We all trooped out to work this morning in auto pilot. Out of bed into breakfast, out of breakfast into our commute, out of the commute and in to work. You could say its clockwork and you can now with so many years of experience perform most of your daily tasks on auto pilot,
therein lies one of the biggest problems of our times. Run run run the rush to accomplish all the necessary tasks of the day and you find yourself losing your connection with the present moment. I feel that way many a time, do you too? There is certainly no mindfulness at work here.
That is where Mindfulness the art of being ‘present’ as I put it enters the picture. It is the hottest mantra on the corporate block, biggies from Google to the Harvard Business School and General Electric have their own in-house mindfulness programmes. Recently actress Goldie Hawn led a panel at Davos on the why mindfulness matters, the art of being in the moment is growing with every moment.
So today I’m not going to talk on the how’s of meditation, awareness and mindfulness, those are available on my youtube page
https://www.youtube.com/user/wellnesswork and also my website www.wellnessworks.in . Instead this piece is 4 proven ways that mindfulness helps you as a business and as a leader.
Rewire and act
As a leader, mindfulness practices assist you to step back, become aware of, and then rewire, how you interpret and react to what happens in the office.The stress of the work day becomes much easier to handle. A study carried out among the US Marine Corps found that those Marines who trained in mindfulness were more capable of complex thought and problem solving under pressure. Studies at the Helen Downing institute in the Netherlands show that mindfulness training directly reduces the functional impairments associated with high-stress challenges, in other words induces us to think clearly even under stress. its all about keeping mindfulness at work on the top of your agenda at all times.
Create new experiences
Mindfulness at work clears thought so that we seek out, create, and notice new things and new ways of doing the regular , this increases productivity. Dr. Ellen Langer a psychologist at Harvard asked salespeople to find a way to become aware and make their sales pitches new and fresh each time they delivered them. Result: they sold more products than before, and were seen as ‘charismatic’ by their customers. Not only that as we become mindful we question our beliefs about our limits. We become aware in the present that we do not know whether a task can be done or not all we know is that we have not done it so far
Transparency of thought
Mindful leadership means your thoughts are totally transparent to those around you. That invites trust and participation from all, communications increases and that results in better performance all round. The neurological benefits of mindfulness at work have been linked to an increase in emotional intelligence, the development of the areas that contributes to our ability to manage conflict and communicate more effectively. Mindfulness does not prevent conflict from arising but when difficult issues do arise, they are more likely to be skillfully acknowledged and responded to by the employees.
Better health = increased productivity
Research from numerous studies have proven beyond doubt that mindfulness practices in the office lead to a reduction of stress and better health and productivity. Studies by the Brown university at offices where mindfulness at work was practiced over a 6 month time frame showed an 40% average decrease in disease levels, attendance rose and per employee performance too increased. happy healthy employees are always good for an organisation.
Kate Pickert of the TIME put it so well in the February special issue on mindfulness at work,she said, “for business leaders, encouraging mindfulness is more than just being tuned in: it’s a strategy to improve personal and company-wide performance and productivity, both of which support overall organizational resilience.” Amen to that.