Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Improving Business Performance Through Meditation

This economy has dragged down the business performance of what were, just a few years ago, strong companies. Short term boosts in demand are not enough to give lagging firms the kickstart they need. If you are one of those business owners affected by a slump in sales, you are probably sweating making targets and month-end meetings.

At the same time, you have noticed your friend keeps suggesting you should try a new meditation tape on sales performance. Can meditation really improve your business?

There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence supporting the positive effects of meditation on business performance. Gerald, an early practitioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in the 70s, attributes a 30 percent productivity increase in his sales job to TM. Often hitting the road as early as 6 am, Gerald started replacing his one hour nap time with 20 minutes of TM. “I would feel as if I had just had a two-hour nap,” explains Gerald. Sue is an emergency room nurse who delivers lectures on the benefits of meditation at her hospital and in the community. She suffered from ulcers and migraines before she started to do Tibetan Buddhism compassion meditation each day. Not only did Sue reduce her stress but she says she has become a more empathetic and caring health care provider. As a result, her relationships with patients and colleagues have improved.

There is now a growing body of research to back up the anecdotal evidence and show that, yes, meditation can improve your business performance.  Taking a closer look at the effects of meditation on the factors that affect business performance, a recent study found performance gains across all benchmarks.  Specifically, the effects of meditation on stress, change assimilation, conflict management and leadership capacity were explored. The study participants participated in a guided meditation several times a week consisting of a combination of attention focused and compassion meditation. Across all areas, the meditators showed improved performance over their colleagues. As a result of reducing stress, adapting better to change, managing conflicts more effectively and become more effective leaders, there was a noticeable improvement in the overall business performance of the study participants, according to their managers. 

The business performance benefits derived from meditation will vary greatly depending on which form of meditation you choose. Brain imaging studies show that the brainwaves activated and the degree of brainwave activity varies depending on the type of meditation practiced. Do you want to work smarter? Studies on TM have shown that it can improve your IQ and problem-solving abilities. Over 600 scientific studies have been published on the various benefits of TM. 

Do you want to become more effective at relationship management and sales negotiations? Tibetan Buddhism compassion meditation has been shown to improve relationships and conflict management as a result of creating more caring and empathetic individuals. It also produces more empathetic leaders. 

Do you want to improve organizational performance? Having the whole team engage in a regular meditation practice can improve organizational learning, innovation and performance. 

Progressive companies are making meditation part of their employee development programs. As for improving business performance before your month-end meeting, studies have shown improvement in business performance after one week of meditation. 

About the Author

Nancy Ashley

Author & Editor

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