Are You Out Of Your Mind(fulness)?

Here’s a recent article that caught my eye:

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Mindfulness, in case you were wondering, is defined as “The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.”

The article suggests to managers that when employees practice mindfulness, it can “lead to a happier and more efficient workplace.”

This goes on the assumption that managers care whether or not their employees are happy.  Efficient, yes, but happy?

I’ve never encountered a manager who had “employee happiness” on his or her priority list, but I can imagine the conversation:

Manager:  So, Rob, are you happy here at XYZ Tech?

Rob:  Well, uh, now that you uh, asked, I –

Manager:  Are you going to have that summary finished by 2pm?  That will make me happy, and that’s what matters.

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The article goes on to suggest both how and where employees can practice mindfulness.

How?  Meditation, exercise or listening to music.


Manager:  Sam, what are you doing?

Sam:  I’m mindfully meditating.

Manager:  Unless you want to meditate yourself into an unemployment line, get back to your computer.

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Manager:  Joe, what are you doing?

Joe:  I’m mindfully exercising.

Manager:  Unless you want to exercise yourself out of a job, get back to your computer.

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Listening to music:

Manager:  Jack, what are you doing?

Jack:  I’m mindfully listening to music.

Manager:  Listen to this:  You’re fired.

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Where?  The article suggests that, “As a leader, you would be smart to provide employees with a place to enjoy quiet time,” ideally an unused room that can become the office “quiet space.”

Employee:  Sir, some of us were talking, and we thought we’d suggest turning that unused room at the end of the hall into a quiet space where we can practice mindfulness.putting green_02 cropped

Manager:  That room at the end of the hall?  Hmmm.  Now that you mention it, that room would be perfect for my private putting green.  Thanks for suggesting it!

The best part of the article focuses on finding a mindful way to identify and vent about tensions, and that’s addressed with a suggestion from Amanda Slavin, the CEO and founder of CatalystCreativ, described as an “experiential marketing agency.”

catalystcreativ croppedNow, the first thing I noticed is that “Creativ” was spelled incorrectly, so I headed for the company’s website and discovered that no – CatalystCreativ is its actual name.  I’ll bet that wreaks havoc when they spellcheck!

Or perhaps misspelling words shows how creativ they are?

And what the hell does “experiential” mean?

Anyway, Amanda says, “We have monthly meetings where each and every individual on the team can bring up tensions.”

Now, there’s an idea that could really produce some mindfulness:

Manager:  Let’s start with you, Rob.

Rob:  I’m mindful that I have a lot of tension about Sue because she’s such a suck-up.  In fact, we all call her “Suck-Up Sue.”  I could vent about her for hours.

Manager:  And what would you like to contribute, Suck-Up?  I mean, Sue?

smarmy guySue:  Just that I love working for you, sir, and I love our company.  You are a fantastic leader!  Can I get you a refill on your coffee?

Manager:  Rob, I don’t see what your problem is.  Sue, can I show you my new private putting green?

The article concludes by suggesting that however employees practice mindfulness – “Employees decide for themselves.”

So I’ve decided I’ll practice mindfulness at work as follows:clock-watcher_02

  1. I’ll be mindful of when it’s break time, lunchtime, and go-home time.
  2. I’ll be mindful that it’s OK to misspel, as long as I’m creativ.
  3. I’ll be mindful to steer clear of our manager.

And his putting green.






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