Every month we have an all-staff  meeting with both the DC and Chicago offices and I share a “New Media Minute” about social, mobile, marketing trends, etc. in association management. I did something a bit different this month and thought I’d share – this one received a lot of feedback……

My Ironic New Media Minute – an email to all Bostrom employees:

For a few years now, whenever I go home, my family and friends complain that I am never disconnected from work, never really listening and attentive, or “with” them.  I’ve noticed that my memory has gotten worse as well and the never-ending task list of what I need to get done has never changed. My patience with difficult clients and coworkers that need help has changed too – something I deeply regret and can’t seem to change.

This past weekend I was up in Green Bay with my boyfriend and his 10 year old daughter and her friend. After a day the daughter and friend announced that they were going to take my phone away for one hour to see if I could do it. I was amused and it ended up being a great, fun hour of playing with no interruptions.  It was also a bit sad that a 10 year old had to make me aware of this behavior and do something to change it.

In the Sunday New York Times there was an article on Mindfulness training that is going on all over corporate America – especially silicon valley and tech companies. CEOs, Engineers, college grads in the workplace are all realizing that the advancement of technology has hurt our skills for being mindful and having strong “emotional intelligence.”  I was then emailed an article on emotional intelligence, mindfulness and stress relief – so I figured those were all signs to pay attention!

I was prepared to tell this story and give you the information and tips below at our all-staff meeting but was pulled out due to technical problems we were having with a webinar – so I was running around like crazy trying to help a stressed but calm, cool and collected Account Exec deal with the problem. She did a fabulous job but I know both of our blood pressures sky rocketed and the rest of day will be exhausting just dealing with a situation we couldn’t control. And therein lies the irony – I couldn’t be present for a minute of talking about being present!

I hope all of you take time to read these articles and really think about your mindfulness and emotional intelligence. I was interrupted 40 times writing this email – by my own doing.

Definitions

Emotional Intelligence – the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

Mindfulness – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose,  in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

Articles

Stress is Killing Me! Time for Emotional Intelligence?

http://www.6seconds.org/2013/04/12/stress-health-emotional-intelligence/

Mindfulness: Getting Its Share of Attetion

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/fashion/mindfulness-and-meditation-are-capturing-attention.html?_r=0

Tips

Take 5 – 10 minutes every day and meditate.

Eat two vegetarian, preferably locally grown meals a day.

Exercise 20 – 30 minutes every day even if it’s just a walk.

I have no idea how I could possibly do those three things every day but I’m going to try. Someone asked how in the world do they get the hundreds of tasks done on their list and the response was, “One at a time.” Studies all over are showing the benefits of meditation, mindfulness and emotional intelligence training to people’s abilities to solve problems, lead calmer, healthier lives and become better leaders. Worth some consideration I believe.

And that’s my new media “minute”!

Jeanne

Jeanne Sheehy
VP and CMO