Improve Your Business Performance with Meditation

 “Today’s new reality is that we are all deeply interdependent; therefore, it is our responsibility to care of each other.” The Dalai Lama

This is not conventional business talk. Nonetheless, the Dalai Lama has packed another business lecture to capacity. Obviously, conventional business is not giving these executives what they need – compassion meditation. Traditionally, the business world has not been a place where one looks for sympathy.

Deadlines and quotas are expected to be met with no excuses or violins playing in the background.  With the economic turmoil in recent years, one would expect companies to have become even more uncaring and focused on business performance. In progressive businesses, the opposite is happening. They are listening to the Dalai Lama. All of a sudden, compassion is one of the hottest commodities in business. Hiring managers want to know what your emotional intelligence (EI) quotient is. Some are even poking around in interviews to try to get a gauge of spiritual intelligence (SI).

These businesses have discovered that compassion is good business and improves business performance. If it is true that nice people rise to the top, then compassion may be the secret behind their business performance. Cultivating happiness at work can enhance your effectiveness in many areas.

Negotiation Skills

Those who engage in compassion meditation report that they become more empathetic over time. Think back to your last failed negotiation. Was there a place in the negotiations in which a little bit of empathy, or walking in the other guy’s shoes, could have saved the deal? Most negotiations succeed if areas of common interest can be identified. This is your comfort zone. From here, you can wander out a little farther on the risk spectrum. If commonality cannot be established, it is often enough to show you care about, and are willing to support, the other person’s success and well-being. Business books want to convince you that they are selling leading negotiation tactics that will make you the savviest negotiator in your sales territory. Truth is, people respond to genuine empathy.

Leadership Skills

Leadership concepts such as servant leadership are changing how we view a leader’s role in an organization. One cannot ignore the superior business performance of companies that practice servant leadership. The concept of putting the ego aside and placing employee well-being first is also a goal of compassion meditation. In recent years, the Dalai Lama was the hottest speaking ticket in the business world.  His topic: One heart, one mind.

Stress Reduction

An interesting finding is that leaders who develop compassion experience a concomitant reduction in stress. Seeking and wielding power brings with it a certain level of stress, not the least of which involves the competition to remain in power.

When we develop and express positive feelings towards others in the workplace, competitive forces are replaced with mutually supportive forces. Compassion not only improves our empathy but also the overall functioning of our brain, affecting intelligence, memory and problem solving. Specifically, when we feel compassion, gamma brain waves become active. Operating in the higher 26 Hz to 100 Hz frequencies, gamma waves are associated with the coordination and unification of all brain processes. Harder to measure but worth noting is the role of gamma waves in contributing to unity of consciousness.  In many ways, a little compassion meditation can go a long way toward improving overall business performance.

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