How Bosses And Employees Can benefit From Mindfulness

meditation for managers
  • Discover the best type of meditation for managers.
  • Learn how and why managers should use meditation to stop stress both inside and outside of work.
  • Boost your productivity and team morale, as well as your own happiness. Meditation really is a managerial wonder.

Empathetic bosses produce happy employees. And mindfulness helps both.

Life would be better for everyone if relationships at work were more peaceful and harmonious.  Bosses would see improved results. Employees would enjoy more relaxed work environments. And families would be happier because stress at work would no longer be causing problems at home.

Sadly, this is not the case in today’s society:

  • 80% of workers experience stress at work (source: stress.org)
  • Half of all employees have chronic health conditions according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Sleep deprivation costs employees around 1.2 million lost work days a year according to the RAND Corporation. lost work days—up to $411 billion a year—a recent report from the RAND Corporation. For many, those hours are unpaid, making it harder to pay the bills and to fulfill our roles as family members.
  • Most importantly, stress at work creates unhappiness for individuals and families.

 

Meditation can change all this.

Companies including Google, Disney, and the Pentagon have all started using mindfulness, and it’s about time your company joined them.

Buy why is it important to use meditation at work?

It mostly comes down to compassion.

 

Why lack of compassion turns bosses into bullies  

Every week, thousands of people Google search “Why is my boss so mean”?

Good question. And it’s at the heart of the entire issue.

So why are bosses so mean and hard on employees?

The answer is: because they are mean and hard on themselves.

What we experience in our own minds we pass on to the world. Negative energy towards the self translates to negative energy towards others. And this is the case for many bosses (or “leaders”, as they like to term themselves).

Bosses have their own bosses who put pressure on them. And even the head of a company has the pressure of meeting shareholder expectations.

So right from the beginning, at the peak of the pyramid, there is stress and pressure. That stress and pressure filters down through the pyramid, because if the person below doesn’t do their job the person above sees the results.

Example:

Your boss is told they have to sell $2 million this year. Otherwise their job will be in jeopardy. They know that for this to happen they need their employees to be productive. Anytime they see an employee being unproductive they worry they won’t hit the target and that they will lose their jobs. They then transfer that pressure to their employees. It’s a fountain of stress.

This is bad for business, as this article explains. But far more importantly, it has a huge impact on the mental health and happiness of both employees and bosses.

 

Negative bosses are destroying health and happiness for families around the world

For years, society has dictated that tough bosses get better results.

It’s simply not true.

Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, says that the energy of bosses has never been more negative than it is today. Ego is largely to blame. It’s the Donald Trump mentality, the mentality that is keener to trash-mouth competitors and shame employees than to actually encourage and motivate them.   According to a survey Taylor conducted, 86% of employees feel their boss is a negative influence and a source of stress.

Those bad bosses are causing serious problems for the health and happiness of families.

Science shows that employees with inconsiderate, impolite, or incompetent bosses are 60% more likely to have a heart attack.  How many mothers and fathers have been lost solely because of a bad boss?

 

Compassionate leaders create happier employees and (for those counting) better results

One of the primary reasons human beings have become the dominant species on planet Earth is because of our compassion and kindness. This was an argument first put forward by Darwin 130 years ago and proven scientifically today mostly through the work of the esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy.

De Waal says that society wrongly dictates that man is dominant because we are stronger at the more violent aspects of nature: namely, killing and being predators. But this, de Wall says, is not true. Nature is equally if not more about compassion and empathy than about violence, and it is compassion and empathy that has gotten mankind where it is today.

Empathy was vital to evolution. And research shows the importance of compassion at work too. And thankfully, leadership skill courses are starting to focus more on compassion rather than strictness.

In their book Resonant Leadership, Annie McKee and Richard Boyatzis say that empathy and compassion “have a decidedly constructive effect on neurological functioning, psychological well-being, physical health and personal relationships.”

A study conducted by the Australian School of Business showed that empathy and compassionate in leadership was one of the single most important factors to profitability and productivity. This is backed-up by another study conducted at the University of southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, which showed that empathy is the most important leadership skill for bosses to possess.

But you don’t need a masters degree in psychology to understand why empathy is important.

Highly empathic people understand others. And understanding others means being able to guide them through problems.

Where bullying bosses cause their employees to close-off and to keep quiet about problems, empathetic leaders make employees feel comfortable discussing issues. That can save many workplace complications, from a business perspective. And far more importantly, it saves both employees and bosses from stress that can cause serious health complications. And all it takes is a little compassion.

 

How to create compassion at work using meditation

Scientific research has proven that mindfulness is a powerful catalyst for compassion. In fact, compassion is one of the number one benefits of meditation.

Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta) is one of the best meditation techniques for creating compassion.  This simple technique heightens empathy and compassion in as little as twenty minutes. The result is increased understanding and healthier communication. It’s a technique all leaders should use at least once a week.

