Mindfulness Programmes in the Work Place
We offer tailored mindfulness programmes in the workplace to staff in a wide range of organisations and businesses in both private and public sector. Annika Wager is the lead workplace trainer for On The Mind (link to Biography).
Employees Mindfulness Resilience Programmes
Develop mindfulness skills and awareness as a tool to support well being, reduce reactivity, manage stress and enhance resilience.
Programmes for Leaders and Managers
Introduce mindfulness as a practical tool to build resilience and manage thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness training is a method of mental training that reduces the tendency to go through life on autopilot, by learning to pay more attention to thoughts, feelings and experiences as they arise. In so doing it can change the way we relate to our day to day experiences, particularly stressful ones.
Rather than worrying about what has happened or what might happen, mindfulness trains us to respond to whatever is happening right now which is why participants report reduced stress/worry/over-thinking and better sleep. The increased self awareness developed though mindfulness practice means participants have more awareness and control in how they manage their minds and emotions and leads improvement in core skills of being able to respond not react, improved communication and increased compassion. These 3 skills are identified as hall marks of good leaders.
Mindfulness has a wide applications in the work place with studies showing that mindfulness promotes insightful problem solving, cultivating a positive attitude to perceived stress, increased attention and decreased ruminating thoughts, increased emotional intelligence and an observing attitude, all of which are helpful in today’s busy and often stressful workplaces.
Mindfulness has been the subject of 1000’s of scientific studies in the last 30 years with proven results coming through in a variety of fields, particularly showing enhanced ability to be resilient to the things life throws up for us.
Developing awareness of our thought patterns and mental habits, with acceptance and self-compassion, helps us to manage difficult experiences, and create space to make wise choices. Respond rather than react to situations as you develop the ability to notice your automatic responses as they arise. In the work place this translates into a range of benefits from reduced stress and improved well being to better communication and leadership and less time urgency.
Mindfulness will not eliminate life’s pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a less reactive manner that benefits us and our colleagues. However as John Kabat-Zinn wrote , ‘Its not the mindfulness is the answer to all life’s problems. Rather its that life’s problems can be seen more clearly though the lens of a clear mind’. This clarity and conscious awareness helps us to:
– recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events, which can help us to better manage our jobs and our work life balance and improve our well being.
– notice our automatic habits when we speak, listen and interact so that we can ensure our interactions with our colleagues boosts psychological safety and trust.
– choose our perspective and impacts on the choices we can make in decision making
– see any automatic unconscious biases and assumptions, which promotes diversity, equality and inclusion.
The Mindfulness Initiative, a policy advisory group, has produced a good document setting out the business case for mindfulness in the work place. It has a comprehensive list of references to the 100’s of scientific papers that support the positive effects of mindfulness in the work place. This is about so much more than stress reduction and feeling calmer.
Click here for research
Employee Mindfulness Resilience Programmes
The focus is on developing mindfulness skills and awareness as a tool to support well being, reduce reactivity, manage stress and enhance resilience. This is proving particularly valuable for employees adapting their working practices post-covid, have less face to face support, often at the same time as dealing with change in their own lives. Mindfulness and the enhanced self awareness that develops from practice, impacts on key team skills (collaboration, communication etc) and so mindfulness training for employees can also be refocused towards other specific objectives for a team.
Mindfulness Resilience/Well-being Introductory Sessions
Introductory mindfulness sessions for staff range from single introductory sessions to half day sessions. Group size varies and depends on the nature of the training and whether it is live online training or in person.
“All was enjoyable, zoom worked perfectly for me, great mix of learning and practice. Annika was very knowledgeable and explained everything in a straightforward way that brought things to life.”
Mindfulness Resilience/Well-being Training
Training courses for staff are usually given as 1.5 – 2 hour weekly sessions over 4-6 weeks to allow time in-between the sessions to practice and embed the skills. Group size varies on whether it is live online training or in person. This is a practical training, leaving participants with practical tools to use in their every day lives that they have been able to practice during the training. Topics covered include developing mindfulness skills for managing stress, relating differently to thoughts, managing reactivity and understanding the neuroscience behind why this works (which encourages engagement in the process).
“I have been worried, over thinking, putting undue pressure on myself. This course has given me tools and techniques I can bring to my everyday life to ensure I stay in perspective.”
“I’ve reflected back on situations that didn’t go so well and I’ve been able to recognise how I’ve jumped in, feet first and reacted in a certain way. Being aware of this has helped me to stop and consider my potential reactions and then respond in a different way, taking a few minutes to breathe and choose a different response.”
Programme for Leaders and Managers
Mindfulness training is often seen as an individual experience as participants are encouraged to develop skills that relate to themselves. Leaders also have to expand this perspective to interactions with other people, while also still holding the vision and impacting delivery. Effective leaders use core competencies including decision making, communication, collaboration, perspective taking, inclusion, cultivating psychological safety in teams, and they benefit from a highly developed self awareness and emotional intelligence. Evidence shows that mindfulness can support leaders to build on these core skills. The Programme uses mindfulness techniques to develop those core competencies within the wider framework of where a leader needs to operate and have an impact.
“I’d recommend it to others in my management team and would do this because I feel that this programme can be useful to anyone in strengthening and building upon their leadership behaviours…….….key benefits are clarity of thought, building of productive relationships, gaining different perspectives”
Annika Wager from On The Mind, in conjunction with Andrew McNeill from Lines of Sight, have combined their skills under the name of Lxleaders and are offering a 7-session core programme which is aimed specifically at people in leadership roles. The Programme can form part of leadership development and CPD within your organisation. A recent programme in a large Building Society working with senior leaders gave significant changes in relevant behaviours and competencies, and with 100% of those leaders saying it was a good investment of their time.
Download a programme summary here
The 2 programme leaders biographies are here
I have learned….“Methods for improving my leadership performance and behaviours in specific situations, including finding perspective and linking back to what’s important in high pressure situations and techniques for being with challenge to help me to be more effective in situations which I find challenging”
My team commented that I seem different in my approach. Having a different mindset and being kinder. ”
We provide individual sessions for leaders wishing to develop the self awareness and mindfulness skills to enhance their core skills. We cover the valuable skills offered in the group programme but on an individual coaching basis (minimum 6 sessions recommended).
“I had tried to learn a little mindfulness from a book with little success. I would definitely recommend a course to learn mindfulness – the classes add a whole dimension that just can’t be captured otherwise.”