By Patt Lind-Kyle
RISMEDIA, November 25, 2009—Right now (for obvious reasons), your company needs to be running like the proverbial well-oiled machine. If you’re to make it to the other side of the economic recovery, it’s critical that every member of your team is working at top capacity. Problem is, the same economic pressures that are putting the squeeze on your company’s profits are also heaping stress on your employees’ psyches.
“Even during the best of times, America is a nation of stressed-out, anxious, and distracted people—and those high stress levels have a major impact not only on individuals’ personal lives, but on the overall performances of their companies,” warns Patt Lind-Kyle, author of Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain: Applying the Exciting New Science of Brain Synchrony for Creativity, Peace and Presence. “The good news is that, with the right tools, you can help your employees manage their stress in healthy ways and break out of the automatic, unhealthy patterns that hold them back from peak performance, balance, and happiness,” she adds.
New scientific breakthroughs have shown that the brain itself is flexible and changeable; indeed, it constantly rewires itself in response to events in our lives. Therefore, our neuronal pathway can be altered—meaning that we can consciously and deliberately change the way we think, feel, and behave and how the body responds to stressful situations. The key? Mind training.
6 Benefits of Mind Training:
Your team will learn to manage stress in healthy, productive ways. “There’s no doubt about it—stress can be crippling,” Lind-Kyle says. “And it’s not just caused by ‘big’ things like the threat of being laid off. Having a messy officemate can throw a self-identified neat freak completely out of whack because his familiar and comforting neural flow of orderliness is disrupted. “With meditative mind training, your employees can begin to identify and remove the unconscious thoughts and reactions that cause their stress,” she continues.
Your team will reshape unhelpful habits. What holds you back from peak performance? Chances are, rather than a lack of potential, you are limited by inefficient habits, incomplete training, scattered thinking, unhelpful reactions to setbacks, and so forth. The same is true for your employees. “Human beings have a lot less free will than they think they do—in fact, many of us are essentially prisoners of the automatic reactions, thoughts, and habits that are encoded into our personalities,” explains Lind-Kyle.
Your team will be able to rationally resolve conflicts and work together. Every office has them: those people who make compromise, consensus, and group work difficult because it’s their way or the highway. And that isn’t good for productivity or for morale. Whether through bullying or passive-aggressive behaviors, we’ve all been guilty of willful inflexibility at some point. In short, we are reluctant to let go of our opinions and stances because we mistakenly believe that we are our personalities and convictions, and that if we’re proven wrong, we’ll somehow be “less.”
Your team will make faster, smarter, better decisions. As a leader, you know better than anyone that deciding what to do and how to proceed is half the battle. Trying to take into account all the variables—all the “what ifs”—can keep people so mentally self-absorbed that they can’t focus on and react to what’s actually happening around them. Their mental dialogues are so strong that it’s easy for them to fall into distracted or even frantic states.
Your team will dramatically increase their capacities for productivity and creative thinking. “Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” It’s a timeless proverb, but Lind-Kyle insists that it’s not true. Chances are, each member of your team has his or her own “old dog” excuses: “I’m just not young enough to figure out our new computer system,” or maybe, “I’m a scatterbrained person. I’ll never keep all of the details of this project straight.” Surprisingly, though, there exists strong evidence that the brain continues to evolve throughout adult life, long after we’ve put away the schoolbooks.
Your team will be able to achieve happier, healthier, and more balanced lives. It’s a simple and undeniable concept: Happy employees are loyal and productive employees. Lind-Kyle promises that by practicing mind training techniques, your team members will be more fulfilled and will experience healthier work-life balances. In short, they’ll be much more likely to be in “flow.” Scientifically, “flow” moves in the direction of the prefrontal lobes, the area of self-awareness that gathers meaning from the external world. It’s a mental state that merges action with acute awareness, and it is usually accompanied by a sense of being alive and joyful. At such a time, brain functions and neural networks are working together optimally.
“By exposing your employees to the science of meditative mind training, you can reduce health problems and stress in your workforce, and you’ll also increase your team’s potential and success,” promises Lind-Kyle. “It’s a tremendous investment in your company’s present and its future. Essentially, meditative mind training will allow employees to reprogram and evolve their brains to higher states of consciousness and function. It’s one of the most valuable tools available to leaders.
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