Don’t worry, be happy… is a lyric from a one hit wonder by Bobby McFerrin released in 1988. The song’s title is taken from a famous quotation by Meher Baba, an Indian mystic who gave numerous teachings on the purpose of life throughout the 1940s.
I wouldn’t describe myself as being particularly philosophical but like Bobby, in our current climate I feel inspired by the expression’s charm and simplicity.
Both at work and play, the mantra can be used to cut through the noise of the everyday in order to practise mindfulness.
As a leadership strategy, mindfulness helps people to be more effective by directing focus to the most important task at hand. Deprogramming multitasking tendencies and intentionally focusing, with full attention, results in higher quality interactions and decisions. Mindful decision makers take the time to consider all of their options, and therefore make more informed decisions. Managers who model and promote mindful practices with their teams create an environment of engagement.
Well-known and respected organisations have long since recognised the benefits that mindfulness brings, not least of which is Google, which has offered a mindfulness course to its employees since 2007. Participants of the program reported being calmer, more patient, and better able to listen.
Just last week, Katie Macaulay, AB’s managing director, spoke at our Inside IC Event, on the importance of listening within our industry. Bluntly put, the key to effective communication – shut up and listen!
Or in the words of Bobby McFerrin, ‘don’t worry, be happy. Listen to what I say.’