Mindfulness Series – Segment I

Tags: Leadership, Performance

This is the first of a series of blogs on the topic of mindfulness and workplace performance discussed in a recent book by Hougaard, Carter, and Coutts.  This book was recommended to me by Josh Baran, PR strategist in the fields of public affairs, advocacy, and social media. The authors examine the high pressures at work that create stress for leaders and require a mind that is “always on”.  They are targeting team performance and hope to optimize focus, prioritization, sleep quality, memory, and energy.

Unexpected results in practicing mindfulness reveal the additional findings of being kinder, gentler, and more content. Victor Frankl and others have discussed how there is freedom in introducing greater discipline in managing cognitions and enlarging capacity for adaptive decision-making. Multitasking is generally viewed as the opposite: causing lower productivity and turning people into underachievers.

Today, much of what is called mindfulness has actually existed for thousands of years. However, it has become important to adapt its approaches and possibly develop new ones to positively impact the modern workplace.

We will examine the following goals of mindfulness:

  • To enhance focus and outcomes
  • To be more calm and kind
  • To train one’s mind
  • To stimulate change and thought from scenarios (We will also apply my method of scenario shifting to illustrate opportunities to achieve positive change)
  • A 10-minute daily plan to reconfigure the experience of work and home

Together, we will explore how mindfulness maximizes focus and productivity in coaching clients and simultaneously expands kinder human qualities as well. Future blog segments in my Mindfulness Series will present you with potential tools to foster your peak performance at work and life. Already, you can see that excessive multitasking is probably not a great idea for most modern leaders.

In a recent editorial by David Gelles, he worries whether something will be lost now that mindfulness is being merchandised in many hundreds of ways such as Mindful Vegetables, Mindful Mayo, and Mindful Mints. Discussions of mindfulness are gaining popularity in many industries. The author points out that some want to simply purchase mindfulness while others want to humbly practice it.

Look for Mindfulness Series – Segment II on a future Tuesday when we will examine mindfulness techniques for the workplace. We will discuss whether there is true value in bringing mindfulness techniques to individuals and organizations.  I have a hunch that those who truly practice, as Gelles suggests, will be the ones to experience greater outcomes beyond being part of the latest fad in performance.



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