Our understanding and acceptance of mindfulness is changing pretty quickly – From a consumer point of view, mindfulness is stepping up from “fad” status, to being a mainstream staple of a life well-lived. It’s joining restful sleep, and better nutrition, and more exercise, in the pantheon of general wellness.
In the corporate world, mindfulness is this year’s company health benefit. It’s popular, people are interested in it, it’s a proven path to stress reduction, it’s cheap and simple to implement – and it’s cool enough to be a positive talking point in hiring.
Neural Training for Personal Qualities
These are all positive perceptions, and good steps forward, but they entirely miss the big opportunity that mindfulness really represents. In short, mindfulness is a neural training process that strengthens positive traits and qualities that align almost exactly with behaviors we want in our leaders and workforce.
Mindfulness trains intangible human capital assets (like positivity, motivation, initiative, creativity, empathy, compassion and rapport) that drive leadership, relationships, personal performance and productivity.
We’ve never had a secular learning methodology that reaches past skills, and past competencies, to reach the fundamental building blocks of our mindset, emotions and temperament. This is an entirely new set of levers for optimizing attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the workforce.
Mapping the outcomes of this mindfulness mechanism to specific business competencies is discussed in more detail here: Neuroscience of Mindful Business Performance.
Transform the Individual, Transform the Organization
Transform the individuals that come to work every morning, and pretty soon you’ll transform the organization. Happier, healthier, more engaged, higher performing people close more sales, make more customers happy, have more design breakthroughs, make better products – and are way more fun to work with.
This is an argument for the next step forward – Let’s get mindfulness out of the benefits closet, and put it at the center of our leadership development, our talent development and our culture.