Workplaces have a tendency to be a bit heartless, but you can boost happiness, performance and work/life balance by bringing a bit of love to the boardroom, writes mindfulness consultant Andy Hix.
Offices are often characterised by the following conditions:
Fear of screwing up, missing a deadline, dropping the ball to such an extent that you get into trouble with the boss or client.
A friend described to me how amongst the senior executives at his company, people competed to have a bigger office chair or a more expensive company car than the next person. At charities I’ve seen it manifest as a competition for who cares the most about the cause. There’s also often a competition for who can work the longest hours, or answer emails the quickest.
The ship is on a certain course and even if its route is causing devastation, it’s too scary to be the one that tells the captain to turn around. These conditions are not conducive to anyone’s happiness or the success of the company financially.
So what would it look like to work more lovingly – that is to say, with concern for your own and others’ happiness?
It’s so important for us to feel connected to why we’re doing things. Before you do any task, ask yourself what the reason is – what meaning it has for you. If it has none for you, it’s unlikely to be worth doing.
It’s sometimes said that Darwin’s theory was mischaracterised as ‘survival of the fittest’ – a better summary would be ‘survival of the most cooperative’. As individual humans wandering in nature, we were pretty useless: not particularly big, fast, or strong. We survived because we helped each other.
The old-fashioned view is that work is something rather grim that you do so you can do the things that make you happy when it’s finished. In fact, happy workers are 30 per cent more productive, 54 per cent more likely to stay at the company and 3 times more creative.
If you’re not happy at work, you’re doing a disservice to both yourself and the company. If you want your colleagues to thrive, why not make your first thought when you see them “I wish for you to be happy”. Desiring your clients to be happy is a far surer way of them giving you lots of business than focusing on trying to make money out of them.
So for the sake of happiness, performance and work/life balance, let’s have a lot more love in the boardroom.
If you’d like more love in your workplace, get in touch with Andy Hix for a free taster session to experience how mindfulness can help.
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