If Upper Management Married Mindfulness
This title conjures up all sorts of funny images in my mind.
I can visualize a swami-like CEO in a business suit sitting on top of a large desk cross-legged with hands in prayer position chanting “Om”. The smell of incense permeates a feng shui office with employees who are equally zen, working happily together.
Wouldn’t it be a much more wonderful and productive place if the business world incorporated mindfulness into their environment? Heck yeah!
Think about it – everyone’s feelings would be put first and everyone would be respected as an individual, not as a social security number. The company would donate part of its profits to charity and every business dealing would be made for the highest good of all.
In this little mindful nirvana, a typical day would go something like this:
- Sometime after 8:00 am when you feel appropriate, you start your work day.
- After your morning tea and cheerful pleasantries with co-workers, you sit quietly to lay out your ideal day in your mind’s eye.
- You smile gently as you review your vision board which conjures up positive feelings that get your vibration up.
- Then there is a 15 minute guided group meditation led by a different manager each day. Today’s is centered on compassion and spreading love.
- At your weekly group meeting, you read through the inspirational quotes that line the conference room walls.
- The meeting begins with each person saying one kind word to describe the person to your right.
- Back at your desk, you deal with your client’s latest emergency so effortlessly that he now feels completely at ease. In fact, so much so that by the time you hang up he profusely thanks you.
- Later on the way to lunch time yoga, the CEO sees you, pauses and takes the time to look directly in your eyes and genuinely asks how you are.
- With gentle binaural beats pumping through the office, there is an overall productive yet calm feeling throughout.
- Having accomplished so much, you decide to leave early and spend time with your loved ones – no excuses and no questions asked.
- As you walk out, you say good night to your boss and she thanks you for being you and all your hard work.
Would this be a place you’d like to work? Sign me up!
While this may seem a bit far-fetched, many companies are offering elements of mindfulness but very few subscribe to a full-blown zen-like culture.
It’s interesting how our priorities change with age and wisdom. When I was recently considering companies to consult with, I was much more interested in their inner goodness than their outer offerings. I was looking for a more mindful and even soulful group of people that I could connect with on a deeper level. While all the fringe benefits some companies offer are great, working with warmhearted, open-minded people is simply priceless.
If you would have asked me 20 years ago what I was looking for in a company, this criteria would not have even been in my vocabulary. The swami-like CEO mentioned earlier may be a bit of a stretch but I do think that this type of business environment would cultivate a more loving community overall. It would also create a stronger sense of loyalty and connectedness that the annual company picnic may not. It would not only level the playing field in many ways but may also allow for a stronger work ethic.
While you currently may be able to talk your colleagues into the occasional yoga class, I challenge employees and employers alike to try and incorporate more mindfulness into the work day. What's the worse that can happen? You may actually like it.
“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender
Be kind. Be appreciative. Be mindful.