Leaders Are Responsible for Giving Staff Tools for Work and Life

06 November 2017 Andy Thiss, Fraedom, Director - Sales & Account Management

When I started my mindfulness journey almost 3 years ago I must admit - I was sceptical.  Who has time? Does it work? Is it seen as weak? I’m under control right?  I was right in the middle of the Trifecta of life changing events; moving house, new baby (#2), and starting a new career in technology that was a far cry from financial services. Not to mention a wife with postpartum depression along with no local family support (I’m an Expat).

I’ll be the first to admit I was really struggling.  At a time that should have been my most happy I couldn’t keep my head above water and was drowning.

It was during this time that I came across mindfulness and the potential it had to generate clarity, calm, and sense of present enjoyment that my life desperately needed.  I was amazed at how easy it was to work into my daily life and how little changes in behaviour could result in exponential positive effects to my work, family, and personal wellbeing

So, for you out there thinking of starting this or you’re not quite onboard - try these 3 simple mindfulness hacks that have helped me greatly.

  1. Do something you absolutely love at least once a week: You need to make time for things you enjoy in life by focusing on these activities you can be mindful and present in what you actually enjoy.  Surfing, is my must-do activity
  2. Be curious: Look at things as if you have seen them for the first time. I looked at a caterpillar with my daughter for almost 45 minutes and her curiosity drove mine, allowing me to be 100% present.  One of my best fatherhood memories to date.
  3. Put your phone away, it can wait: Working for a multinational technology business I have calls at all hours.  That’s why it’s important to spend what free time I have with the people that matter the most to me - my family. When I come home I put my mobile phone in a kitchen drawer to ensure I am present and focused. It allows me to enjoy some of life’s littlest and most pleasant moments.

Incorporating Mindfulness into our business, Fraedom.

One of the reasons I love leading a team at Fraedom is the fact that we are open to try new things. In the Sales and Account management world its quite a demanding job for the team and the others that support their success across the business.

About 1.5 years ago we started talking about mindfulness and the benefits as part of our weekly sales meetings.  We began using the free Smiling Mind app, and team members were encouraged to understand when they were stressed or unfocused to take a break and hit pause, have a walk, or close their eyes for a minute of silence.  Now we often start team meeting with a minute of silence to bring ourselves into the present to focus on the hour ahead.

This has helped to strengthen conversations, improved creativity, and better connections across the team. 

To further entrench a mindful culture at Fraedom we contacted Smiling Mind about a broader program for the business. Internal alignment was critical part of launching our regional mindfulness program.  The team at Smiling mind have been amazing helping us with communications strategies, timeframe rollout, and most importantly the technology of the Smiling Mind workplace app to give employees the ability to practice when and where they choose. The uptake across our business has been substantial and the and the feedback for Smiling Mind even better. It has been great seeing Fraedom support the mental wellbeing of its employees and we look forward to our partnership with Smiling Mind in the coming years.

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If you're interested in integrating mindfulness into your workplace, contact us at workplace@smilingmind.com.au

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