Mindfulness means intentional connectedness. When people practice intentional connectedness, they are better able work together for a common goal.
With technology, we are faster, more efficient and better able to produce a different lifestyle that has never been imagined before in our world. As society moves quicklier and work occurs in a wider arena, there are actions that can help people stay connected to self, to other people and to the world.
Mindfulness means intentional connectedness. When you are intentional about the way you work, then your company can create an environment that supports human potential and a cohesive community of people. The value added for your business is that individuals who are mindful are better able to handle stress, challenges and conflict, which translates into improved time management, more effective communication and increased engagement for employees. When people practice intentional connectedness, they are better able to work together for a common goal.
Meditation may come to mind when you think of mindfulness, but there is a broader way to look at mindfulness. Mindfulness offers the ability to create a workplace environment that changes the way you do business. Mindfulness is about slowing your mental speed so that you can better manage yourself in the world. When the world is spinning faster and faster, mindfulness gives you the ability to measure your thinking so that you can keep from spinning out of control. The key to mindfulness is finding a practice that slows you down either mentally or physically so that you are more intentional about the choices you make and the actions you take. This process redirects you back to your work instead of thinking about the troubles of the day or situations that are frustrating you.
Creating a daily process helps you integrate mindfulness into your day. Process helps rewire your thinking so that you are less distracted by the busyness around you. One process of mindfulness includes creating a PIMS, or Personal Intentional Mission Statement. PIMS are behavioral words that define how you want to live your life or, for business, words that act as the core elements of your business. These words can be words such as friendly, efficient or helpful. Choose words that give you behaviors that you can control. It would be difficult to say "happy" because sometimes you can’t control whether you are happy. These words become the core experience of your day that keep you aligned even when presented with challenges. For instance, if you choose the word "friendly," then your thoughts and actions should focus on friendly solutions to both daily and difficult situation.
Having your mind concentrate on the behaviors that support your words helps to slow you down and has the added benefit of keeping you authentic. When you take the time to be intentional about the way you respond, then words and actions align in a way that reduces the fractures. Fractures come from discord between what you say and what you do, breaking the connections between you and other people. The slowing down process helps you respond instead of reacting in ways that reduce those fractures to yourself, other people, or the company. Once you have chosen these words, then you can practice them in your daily life by making sure that your actions match these words.
Mindfulness is also created when you do not judge things as good or bad or wrong or right, but rather focus on the facts. When an employee does not complete work tasks, you can focus on fixing the problem and setting boundaries instead of talking about who is to blame. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center described mindfulness as paying attention to the present moment with intention while letting go of judgment as if our life depends on it.
Value judgments of people do not support intentional connectedness. Instead of keeping the focus on what went wrong, identify the situation and come up with a solution for how to fix it. The difference in value judgments can be seen from the comparison of the words, “He did a bad job” versus, “He needs to complete the work.” Mindfulness fixes the problems without devaluing the people.
Beyond the mindfulness within daily life, there are also opportunities to recharge. Recharging gives you an opportunity to take a break during the day to reset yourself and store some needed energy. A quick recharge reduces the risk of burnout, which helps you maintain continuity within life of your work. Some people might find this balance through golfing, walking through the woods, meditation, yoga or even sitting and reading a good book. Choose any activity that manages the speed of your day and gives your batteries a chance to recharge.
The goal of mindfulness is to take you from the feeling of careening out of control down the hill to a place of peacefulness even when there are challenges and chaos. The goal is to bring that sense of peace into the workplace and use it as a tool to cultivate a business, manage people or create a more cohesive life for yourself and your organization.
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