What is mindfulness?
Despite widespread perceptions, mindfulness is actually not just about stopping for a few moments and relaxing, although this is also very important. Mindfulness is about present moment attention, metacognition and non-reactivity. These important skills emerge from a regular mindfulness practice. But why are these skills particularly relevant in a corporate environment?
Present moment attention brings focus, authenticity, and intention to leadership. It produces much more data and details that are critical for good decision-making. It also exposes our tendency for automatic behaviour, which is a useful skill of the mind to save time and energy but often results in suboptimal actions and decisions.
Metacognition is the ability to recognise your own feelings, thoughts, impulses, and sensations. By being more aware of ourselves, our thinking patterns and mental models, we can avoid making decisions based on old memories and habitual patterns. We become more deliberate in our actions and choices.
Non-reactivity is a very important skill of a good leader. More often than not, we react before we even notice that we are reacting. By developing the skill of non-reactivity, we develop the ability to step back and create the necessary space and distance from the issue to give better and a more adequate response.
How does mindfulness fit into the workplace?
Mindfulness in the corporate environment is not new. Many high-profile organisations, including large corporations, financial institutions and even governments, have introduced yoga and meditation classes for their employees and created physical space (quiet rooms) for meditation and relaxation at the workplace. The well-recognised benefits are better focus, efficiency and effectiveness, resilience, and productivity.
The good news is that the capacity for mindfulness can be trained. What makes mindfulness training stand out from other leadership training interventions is that the capacity for greater attention can be trained and embedded in the context of everyday action. This greater attention will help to manage reactive emotions and stress, to train working memory, to perceive reality beyond a leader’s blind spots, and to cultivate empathy which will lead to better decisions and innovation.
Mindfulness at Serrano 99
As active mindfulness practitioners, we offer a range of programmes specifically designed for teams and leaders in a competitive and fast moving environment. The programmes provide an insight into what it means to be mindful, and a personal experience of being present in the now. Just becoming more aware of how our mind works and learning to observe can have a significant impact not only on our leadership style, but on our quality of life in general.
We also link mindfulness to personal effectiveness as well as leadership effectiveness ,and demonstrate their organisational relevance.