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Mindful Leadership and Wellness – Fall, 2014

In the spirit of nourishing lives we are pleased to offer an opportunity to embark on a journey towards a more mindful existence. The Institute for Mindful Leadership is bringing back the 7-week Mindful Leadership and Wellness program for interested General Mills leaders and influencers. Participants will be guided through weekly sessions by instructors Mariann Johnson (Institute for Mindful Leadership) and Sandy Behnken (GMI/Institute for Mindful Leadership). By participating in the weekly class along with a day-long retreat and committing to dedicate time to daily practice, you can learn to lead and live with excellence-at work and at home. Details on the course are outlined below.
Course description

Mindful Leadership and Wellness© is a seven-week course that explores the intersection of mindfulness training and some of the key qualities of great leaders – clarity, compassion, creativity and focus — through weekly two-hour classes and one full day retreat. It invites participants to begin noticing the auto-pilot, conditioned reactivity that is often a part of our lives, and to cultivate the mental discipline of mindfulness as a way to be more present. Each week builds on the prior one and adds new practices and applications. The participant is encouraged to engage with daily formal practice (sitting meditation and simple yoga) for 20-30 minutes per day, in addition to assignments that explore bringing mindfulness to everyday events through informal practices (driving, meetings, calendars, communication, strategic decision making).

What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the act of being fully present with whatever you are doing, at work or at home. It’s a way of paying attention to, and seeing more clearly, whatever is happening in your life. The practice of mindfulness is a mental discipline, cultivating an innate ability to be present, to see clearly what is here and to practice responding rather than reacting.

Mindful Leadership at General Mills
Over 500 General Mills officers and leaders have experienced the mental discipline training of mindfulness. Among the benefits reported by these leaders is the ability to work with greater focus, enhance their listening skills, improve their productivity and increase their creativity and innovativeness.

Articles on Champions about mindful leadership
Mindfulness arrives in the workplace
‘Mindful Leadership’ debuts at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
Leadership program helps train the mind

What is required to participate?
This is a unique opportunity to develop a new practice of mental discipline that can have a significant impact in your professional and personal life. You need no prior knowledge of mindfulness, meditation or yoga. All you need is an open curiosity and a willingness to commit to the entire course. The dates are below. This course will be offered at the MGO and will consist of weekly 2 hour classes (3:00-5:00), one full Saturday class and ½ – 1 hour of daily “homework.” The homework will consist of meditation practice, workplace mindfulness applications and/or mindful yoga practice.

10/15/2014      Wednesday   3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRC2-21
10/22/2014      Wednesday   3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRM2-36
10/29/2014      Wednesday   3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRM4-30
11/05/2014      Wednesday   3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRM4-31
11/12/2014      Wednesday   3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRM2-36
11/15/2014      Saturday        9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.      CRM4-30/31**
11/19/2014      Wednesday   3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRM2-36
11/24/2014      Monday         3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.      CRM4-30

* It is highly recommended that you block the 15 minutes prior to the start of each session to allow you to arrive on time and if you care to, change into more comfortable clothing.
** Lunch will be eaten in CRC2-26. You will need to bring your own lunch and beverage.

Each class builds on the learnings of the past classes so consistent participation is necessary. (We recognize, of course, that emergencies happen.) You must be able to participate in the first class and the Saturday class to take this course.

Opportunities for follow-up after the class
To continue to benefit from the skills you will learn in the course, everyone who completes the course will receive helpful emails from the instructor and will be able to attend weekly drop-in meditation sessions. There is also a Mindful Leadership Connect community available to post mindfulness related articles and to ask questions.

Additional Information
This a program that is being offered specifically to General Mills leaders and influencers. There is a class size limit, if the number of respondents exceeds the size limit, a lottery will be held and a waiting list will be created.

If you have any questions please contact Sandy Behnken.


Q. What if I can’t make all the classes?
A. You must be able to participate in the first class and the Saturday class to take this course. If you are unable to make either please do not sign up for this class. We highly encourage attendance at each class because each class builds on the learnings of the past classes so consistent participation is necessary. It is your responsibility to contact the instructors to cover the missed material. If you know you are going to miss more than one class please do not sign up for this class.

Q. What is the cost of the training?
A. The course fee is $500. Payment instructions are provided in the enrollment process.