At the weekend I read a great article by Tony Schwartz in the New York Times. It was exactly what I needed at that moment to address the problem of being overly busy. The article was about the importance of taking breaks in order to maintain productivity, and it started like this:
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Think for a moment about your typical workday. Do you wake up tired? Check your e-mail before you get out of bed? Skip breakfast or grab something on the run that’s not particularly nutritious? Rarely get away from your desk for lunch? Run from meeting to meeting with no time in between? Find it nearly impossible to keep up with the volume of
Michael Carroll, Fast Company: Why sitting still and listening to your own thoughts for a few minutes a day may be the best business move you can make.
We all know what human agility looks like. Attend any performance of Cirque du Soleil or the New York City Ballet and we can witness remarkable performers executing flawlessly: muscular, refined, and utterly disciplined. And while we may assume that such creative elegance is unique to the performing arts, today’s business climate is fast making the very same agility the defining skill for leading today’s global enterprises.
Now, of course, this is not to say …
The woman was terminally ill with advanced cancer, and the oncologist who had been treating her for three years thought the next step might be to deliver chemotherapy directly to her brain. It was a risky treatment that he knew would not, could not, help her.
When Dr. Diane Meier asked what he thought the futile therapy would accomplish, the oncologist replied, “I don’t want Judy to think I’m abandoning her.”
In a recent interview, Meier said, “Most physicians have no other strategies, no other arrows in their quiver beyond administering tests and treatments.”
“To avoid feeling that they’ve abandoned their patients, doctors …
Peter Bregman, strategic advisor to CEOs and their leadership teams, on the benefits of meditation, and how it can help you at work.
Wallace Immen, the Globe and Mail: Not long ago, a CEO who openly practised meditation in the office might be considered weird, and a manager who urged employees to train their minds to be more self-aware on the job would be suspect.
But that’s changed. A slew of books published this year promote meditation for self-awareness as an aid to decision-making and leadership.
Managers are promoting mental-awareness techniques to help employees cut stress and improve communication. And executives are finding meditation helps them stay cool under fire.
Last fall, Kira Leskew found herself screaming on the phone to a supplier who’d failed to …
Recently I received a few questions about the relationship between lovingkindness and “toughness.”
1. When practicing lovingkindness, how do you respond if people around you warm to you, but misconstrue your kindness and friendliness, and then become disappointed that you don’t want a “relationship” with them?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I suppose the short answer is “kindly.”
It’s great if people are noticing you becoming friendlier and are responding. But these things can be complicated, especially when people have strong emotional needs (because they’re lonely, for example) or where friendliness is being interpreted as an overture to romantic involvement.
And sometimes we may need to look at the signals we’re giving out. Are we … Read more »
Michael Carroll: Mindfulness meditation, at first glance, provokes a reasonable question: “why on earth would I, or anyone for that matter, sit still doing nothing for long periods of time?”
We can take two basic approaches to answering this question: we sit still for long periods of time in order to get a lot of benefits — to get a return on our investment — an ROI.
Or we sit still for long periods of time in order to achieve nothing.
Let’s take the ROI approach first. Recent scientific research seems to document that mindfulness meditation produces a wide range of positive results …
Eli Greenblat, The Age: If you, like most office workers, open your email first thing in the morning, then you might be setting yourself up for a horrible day and wasting hundreds of hours a year.
The work email inbox is a “pandora’s box” of nitty-gritty detail, gossip and distractions that are best dealt with later in the morning, and pressing the “send receive” button as soon as you slouch in your seat is the worst way to start your day.
These are the somewhat controversial views of Danish organisational behavioural expert and corporate consultant Rasmus Hougaard, who has taken his new way …
I just stumbled across a lovely column by author Pico Iyer in the New York Times on “The Joy of Quiet.”
He discusses how overwhelmed we are:
In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.
I tend to think of us — well, most of us, anyway — as being a bit like early 20th century rubes from the sticks who have just arrived on Times Square, and are dazzled by the … Read more »
Victor Reklaitis, Investor’s Business Daily: As you read this article, you might at the same time pretend to listen to a co-worker’s latest gripe or skim through your emails.
No problem, right? After all, the ability to multitask is critical if you want to succeed in the 21st century.
Well, the pendulum actually has swung in the other direction, at least if you talk to a new breed of leadership training providers.
For them, mindfulness — not multitasking — is the key to success. But what exactly is mindfulness?
“The simplest definition is it’s a way of being in the moment, seeing things …