Mindfulness at Work – Sanity Amongst Co-workers

Love your Job but have Moody Co-workers? Or are you the Moody Judy bringing down the good vibe in your office? Let me share with you a few mindfulness tricks that can help you bring more calm to your work environment.

Mindfulness at Work

How can you remain a calm sweet helpful individual with an ever present smile without being made of pvc plastic?People are all around us and we relate, interact and respond to each other creating a dynamic that is ever changing. Ever walked into a cafe and left without ordering because you didn't like the vibe? People create that vibe with the energy and mood they bring to the situation. You with you high-tech human sensory pick it up easily.

Enough talk let's get onto the good stuff...

For 8 hours, five days a week there are a horde of characters that cannot be escaped from: co-workers, clients, vendors, salesmen, deadlines, bosses, customers, delivery personnel, repairmen and colleagues within the industry. They find a way to make contact even if they are absent from the office via email, phone calls and their newest weapon of choice Social Media.

Each and every person including you brings a couple of items to every interaction their current emotional state, perceptions, ideals, thoughts, culture, relationships with others and pretty much their entire life history. We are each one of us bringing a load of junk with us into every conversation. Now that we know this, we can have a little compassion for our fellow colleagues and ourselves.

Yes but you still haven't told me how stop getting irritated by my idiot co-worker, Happy !

OK, keep your shirt on. I'm getting there, and it's going to be so good, please keep reading. Trust me.

Now you might be thinking thank you for the 'we are one' speech. But I need help right now before I tell Maggie in accounting, with her surly attitude every time I bring a receipt in late, that she'd better go on Miranda so she can stop being a b@%c# because she's on her period 365 days a year.

Yes, Maggie's bad attitude is nothing to do with you and isn't really your problem. But Maggie has become your problem because you get into a cranky mood every time you encounter Maggie's surliness. You've interpreted her surliness as insulting, disrespectful towards and you perhaps even downright dismissive.

Why is Mindfulness at Work important?

It's important to get a long with our co-workers because

1. We see them everyday
2. We're reliant on their help
3. It feels better to be in the bosom of a supportive, happy, community than a tense dog-eat-dog vindictive one

Here are a few tools you can use to help create that supportive happy community around you:

1. Say Good Morning

Become aware of this morning ritual we often take for granted. Do you begin with Hello, Good morning then launch into a tirade of all the things that went wrong yesterday and the awful overdue tasks you have waiting for you in your in-box? Give to others what you yourself would like to receive in the morning. Be civil, attend to others needs and be loving in every moment.

The how: Smile, be interested in every face you are seeing as you enter the office. Try to make eye contact with each person - pour a little positive energy into the moment.

2. Interval conversations that come up during the day.

Before you approach someone to have a conversation or make a request observe the others body language, behavior, posture and facial expressions. Does the persons body language seem to be suggesting a particular emotion? Are they having a difficult time? Instead of making the request you originally came in for Start with asking "How they are, and if there is anything you can help them with?" This is a powerful question and it makes an equally powerful statement. Even if there is nothing you can do for them they are aware of the Universe being there to offer support. Think of your own stressed out moments. Wouldn't it have been nice to hear one of the Divine's helpers asking if they could provide you with a hand?

3. Pay attention to reactions that are cold or angry

How does your co-worker respond to you, is there irritation or dismissive in their tone? With empathy, let me stress that again, with an Empathetic voice (approach the beast with caution people), ask "What just happened?" To try to determine what button you might have pushed that ignited the curt response.

4. Monitor Your Own Negative Judgments
It's difficult to try to catch yourself in the moment when a negative judgment occurs but it gets easier with practice. Ask yourself this question the next time you are irritated with someone ask. "How true is the story I am telling myself about this situation?" What did that person do that ignited your response? What did you bring from your past experiences to this moment that made you interpret it that way? If you didn't have that past experience would you be irritated now?

Interesting fact: We explain away our own bad behavior as a result of circumstances but we regard others bad behavior as a result of their shoddy personalities according to the Fundamental Attribution Concept in Psychology.

What we can take away from this is that we can offer others the same benefit we give ourselves. Could we view the other person's bad behavior with compassion and attribute it to be a result of circumstances rather than a flawed personality? I think we could.

5. Tit for tat. If you Treat me Badly surely I am Justified in treating you in equal measure with the same disrespect you showed me?

Yes you could go through life this way. After all, karma comes for everyone in the end. But how do you feel when you treat someone badly?

Last week the owner of a Wine Shop dismissed my taste in wine as being akin to trash he'd throw into a dumpster because I like to buy wine from my local grocers. Let me tell you, I sure gave him a piece of my mind on behalf of women everywhere who like to drink the Middle Sister brand of wine. Yeah, it felt good to walk away and dismiss him the way he did my 'bad taste'. I have thought of that moment at least once a everyday since. Not in a gloating manner, more like this:
Dear God, please let me him forget that moment. I wasn't even angry 5 minutes after I drove away from the store, please let him not have a complex as a result of that. There was nothing to forgive, his opinion is just as valid as mine. Please let him remember that."

See all that silly guilt? Bad behavior even when deserved is just not worth it. It feels horrible. How would I feel if someone treated me that way vs the way I feel when someone treats me compassionately? I already know which one feels better.Go with what your heart tells you. The heart always chooses love.

Go with that... Love a little to Live a lot.

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