Evidence of Impact
A paper by Davis & Hayes (2012) reviews the impact of various empirical studies and outlines that mindfulness can lead to emotional regulation (Corcoran et al., 2010), stress reduction (Hoffman et al., 2010), boosts working memory (Jha et al, 2010), reduces rumination (Chambers et al., 2008), leads to less emotional reactivity (Ortner et al., 2007), greater cognitive flexibility (Siegel, 2007) and enhanced relationship satisfaction (Barnes et al., 2007; Wachs & Cordova, 2007).
Mindfulness has been shown to enhance self-insight, morality, intuition and fear modulation, all functions associated with the brain's middle prefrontal lobe area.
Evidence also suggests that mindfulness meditation has numerous health benefits, including increased immune functioning (Davidson et al., 2003; Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004), improvement in well-being (Carmody & Baer, 2008) and reduction in psychological distress (Coffey & Hartman, 2008; Ostafin et al., 2006).
Benefits at a professional level support the use of mindfulness across many, if not all, disciplines.
A study on the impact of mindfulness for teachers indicates that mindfulness intervention adapted for educators boosts aspects of teachers’ mindfulness and self-compassion, reduces psychological symptoms and burnout, increases effective teaching behaviour, and reduces attentional biases (Flook et al., 2013).
Work place research carried out by Hulsheger et al., (2013) found that participants in a mindfulness intervention group experienced significantly less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction than participants in the control group.
Additionally research was carried out by Mumber et al., (2010) on the effect of mindfulness on error prevention in radiation oncology, they found a statistically significant improvement in mindfulness and increased patient safety parameters as a result of the intervention.
Organisations key resource, are their people and when they are less stressed, anxious or depressed they are going to perform better.
Mindfulness also has the benefit of enabling people to deal with other challenging emotions that may emerge in the work place. How people deal with their emotions in work can affect their engagement such as organisational culture, presenteeism, absenteeism and turnover.
Being present contributes to the quality of decisions being made, the relationships that are built and overall functioning levels. In addition, mindfulness meditation practice appears to increase information processing speed (Moore & Malinowski, 2009), as well as decrease task effort and having thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand (Lutz et al., 2009), which can contribute positively to overall organisational functioning.
Taking a Mindful Leadership approach to your management will support your team to enhance employees ability to deal with the challenges they face and improve outcomes across the board.