We often receive requests for mindfulness meditation sessions as a component of wellness programs. The focus is usually to manage stress and enhance resilience. And both outcomes are achievable, but expanding the focus beyond individual wellness illuminates the possibilities! That said, research has demonstrated the many benefits of mindfulness for enhancing wellness, for example the practice can,
- Reduce reaction to stressors
- Calm the mind
- Stop rumination over stressors and stop negative thinking
- Boost the immune system
- Reduce inflammation
- Manage pain
….. And many other benefits.
However, what we have found to be the transformative benefits – the real AH HA’s – are enhanced self-awareness, more positive and healthier relationships, and greater emotional understanding and control. Practitioners report that they are better:
- Parents, and
Just overall better people! Recently, after only a few weeks of practice, a colleague reported that she has become a nicer person.
These benefits connect the other dimensions of wellness. All it takes is a slightly different focus and a few added practices. The best is that regardless of the focus or intended outcomes of the sessions, the results will still include managing stress, enhancing resilience, and improving health – not that these three factors alone aren’t enough! But why stop there and not strive for transformational?!
Both the organization and the employees benefit from this approach. Personal and professional interactions are improved; the social climate of the organization is more positive; and employees feel a sense of psychological safety, which increases their engagement, commitment, collaboration, and productivity. In other words, organizational and individual well-being are enriched.
Practicing techniques based on mindfulness meditation reduces or eliminates team conflicts, improves listening, eradicates incivility, and leads to collaboration and camaraderie, yet fosters opportunities to have difficult (and necessary!) discussions. New research out of the University of British Columbia Sounder School of Business, confirms these potential outcomes. The study indicates that there is less interpersonal conflict and undermining behaviors so that the teams work more collaboratively and productively.
For us, these significant benefits are why we promote meditation sessions for leaders and teams. Our mindfulness meditation initiatives encompass basic guidelines that enhance EI – emotional intelligence – based on an integral leadership model to enhance essential attributes. These attributes are necessary for organizations striving to be the best – and bring out the best in people. Plus, it is vital for many organizations to foster knowledge sharing and innovation in order to remain successful and competitive. Both depend on high performing teams. And here’s the thing, IQ accounts for 6% of job success while EI accounts for 45% of performance success.
Everyone throughout the organization should be leader-full, from senior executives – to middle managers – to those on the shop floor. This contributes to well-being and making the workplace a better place. In their summary the researchers conclude that more companies should consider making a concerted effort to be mindful — not only for individual employees, but as a team. What more motivation is needed to cultivate a more mindful place to work?
Interested in leadership development, learning and practicing mindfulness, cultivating leader attributes, and enhancing employee well-being? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities and/or to request a copy of the research mentioned. We are happy to send you the summary and/or the published findings. We look forward to the conversation and guarantee that we all will gain insight from the discussion!