Guest contribution from Dr. Geoffrey Soloway
Last year, UBC HR launched an exciting six-week Mindfulness@Work program for UBC faculty and staff. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and four programs ran from March through June. After going through the program, one participant said “I am happier and empowered to deal with difficult situations. I am now better able to let things go.”
Mindfulness@Work is back, with MindWell Canada offering another round of programs beginning April 2015.
Did you see Anderson Cooper say that mindfulness changed his life on 60 Minutes?
Mindfulness isn’t fluffy new age stuff. Rather, it is a rigorous form of mental exercise – training in attention to help bring our focus back into what’s really important – the present moment – versus wandering off on autopilot and worrying about the past or becoming anxious about the future. Mindfulness is an inherent skill we all have, and with practice can be improved leading to benefits that ripple into all areas of our lives.
Mindfulness is proven to benefit the workplace in numerous ways including improved health and wellbeing of employees, improved teamwork and communication, stronger leadership, and enhanced performance. No wonder it is now taught at Harvard Business School and practiced at companies like Goldman Sachs, Google, Apple, General Mills, Target, and with professional sports teams. The Seattle Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, for example, encourages his players to meditate daily, while roughly 20 team members show up for the official yoga and meditation sessions three times per week. The team’s sports psychologist says that this kind of training helps players develop skills essential for any great athlete or leader: focused awareness, clarity of thought, and the ability to stay in the present moment.
In case you are brand new to mindfulness, or want a refresher, MindWell Canada will be offering the six-week Mindfulness@Work program for UBC employees beginning April 2015. Seventy percent of UBC participants who took the Mindfulness@Work program last year gave a 5 out of 5 rating in terms of satisfaction with the program, with the other 30% giving it a 4 out of 5 rating.
Registration for the six-week program will take place at the Orientation on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 12:00-1:00pm. Sign up here.
The Orientation is free and will provide a comprehensive overview of the program. There will be two programs running in April/May 2015.
Mindfulness@Work Program 1 will run from 9:00-11:00am on:
- April 1, 8, 15
- April 20, 27
- April 25 (10am-2pm)
- May 4
Mindfulness@Work Program 2 will run from 2:00-4:00 pm on:
- Wed April 1, 8, 15
- Mon April 20, 27
- Saturday April 25 (10am-2pm)
- Mon May 4
MindWell Canada (MWC) (www.mindwellcanada.com) is a leader in helping people integrate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives, by working with executives, athletes, health care professionals and teachers helping them create a more joyful, less stressful and more connected career and life. MWC has a network of partners around the world and has worked with companies and organizations throughout North America, Europe and Asia. MindWell Canada and the Movember Mindfulness Pilot please visit www.mindwellcanada.com.
Dr. Geoffrey Soloway has been working in the area of health promotion, mindfulness and wellbeing for over 12 years. Geoff completed a PhD on Mindfulness at OISE of the University of Toronto, as well as a Master’s of Education on Holistic Education. Geoff has worked as an Instructor at the University of Toronto, teaching in the area of Stress Reduction, Health Promotion and Enabling Learning as well as offering Mindfulness-based workshops and programs with human service professionals in the workplace. Geoff has also worked as Health & Wellness Specialist in Human Resources at University of British Columbia, focusing on faculty wellbeing and developing new mindfulness programming. Geoff is also an Organizational Coach, completing his certification through the University of British Columbia. Currently, Geoff is a Partner with MindWell Canada, and Instructor for UBC Continuing Studies.