Mindfulness is an ancient mental training that focuses our attention to be focused and present. Mindfulness is both a practice and a mind-set. The more we practice it, the more we experience this state as a neuronal auto-pilot in everyday life.
The best known formal practice is meditation.
The mental training is by no means only suitable for relaxation, but it increases self-awareness and self-regulation. Take the image of professional slalom skiing. The athete runs down the slope with clear focus and ease. Just like that, with mindfulness, we learn to go through everyday life with presence a calm and clear mind – without being constantly driven by stress, pressure and unstoppable trains of thoughts. When we practice mindfulness, we stop waiting until the work day finally slows down or the many emails become less. Instead of having this sometimes unrealistic expectation for things to change outside, we rather change within. Mindfulness helps to find an inner balance that creates inner calm even in times of stress. The ability to focus and become present to what’s really important significantly improves productivity and the quality of relationships in the workplace.
The challenges of today’s fast-paced working world
Did you know that our minds tend wander almost 50% of the day? This means that we are working on a presentation trying to focus, yet quickly our thoughts go somewhere else. This tendency is often called “the monkey mind”. It constantly wanders from the past to the future and therefore diminishes are powerful present moment attention needed to be fully productive. In addition to these internal mental “distractions”, the modern work world is probably best described by information overload. Moreover, employees are asked to “do more with less” and to constantly adjust to change. We work in times of digitization, automation and constant technological innovations. Managers and employees are instructed to learn new work techniques and skills and adjust to changed organizational structures.
Do you know about the negative effects of modern work environments?
• Declining productivity due to constant distractions as the ability to concentrate decreases rapidly
• Rising costs due to stress-related sick days
• the price of increasing presenteeism at work (i.e. employee is sitting in front of the laptop, but does not work properly)
• Fear, insecurity and demotivation of employees
Our work environment has changed significantly in the last 100 years, but our brain has not yet been “upgraded” in evolutionary terms. It is necessary to train your mind in order to use the modern working world FOR you instead of struggling with it.
Change programs, restructuring and HR development initiatives in companies pave the way to a new way of working. However, even leadership programs rarely address the core skill needed: being able to lead oneself (= one’s mind).
Studies show that mindfulness training works on three levels:
• physiologically: better immune defenses, decreasing blood pressure, better quality of sleep, neural rejuvenation, less tension, less sick days
• psychologically: decrease in gray matter in the amygdala, the stress center of our brain; increase of gray matter in brain centers responsible for focus, conscious thinking, learning, memory and compassion
• organizationally: in just 8 weeks, participants of my 8-week “Mindful Empowerment Course” program show -38% stress, + 16% focus, + 19% creativity and + 7% commitment – all factors that directly affect the productivity and thus success of your team.
Stay balanced and healthy with mindfulness
Mindfulness describes the mind-set that every good manager and team member needs:
• shape everyday life with presence
• make decisions with clarity
• lead (/ collaborate) with colleagues and teams in an empathic manner
Mindfulness training promotes open-mindedness and clarity, both key factors for executives and teams in order to adapt quickly to new situations, to increase the learning speed and to work in a success-oriented manner. At its core, it is a training for an intentional use of attention. What sounds so simple, is something that can and needs to be trained. Otherwise, an untrained mind will waste cognitive resources by drifting off when working, not listening well, making more mistakes than needed and reacting a lot when working with others. Mindfulness brings an almost magical quality into everything you do and has the potential to positively transform corporate cultures from the inside out.
The Zen & Go mindfulness training works on two levels:
• Mind-set: Train the mind-set of your employees for more focused attention, presence and resilience.
• Behavior: Learn skills to improve work efficiency and productive collaboration.
Case studies show as a result of mindfulness training (Aetna, US health insurance; SAP Germany):
• -28% stress
• + 12% focus,
• + 11% creativity
• + $ 3000 / measured productivity improvements
The Zen & Go Mindfulness Training combines techniques that are thousands of years old with modern methods from coaching and psychology. It is a mental training to improve focus and well-being in the workplace. Your employees learn to deal better with stress and to focus on what’s really important in the moment. They may unwind and sleep better, starting the next day recharged.
Feel free to contact me if you are interested in trying out mindfulness with your team. I’m available for a free chat about what your team might need. Just send me a message using the “Contact” button in the menu (upper right corner).