The Art of Being Mindful at Work


A wonderful friend of mine is a very successful real estate agent. She spends most of her days, evenings and weekends helping others to hopefully find, or sell a home. Of course, she meets clients at an emotionally charged impasse in their lives — contemplating a change in residence. This can often be a stressful experience.

There are so many elements that enter the conversation; jobs, money, family, security, space, hopes and dreams. (We buy or sell a home, for more reasons than I could count.)

Any of these elements can become a huge challenge during the process.

Having observed my friend over the years, I’ve noticed one critical strategy that she employs: patience. She allows her clients the emotional space to be the human beings that they are. They are allowed to express emotion, to vent, to change direction — and their own minds.

She doesn’t judge or react in the moment. She doesn’t shame them for being upset or frustrated. She lets the whole process unfold in a way that allows the safety to find what they need, at that very moment in their lives.

I respect that. I like to call it “Mindful Real Estate”.

I believe the reason she has experienced such great success, is not that she has an impressive resume — or has deep connections. It is because she respects her clients and the daunting process in which they find themselves. She allows the process to unfold organically.

There can be bumps in that road, and that is entirely OK.

Whether we are at work, home or play, we can all learn from her strategy. Don’t fight the condition of being human — and offer patience whenever you can muster the fortitude to do so.

I’m making it my business to remember that lesson going forward.

Maybe this can help you in some small way, as well.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is the Director of Thought Leadership at Kilberry Leadership Advisors, Toronto.


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