Cultivating mindfulness and leadership

Article image - Cultivating mindfulness and leadership Cardinia’s home-grown professional development training program has seen more than 180 attendances over the 9 sessions at the Depot this year.

Cardinia Shire Council, Victoria, introduced a monthly mindfulness program into its Operations business unit, in February this year.

The program aims to support its people to improve focus, attention and memory; increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence; facilitate better communication and relationships; improve personal and professional performance; enhance physical and mental wellbeing; and reduces stress.

The one hour sessions were designed and facilitated internally in a partnership between Learning and Organisational Development Lead, Carolyn Mitchell and Drainage Supervisor, Ben Lamont.

“Each month we have between 25 and 44 percent of the Operations workforce attend and take a different focus for applying mindfulness including wellbeing, managing stress, communication, emotional intelligence and gratitude.”

Regular attendees have reported better relationships including feeling like a better dad, increased ability to respond rather than react to life and work challenges, being a more effective leader, greater focus on the job, and a better relationship with themselves and their thoughts.

“We also wanted to develop the leadership capability across our Operations business unit more broadly.

“Internally we designed, developed and facilitated the ‘Everyday Leadership’ and ‘Everyday Coaching’ programs running between May and October this year, supporting our non-titled leaders to build their capability to lead from where they are now and explore leadership opportunities for the future.”

Participants included Truck Drivers, Grader Operators, Administration Officers, Natural Reserve Ranger, and Bridge Maintenance Officers, who were supported through the program and between workshop days by Coaches who are existing titled leaders in Operations.

“The Coaches supported our focus on translating insights through to action,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We have seen an increase in the confidence of participants, their comfort in identifying themselves as leaders, understanding their strengths and the impact that they can have in the workplace and beyond.”

Both programs have had a significant impact on individuals, teams and the workplace culture of the Operations business unit.