Teaching Mindfulness to McDonalds

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Yesterday was the second of two introductory sessions on stress reduction that I gave to McDonald’s general managers and assistant managers who belong to the Kilroy group of restaurants.

Brian Kilroy understands the stress his employees experience and he realizes that teaching them mindfulness stress reduction techniques will be good for business, and their own personal mental and physical health.

The purpose of these two talks was to discuss how stress affects their lives and how mindfulness skills can significantly improve their health.   They were introduced to the concept of autopilot in order to understand how often their brains simply “react” to situations without giving themselves the space, and time, to choose a more skillful option.

They were also introduced to the concept of perspective.   This provided an understanding of how our minds are often the source of our stress and not some external situation.   To break free from decade old habit loops requires commitment and practice of mindfulness techniques.  These skills will enhance their interactions with customers, with the potential of increasing sales (people like it when they’re treated well!) and mitigate staff turnover by reducing stress.   All with the bonus of improving their own physical and mental health.

Brian has agreed to fund the cost of an 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction course for all of those in attendance who expressed interest.  That’s quite a statement of his commitment and value he places on the health of his employees.

I’m looking forward to beginning the first MBSR course with McDonald’s employees.