Mindfulness for Organizations
Mindfulness is just about non-judgmental awareness of your self (emotions, thoughts, and body), others, and your surroundings. Though in its early stages, current scientific research shows promising effects of mindfulness and meditation, including increased focus, reduced stress, and improved mental health and overall well-being.
The Human Systems Mindfulness Model draws from established mindfulness models, theories of change, and psychological theory and has four primary components including awareness, acceptance, balance, and compassion. We practice being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and bodies; we practice unconditional acceptance of ourselves and others; we practice compassion for ourselves and the world; and we practice emotional balance and the magic of finding a happy medium.
We can easily apply these components to organizations. A mindful organization cultivates self-awareness of how its systems are working, the well-being of its employees, and its alignment with the mission and vision, as well as awareness of its environment, both physical and virtual. Once the organization becomes more aware, it can practice unconditional acceptance of its present state, which creates non-judgmental space for positive change. A mindful organization practices
compassion for its employees, clients, partners, and community, which contributes to its overall health and the well-being of its stakeholders; and the organization practices balance by striving for equality and shared decision-making power among all employees.
Dr. Peters has developed 5 organizational operating principles based on her research in leadership, background in social work, and knowledge of mindfulness. These principles can improve the overall health of your organization and create an environment of psychological safety.
- Everybody is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know.
- The best way forward moves us toward what we want, not away from what we fear.
- A challenge in best solved by the person or group most affected.
- The truth lies in the combined perspective of all stakeholders.
- Purposefully aligning behaviors, values, and principles allows effective leadership to emerge.