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Mindfulness: It’s Not Just For Trendy Tech Companies Anymore

Professional service firms are reporting encouraging results with Mindfulness at Work programs. Berger Singerman, a business law firm with approximately 85 attorneys and a total of 165 employees, has run one since 2013.
mindfulness_at_work_law_firmsParticipants report significant improvements in:

– focus on the task at hand
– active listening skills
– more accurate observation and data gathering skills

The program has increased “professionalism, collaboration and business performance,” says the firm’s co-chair, Paul Singerman. Moreover, the new skills have “enriched and improved our team members’ personal and family lives as well.”

“Mindfulness helps us interact more effectively with each other, our clients, our referral sources and our opposing counsel,” Singerman writes in a recent article. And when we hear and understand each other better, we work more effectively and less stressfully.

Singerman believes that “the smaller the business, the greater the impact, because each person’s role is that much more essential to executing the overall company mission.” Key in the program launch process is getting energetic support of senior management.

The Mindfulness program has taught Singerman to focus on three “buckets of data”:

#1. Myself.
I am better at my own “early detection system” for anger or fear by learning the feelings and sensations that anger or fear initiates within me, I can have a better chance of responding thoughtfully to the stimulus causing those feelings and avoid reacting to them in ways that are unhelpful or regrettable. I am better able to identify when I am off task and bring myself back to the present moment.

#2. Other people.
It has improved my listening skills and ability to gather data from my counter-ties in my communications and interactions with others. By staying present and in the moment, I can better gauge reactions of others to what I’m saying, really hear what others say, and observe important cues like body language and tone of voice.

# 3. The environment.
It has enhanced my ability to observe and gather data from the environment. That where I find myself, the dynamics of a case or deal, or even the industry that is the subject of a client matter or sales initiative. Striving to be a better gatherer of data has helped me be more aware of and sensitive to the perspectives of others.

Here’s a link to the full article on the Huffington Post.

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