Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Shifts Workplace Culture
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
90% of top performers in the workplace have high emotional intelligence (EQ).
Mindfulness-Based Emotional Intelligence
Whether it’s your colleague or your boss, isn't it great to work with someone who doesn’t overreact but instead listens and responds effectively to conflict? A single meeting characterized by a commitment to varied viewpoints, creative solutions, compassion and gratitude can be so impactful for those involved that the ripple effect may well extend to the entire organization and beyond.
Team members with high emotional intelligence communicate better, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, have better mental health, and are happier people overall. The resulting reduction of anxiety and stress, usually from emotional regulation, affects everyone.
So what is one of the easiest ways to increase the EQ of your team?
Daniel Goleman, psychologist and bestselling author who popularized the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’, believes that with mindfulness-based emotional intelligence through meditation, practitioners can see positive results from as little as 10 minutes of mindfulness practice a day.
Examine the 5 attributes of Mindfulness-Based Emotional Intelligence listed by Goleman. This checklist just might be the game-changer you’re seeking for your team:
Mindfulness is the act of paying attention. Presence provides the opportunity to recognize and understand your own emotions; essentially, how you are feeling and why from moment to moment. This kind of self-reflection makes it possible to recognize how your moods, emotions and actions affect others. Meditation practice ultimately gives you the space to decide how to respond to your emotions instead of react to them.
“Mindfulness practice, or meditation generally, are essentially practices of self-awareness. That’s the first part of emotional intelligence” – Daniel Goleman
Many challenges in the workplace, or in relationships in general, occur when individuals have difficulty expressing their emotions appropriately. Whether there is an outburst, or someone expertly bestows the silent treatment, expressing emotions ineffectively can have a detrimental impact on your team.
Research has found that mindfulness and emotional intelligence training with meditation are easy, effective ways to improve self-regulation in cognition, emotion, and social behaviour. Improving conflict management skills and enhancing flexibility and resilience are all positive results of starting a meditation practice.
“Individuals with high self-regulation are thoughtful of how they influence others and take responsibility for their own actions.” – Daniel Goleman
3. Social Skills
When a team is really on a roll and members of that team love to work with one another, they are usually displaying strong social skills including active listening, and verbal and nonverbal communication skills.
Meditation teaches you to become better at focusing and reducing distractions. When you are speaking with someone, particularly in an emotionally charged situation, your heightened awareness and ability to focus —without getting hijacked by emotions— gives you an advantage. Clearly hearing and understanding what is being said, in addition to how the individual is feeling about what is being said, allows for a thoughtful and appropriate response.
Empathy, often thought of as the cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence, is the ability to see and understand the thoughts, perspectives and feelings of others. Empathy leads to stronger, more meaningful relationships, success in the workplace, better health and quality of life.
Empathy woven with compassion builds strong relationships and emotional bonds based on helpfulness, kindness and caring. Compassionate empathy means we are moved to take action and help however we can.
Meditation activates the “empathy” area of the brain. Neuroscientific researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in NY, have discovered that when a brain is scanned during meditation the “empathy” area of the brain (anterior insular cortex) lights up significantly.
Intrinsic motivation is the desire to seek out new things, new challenges, to gain knowledge and to test one’s own capacity. Self-motivated leaders work consistently toward their goals, and they have extremely high standards for the quality of their work.
Meditation increases your attention and ability to focus and boosts your capacity to commit and stay in the present moment. As mindfulness is improved through focused meditation, you will find that your intrinsic motivation is heightened and enjoyable flow states happen more frequently.
A recent study of competitive athletes in Japan, February 2019, has shown that mindfulness enhances intrinsic motivation.
Help your Team Reach their Emotional Intelligence Potential
Mindku can provide your team with the tools to manage, and with practice, thrive when things are difficult.
Imagine the impact on your organization when your team is energized and resilient. Imagine a work environment defined by vibrant health, innovation and joy.
Contact us for more information about programs and coaching.
1. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, "Emotional Intelligence 2.0," 2009, https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/01/09/emotional-intelligence/?sh=636a0a41ac0e
2. Michael I. Posner, "Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation," 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2040428/
3. Rei Amemiya, "The effects of passion and mindfulness on the intrinsic motivation of Japanese athletes," 2009, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331064537_The_effects_of_passion_and_mindfulness_on_the_intrinsic_motivation_of_Japanese_athletes