our work with individuals and their organizations.
The single most powerful lever we have to improve productivity within today’s organizations is to raise our employees’ level of engagement in their work. An engaged employee is someone that is passionate about what they do and has found meaning and value in their work and in themselves. They feel connected to a greater shared vision, are inspired and challenged; know their strengths and how all of this applies to them. In other words, an engaged employee is a person who is being fulfilled in all Four Aspects of Being; mind, body, heart and spirit, and is in an environment that encourages and supports that. This then translates directly to their job performance and the company’s bottom line.
What we at Aretê whole-heartedly seek in ourselves and others is the power, creativity, authenticity and meaning that is generated by a whole person; a person that is integrated and engaged in their mind, body, heart and spirit. We believe this is the truth of who and what we are as humans – four-dimensional beings capable of supreme levels of genius, motivation and potential.
When we speak of mind as an Aspect of Being we are referring to our skill, talents and creativity, what we’re good at, our knowledge, reasoning and comprehension of the world around us. The mind houses our visionary capabilities; the part of us that decides what we want in life, our personal mission. The other three Aspects of body, heart and spirit are all expressed to some degree through the mind.
When we speak of body we are talking about our physical and material needs. Our desires, the ability to nurture and self-nurture, initiative, action, perseverance and discipline are all characteristics of the body. The heart is the aspect of being that houses our emotions and our emotional reactions to our environment. Patience, empathy, compassion, and unity are all aspects of heart as is our passion and excitement for what we love to do in life. Finally, when we speak of the aspect of spirit we are talking about that part of ourselves that holds our values and principles, finds meaning and purpose in our experiences and looks for trust and integrity. It is the place where our conscience and intentions live.
As these aspects apply to the individual, they also apply to the organization. Thus, the pursuit of engagement and integration in all Four Aspects of Being that results in a person fulfilling their potential is the same journey that sees an organization move from ordinary to remarkable. As individuals engage fully in their work and life the results are contagious and begin to affect all those around them. At this point, their process of integration moves from the individual to the interpersonal dimension. From here, the opportunity exists to experience integration on an organizational level. This is an invitation for an organization to:
- Integrate constructive use of The Four Aspects of Being into relationships, systems and structures.
- Create a culture that sees work as a vocation or calling, with personal meaning and purpose for employees.
- Know the best uses for competition, cooperation and collaboration.
- Create an alignment between individual and organizational intention, missions and values.
- Have a population of dynamic, passionate and energized employees.
- Create a culture that engages in collective leadership; that is, leadership as an act that anyone can perform at any time from wherever they are in the organization, as opposed to a role reserved for a few.
This process, however, can only start with the individual and then, by association, the organization. By engaging and aligning our minds, hearts, bodies and spirits with our truest desires and deepest passions we begin to embody and become the change we desire to see in the world. In this way, the individuals and the organizations surrounding us will transform and transcend in a way that integrates the best of all for the good of all.
“All the conventional techniques in the world cannot produce fundamental change. Today’s organizations are spiritually impoverished, and only when companies find ways to integrate personal beliefs with organizational values will meaningful change occur.”
~ Ian Mitroff & Elizabeth Denton