Don’t be Mindless

The value of mindfulness in business and in life.

The Harvard Business Review has been putting out a lot of great stuff in the realm of Humanistic Business Management. Recently, they did an interview with Ellen Langer about her work on the benefits of mindfulness. Ellen Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard University btw.

Here is a link to the video: (we are unable to embed it).

The big take away from Ms. Langer’s research is “that by paying attention to what’s going on around us, instead of operating on auto-pilot, we can reduce stress, unlock creativity, and boost performance.”

According to Langer, “Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present.” The benefits of being more present include better performance, better innovation, and it makes people more charismatic to those around them  (and why not, you are actually awake and not on auto-pilot – you stand out). 

Mindfulness also helps you be less judgmental about others, because instead of mindlessly pigeonholing them, you actually take the time to consider why they are behaving the way they do.  Sounds a lot like the active practice of freethought and compassion to me.

What’s really interesting about the article that goes with the interview: is how this mindfulness approach impacts business management. The techniques she describes as the practice of mindfulness sound a lot like critical thinking, combined with active compassion to me.

If you are interested in the work of the Langer Mindfulness Institute – here is their website:

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