At times there is nothing quite like a good cup of coffee. A few connoisseurs I’m acquainted with have shared the fact that it can provide a moment to slow down. Is it possible that the deliberate yet simple act of pausing to savour a hot beverage in the midst of a hectic environment may provide health benefits and create better leaders?
Originating in Eastern meditation practices, mindfulness is about noticing the way things are now. Jon Kabat-Zinn defined it as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Individuals are learning not to have their thoughts and emotions hijacked; while businesses and organizations bear witness to more positive outcomes in the workplace, boardroom and stock market.
Prolific information overload and growing stress in the workplace have organizations seeking out of the best options for employees, managers and leaders. According to Maria Gonzalez, author of “Mindful Leadership,” benefits for organizations include:
- Improved time management
- Better judgment and decision making
- An enhanced ability to anticipate and serve customer and other stakeholder needs
- Improved conflict resolution
- More effective teamwork
- Enhanced ability to create and sustain partnerships
- Greater creativity, innovation, and inspiration
- Higher productivity
- Increased ability to deal effectively with stress, individually and collectively
As leadership responsibilities accumulate, the ability to find the right fit for professional and personal success, while remaining grounded and authenticity grows. The practice of mindful leadership provides tools to measure and manage your life as you live it. According to the Dalai Lama, “You must have practices that you engage in every day.”
Our minds may wander and swerve a thousand times in the midst of daily activities. Simply put – mindfulness is about bringing your attention back to the present moment a thousand and one times. We can learn to be completely present resulting in more peace, awareness and focus increasing our ability to influence others changing workplace environments.
Individuals now often seek employment with companies and organizations that exhibit healthy cultures. Participation towards and pride in business success are not limited to the boardroom. Successful innovation and winning ideas often come from the front lines or from behind the scenes when personnel are provided with opportunities to pause and reflect. According to the Financial Post, Raytheon, Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Yahoo, Google, eBay and Apple are a few of the companies offering employees classes in mindful meditation.
Combining coffee with mindfulness led to exceptional results for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. The company continues to experience healthy growth as consumers savour their options in a singular fashion. Ahhh…coffee.