Two weeks after the Mindfulness Workshop at work and the staff are all of a dither.
We all appreciated the workshop and many of us had been onto the visiting speaker’s site to find out how to go about booking ourselves on the Sunday courses. That we were a) willing to fork out our own money on something for ourselves and b) willing to give up our Sunday afternoons should straight away should be an indication to you of how effective the workshop was and how dramatic the conversion of sceptics to subscribers.
It’s already had an impact on our daily lives as the break-room is suddenly full of chatter about “informal” practice and “being present”. Just the other day a particularly frazzled colleague burst into the room, dumping her bags and chattering nineteen-to-the-dozen as she raced about to get ready for her 8am meeting with the boss. As she dashed from the room I heard: “…a coffee and then I’m going to do some mindfulness and then…”
Readers, she owned that meeting! No one likes a meeting with a superior: it always comes with that sense of pressure and expectation (usually put upon you by yourself rather than by the person you’re meeting with) and it’s easy to become overwrought and panicky.
When I saw her later she not only looked calm and happy (the meeting had gone well) but she was able to speak about this meeting in a calm and unstressed manner. I asked her later what she’d meant about “doing mindfulness” and she said that she’d spent 5m doing a quick meditation like the visitor had shown us and it left her feeling calm and in control.
Imagine our delight as a staff body when an e-mail came out informing us that the visitor would return to run a 5 week course for staff and anyone interested should register by return e-mail.
Several of us immediately replied to express our interest “cost dependent” as we’d looked on the site and we none of us could afford to fork out the £160 for the course independently. We assumed there would be some sort of group discount by the visitor attending work but nothing could have surprised us more than what came next:
“Dear All, Thanks for registering your interest. The course is being paid for by the company so there will be no charge for you to attend. Would you like the guided meditation soundtrack on CD or MP3?”
In a world where business is ruthless and results and profit margins matter, having the staff and well-being placed squarely at the heart of something is refreshing and has honestly done more for staff morale and productivity than any other course or workshop thus far.
It takes a lot for companies to invest in their workforce as people, particularly when budgets are so tight, so readers I give you definitive proof that mindfulness is well worth checking out.
Our course starts on Monday evening and I couldn’t be more excited. I will review the course in due course on this blog. It is a 5 week programme so you’ll have a little wait but hopefully it will be worth it!