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Mindfulness at play

Mindfulness is an idea growing in popularity; it continues to convert the sceptics and is being implemented into workplaces to increase productivity, innovation, emotional intelligence, and leadership. 

Robert Walters recently coordinated an event where Debbie Schultz from BlueSkyMinds spoke about mindfulness. 

As an expert in organisation development, consulting and coaching, Debbie has been supporting individual and organisational growth for over 15 years. She now specialises in delivering research-based organisational and mindfulness programmes designed to deliver measurable individual and business benefits. 

Debbie says that successful business outcomes happen if mindfulness programmes are built for business, backed by science, facilitated by a qualified teacher, and run over a period of weeks to ensure sustained individual change. Debbie takes us through the pillars of mindfulness, supporting employees towards attentive, aware working habits enabling them to focus, connect and grow:

 

Research has shown that we now check our cell phones an average of 150 times a day.

 

  1. Attention - In a busy complex world we need assistance to manage distractions. We spend 47% of our day thinking about what we're not doing. That is almost half our lives - this splits our focus and reduces productivity.
  2. Awareness - This practice is not about removing our thoughts; it is to become curious about thinking, and build awareness around what takes us out of the present moment. Clinical research has found that the practice of mindfulness increases grey matter in our hippocampus, a structure in the brain responsible for emotional regulation and learning. 
  3. Action - This is so people don't react in situations of pressure and conflict, but rather to skilfully respond to what is happening around them. The stressed mind shuts off innovation and creativity so employees can't perform to the best of their ability. 

Stress affects your immune system, digestion, creativity, relationships and it is the number 1 reason we visit the doctor today. By 2020 depression will be the second biggest health burden globally. 

 

Putting a mindfulness programme in place to support your employees not only supports their personal wellbeing and productivity, but also helps retain talent. Financial incentives aren't motivating employees like they used to. Research from our Cultural Fit whitepaper found that of those surveyed, only 29% said remuneration was the most important factor in their employment. Responses showed that a supportive and collaborative culture is often what will retain talent or entice employees into a company. Mindfulness offers a realistic approach to the modern day pressure of the work environment and provides employees with systems and support to build their resilience. 

 

The question is not anymore if mindfulness will come to your organisation, it will come, the question is when and if you will be an early adopter, says Peter Bostelmann speaking on the topic of mindfulness in his 2017 TEDx Talk.

 

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