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The Benefits of Integrating Mindfulness into your work life, by Mark Lesser

The many possible benefits of integrating mindfulness at work include:

  • increased creativity
  • improved listening and communication skills
  • enhanced problem-solving skills
  • steadfast integrity and deeper, more beneficial relationships
  • keener leadership and team-building skills
  • greater work satisfaction
  • improved focus and concentration
  • a stronger appreciation for life and work
  • inspired entrepreneurial positioning and action
  • a sense of connectedness to all things and the motivation to change the world for the better

Let’s explore each of these benefits in more detail:

1. Increased creativity. The aim of mindfulness practice is to develop a flexible, open mind. Slowing down and paying attention to your thoughts and your body opens the mind to new possibilities. Understanding that the world is not always what it seems helps us to view problems and opportunities from a fresh perspective, which can be very beneficial for problem solving, product development, and improving business systems.

2. Improved listening and communication skills.Mindful communication and deep listening are integral to mindfulness practice. It is possible to learn the practice of deep listening to oneself, and others. This skill can then be applied to sales protocols, team building, and general problem solving. Successful business ideas and models start by first paying attention to unfulfilled needs. When the mind is less busy and our ability to focus and concentrate is more developed, we can communicate more clearly to coworkers, customers, and vendors. By shifting focus and attention we build relationships as a way to improve outcomes and meet goals.

3. Enhanced problem-solving skills. Meditation and mindfulness practice transform our focus so that we come to understand that our problems, difficulties, and challenges can provide valuable learning opportunities. When we embrace a conventional and unconventional viewpoint of ourselves and the world, we see time and space differently. It is through this lens that problems have the potential to become opportunities.

4. Steadfast integrity and deeper, more beneficial relationshipsSlowing down and paying attention connects you to your deepest feelings and intentions, and the feelings and intentions of people in your workplace. Practicing right thinking, right speech, and right action helps to develop straightforward, open, and honest communication. By building integrity you deepen trust and your connections with people around you.

5. Keener leadership and team-building skills. Through practicing right speech and learning to bring the best out of others, our leadership skills are accentuated. The combination of self-knowledge, deep listening, and heightened appreciation of the mystery of life, make for a more developed, well-rounded leader. You can build more creative and more cohesive teams through a clearer evaluation of your own and other’s strengths and weaknesses, by seeing other people as primarily focused on awakening their true natures, and by aligning actions with deep beliefs and goals.

6. Greater work satisfaction. When we engage the practice of awakening at work, it can transform the work environment, for ourselves and those around us. Each moment becomes an opportunity to practice, to listen, and to be grateful for what we have.

7. Improved focus and concentration. When we learn to “stay close to ourselves” by focusing on what is truly important and by not getting stuck in old patterns and habits, we cut through distractions and create space to bring larger issues and strategies into focus.

8. Increased appreciation for life and work. As we clarify and soften our thinking, the context of our work shifts so it becomes an integral part of our practice and life. Appreciation arises as we reduce habitual thinking and actions. There is nothing but appreciation when you are living “in the moment” instead of being distracted by looking at the past and/or toward a future that may not ever materialize.

9. Inspired entrepreneurial positioning and action.Noticing and altering habitual patterns of thinking opens the way for a different quality of thought where one can see and act with less hindrance. As you learn to trust yourself deeply, fear lessens, actions become more focused and affective, and your ability to evaluate a situation from several viewpoints helps to minimize risks.

10. A sense of connectedness to all things and the motivation to change the world for the better. Business has the potential to influence and change our world. By integrating mindfulness practice with our work, we can transform ourselves and the workplace, effecting positive change in how we engage with customers, vendors, other businesses, and other countries. The impact of one person or one business acting for the true benefit of others can have a transformative, inconceivable impact.