Managers who have a meditative approach to work can include more and broader perspectives when making important decisions, which may ultimately lead to the development of operations in a more sustainable way.
This new research comes from the Stockholm School of Economics and was recently presented in Vancouver at the world's largest conference for management researchers.
Lasse Lychnell, researcher at the Department of Management and Organization at the Stockholm School of Economics, spent two years shadowing and studying seven CEOs and owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises who have been meditating for years. When these managers face challenging situations in their work, they use a meditative approach that enables them to include a broader perspective.
- By pausing to observe their own thoughts, feelings and sensations, managers have access to more and richer information about a particular situation while they also more clearly see their own role in it, says Lasse Lychnell. That way they can avoid repeating the automated patterns of action or can avoid making hasty decisions under the influence of strong emotions.
During the study, it was possible to see changes in the long term. These managers devoted more time to strategic work and had a greater tendency to focus on root causes instead of symptoms in the companies. They also had more open and honest relationships with fellow employees and had an increased desire to contribute to the common good. Taken together, these changes point towards a more sustainable and efficient enterprise.
- This attitude allowed managers to integrate the insights of meditation to their daily work situation, says Lasse Lychnell. Thus the necessary momentum to continue with meditation was created, even when peaks in workload took over large parts of their working life. The job was thus not an obstacle to meditation, but a road to personal development.
Several of the participating individuals are willing to set up interviews.
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For more information about the study “When work becomes meditation”