Another fantastic exercise for compassion is mindfulness.  This is a simple technique that is about being aware of the way we are feeling.

Too much stress at work is caused by mindlessness. When one employee or boss feels pressured and isn’t aware of how their feelings are influencing their behaviour, the result is headaches and stress for everyone. This can be remedied easily enough. By simply being mindful of the emotion and saying to ourselves “I’m feeling stressed and it’s affecting me” we can take control of the situation.

This is essential for bosses who let their stress effect their employees. All it takes is one moment to say,
“I feel stressed. I’m not going to let this effect my workers”. And this simple strategy can remove a lot of the stress from the workplace for everyone.

 

 Mindfulness helps employees to be happy at work

While a bad boss can cause a lot of stress, it’s important that we be fair. Not all stress at work is caused by the boss. A lot of it is on the rest of us.

Just as the boss puts pressure on themselves to perform well, and can lack self compassion and be too hard on themselves, so can employees.

Self compassion is key.

What does it mean to have self compassion at work?:

  • Accepting your mistakes and being gentle in your criticism
  • Recognising when you need a break and taking it
  • Not putting unreasonable expectations on yourself

 

 

Stop stress at work by encouraging compassion

Lack of self compassion in leaders or bosses causes them to put unfair pressure on employees. Employees then feel the need to live up to unreasonable expectations They then lack self compassion themselves when they miss the mark.

So what’s the answer?

  • Practice self compassion
  • Be compassionate to other people at work
  • Accept mistakes
  • Be gentle in criticism
  • Control your own mind.
  • Don’t let your emotions effect others at work
  • Above all, aim for empathy, understanding, and compassion.

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You’re stuck at work during a rough day. As a managers it’s your responsibility to lead your team. But to be an effective manager you need to take control of your own mind. Meditation is the key. Meditation helps you manage stress and it makes you more effective at work.

For managers, meditation is a powerful tool that makes you more effective, more relaxed, and healthier. But just what, exactly, is the right meditation for managers, and how do you do it?

 

Managers in Singapore claim meditation is an important managerial technique

For the past twenty years, Peter Ng has been the manager of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. Ng is responsible for investing billions of dollars. And he invests money while thinking of nothing.

Or, rather, he invests while practicing zen meditation techniques. By calming his mind he is able to continue his extremely high-pressure job without stress. (and if you would like to be a stress free manager you should probably read my guide to managing stress)

Peter Ng isn’t alone in his practice of Zen meditation techniques. Zen meditation is a powerful way of working a high pressure job without stress. It is a practice that all managers should follow. And it seems some famous business owners agree. Oprah Winfrey recently stated that meditation helps her businesses. And there are many managers, CEOs and corporate types who feel the same way.

Over the past ten years, zen meditation has gained great popularity. It is the perfect solution to living in these stressful times. The fact that meditation also makes you more intelligent is really just a very welcome bonus.

In this article I would like to share a powerful Zen meditation technique for managers. This technique will help you to be a more effective manager without the implied stress. Those who have attended one of our corporate meditation workshops will know, firsthand, how immensely valuable the techniques are.

Why Zen Meditation will make you a better manager 

Managers are tasked with complex and stressful jobs. Regardless of the industry you’re working in, a manager’s life is stressful. You’re burdened with handling an ocean of data and of making difficult decisions each and every day. If that sounds like you, you might like to read my guide to effective decision making. Being a manager is stressful and it is a stress that you do not need, not at work and not in life.

The problem with the majority of jobs these days is that they require us to fill our minds with information. It is very difficult not to become overburdened with this information. Our minds simply aren’t designed to handle so much data.

Thankfully, there is a simple and effective way to calm your mind at work. I recommend using this technique at least once a day for twenty minutes.

As you will see, the technique quiets the mind, creates inner stillness and promotes relaxation. You will find that, with a quiet and calm mind, not only do you feel less stress but you are also able to carry out your work more effectively.

 

So, here is the best meditation technique for managers

Read the instructions on this page thoroughly before beginning the meditation, then practice the meditation while leaving the page open (so you can reread the instructions if need be).

1)      Find somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed for twenty minutes. Ideally do this during your break or before or after work. You might find it helpful to read my guide to creating a meditation space.

2)      Focus your mind on your breathing. Specifically, focus on your breath coming and going through the space between your lips and nose. (for more on this, watch the Dalai Lama’s guide to Nine Round Breathing)

3)      As you continue to focus on your breathing you will find thoughts entering your mind. This is natural. If you’re new to meditation you will find that your mind quickly fills with thoughts. The more you practice, the quieter your mind will become.

4)      When a thought comes to your mind, say to yourself “This is just a thought, it is not reality.”

5)      Continue focussing your mind on your breathing for twenty minutes.

6)      Observe how you feel after completing this meditation

Continual practice of this meditation will promote inner calm and will eliminate stress, making you able to complete your job more effectively and in a more relaxed manner.

I hope you find this technique helpful.

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