Investing and finance aren’t exactly fields synonymous with mindfulness and kindness, but some companies are starting to change that. During his annual review at an investment firm, Birju Pandya's boss looked at him and said, "You've done well. What do you want?" Pandya, now a senior advisor at RSF, calls it "the 'Godfather offer'" of the investment bank world. His mind teetered on the verge of a typical answer and then he took a totally different tack, "I'd like to start every team meeting we have with a minute of silence," he said. There was a long pause, then came the definitive answer, "No," his boss said. But the next morning, perhaps after reflecting on all that his employee could have asked for instead, he softened and agreed to the unconventional request. An intriguing first step, but even he couldn't have anticipated what would unfold from there over the next few years. In this brief video, Pandya shares the compelling domino effect of the collective mindful minute at work.

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  • Sandy Trudel

    Bravo! Kudos to you Birju and RSF for taking the Company in this direction. What was really compelling is how it grew to be so much more! I especially like how you eventually brought it to your relationships with clients. Sandy Trudel,www.mindfulnessfirst.org.

  • Patjos

    I loved the little seed that was planted, that one minute of silence, that’s all it took, that’s all it takes. :)))

  • Karamel

    What a kind and courageous human being can achieve!

  • Sunil

    Spiritual connection to one's inner self through mindfulness is addictive! Through this connection emanates empathy and compassion. Kudos to Birju for asking for so little that resulted in "21 days of kindness" as part of loan covenants!

  • Nidhi

    Reminds me of my Coach Trainer, Peter J. Reding, MCC who always began our sessions with three deep breaths. I have followed that in my Coaching session along with a few moments of silence, helping to connect with the Higher consciousness and greater purpose. And believe me, its powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ranjana

    it Creates a connection with the larger purpose, all amidst the routine. Wow.

  • Marg

    A very spiritual and empathic friend of mine was training to be a practitioner of affirmative prayer while her 'day job' was to be a debt collections phone caller for a major bank. She would intentionally connect with her higher self to the higher self of the person she was going to call then phone them and identify herself as calling from the bank, and ask why they were not making their payments. The callee would explain why they were not paying - usually loss of job, heslth issues, health or job issues of family etc, and she would be mentally doing prayer for resolution of all of the presenting problems and affirming abundance, health, divine order, and healing of everything that she felt intuitively may be in the way. She also regularly reviewed job boards so she could offer suggestions and would give suggestions and support as she felt guided (eg "what was that job you mentioned just now that you applied for? Maybe you could follow up on that one further?). She would end the call by asking what amount they could promise to pay ( and was allowed to accept whatever amount to get payment started) then would arrange to call again in a month to see how it was going. She had the highest collections rating of any phone staff and was the only one who regularly got thank you notes. :)

  • cleona

    Humanising people in 'finance' - loved it! It is true that people who work in finance are judged a certain way and understandably so. What touched me most is the idea of making a radical shift - introducing mindfulness and kindness acts in an investment bank and to see how there was initial resistance...yet, eventually, more and more people get on board wholeheartedly. Wow!

  • Annette

    This video was a really good reminder to be aware of all things/people that I come in contact with at my work. I work in a chain used book store in a neighborhood that brings in a lot of so called 'undesireables'.......homeless, drug addicts, mentally deranged. Some of these individuals are a threat to the staff and the store itself, others are pretty harmless and just need a place to get out of the weather, use the restrooms, whatever. It's so easy to dismiss them as our guard is always up around these people so our awareness is heightened. But I am now reminded to take into consideration that these are still human beings and that compassion and understanding goes a long way. Excellent talk.

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  • Learn more about the story behind RSF Finance and its belief that 'direct, transparent and personal relationships are essential to healing the economy, one that is based on generosity and interconnectedness.'
  • Sometimes kids can be the best teachers! Check out this video where 6-year-olds share insights on the benefits of mindfulness.
  • How can you implement mindfulness into a standard workday? Bring your suggestions to the table for your next team meeting or review. For inspiration check out 6 Mindfulness Practices for Leaders.

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