Mindfulness for Managers

Mindfulness for Managers

Mindfulness for Managers -
Resilience skills to develop well-being and performance

21st Century working life demands ever greater output, to a higher standard, at lower cost and with tighter deadlines. Globalisation and unprecedented change further add to the challenge.

How can we meet these ever increasing demands without compromising health and well-being, for ourselves and for our staff?

Mindfulness has proven benefits in terms of both well-being and performance.

In this training programme, participants learn to:

  • Give themselves an immediate boost in well-being and performance, whenever they need it;
  • Cultivate the personal capacity for simultaneous well-being and performance;
  • Manage staff in a time-efficient way builds well-being, engagement, awareness and capacity;
  • Create a culture that sustains higher levels of both well-being and performance.

Mindfulness: Combining well-being and performance

In order to meet the challenges of 21st working life, we need greater well-being and higher performance.

Thousands of papers, over 30 years, have shown that mindfulness improves both well-being and performance. Mindfulness benefits include:

  • Well-being: reduces stress, improves immune function, reduces blood pressure and increases enjoyment (both inside and outside of work).
  • Cognitive: Mindfulness generates a clearer focus and the ability to sustain it for longer. It improves memory, boosts creative problem solving skills.
  • Emotional: Mindfulness also boosts emotional awareness, emotional intelligence and relationship skills
  • Organisational: Mindfulness also boosts engagement, satisfaction and decision-making
  • Leadership: Mindful leaders produce improvement in performance, job satisfaction, psychological need satisfaction and organisational citizenship in their staff

Despite the popular image, mindfulness is not about relaxation. It’s a clear presence of mind that helps you focus more effectively on what matters most. It helps to get more done, more easily, more effectively and more enjoyably.

"Immensely helpful – Mindfulness gives me much more “real time” awareness of my thoughts and emotions. It also releases the creative part of my mind, and enables me to be more focused on the impact I’m seeking to achieve."

Paul Zollinger-Read, Chief Medical Officer, Bupa

Brief Mindfulness

Brief Mindfulness is optimised for busy leaders, managers and professionals in the modern, high performance workplace. For example:

  • The “Reconnect” makes mindfulness accessible in 30 seconds, without closing your eyes or changing your posture;
  • When you have a specific stressful event or a build-up of pressure, you can use “Targeted Mindfulness.” This 4 minute process dramatically reduces stress and helps you get in the right frame of mind to tackle the challenge swiftly and effectively. Brief Mindfulness is designed to be integrated into purposeful activity. It emphasises the “clarity of purpose” dimension of mindfulness – helping to ensure the focus really is on what matters most.

“I think this is the most powerful tool I have ever learned. From using it on a high ropes course, to redesigning a workshop on the fly, to just everyday life. Wow, what a difference it makes. Thank you for teaching it to me!”

John Brooker, Innovation Facilitator and former Senior Vice President at Visa

Boosting Staff Well-Being and Performance

As well as cultivating their own Well-Being and Performance, it is important that managers cultivate these qualities in their staff. This happens naturally as managers become more mindful – but the effect can be enhanced through the way managers interact with their staff.

With Brief Mindfulness-based coaching, managers coach staff towards finding their own solutions, in an engaging and energising way. The style of coaching is designed to raise the awareness of the member of staff, bringing them into the “Approach Mode”. One study found that this mode of mind doubled people’s ability to solve challenging problems.

"Mindfulness has given me tools to relax, centre myself and stay in the right “frame of mind”, even in a busy and demanding workplace. Now I’m calmer and more able to focus on the things that matter, and bring all my energy to those issues. I am also better at dropping other issues without worrying about them. Mindfulness has helped create space in a busy life, and encouraged me to be the best I can be."

Richard Sage, Transformation Director at EDF Energy

Training Structure: Blended Learning

In order to maximize skills transfer to the workplace, we use a blended learning format:

  • A 1-day training workshop
  • 4 week elearning programme
  • Learning support from the course trainer by email throughout the 4 week period and beyond
  • (Optional) 1-1 coaching sessions to support and maximize individual learning

(To minimize your administrative overhead, we are able to manage all aspects of the eLearning, support and coaching, if you wish.)

1 Day Training Workshop

Skills developed through the programme include:

Responding to Challenge and Stress:

  • Identifying early signs of stress
  • Using “Targeted Mindfulness” to deal with specific and substantial stressors
  • Engaging the “approach mode,” to maintain perspective and creativity in the face of difficulty
  • Generating a resilient response to stress.

