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Meditation finds an ommm in the office

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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 publishe

d 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 deliver a needed custom part.

“I got off the phone, so upset I didn’t want to talk to anybody,” the owner of Amberwood Doors Inc. in Toronto recalls.

She retreated to her car and tried a meditation technique she’d been studying. “Using breathing to calm down, I went into feel space,” she explains.

“Essentially I paid attention to how I felt, and named my emotions: I felt hurt, upset, let down and embarrassed. Within a few minutes, I had a realization of what was really bothering me: I was breaking my word to my customer.”

Within 30 minutes, she was back at the office “with a lightness in feeling. I was ready to call my customer, from a calm place, and deal with whatever their reaction was with compassion and grace.”

When she offered to teach the mindful meditation approach to her employees, eight of 10 agreed. After just four one-hour sessions spread two weeks apart, she says she saw a notable increase in teamwork, respect and support.

Read the full story on The Globe and Mail”s website here