A study published in Organization Science revealed that workplace interactions with intentionality, compassion and presence can create more harmonious and healthy organizations.
The study explored how individuals apply mindfulness to their work and how it affects their workplace interactions. Mindful practices may include engaging in a pause before a meeting or listening to someone with a high level of attention. The researchers conducted 30 formal interviews with managers, professionals and consultants who practice mindfulness, and more than 50 informal interviews with a variety of people who apply mindfulness practices at their workplace.
"Interestingly, interviewees noted how other individuals around them had noticed the emotional effects of their mindful behaviors on interactions and relationships," said Christopher S. Reina, PhD, an associate professor of management and entrepreneurship in the VCU School of Business. "We found initial evidence that our interviewees' efforts toward bringing their mindfulness into the workplace were seen by their colleagues as having a positive effect."
The research also revealed that mindfulness practice can be used to set individuals up for success in future interactions. High-quality connections were shown to improve independent functioning and positively affect group outcomes.
"An understanding of how individuals bring mindfulness with them to work, and how these practices may contribute to interaction and relationship quality, is especially relevant as work landscapes are ever changing and interdependence is increasingly becoming the norm," said Dr. Reina.