Menu Search

How to bring calm to chaotic and toxic workplaces. (2016)

“Mindfulness can restore balance and calm to chaotic workplaces if embraced by leaders.

Ray Williams, Wired for success
Psychology Today,  3 Oct 2016.

“Many of today’s organizations are chaotic if not outright toxic for employees and leaders alike. There are multiple reasons why chaotic workplaces are proliferating. With mega-mergers and globalization, some corporations are becoming vaster and impersonal, while simultaneously recurring waves of job cuts have left companies lean and left individuals with workloads greater than is reasonably feasible over the long haul. Instead of rewarding long-term planning, expediency is demanded.

“Add in a leader who ignores the human toll, and the result is often a chaotic workplace. Creative and innovative ideas—the factors that drive the best corporations—are, ironically, stifled; employees are alienated; people get sick.

“Companies that treat their people right get enormous dividends – high rates of productivity, and low rates of turnover. Companies that treat their people poorly experience the opposite – and end up complaining about the death of loyalty and the dearth of talent.


“Mindfulness practices can restore some balance and calm to chaotic workplaces if embraced by leaders.”

Williams highlights six signs of a ‘chaotic and toxic workplace’:

  • Management focuses on what employees are doing wrong and rarely giving positive feedback for what is going right.
  • Creeping bureaucracy
  • A singular focus on profits without considering other bottom lines.
  • Bullies rule the roost.
  • No human touch.
  • High levels of employee disengagement
  • Rampant multitasking
  • A focus on ‘fixing’ employees instead of structuring healthy workplaces.

Williams offers a list mindfulness-inspired behavior techniques leaders can use to “make a substantial difference” including:

  • At meetings, restricting the use of mobile phones so people can focus on the present
  • Restraining the impulse to rush through discussions to get on with the next meeting or event
  • Restricting practices of multitasking
  • Practicing seeking clarification and understanding of different perspectives in meetings before responding
  • Practicing ‘beginners’ mind’ and curiosity
  • Accepting others’ feelings and emotions without judgment or automatic reactivity.

Access the full article here: How to bring calm to chaotic and toxic workplaces.

Leave a comment

Back to the top
We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't accept comments that are unsubstantiated, unnecessarily abusive or may expose the Trust in any way. All contributions are moderated before being published.

Comments are closed.