Being Mindful in a High Performance Environment

When we talk about a High -Performance Environment (HPE), we talk about teams that build products or work towards common goals in a less time frame. They endure pressure, issues that involve communication and collaboration and problems that create stress- within an individual and also within the team. Here, success is inevitable but so is pressure.

What is HPE?

As team-members of this HPE, you have to be motivated- always. You need to be motivated to deliver work on time. You always have to keep the engine of the organisation or of the team on. That is why, the environment also becomes an entity by itself and working on keeping that engine on, at the same speed, giving the same mileage becomes a part of the challenges organisations and HPE teams face. When I deal with some teams or individual players who play in such conditions, there is no stoppage. That is also when a hurdle like an injury, means ‘this individual is out of the team because we have to have a new one’. Similarly, in an organisation, if an employee fails to deliver, thats when he is given a warning and eventually thrown out of the project. This is what employees and players live on- hot coals. And as a performance psychologist, my job is to strike a good balance between what an organisation should demand to meet good performance standards, and what and employee or a player should deliver to meet those performance standards, without getting stressed.


Mindfulness and HPE

So, in order to have this good balance, we have to work on various demands of the organisation and make it positive and productive. Now according to Graham Jones at Lane4 Performance, we have 4 components that can build or break this HPE.

  1. The Leadership
  2. Different Performance Enablers
  3. People of the organisation
  4. Focus

The tool that I am going to write about, to build this HPE is through Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a buzz word in organisations these days, especially in the west (ironically!). How can mindfulness help build your HPE?

  1. Mindful Leadership: First of all being a mindful leader means, being well aware of yourself, being well aware of the people who work for you or who you work with, and being well aware of the organisational goals and values. There is what enables the beginning of a mindful leadership.
  2. Enabling Performance through Mindfulness: Now leaders also have work to enable this HPE. How could mindfulness enhance this process?
    1. Communication with the people is more crisp, compassionate and aware.
    2. The programs or tools used for performance appraisals are all-way not hierarchical or power-centric.
    3. When the incentives given to the employees or the team members are more than money or bonuses- in kind or by building stronger relationships especially with the managers at the higher hierarchy.
  3. Giving priority to wellbeing through mindfulness: Even though for most of the organisations, the priority or the focus is achievement of goals, the well being of the environment gets the least focus. The organisation should attend equally to develop the well being, be more aware of the needs of the team members and try the best to help them satisfy it. This creates a health high-performing environment.

A mindful HPE means:

  1. A self-aware leader
  2. A leader who knows his team well
  3. A leader who develops the environment- positively and productively.
  4. A team who is reinforced with the idea of being in the present helps improve performance
  5. A team who works of the value of compassion, along with competition. Compassion does not mean no competition, it means healthy competition.
  6. A team who works more on task-based values and not emotion-based values. E.g., Work over attitude/ego.




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