Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Transform Your Workplace

Published: April 27, 2022
A woman sits at a desk, practicing meditation to help reset her mind.
By: Laura Groth

Mindfulness and capitalism may not sound like a classic pairing. I am here to tell you that they actually go together like peanut butter and jelly.

My personal mindfulness journey began with a deep dive in silent meditation retreats. I actually got involved in them right before the COVID lockdown. To those of us privileged enough to work from a safe home environment, that lockdown sometimes felt like a mandated silent meditation retreat. At first, this journey was purely personal. It became a deep exploration of the self, the universe, the meaning of life. But when 1/3 of your life is spent in the capitalist thralls of trying to feed yourself and keep a roof over your head, the two concepts are bound to collide – with surprisingly delightful results.

Mindfulness has trained me to be a better leader, a better teammate, and best of all, a better listener. I began to coach my brain to stay focused on my breath during meditation, which then translated wonderfully to staying present as an active listener. By learning to separate my expectations from the experience of the present moment, I am able to connect with colleagues and clients on a deep, authentic level.

How does this lead to compassion?

This article by Rasmus Hougaard on the site Ten Percent Happier explains some of the research behind bringing compassion into the workplace. He uses strategies familiar to anyone who has experimented with mindfulness or meditation. The researchers identified four specific ways to bring compassion into the workplace:

1) Caring presence – Be in the present moment and give the humans in front of you your full attention in that moment.

2) Caring courage – Learn to sit with discomfort, even when it involves fear or uncomfortable emotions.

3) Caring candor – Practice being completely direct in your communication, while also being fully open to others’ responses and perspectives.

4) Caring transparency – Share what is on your mind in a complete and open way. This enables deeper connections and authentic communication.

Check out the article and see what you think. Could you pick one of these techniques to practice at work? How do you think it would influence your experience? Your colleagues’ experience?

Laura Groth is a Senior Partner at Lumen Impact Group. She is the resident research enthusiast, bringing evidence and data to help education leaders and teams solve real problems of practice.

Testimonials

"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"You were patient, confident, helpful and supportive, and you coaxed and lovingly nudged us through a process that on our own we wouldn’t have been able to do. It was a very pleasant experience, and even though we still have a lot of challenges ahead of us, we are better suited to meet them. "
Colin Sharkey
Executive Director, Association of American Educators
"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School