Mindfulness in Engineering: A Portal to Customer Experience & Innovation
Mindfulness in Engineering it’s not just about inner peace — it’s about getting ahead of competitors by delivering innovation and customer experience.
Mindfulness is defined by The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, as maintaining the awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and surrounding environment in the present moment. Rather than getting caught up in the past (“I should have brought a different idea to the table.”) or anticipating the future (“What if this project doesn’t pan out?”), mindfulness encourages those who practice to focus on the present state of things.
One of the first benefits of mindfulness an engineer should consider is its effect on creativity. It helps for divergent thinking, or the development of a wide range of possibilities versus narrow and linear process-oriented thoughts. The practice of mindfulness has also been shown to aid engineers in problem-solving, due to its tie to divergent thinking. By increasing your capacity for curiosity while letting your mind drift, you can open yourself up to a range of possible solutions.
Additionally, mindfulness isn’t just used for drifting, divergent thinking. It can also be a great source of focus when you need to settle in and come up with a plan. By tapping into mindfulness for more intentional thinking, you can use the practice to delve deeper into a particular project or issue. When utilizing mindfulness in this way, you’ll want to have an end goal in mind. What do you want to produce? What would success look like? Then, try your hand at some intentional meditation to bring about the results you’re hoping to achieve.
Some of the other benefits by investing/engaging in mindfulness are:
- Improved focus and clarity, which is critical for engineers who work in an environment where innovation and creativity is key.
- Less stress and anxiety leading to better physical health and more positive outlook when working with coworkers.
- Increased ability to communicate to others, which is especially beneficial when working in a team environment.
It would be very interesting if we start seeing a trend of offering employee benefits that covers mindfulness practices.