Mindfulness in the Workplace
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you
something else is the greatest accomplishment.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
A recent Harvard University study reveals how mindful leaders develop better companies and happier employees. Researchers conclude that mindfulness helps leaders manage their stress levels, which in turn reduces employee stress, creates a better workplace, and improves the bottom line. When workers actively engage in mindfulness practices, the psychological capital of an organisation is developed through the positive impact on resilience, self-efficacy, and optimism. It is suggested that mindful workers have mastered two specific ways of processing. Firstly, they are able to personally separate themselves from stressful events — they learn not to take organisational threats personally, and are able to observe situations from a neutral position, rather than becoming emotionally charged. Secondly, they are able to control their reactions to threats or difficult situations so that they can process their options, rather than reacting without thinking.
With specific reference to business leadership, Harvard Business Review recently identified 3 specific areas of mastery which allow leaders to be more present, more thoughtful in their organisational choices, and more aware of everything going on around them:
Metacognition - the ability to take a step back to observe at a distance what is happening around you
Allowing - being accommodating to what is happening without judgment of yourself or anyone else
Curiosity - the most effective leaders have a strong sense of curiosity, and are open to learning more about all situations