What does cake have to do with high-performing teams?
Creating a high performing team is like baking a cake. There are some ingredients you can live without, but the absence of a few key ingredients means the cake will be a flop. Vedic Meditation is the recipe that brings all key ingredients together to take a good team (or even a dysfunctional one) and develop the qualities of high-performance.
Compassion is the raising agent in the cake, sometimes overlooked but essential for the cake to rise to the top. Like baking powder in a cake, compassion elevates the performance of the team. Compassion is our ability to see a situation from someone else’s perspective, to feel what they are feeling and to want to reduce their suffering. A lack of compassion results in separation and polarity, which inhibits the development of positive team behaviors such as collaboration. Research on compassionate leadership shows that the impact of leading from the heart with empathy and understanding has a positive impact that spans far deeper than the bottom line. So how do we cultivate compassion?
Through practicing Vedic Meditation, we develop the capacity to observe our thoughts and feelings instead of engaging with or being consumed by them. Through continued practice of noticing how we feel with a healthy distance between us and the thoughts or feelings, we free up mental energy to see things from an other’s point of view. Teams that go beyond empathy – understanding the feelings of another, to compassion – feeling connected to another person and having a desire to help or support the other, demonstrate higher performance than those operating from a place of frustration and separation.
Creativity is the flavor that gives the cake it’s flair and sets it apart from the other cakes. When we operate creatively, we are aware of a greater range of solutions for the challenge we are trying to solve. We think outside the square, we have vision, and we’re not afraid to challenge the status quo. An ever-growing list of creative, celebrity transcendental meditators* attribute their creative flow and energy to their meditation practice.
Stress is the antithesis of creativity, when holding too much stress in the body our range of available thoughts and behaviors becomes limited to the bare essentials for survival. In contrast, an absence of stress in the body frees up physical and mental energy to cognize new ideas, solutions, and strategies. For more on how Vedic Meditation promotes creativity by removing stress from the body, see this blog.
Unification is the binding agent in the cake. Without the egg, oil or water, the other ingredients in the cake will not hold together. Similarly, without a daily practice of meditation we often find ourselves engaging in work activities through a sense of our own individual neediness. This neediness takes many forms – financial neediness, the need for promotion or a desire for recognition. As Vedic Meditators, over time our sense of individual neediness drops away and is replaced by a desire to contribute with purpose. The content of the purpose isn’t as important as process of being of service. Your contribution may be the creation of a spreadsheet that makes your team more efficient or campaigning to improve recycling behaviors in your office. What matters is the sense of working towards a shared goal, which fosters greater levels of trust and cohesion in team dynamics. As meditators we feel compelled to seek out shared goals with our team mates in place of seeking to advance our own personal agenda.
Through Vedic Meditation and the role-based techniques taught by The Business Mind, our customers report greater cohesion in their teams and higher levels of collaboration as early as week one following completion of the program. Get in touch with [email protected] to arrange a free, no obligation intro talk.
*Transcendental Meditation and Vedic Meditation teach the same technique hailing from the Vedic teachings in ancient India. Differences between the two are organizational.