How to Create an Empowering Work Environment
A leader’s job is to create an empowering environment where the best ideas can surface.
– Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, member of President Obama’s cabinet, champion of women-owned and family-owned businesses
“We learn that there is so much intelligence in each and every one of our human resources. I am responsible to be sure that I am championing people and creating an environment that allows them to produce the answers that we need,” stated Ms. Contreras-Sweet in a recent interview.
Contreras-Sweet advises young women that when someone offers them a hand to help them flourish, they should reach back with their other hand to uplift the next woman. She recommends that each of us become a disciple of change.
How can a business leader create a change that will maximize innovative expression in the work environment and support the growth of women in her employ?
Change begins within. Offering the Transcendental Meditation course to yourself and your employees is a proven effective means to create individual and corporate success. Business leaders find that the TM technique reduces harmful stress, improves cardiovascular health, enhances creativity, and develops the total brain. Benefits in the work environment are evident: elevated decision-making, innovation, focus, planning, judgement, health, and fitness. Relationships and job satisfaction improve while absenteeism and substance abuse disappear.
As well as offering courses to women in the public, the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals provides women-run businesses with on-site training in the TM technique. The effectiveness of the TM program has been validated objectively by more than 380 peer-reviewed studies during 40 years of research at America’s top medical schools and research institutes and subjectively by the personal experiences of many thousands of meditating CEOs and other professionals in the USA.
A meta-analysis of 146 independent studies, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, showed that TM is twice as effective as other relaxation techniques in reducing anxiety and stress. Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a 20 year senior researcher at NIH stated, “No other ‘stress management technique’ has anywhere close to this amount of hard data in support of its claims to reduce stress.”
In Washington DC, ABC news reported on one major local company that pays for its employees to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique based on scientific evidence that the TM practice:
- Creates higher levels of brain functioning
- Increases intelligence, creativity and learning ability
- Integrates personality
- Reduces stress, insomnia, hypertension
- Decreases heart disease
- Reduces health care costs and utilization
Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, known as the “doc who walks the talk”, is an internationally renowned expert and speaker in women’s health, fitness and nutrition, and is featured as one of the leading women doctors in the National Institutes of Health Changing Face of Medicine exhibit. Dr. Peeke carefully studied the research on the TM program and chose to learn it for her own benefit. In an interview, she said that TM is transformative on many levels—optimizing the pre-frontal cortex function, calming down the flight or fight response, enlivening creativity, and coming to a spiritual core.
Carole Couture, a successful business leader who has held several senior management positions, wrote “The TM technique is natural, easy and enjoyable…. Over the years, I’ve become less an aggressive, hard-edged businesswoman and more a balanced, thoughtful leader. I recommend taking the TM course as a gift to yourself and to all those around you.”
Introducing the TM program into business can fulfill the practical, wise and altruistic goals of business leaders and forward-looking women like Maria Contreras-Sweet.
About the Author
Janet Hoffman is the executive director of TM for Women Professionals, a division of TM for Women in the USA