Presence of Mind

  • Calming the mind through guiding attention to direct experience, particularly in the body
  • Opening up a “gap” between stimulus and response – increasing the possibility to make wise choices even under pressure
  • Cultivating a “reservoir” of calm and stable focus – so you can focus more effectively and for longer, in a natural and sustainable way
  • “Reconnecting” with the perspective of mindfulness in the midst of activity (in 30 seconds, without closing your eyes or changing your posture)
  • Bringing calm focus into purposeful activity
  • Well-Being and Relationship

  • Developing fuller emotional awareness and emotional intelligence
  • Deriving more happiness and enjoyment from everyday experiences

Clarity of Purpose

  • Clarifying purpose, and reconnecting with it in the midst of activity
  • Accessing unconscious resources, and creating a more “aligned mind”

Coaching Staff

  • Helping staff to clarify their understanding of relevant goals and objectives
  • Raising staff awareness of their own strengths, resources and sources of confidence
  • Guiding staff towards the “approach mode” of mind, in order to boost their clarity and creativity
  • Asking questions that encourage staff to find effective ways forward in difficult situations, through drawing on their own resources

"I really enjoyed it, one of the best training sessions I have ever attended"

Vanessa Wright, School of Health and Related Research, Sheffield University

4 Week eLearning

In order to embed behavioural change in everyday work and life, the workshop is followed by four weeks of lightweight eLearning. This consists of a series of brief daily emails – just enough to support implementation of mindfulness in a busy working life.

Ongoing Learning Support

Throughout the programme, and beyond, the trainer is available by email to answer any questions, and support participants through any challenges they encounter. This can make all the difference at the times when it matters most: when the theory and fresh new skills from the workshop meet real workplace challenges.


Research has shown that follow-up coaching trebles the value of training. This is especially so with experiential and practical subjects such as Mindfulness, where understanding unfolds as skills are put into practice.

We therefore offer 1-1 coaching as an optional component of this programme. This consists of a one hour session conducted via skype or telephone. It is scheduled at a mutually convenient time, roughly 2-4 weeks after the training workshop.

It is an opportunity to review progress, with the different topics and their application in practice. Additional material can be incorporated at this stage, depending on the particular situation of the participant. This can be cover any aspect of Mindfulness, Well-Being and Performance, and often draws in relevant topics such as time management and negotiation.

“I've tried mindfulness before, but it never clicked for me. But your guidance and amazing ability to connect us to our feelings and senses just transformed the whole experience.”

Theresa Jonsson, Executive Coach, Sweden

Participant Requirements

To have an effect, Mindfulness needs to be put into practice! Conventional MBSR programmes require that participants commit to 60 minutes of practice per day, but we consider this unrealistic for the busy leader, manager or professional. To make good use of this programme, participants will need to invest a total 7 minutes, at various points through the day.

In our experience, this time investment pays rich rewards, and thanks to the increased clarity and focus generated, time is saved throughout the rest of the day. (For participants who wish to invest more fully in their Well-Being and Performance, guided meditation practices of between 10 and 20 minutes are also available for their use at home.)

"Using Brief Mindfulness to 'Reconnect' with the moment in 30 seconds is as effective as 5 minutes of conventional 'breathing space' meditation, and a lot easier to slip into your day."

Kathryn Hicks, Clinical Psychologist, Cambridge

About the Course Trainer

Shakya Kumara is the founder of “Brief Mindfulness,” drawing on his 20 years of experience of Mindfulness in the workplace. He is also the creator of other training models, including “iFLOW” Time Management and the “MAGIC” model of Negotiation, both of which are in use around the world.

Shakya is a Management Trainer and Coach, with clients including Bupa, Sheffield University, the UK National Health Service, Meridian Bioscience, Mott MacDonald, the National Australia Bank and others around the UK and northern Europe.

“Energy and enthusiasm that is infectious and phenomenally productive. I thoroughly recommend Shakya for any organisation or individual.”

Steve Batson, Service Manager, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership NHS Trust

More information

For further information about running this Mindfulness for Managers programme in your organisation, please request more details here or call Barbara Leigh on 01242 241882.

Other in-house courses related to this programme

Strengthening Personal Resilience

Cognitive Coaching


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