If I had to summarize my professional role in one word it would be ‘connections’:
- Technical Connections – I have been working in various technical consulting roles focusing on system integration
- Human Connections – I create spaces in which people can connect with themselves and others
- Mind-Body Connections – I practice mindfulness, meditation and yoga as ways to keep the connection to myself
Having attended one of the first Search Inside Yourself pilot trainings at SAP in 2015 I felt excited because, for the first time, those different worlds seemed to meet. Over the years the grass-roots initiative developed into the SAP Global Mindfulness Practice. Starting in 2016, I volunteered to act as a local mindfulness ambassador and offer ‘mindfulness in motion’ group sessions on a regular basis in the newly opened Room of Silence.
In 2017 I used the opportunity to apply for the SAP-internal Search Inside Yourself Teacher Training. I had years of yoga practice, a passion to learn more about emotional intelligence and to further develop as a person. Only later, I realized that I had been unaware of how elaborate the training is. Still today, after having taught several trainings, I’m getting always new insights.
Search Inside Yourself which has initially been developed at Google trains the following emotional intelligences skills based on neuroscience:
- Mindfulness – Pay attention to what’s happening in the present moment with curiosity and kindness
- Self-Awareness – Know your internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions
- Self-Management – Move from compulsion to choice
- Motivation – Discover your values, envision your future and increase your resilience
- Empathy – Understand what others feel while maintaining a clear discernment about your own and the other person’s feelings
- Leadership – Inspire others by communicating with insight and leading with compassion
The training creates a trusting and supportive environment in which you can to better connect with yourselves and others by practicing:
- Mindful Listening – Empathically communicate with others through conscious listening
- Mindfulness Meditations – Become aware of your body and breath
- Journaling – Gain more clarity on your thoughts with writing
Over the years Search Inside Yourself has grown into the most popular training at SAP. By now over 10.000 SAP employees already have participated in 2-day courses all around the world and there are still close to 10.000 more on the waiting list. The training can give the participants sustainable impulses for short practices which can easily be integrated into their daily life.
Thomas Bleyer, Head of Corporate Development at Ravensburger Group, who visited one of my last trainings summarized his experience:
“It was very motivating to see where this initiative has got to within a few years and how much more positive potential it has. Compliments to the people that made it happen and to a company management that is wise enough to pick up on it and let it grow. It will be a benefit to the overall business world if more companies follow in this direction.”
― Thomas Bleyer
The full blog post Bringing mindfulness into the corporate world – a look into the work of actually making it happen is available in LinkedIn.
Transforming a Company Culture
In the last decade digital transformation has led to more agile working models. More flexible external structures require an inner transformation to find safety within oneself. Training emotional intelligence is not a quick-fix for changing a company culture, but over the years there has been a noticeable change.
Mindfulness practices have become an integral part of SAP’s culture as more and more colleagues have been trained and are joining the weekly follow-on sessions. This supports the transformation to a more value-oriented workplace in which people intrinsically give their best, take responsibility, support one another, learn and develop.