Mindfulness is becoming more and more popular in the professional world. Leaders can often feel overwhelmed, stressed and like they’re running a never ending race. Mindfulness can help with that.
But does mindfulness training work well for teams?
A recent article in Forbes took a look at the research behind this question and suggested some ways to implement mindfulness training in the office.
Clinical research has yielded two important conclusions: 1. Mindfulness training helps leaders improve their leadership skills, and 2. This improvement is strongly contingent on regular application of mindfulness tools.
To reap the benefits of mindfulness, it’s helpful to practice it on a regular basis. It’s also helpful to look for ways you can use it in your everyday life.
How can you do this for yourself individually, and within a team or organization? Here are a few suggestions from the article:
1. After waking up, take a few moments instead of just immediately getting out of bed. Take some deep breaths and allow concerns or worries about the busy day ahead to pass through your mind without dwelling too much on them.
2. When at work, take a few moments doing the same before you start your work for the day. This will allow you to start your work day focused and relaxed.
3. If you have a meeting scheduled, try taking a few moments beforehand to organize your thoughts — mentally or on paper. This will enable you to walk in to the meeting more prepared and with your thoughts collected.
The mindset of being present and in the moment is the key to the suggestions above. Doing this regularly develops your awareness of the moment and how to focus.
Team or Organization
1. Build employee and company leadership commitment by integrating formal sessions of mindfulness education that engages the entire company. That can include webinars or apps that employees can use to practice.
2. Provide employees with the time and space to practice mindfulness techniques they learn while at work. Even brief breaks of 5 minutes have been shown to effectively help people refocus and become even more productive when they resume a task.
3. Encourage regular and formalized mindfulness practice across the company daily (that’s where the app can come in handy). Reminders from you as the leader, helpful tips from HR, and even calendar pop-ups that remind people to take time for mindfulness exercises can help make mindfulness the norm.
You should see over time — at the individual and team/organization levels, a reduction in stress, more focus, better listening and engagement, and more efficiency as people approach tasks and one another with clearer thinking and more effective attention.
Question: What areas of your business (e.g., sales, customer service, finance) could be improved through mindfulness practices?
For information about how we can help you build more mindfulness, call us at 610-642-3040.