Mindful leaders may be more attuned to followers’ ongoing nonverbal communication and emotional states, enabling greater discernment of individual differences and needs.
– Juliet Adams
Middle managers receiving mindfulness training exhibited large improvements in supervisor-rated job performance compared to their initial performance and to that of a control group.
– (Shonin, Gordon, Dunn, Singh,& Griffiths, 2014)
Mindfulness at Work
As mindfulness enters the mainstream, the number of academic research publications on the subject has grown from an insignificant number ten years ago to more than 500 last year. There are now around 80 workplace specific mindfulness research studies published which link practicing mindfulness with improved productivity, relationships at work and well-being. Mindfulness has been linked to improved decision making, attention management and emotional intelligence.
Companies looking for more than managerial solutions to workplace challenges are bringing mindfulness-based programs to the heart of their organizations, seeking to improve productivity, the general quality of the work environment or as part of culture change initiative.
Ways of defining mindfulness and how it can affect the workplace abound, but they share a basic concept: being more aware of the present moment, of feelings, thoughts, our bodies and the world around us. Through certain practices, this awareness can be developed and have a deep and positive impact on our mental wellbeing.
This “development of awareness” is what we call mindfulness, or being mindful. It involves a process of actively paying attention (and not tuning-out) to what’s happening around us, no matter what is going on, or what state of mind we’re in. Having this faculty of consistent, clear thinking and focus can seem almost superhuman during certain moments in life – at work or anywhere else – but we can learn to cultivate it and enjoy the benefits. Companies and individuals who realize this will have an advantage.
If the benefits of these programs – such as better performance, better relationships, less stress, more general understanding – may seem unsurprising to some, the pathway towards these benefits might be less well understood.
Multinational companies like Apple, Aetna, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, the US Marines, but also small and medium-sized companies that have implemented mindfulness-based programs are seeing positive results. The UK Parliament published a groundbreaking official report that recognizes the benefits of mindfulness initiatives, and makes a series of concrete proposals in the areas of health, education, justice and the workplace.
Today, there are a number of evidence-informed approaches to teaching Mindfulness in the workplace. More and more studies are revealing the effectiveness and impact of mindfulness-based programs, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. The question thus becomes, which of these programs could be right for you and your company?
If the benefits of these programs – such as better performance, better relationships, less stress, more general understanding – may seem unsurprising to some, the pathway towards these benefits might be less well understood. We hope this website will shine a light on any gray areas of mindfulness in the workplace, the programs or their implementation. Don’t hesitate to contact any of the TMG Partners if you have questions.
What are the practices to develop awareness?
Is it necessary to meditate to develop mindfulness?
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