Executive Development Blog

Mindful or Mindless?

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Mar 29, 2016 11:57:00 AM


In today’s work world, we face multiple stress inducing demands and pressures as well as constant connectivity through smart phones, social media, and tablet computers. We are managing numerous fluctuating priorities, working with increased expectations, balancing competing demands for our personal and professional goals, and handling ongoing conflict and ambiguity in complex environments. The last thing we need is for employees to be stressed, anxious, or unengaged.

So what can help? Mindfulness.

A recent Forbes article written by Lisa Wirthman states, “To increase engagement, innovation and productivity, organizations ranging from Ford to Google are teaching employees how to be mindful. That’s a good thing: Barely a third of U.S. employees were engaged in their jobs in 2015, a figure that shows little improvement from the previous year, according to Gallup.”

The article goes on to discuss some of the research UNC Executive Development’s Kimberly Schaufenbuel conducted around the topic of mindfulness. She came up with some helpful tips on the topic:


  • Spend 15 minutes before work simply sitting and being aware.
  • Use the STOP sign when stressed: Stop what you’re doing. Take five conscious breaths. Observe what you’re experiencing. Proceed.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Listen during meetings and be fully present when someone is speaking.
  • Note accomplishments at the end of each day.



What’s the opposite of being mindful?  It’s being mindless. And this is not going to help the organization or the individual.

To read the full Forbes article click here.

Make sure to download a copy of UNC’s white paper titled, Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace.

Click to Download Full White Paper

UNC Executive Development offers a 2-day leadership program inspired by mindfulness. Learn more about the Intentional Leadership program here.