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Mindfulness as a Tool for Equity and Inclusion

Tuesday October 26, 2021, By Sumona Chetia

One of the questions often asked is how mindfulness is related to equity and inclusion in an organization?

To work amidst tight deadlines accompanied by a diverse workforce posing varied views and perspectives can perhaps lead to feeling stressed, scattered, and sometimes overwhelmed at work. It can bring up latent unconscious biases, poor judgments, and potentially sensitive misconceptions to influence our actions. And this is where the practice of mindfulness comes to play.

Mindfulness means to become aware of our thoughts, actions, and preconceived notions. At the workplace, it involves the heightened focus of our minds on the present rather than operating unconsciously.

The need for mindfulness at work

We can’t achieve equity and inclusion without solving the underlying root problem. In building an equitable and inclusive workplace, mindfulness must come first. The practice of mindfulness will guide us in making decisions based on the present moment and not based on habits formed out of culture and social conditioning. Through mindfulness, we can train our minds to work better.

-How can we be more mindful in the workplace?

-Understand your mind, your reactions, and your filters

-Eliminate your deeply-rooted preconceived notions

-Cultivate discernment to allow space for other’s points of views

-Be consciously aware of the unconscious biases that crop within us

-Develop psychological flexibility

-Embrace curiosity, openness, and acceptance

-Take time to reflect on your actions, both good and bad

-Focus on solutions to problems and not on playing the blame game

-Remember your thoughts are not facts

-Empower yourself to empower others

Mindfulness, as a tool, can be used both formally and informally at the workplace. While the informal versions (the list mentioned above) can take place any moment of the day, the formal part involves the habit of practicing breathing exercises and guided meditation, preferably in a scheduled pattern.

A mindful work routine of every employee can change the culture of an organization – innovation, customer satisfaction, empathy, a sense of belongingness, psychological safety, perspective-taking, and more- in a shared and inclusive experience. However, to attain and embrace mindful inclusion as organizational culture, it has to be embedded throughout levels, initiatives, teams, and positions within a company.

Author Profile

Sumona Chetia
Sumona Chetia
An Associate Consultant- Content Development & Marketing at Avtar, when not hoarding books, she's busy reading and reviewing books.
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