More on the business and mindfulness connection

The Wall Street Journal reports that business schools are interested in how mindfulness as a technique can be used in business and education. Taking a look at business culture, we asked our Zintro experts of comment on how a mindfulness approach can impact business.

Tom Clark, an expert in mindfulness-based leadership development, says that the schools that are teaching and applying mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction are medical schools. “There are currently over 200 medical schools and university hospitals in the US teaching mindfulness to practitioners and individuals, but the primary audience are medical, healthcare, mental health, and education professionals who are taking professional development courses,” he says. “As a leadership development and executive coach, I find that mindfulness is not accepted by executives or graduates from the major business schools unless it is disguised. However, neurological research over the last 15 years is proving that mindfulness has a profound and lasting impact on the brain and it develops attention, awareness, focus, empathy, equanimity, higher resilience, greater contextual thinking, and creative assimilation, which are all core attributes to the successful executive.” Clark thinks that at some point business schools need to start including mindfulness in the curriculum.

Shelly Somerville, an executive coach, says that she refers to mindfulness as process awareness interventions in her action-learning workshops for top executives and boards. “I help executives gain clarity on their common vision, mission, goals, and strategies, but also on getting greater personal and group awareness around what works and what doesn’t,” she explains. “The benefits of combining strategic thinking with mindfulness can lead to leadership behavior that is truly aligned with strategy.” Using this approach, says Somerville, can bring together constituencies with very different agendas and beliefs, where they can find common ground and sustain a shared vision and it’s realization beyond the strategy retreat.

By Maureen Aylward

Zintro, Inc

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