Mindfulness Based Inclusion Training in the workplace

It may be no surprise that organisations such as London Transport, Goldman Sachs, Apple, Google, Virgin Atlantic and HSBC for example offer mindfulness training programmes to Staff, Senior Management and Customers.

Cultivating equity, equality diversity and inclusion using mindfulness at work.

by developing a diverse and inclusive workforce that works together to benefit everyone involved in the business, we are confident your business will gain a qualitative edge of wellbeing and health that drives innovation and creativity.

Consequently, the MBIT at work programme is about cultivating a deep awareness of the valuable roles everyone plays in making a business work. This awareness can subsequently result in a level of respect and appreciation for all wisdoms and perspectives and participants who come together to make the business possible.

As such, our workplace trainings aim to honour the unique abilities and contributions that each parson has to offer by providing a space where voices can be heard from those who might not normally get heard in the workplace.

With MBIT in the workplace, there should be no need for the undercover boss

Because the conditions of truth are to always allow suffering to speak.

Whether its the cleaning staff, Security or the Chief Executives, our aim is to provide the inclusive contemplative conditions for insights to arise into how best to create a unified and happy workforce that is listened to, valued and cared for. Often expressed through the organisations connections with its own deeper humanitarian purpose and corporate responsibilities that are then felt via a sense of individual and collective agency, connection and community, grounded in a vision of ethical services, business or product that is being continuously nurtured.

We are in the business of helping business anchor themselves to the deeper moral and ethical purpose and responsibilities of the business.

Consequently, mindfulness for business requires a commitment from both the employer and employees to collaboratively create safe, courageous but protected spaces where frank, open and honest speech is invited in the spirit of what the Greeks called “Parrhesia” from which deep learning happens also described by the Greeks as “Paideia” that stimulate both individual and collective well being at work through sustainable working practices that facilitates ethical and moral sustainable productivity based on reciprocity and humanitarian principles that benefits everyone involved, including staff, customers, clients, the supply chains, planet and beyond.

The Challenges of bringing mindfulness to the workplace

The moral and ethical foundations of mindfulness in the workplace has been challenged by some practitioners over the years. Core critiques of mindfulness in this context arise from ideas that it needs to be too sanitised to operate effectively as a change agent to an inequitable and unequal capitalist system to the extent it can even perpetuate it.

A classic and important critique that mindfulness practitioners need to grapple with, come from Ron Pursar for example in his book McMindfulness that we recommend all practitioners read to understand and address the concerns more humbly. 

Others argue that when taught under the strain of productivity and profitability, mindfulness can be co-opted as a means of controlling the masses into conforming to the extent it limits the potential of mindfulness to be socially transformational, through its innovation, creativity and diversity of insights that some might argue the practice clearly and naturally invites. 

Consequently, it is important to highlight that we take great care to ensure our mindfulness programmes for the workplace are grounded in moral and ethical frameworks of solidarity building through equity, equality, diversity and inclusion that limits the risk of the practice being void of the strong moral and ethical foundations essential to the ancient wisdoms and spiritual traditions from which it came.

Something that can tip the scales of the application towards disrespectful appropriation, rather than something that acknowledges the ethical underpinnings of the practice in a traditional or indigenous sense.  

As such, we only engage in mindfulness provisions in the workplace where a cultural shift towards greater equity, equality, diversity and inclusion is considered a core intention or motivation for the intervention or where mindfulness based EDI consultancy is required for similar purposes.

Anchored to a socially centred perspective of mindfulness whilst tending to individual wounds  

There are also critiques relating to mindfulness being completely person centred, individualistic and even selfish that are important to grapple with when delivering and sharing mindfulness in the workplace or business.

Importantly, by paying attention to our default modes of being or cultural tendencies of mind. Facilitators and practitioners can guide participants to appropriate practices and teachings to address specific needs and mental dispositions whether that be individualism, selfishness, poor self confidence, esteem or something else.

Which is something, that also means facilitators and practitioners our required to stay present to the needs of  both the group and also particular participants needs as well as group dynamics and systems theory.

Something that is not normally taught in the mindfulness classroom but would be joyously welcome as a way to prevent the practice being co-opted for limitless profitability and capital gain, to the detriment of addressing the wider moral and ethical considerations of the workplace, EDI and environmental sustainability.

Our requirements for delivery of mindfulness in the workplace

Naturally we are open to working with all charities, NGO’s and public sector organisations as a priority. However, whilst we are happy to service businesses that operate in the private sector, it will be important for us to define a clear understanding of the intentions and motivations behind bringing mindfulness into the business so the organisation and practitioner can be sure the values of implementation align with an ethically grounded practice.

From the perspective of The Urban Mindfulness Foundation, we only engage in mindfulness provisions outside the charity, NGO or public sector, if the practice delivery is grounded in addressing Equality, Equity, Diversity and inclusion. This commitment underpins our CIC values and the practice of mindfulness delivered within a moral and ethical framework that limits the risks discussed above.

Alongside the requirement of Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion being at the heart of mindfulness at work. We ensure our workplace programmes nurture the opportunity for innovation and creativity through skilful awareness of uncertainty that ignites the reality of infinite and limitless possibility.