I have founded and run multiple companies in my career. And I have incorporated mindfulness as well as meditation into my own work and that of my companies. I have seen, firsthand, greater productivity and reduced risk as a result of meditation in the workplace – from myself and colleagues. Most recently, I am just back from studying meditation in depth at a Buddhist monastery in southern France (so I can even further and more effectively weave it into my businesses).
When we meditate, we are essentially training the brain to focus more and “scatter” less. This has a direct impact on productivity. My employees that meditate regularly always outperform those that do not. They are able to focus more on their work and not get distracted. It is powerful to experience myself and witness from my colleagues.
At my companies, we not only meditate regularly but we begin each meeting with breathing exercises, for the same purpose of enabling greater focus. We meditate individually but have employed group meditation sessions. We even meditate before every investment meeting with a client. Meditation is a big part of our daily work and the results have been noticeable.
There is also a second valuable application of meditation in the workplace. By meditating, we gain greater control over our thoughts and are able to let go of biases and neurological habits that taint decision making. That is, meditation makes us better decision makers.
In fact, as a portfolio manager myself, meditation is a key component of our investment research. We require all our research analysts to meditate daily (it is part of their job responsibilities). And meditation is written into our investment process itself. Our brains innately employ various shortcuts when making decisions (often called heuristics), which can cause improper calculation of probability (see “Prospect Theory”). By slowing innate processes of the brain, meditation mitigates reliance on these (mental) shortcuts and enables us to better assess probability in times of risk and uncertainty.
With what we know from neuroscience and behavioral psychology, it is clear that meditation improves results. And as a business owner and investment manager, I continue to see improved results and therefore strive to incorporate meditation even more deeply into my work.