Can mindfulness in a workplace reduce conflict and stress? We take a look
Workplace conflict is inevitable. There will always be differences of opinion which presents challenges when working in a team.
Mindfulness is known to decrease stress and improve job satisfaction and psychological wellbeing for an individual.
But how mindfulness can benefit a team is unclear.
To test this, researchers conducted two field studies with a total of 394 students in a Master of Business Administration program in the US.
They developed a scale of team mindfulness and tested how team mindfulness helped in reducing conflict.
Team mindfulness is when workers share the same belief in a team which is focussing on the present moment ensuring that members interact with each other without judgement.
The researchers conducted another field test to test the benefits of team mindfulness within a different working culture of 292 healthcare workers in China.
The researchers found that team mindfulness helped decrease the degree of interpersonal conflict and the team was more mindful.
Team member were also less likely to transform their frustration about a particular task into personal conflict with a colleague.
Mindfulness helped team members detach themselves from the task and reduced the feelings and strong emotions associated with prejudgement.
The research shows that interpersonal conflict at work can creep into the interpersonal social space and undermine behaviours which affect the team as a whole.
The research shows that interpersonal conflict at work can creep into the interpersonal social space and undermine behaviours of individuals which affect the team as a whole.
With team mindfulness, members of the team focus on the task rather than the person and it limits the intensity of negative emotions and opposition, so that conflict does not escalate.
Participating in yoga and meditation together and setting aside time to share experiences as a team offers the opportunity to reduce stress and conflict while preserving the wellbeing of a team.
Source: Academy of Management Journal
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