We know that mindful practices can change not only your life, but also your job, and eventually the world. We’re going to profile mindful office pioneers and tell their stories of office transformation.
Lindsay Van Driel is a business operations manager at Intel, who co-founded the Awake Inside program, which taught workers how to incorporate mindful techniques into their home and work lives.
“When I said I was going to create a mindfulness program at Intel, I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing,” says Lindsay. “I just had a very strong intention.”
Since Van Driel already had an active interest in mindful practices, she decided to attend the Wisdom 2.0 Conference which addressed how mindfulness could be incorporated into the tech industry. She was inspired by those promoting mindful movements at Google (SIYLI’s own Meng) and Cisco to encourage calm and creativity in the typically high-stress tech industry.
“I knew that Intel faced all the same challenges of an intense, fast-paced work environment,” she says.
“Intel is filled with incredibly gifted and brilliant individuals, but in general, they were feeling weighed down, stressed out and exasperated,” Lindsay notes. She says that with the pressures of emails, meetings and tense deadlines, employees were stressed.
“People felt that they were being pulled in multiple directions all the time. Meditation and Mindfulness are powerful tools to calm and center the mind and body and would be of tremendous help to Intel employees,” says Lindsay. “I resolved to implement a program for Intel.”
She began blogging about mindfulness at Intel and stating her intention to start a program. She partnered with mindfulness and leadership development expert Anakha Coman, who was teaching meditation at Intel to create The Awake Inside program.
The Awake Inside foundational 8-week program focuses on making mindfulness meditation simple and accessible. The program starts with a 10-minute meditation and conversation about presence, offering individuals the opportunity to start noticing how often the mind wanders.
Each class has 2 meditations in it. The first is designed to center the consciousness in the present moment and the second is based on the content of the particular class. We build on the individual’s self-awareness; we introduce topics of relational intelligence, we talk about group dynamics and opening up the channels of creativity by cultivating vulnerability and trust.
After implementing the program, Van Driel, who was already a mindful practitioner, says that her work life has only improved.
“The number one thing I noticed is that I laugh more,” she says. “When problems arise, and they always do because it is the nature of engineering, I don’t feel anxiety about it. I know the issues will get resolved and excessive worry or stress does nothing to help solve the problems. I have the ability to relax and let the process flow.”
Van Driel also feels that the program has given her the ability to empower others. Her goal is to engage participants so that they have a truly fulfilling, engaging experience at work every day.
So far, it’s worked wonders.
The results that we’ve seen have been nothing short of extraordinary,” says Lindsay. “The program is having far-reaching and profound impact on employees at work and at home.”
She reports that employees feel they have a better engagement in meetings and with co-workers. They can also listen better, have better meetings and enjoy increased mental clarity.
“We’ve seen technical breakthroughs and personal breakthroughs. We consistently hear the people are having better conversations with their children and the spouses and that less stress at home translates to less stress in the work place.”
Do you know a business committed to mindful practices? Let us know for future SIYLI Profiles.