It’s hard to find an article or blog on leadership practices these days that doesn’t mention – and recommend – trying mindfulness. But what is this practice, and how can it help achieve your organizational goals? operates. Organizational structure is often loosely divided into two categories: tall (or vertical) and flat (horizontal). Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
What is mindfulness?It is a particular way of being that is not reactive, but instead pays close attention to what is happening in any given moment – both externally and internally. It facilitates a sense of ease, which allows the practitioner to recognize the factors that are impacting the current situation and make wise decisions accordingly. For example, let’s say you receive an email from a Subject Matter Expert who says he is going to be late with his script for your eLearning course. You might immediately realize that this delay is going to have a big impact on the course delivery, and fire off a furious response. With mindfulness, your attention – rather than zeroing in on blame and anger – would notice the way that stress shows up in your body in the moment. For example, your shoulders might become tight, and your breathing more rapid. That open attention might also produce the realization that writing an angry email will simply escalate the situation and create unnecessary drama. So in a very simple way, mindfulness can become a habit that leads to less reactivity and better decision making. That is one way it can benefit organizational culture.
What does the research say?The mindfulness boom has inspired plenty of empirical studies that boast the potential benefits of a mindful organization, including:
- Reducing stress
- Enhancing work-family connections
- Increasing employee engagement
- Creating High Reliability Organizations that are less likely to fail