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Mindful : April 2013
productive and energetic. Like Marturano, Healey says that participants see shifts within themselves and how they connect to colleag ues and bosses. Difficult bosses will still be difficult, but mindful- ness practice creates the ability to relate to them with new eyes and previously untapped skills. That employees can take seven-week classes during working hours is seen as a perk. Many appreciate the fact that this progressive and now financially robust organization is willing to invest in them as whole people and not simply as units of labor. Employers, take note. Mind control? Promise also brings potential peril. There are deeper questions about mindfulness at work that some employers are only beginning to consider. For one, some businesspeople think it’s presumptuous busybody-ism for orga nizations to take such an overweening interest in the personal well-being of their employees. After all, it could easily become an invasion of privacy or overstepping the boundar y between the personal a nd the professional. Maybe it’s just a newfa ngled trick for getting people to think the way the company wants them to think. Google is a pioneer in offering mindfulness and emotional intelligence training to its workers through the Search Inside Yourself program start- ed by Chade-Meng Tan, author of the book of the same name. Rich Fernandez, Google’s point man for employee well-being, including mindfulness programs, appreciates the concern that mindful- ness training could be seen as overreaching. “ You don’t want to present your program as the be-all and end-all for all of life’s challenges,” he says. “ You don’t want to be the only place where people go for balancing their emotional health and well- Mindfulness Goes Corporate Just a few of the American businesses that have included mindfulness training within their organizations Target Google Sun Life Financial Aetna International Hearst Publications eBay General Mills Twitter Ford Motor Company Cargill, Inc. Genentech Facebook Kaiser Permanente Compusense Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Plantronics OVERHEARD AT THE OFFICE “When you’re in tech and you’re running from meeting to meeting and driving across town rushing to another meeting, it’s easy to lose track of yourself. I need a reminder to take a moment and take a breath.” Kevin Rose, general partner, Google Vent ures; heard at a Wisdom 2.0 Conference 58 mindful April 2013 business