WorkMinded Podcast - Introduction



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WorkMinded Podcast: WorkMinded - Introduction

Hey everyone, and welcome to WorkMinded. I’m Shannon, your host and a complete nerd for all things work related. Thank you so much for joining us for the first season of the WorkMinded podcast!

In this initial episode we’ll introduce the show, explain a little bit about what we do, and finish up with some details about how to use the meditations provided in this season of the podcast. As you’ll hear, we at WorkMinded have a pretty unique perspective on the topics of work, business, and mindfulness. We’re so excited to put this perspective to use by sharing out what we’ve learned, and hopefully starting a wider dialogue that will influence how society and employers approach mindfulness in the workplace.

We’ll start by sharing my story. Growing up, my dad worked hard. He owned his own business, traveled way more than he was home, and was never able to "turn off" from work mode – even when he wasn’t in the office (which wasn’t much!). I literally grew up in his office, going there after school every day and even sleeping there many nights. I actually learned how to file as soon as I knew the alphabet! So in a way, work and being in the workplace has always been at the core of my identity and who I am.

This experience really affected how I view the work world and the world in general. This lifestyle definitely had an impact on our family life and especially our overall health and wellbeing. So I have carried the importance of the human aspect of work with me ever since I can remember. Can you relate to a situation where a friend, relative, or colleague has been completely consumed by work? A lot of us can! And in our modern, psychologically stressful work environments, this is all too common. We’re also more connected than ever before thanks to technology, making it harder to get some space to disconnect from work even when you’re out of the office. These are the types of experiences that inspired WorkMinded and have led to our commitment of advocating for workplaces that are as healthy and authentic as possible. We believe that work is ultimately about people, not a task list!

I’ve worked in all kinds of professional fields including hospitality, legal, financial management, nonprofits, and healthcare. I’m also trained as an industrial organizational psychologist. To get an idea of what we do, imagine a degree that is the academic love child of psychology, sociology, and an MBA program. So I bring a fresh, multidisciplinary lens on what mindfulness means for your work and your business.

I also meditate and do yoga regularly. These practices have changed my life for the better in so many ways. Most significantly, I’ve learned how to be the boss of my own energy and resources to help reach important goals both at work and personally. I’ve also learned to adopt an attitude of continuous improvement, which means treating mindfulness not as an end goal, but as a practice. The more we do anything, the better we get at it. Mindfulness is no different – it is a lifelong skill to cultivate and improve, it’s not a fact we can learn in just one sitting!

Maybe most importantly, mindfulness also equips us with some of the tools we need to navigate our increasingly complex workplaces, something that was largely overlooked by employers of the past but now, thankfully, is beginning to get a little more attention. Our hope is that your work will benefit from these takeaways and more in the meditation series provided in this season of the podcast. We invite you to join us for this journey into mindful work, and to shape your own mindfulness path along the way!

At WorkMinded, we think about work differently. We develop workplace mindfulness that is based on organizational science. Services that we offer include mindful communications, custom-designed workplace meditations, values-based career counseling, wellness program integration, and more. Our network uses these services to achieve a wide range of work related goals. Strategic objectives for organizations can include improved organizational culture, more effective collaboration, and enhanced workplace inclusion. Individual goals can include developing workplace performance, navigating the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, or pursuing a career in alignment with your values. Our goal is to design approachable mindfulness in support of your work objectives.

Have you ever participated in a mindfulness session geared toward business and just felt that it wasn’t quite what you needed? Maybe it felt a little vague, a little hippie, or even a little judgmental. Maybe it used unfamiliar words or new terms with no context, making you feel like an outsider. Some workshops, while well-intentioned, provide suggestions that are virtually impossible to carry out in a typical meeting setting.

So much of the work in this sphere is hugely beneficial. But it is simply not designed for effective use by a business audience. This is why we model our content around organizational development and industrial psychology. These areas of social science provide an applied framework of people’s behavior in the workplace. This means we generate content that can be put to use immediately, by anyone, anywhere. No ancient languages are required!

The goal of this podcast is to provide meditations that get to the root of principles in organizational science. These sessions can be applied to your work immediately. You can use them on your own, explore them as a team, or use them as a jumping off point to dig more deeply into areas that resonate most with you. 

Each episode is about 10 minutes total. We plan for 5 minutes to get settled and to explore an organizational science concept that plays a significant role in contemporary work life. Then we spend 5 minutes of active mindfulness related to that concept. In each session, we will provide a mindfulness technique that is uniquely adapted to managing the organizational concept at hand. Many programs recommend techniques that can be distracting and even a little bit awkward in a work setting. Instead, we recommend techniques that you can use anywhere, any time. Unless you choose to let people in on it, no one will ever even know that you are practicing mindfulness! We end each session with a call to action that you can take away from the episode, so that you can continue to develop your practice outside of the podcast.

Because each session builds on skills developed in the last, we think going through the series in episode order provides the most benefit. But you can also feel free to pick and choose whatever topic resonates with you. And of course, you can revisit any episode at any time. Depending on what’s going on in your work life, you may find that certain sessions resonate with you more than others at different times and under different circumstances. We went with a flexible format so that you can customize your own experience in whatever way seems best for you. This is your practice, and we encourage you to shape it in a way that you think will be most beneficial to you and your work.

For each session, take the time to settle in. You might find a private room, post a Do Not Disturb sign at your cube, put in headphones, hide out in a bathroom stall, or anything else that allows you to safely and appropriately find or make space for this practice. Maybe you’re sharing these sessions with your team, encouraging everyone to sit together or settling into a conference room with a group of colleagues. Sometimes it can be really helpful to find support for a practice together!

We provide 3 general guidelines:
  1. Be Safe – Find a space where you feel safe and comfortable. This means a space free from distracting activities, such as driving! And always use appropriate caution in public places and other spaces where you need to pay close attention to your surroundings.
  2. Be Smart –Our intent is to provide useful and positive content that can help you to navigate the complexities of work life. We are not responsible for how a person, business, or other entity chooses to interpret and use this information. By participating in a session, the listener assumes all responsibility for use of the content and advice provided.
  3. Be Comfortable – Some of the imagery and exploration in these sessions may cause some emotional discomfort, especially when we explore working with difficult colleagues. Please, feel free to step away at any time. The goal of these sessions is to pause and take a moment to be mindful during your day, not to push yourself beyond where you feel comfortable at your current practice level.
One more piece of food for thought. This series follows a focus on organizational behavior for the predominant business contexts within North America and Europe. While we do explore other contexts as part of our professional services, for the purposes of this season of the podcast, please keep in mind that we are approaching it through the lens of western organizational management.

Coming up next – we get into our workplace meditation sessions! Our purpose here is to cultivate mindfulness in support of your work goals. Remember that this is a practice – it is ongoing learning that will be different from experience to experience, and from one day to the next. With an objective of progress instead of perfection, the time you spend cultivating workplace mindfulness can generate significant (and immediate!) benefits for you and your work.

Check out the show notes for additional resources and a transcript of each episode. We’d also love to connect with you and hear what’s on your mind! You can visit us on the web at www.WorkMinded.net, or on Twitter with the handle @MindedWork. Thanks for listening, and we look forward to cultivating a new approach to workplace mindfulness together!

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