Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Mindfulness in the Corporate World
I have become very interested in the topic of mindfulness recently. It’s a ‘buzzword’ at the moment. I have ‘liked’ a mindfulness facebook page and so I get the regular reminders to be mindful. I knew it meant living in the moment. I know we are supposed to do that. I have plenty of ‘self-help’ books that tell me how I should be living. But I have become intrigued by the merging of Mindfulness and the Corporate World. Of course it makes sense. Every day our daily interactions not only in our personal but also our working world affect how our day goes. As a business owner and manager each day you interact with your employees and customers and it is these daily interactions that create the web that becomes who we are, they are and what the business is.
I am intrigued to see how Mindfulness strategies can actually affect our daily interactions. We are told perception is everything. Get up in the morning and say to yourself that you will have a good day and it will be good. Say positive affirmations all through the day at night and they will be true. Act as if you have all you want now. I do try these but by the time the kids have breakfast and we are out the door I have forgotten to do these let alone by the time you get to work.
The basis of my business is practical applications of theory. I decided to start reading up on mindfulness to see could I really apply it to my work life. I picked up a book entitled ‘Mindfulness at work’ and started reading some blogs. A few simple points even already have stood out…
Speak with compassion: No matter what you have to say to the other person speak with compassion. I think a smile on your face when appropriate is always good too.
Consider your ego: Your ego is what you have become. If you have been doing things a certain way for a while now, this has become you. Take a look and see if this is really who you want to be. I have found work very stressful for quite a while now and recently had a light bulb moment. Although I am the owner of the business and do bear the ultimate responsibility I realised I was holding too much in fact all the responsibility and not letting my employees take their share or even if they were, I was still taking their share. This is different from delegating actual physical work but the responsibility is different, it’s the intangible and that’s what causes the stress.
Meditation: Provide the opportunity for employee to take a few minutes to be by themselves to regroup their thoughts. A thought struck me that children in school should also be able to do this. Perhaps this is one reason children can become disruptive.
Assume Nothing: I am constantly messing this one up. Heading into interactions knowing what I need to say but making assumptions on the part of the other person. Being in the moment means you haven’t even thought ahead to what that person might think of what you have to say.
Know yourself: Mindfulness at work points out how important it is to really understand who you are. Think about what makes you excited and what makes you feel burdened. We all know the feeling of stress where you feel it’s too much and we all know the butterflies in the tummy when you are excited and there is a bounce in our step. Life is too short, we need more of the latter.
Act as if it’s the first time: My children amaze me. They are so open, so observant. Somewhere along the line we lose that. My three year old will spot details that I totally miss.
I do think all of these strategies will take time to build up. I am a busy working mum of three and I know I do my best every day. So my goal is to slowly bring these strategies into my life. It’s important for us to look at who we are and what we want out of life. Learning to handle situations that cause stress, to relinquish some of the responsibility and let go.