Compassion starts at home, or in this case, growing up in Elko. Monica Worline, formerly of Elko, recently coauthored her first book, “Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations.”
In the book that she wrote with colleague Jane Dutton, Worline describes how she found that caring has a competitive advantage. The book addresses the idea that diminishing suffering at work results in significant competitive advantages in areas such as innovation, collaboration, service quality, and talent attraction and retention.
“Awakening Compassion at Work” is about bringing your best self to work and how to create a great place to work.
Worline grew up in Elko where she attended local schools. She graduated from Elko High School and went on to attend Stanford University, where she majored in English. After graduation from Stanford she worked at a Silicone Valley start-up company. It was while working here that Worline became interested in organizations and how they run and grow. She eventually went on to get a PhD in Organizational Psychology at the University of Michigan. The book is a result of two decades of research based in the positive aspects of psychology.
A few years ago, Worline and her colleagues found themselves being frequently asked about how their research on compassion at work related to businesses and education. According to Worline, positive psychology began gaining momentum about 10 years ago and compassion has become more of a general interest. She felt that all her years of research had culminated into a book.
“We felt we had learned a lot and we were ready with enough substance, meant for a more general audience, that was grounded in the research we had done,” said Worline.
Growing up in Elko shaped the path for Worline to write a book on compassion.
“I feel I have a foundation in small town compassion. You learn when you grow up in a small community that people are human, you learn to hold your neighbors close, to give each other enough space. Growing up at the time when we were kids helps me know it in my bones when I walked into an organization, I could recognize it, it was familiar to me,” said Worline of her roots in compassion.
A self-professed “really curious person.” Worline felt very supported growing up in Elko both by her family and the community.
“I think everything I do is colored up in Elko in a way, it’s just such a big part of who I am and who I became,” said Worline. “I was encouraged everywhere I turned, not just my family of course, but my neighbors, teachers, librarians. There’s no way I would have written this book if I didn’t have that support to think and to learn. Whenever I was curious, they would help me find out more about it, and to do it and feel that I could do it.”
Worline’s mother, Joleen Worline of Elko, echo’s her daughters sentiment about the support she received growing up.
“One thing I’ve always thought is sometimes the education system in Elko gets a bad rap. And I think the excellence is there for any student who’s willing to learn,” she said.
“Awakening Compassion at Work” addresses how to recognize both joy and negativity at work and address it with compassion, which results in greater success. The first part of the book discusses compassion and work in general. The second part talks about how we can create organizations and structures, leaders and managers who have “compassion intelligence” which leads to greater success. The book is written for a general audience and is intended for any individual or organization interested in building a happier, more successful work environment.
Worline is currently on a book tour and speaks frequently to organizations in the education and healthcare fields as well as other businesses across the United States, British Colombia and Europe.
Worline resides in California and is a research scientist at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She is the executive director of CompassionLab, which is a research “collaboratory” focused on compassion at work. She holds a lectureship at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Worline also founded and is CEO of EnlivenWork, an organization that teaches businesses how to tap into courageous thinking, compassionate leadership, and curiosity to bring their best work to life.
Worline can be contacted through her website monicaworline.com. Her book can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The name of the bank used by an embezzlement suspect was misidentified in an article in the Nov. 10 edition of the Elko Daily Free Press. According to court records, Sergio A. Estrada is accused of depositing the payments at Wells Fargo.