You Can’t Stop the Waves, but You Can Learn to Surf – a New Tool for the CEO’s (and Lawyer’s) Tool Belt – Mindfulness

By: Debi Galler

Mindfulness is not simply a new wave, touchy feely program. CEOs, senior executives, and lawyers are using mindfulness as a tool to help promote retention, talent advancement and innovation. As noted in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, “How Meditation Benefits CEOs”, by Emma Seppala, the research on mindfulness indicates that mindfulness meditation hones skills like attention, memory and emotional intelligence.

Executives (and lawyers) who have incorporated mindfulness programs into the workplace have found (as have numerous research studies) that meditation can decrease anxiety and thereby boost resilience and performance under stress. This allows executives, employees and lawyers to maintain their composure in high stress situations and propose solutions rather than simply adding to the chaos.

Brain-imaging research has shown that mindfulness meditation also can help strengthen your ability to regulate your emotions (referred to as “emotional intelligence”). Some may refer to this as patience or empathy. No matter what label you use, increasing your ability to respond, rather than react (or over react) to others can result in a better, more supportive work environment, diffuse what could otherwise be a hostile interaction, and result in an overall better outcome.

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