CORPORATE TAI CHI IN 2012
by Diane Gold
Corporate Tai Chi as with many other corporate wellness programs, has been rapidly integrated into the corporate environment, the academic world and organizations of all types. This is a result of the many studies that demonstrate how medical, biological and psychological health correlate with positive return on investment.
As we have probably read, Corporate Tai Chi, aside from being tai chi class in a group setting, is a technique of five minutes of movement training that develops focus, motivation and relaxation. What if we started our day off with some kind of stress, let’s say, about money, family, personal ability? And what if every morning, we walked into our office and did a five-minute strategy that took the stress away? We’d do it, right?
What if we were a high school student and we were being bullied at home and bullied at school? And what if every morning, when we walked into our classroom, we did a five-minute strategy that relaxed us so much that the bullies would feel so good about themselves that they wouldn’t want to bully any more and the victims would become so relaxed that they would feel and be courageous, productive and happy? Corporate Tai Chi is this technique.
Whether we call it Incorporated Tai Chi, United Tai Chi or Chi Dance, when people feel good, they do and create good things. They produce good work. They are kinder to each other and they enjoy what they are doing. Corporate Tai Chi makes us feel good. Its mission is to elevate all feelings to the positive range. This, in a matter of five quick minutes, at work, school or club, and repeated regularly until we are able to reproduce the experience with no leader and teach it to someone else.
We can all think of a time when we were negated, criticized, disagreed with, rejected. Since we always have a choice as to how to react, going forward we can choose to see the positive side, be gracious, humble and gain power from it. Corporate Tai Chi gives us the ability to do this, rather than cave to our gut reaction of sadness or anger.
Scientific data show(s) that negative reactions can drive us to produce less and do poorly in school, translating to the school’s getting less state revenue due to lower grade point averages and the corporate revenue’s dropping as a result of negative rather than optimistic and open ways of behaving. So, we will be better off if we have the training to find the positive side of the picture.
Here is a list of 9 applications that could and do benefit from regular mind/body tai chi training, given by a professional mentor of tai chi or by someone in the organization who has been trained by a mentor to pass it on:
(1) in the graduate school environment. As students advance in their studies, the concepts they consume become more complex. Instituting regular 5-minute training (even 1 minute) creates a vacation for the mind.
(2) at the sales meeting. When employees get together to learn sales techniques, they need a clear and focused mind. 5 minutes of Corporate Tai Chi can give that extra energy needed to absorb information and be attentive to the learning process.
(3) at the government meeting. Government employees have stress and need a way to relax it. The first several minutes of a meeting should include this great technique for putting a little clarity on the table.
SIDEBAR: I heard this one today, relayed by the mom of a school girl quoting her elementary school teacher: The difference between try and triumph is a little umph. The interpretation is that if we are jazzed to do our work, we will quadruple our results and have so much energy (and shall have produced so much revenue) that we will want to and be asked to create anew.
(4) on the factory floor. OK, you can’t picture automobile workers doing a mind/body exercise at the start of their shift? What if they felt so good from it that they made 1.5 cars in the same time it took to make 1 car, as long as they were doing their regular morning five minutes?
(5) at the non-profit meeting of the Red Cross. By doing a five minute program before the onset of the regular meeting, people would become extra energetic and creatively come up with new programs to help the cause.
(6) before taking a test. Imagine the benefit of calming down before a test and what it would do for our ability to succeed?
(7) before a theatrical opening. Now we are seeing an application which is akin to centering ourselves. If the people in the play are focused and act well, their production will thrive and score big with critics.
(8) at the corporate office of the customer care division of a major telephone company. How do we think the customer care people would be after doing five minutes of Corporate Tai Chi? They would treat us with more respect, therefore, we would be customers longer because we loved their customer service and their revenue would increase, as a result.
(9) before instituting a peaceful rally. In order to implement a rally or movement, people have to be centered and focused. Five minutes of taking time out as a group is a great way to get it done.
I have presented this simple five minute program at an international sales meeting at the multi-national corporate level, in school environments, at organization meetings, always with similar reactions: we didn’t know that five minutes could make such a profound difference. We really feel supercharged.
These reactions parallel the statistical data showing the original correlation of health and revenue. And it is becoming mainstream information that corporate wellness dollars which would support programs such as Corporate Tai Chi generate three times as much as they cost.
Sometimes we balk at change. We keep the status quo longer than is sensible. We like social proof. Oh, those Boards of Directors are doing it, so we should do it. Oh, the State of New York has implemented it in the public schools, so we should do it. We like celebrity. Look what Governor Shwarzenegger did for physical fitness. Without it, often, our eyesight is poor to view the positive impact on our long term lives.
Finally, the technology that is Corporate Tai Chi is slowly filtering into society as study after study confirms its financial impact. Five minutes of perfect focus on ourselves. It removes stress. It pumps us up. It makes us prepared. It improves our mindset and our ability to reason. It makes us healthy. It makes us money. Let’s recommend Corporate Tai Chi.