Meditation in meltdown

Meditation in meltdown

Experience of meditation @ workplace

When I met Sushant, Senior Manager with a the wholly owned Indian software services subsidiary of an American mortgage bank, a couple of years after he had attended a leadership program that I had facilitated, there was something visibly different in his demeanor. He looked more at peace with himself, more poised and centered. There was more pleasant surprise in store as he shared how, after the program, he was suddenly finding more time for himself as well as for his team members. He felt there was more understanding and engagement in the team, leading to far fewer conflicts and a lot more spontaneous collaboration amongst them. What delighted Sushant the most was that his relationship with the business area counter-part in US seemed to have become more partnering, more functional. They had begun co-resolving many issues, cutting short turn-around time, significantly, up ticking the C-SAT scores.

Amused and happy with the impact, I asked him to, if he could, pin-point that element of the program which attributed to such visible shifts. “Not sure whether you will agree with me, but I am pretty sure that the hour long meditation you guided for us during the program did some trick. It was such an awe-inspiring experience that I decided to adopt and integrate meditation in my daily life, immediately after the program,” disclosed Sushant.

Similar experiences, with varying degrees of impact to their life and work contexts were shared by Suprana, Bharath and Sadanand. There were altogether 120 middle managers in this organization. Each of them had gone through this 3-day working lab on leadership in batches of 12. From what I heard in the experiences shared by a few of them that day, I could imagine what could have happened with the middle-management team of the organization, the organization itself and its customers. Not because of any leadership tip or technique they learnt from the program but because of some intense transformational experience that was brought about by active meditation sessions that I had guided for each batch.

Adopting meditation as a corporate culture

Meditation is the new rage with companies in Silicon Valley. Not just to ensure wellness of the workforce but also to boost their bottom lines. The likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter, amongst other have instituted meditation and contemplative practices as a part of their corporate culture. Promega Corp., a biotech company in the West, encourages its workforce to go for yoga / meditation sessions on company time, paying rates heavily subsidized by their employer. 

Despite the benefits of leading a meditative corporate life and its positive impact on profitability being proven, I haven’t heard of any company encouraging such practice amongst its employees, leave aside adopting and incorporating them as a part of organization’s culture, in India – a country from where it is believed contemplative practices like yoga and meditation originated. May be, with the sluggish economy and the falling rupee affecting performance and well-being of many businesses out here and the proven business strategies and tactics falling short of offering much of a lasting relief, it may be a good idea for India Inc. to consider adopting meditative experiences as part of the organizational practice. And thus go back to the future.

Meditation to metrics 

Here are some of the many advantages and benefits of meditation to a corporate that incorporates meditative practices for employees as a part of their regular work-life:

It may prove to be a boon to embrace the goodness of meditation at workplace in trying times like now. Who knows, besides improving individual and organizational performance, it may actually bring in more awakening amongst people in general making the country, as a whole, more aware, more accountable and more abundant.

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