Today "mindfulness for X" has become the one-size fits all phrase for all applications including work, health, sports, relationships, and more. The hype may be conjuring up the idea of taking mindfulness and using it to fulfill whatever application is required. With this growing popularity and interest surrounding mindfulness, we’re noticing greater confusion than ever.
Some of the leading misconceptions around mindfulness at work we’ve come across identify mindfulness as:
- a relaxation or yoga session
- a spiritual practice
- sharing feelings
- thinking things through
- creating a special state
- pushing away thoughts
We take the stance that mindfulness at work is very different from workplace mindfulness. The one-size fits all approach of mindfulness becomes high stakes in organizational settings and to counteract the misconceptions we convey workplace mindfulness as:
- workplace relevant
- optimizing workplace interactions
- training the mind to impact the organization, clients and stakeholders
When it comes to workplace mindfulness misconceptions they can become barriers to entry. They come from programs developed for healthcare or from the symbolism in eastern contemplative traditions from where the concept of mindfulness originates, but when it comes to introducing workplace mindfulness to an organization - this context is not only misleading but can also be costly.
The most effective way to dispel misconceptions is first by choosing a consultant/trainer or team of trainers that is the right fit and second; deliver workplace mindfulness gold-standard programs backed by research, based in workplace context and in a language that addresses all audiences.
It is essential to partner with a specialist or organization that can work with executives and staff to skillfully integrate and sustain mindfulness in the day to day work interactions already in place. We find that it takes; business acumen to understand and relate to the employee experience, mindfulness experience to show how workplace mindfulness is relevant, and a considerable knowledge around mental health to deal with the questions and challenges that may arise during workplace mindfulness practices.
Do you agree mindfulness in the workplace is different from workplace mindfulness? Share why (or why not!) in the comments.