The Mindfulness Blog

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Let's Get Real

What do a partner retreat and a bucolic countryside spa, far from the madding crowd and city hustle, have in common? Well, in Poland (which is currently leading the European legal market), the two share mindfulness and meditation!

Of course, there was a focus on business, and myriad policy concerns that bear upon the business of the firm. Prominent among the topics discussed, were mindfulness and the practice of meditation, and the positive impact they have on the effectiveness of staff, attorneys and the financial health of the firm. Hmm.....

And the consensus among partners I heard from, was overwhelmingly positive. As one of the attorneys I spoke with said, "They [the firm] get it right. They're better than any other firm I know of, or have worked with". That's the real scoop, folks.

Spoiler alert: After a group meditation that I was privileged to lead, (we're talking about the Warsaw office of an international law firm--a firm that will remain nameless, as a matter of discretion)-- the partners received a formal report about the progress of an internal pilot initiative that was organized to generate data about work-related benefits of mindfulness and meditation. The data was both detailed, and positive.

Neuroscience, complemented by self-reporting and objectively measurable performance data were presented, and the partner comments that followed were predominantly unsolicited personal testimonials, attesting to the positive effects that mindfulness and meditation have had on their respective practices. Heartwarming and energizing stuff, to say the very least.

The subsequent social hour and buffet dinner (open seating) was a tremendous follow-on, and--I have to say--was a wonderful deviation from similar events that I've attended, here in the States. Our European colleagues have clearly found the sweet spot, where the professional and personal circles overlap. And mindfulness and meditation are important elements of that sweet spot.

Our Polish counterparts are both smart and very much aware of the bottom line. But they are also grounded in the understanding that there is more to life than just punching the clock. Neither mindfulness nor meditation are anathema to them--the sanctity of self-focused downtime in the middle of a workday, is very real. And one can palpably sense that.

My final takeaway? It's a big world, and there are a lot of different ways to skin the proverbial cat. Maybe it's time that law firms here in the States--as well as other parts of the globe--get the message, and incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their professional platforms?


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