Helena Clayton, Leadership Development Consultant
Helena Clayton is a consultant, coach and facilitator. She works with top teams and leaders developing individual, team and organisational effectiveness. She completed an 8-week Mindfulness Course on a 1.1 basis with Ed Halliwell from Work with Mindfulness. Here she speaks about her experience of working with us and how mindfulness has helped her in the workplace.
"Ed teaches mindfulness in a clear and simple way, getting the balance just right between explanation and practice. He has a real skill of providing just enough information and guidance to get you off the starting blocks and, when you need to know more, his depth of knowledge and experience is readily available for you. He tailors his approach to suit each individual. His approach is gentle and encouraging and his sense of humour is never far away.The supporting material is excellent, allowing you to read more about what you’ve done in each session in your own time.
The benefits of meditation in daily life are enormous and, for me, I feel these benefits particularly at work. I tend to have a head full of things to do and I have a tendency to rush around from one thing to the next. Personally, learning to meditate has allowed me to be much more mindful allowing me to notice what I’m experiencing, slow down and make a much more conscious choice about my response to something. I’ve noticed that these days I get much less ‘hooked’ by a difficult person, a tricky conversation or a disappointment, for example. I take things much more in my stride. This means that my stress levels have dropped considerably which has a powerful knock-on effect to my overall health and wellbeing – and, of course, my performance at work.
I work in leadership development and see how people in organisations are really struggling with personal resilience in the face of so much change, uncertainty and pressure. If there was one tool to help with his, then it has to be mindfulness. In a way, I’ve come to see mindfulness as THE core competency for organisational life, no matter what job you do.
A caution though. It’s not quick fix: the benefits only come with intentional practice. And while you can learn to be more mindful on your own (there are many great books on the subject) this is where working with a teacher can be so helpful."