Mindfulness is the missing component in organizational development. In this day and age, we have become accustomed to filling the inboxes and our minds with information. The greatest instrument we have is our mind, and our mind needs to be taught the art of focus. Spending time on more information and courses at work, will not guarantee anything if your mind is not in the room. We never count in absenteeism figures those moments where employees are there in the workplace but simply not present.
A mindful leader is one who is able to create a workspace where people feel valued, where, in an unknown future there is the flexibility to adapt and change, and where there is an openness to other points of views and using the talents of each individual. In the book, “Resonant Leadership”, mindfulness, together with hope and compassion are listed as the qualities necessary to sustain success as a leader in today’s high-stress workplace.
In difficult times, there is often an argument for getting tough and focussing on the figures as opposed to the people, which generally generates a culture of fear. Management starts with self-management, and if leaders are constantly in the mode of doing, without taking time out for self-reflection or self-care, this spills over into the organisational ethos. We have forgotten that human beings are not human doings. We need time to pay attention, connect, self-regulate and reflect.
Leaders and corporates may be missing the qualities that are pivotal to surviving and thriving in the corporate world. The tendency in times of stress is to panic, become pessimistic, and become fearful or aggressive. Mindfulness can help bring a sense of equanimity, peace, clarity, compassion and wisdom back into the workplace. The practice of stillness brings us in touch with our deepest wisdom.
- Increased self-awareness with regards emotional, physical and spiritual health
- Interpersonal wisdom – improved relationships at work and at home
- Equanimity – the capacity to respond rather than react to situations
- An increased capacity for emotional stability in the midst of highly charged or complex situations
- The ability to deal with change – resilience
- The ability to live in the present moment rather than in the past or the future
- Enhanced clarity of thought and focus
- An overall improvement in personal and workplace energy and effectiveness
- An improved ability to relax and improved sleep
To date, I have facilitated mindfulness training to PetroSA, Anglo American, Shell, Old Mutual, Bankmed, World Bank, British Institute of Anger Management, Rockefeller Foundation, City Lit (UK), Synergy Centre (Dubai) and Executive MBA students.
This has been in the format of half-day, one, or two-day workshops, eight-week programmes meeting weekly for 2 hours, and individual and/or team-based coaching.
Leadership retreats are also possible for corporate team building and restoration.
I believe in adapting mindfulness programmes to suit the needs and contexts of my clients. Programmes can be formatted according to your organizational needs.
Learning to be present needs to be cultivated and practised. Sessions can focus on:
Why mindfulness; the science behind the practice.
What has mindfulness got to do with stress management: understanding the symptoms of stress.
Applications and practices of mindfulness.
Mindful communication and non-violent relating.
The value and art of self-care and self-compassion.