Sowing the Seeds of Mindfulness in Collaboration

“Competition breeds violence, collaboration breeds peace,” says our co-founder and mentor Ganesh Kohli.

We were thrilled to see these words come to life during the annual offsite of IC3 Movement and KIC UnivAssist teams in Goa in November 2021. As the wellness partner for both these organisations, we’ve had innumerable talks, workshops and interactions on mental health & well-being with the teams, and the tools one can use for living a happy, peaceful life. It’s one thing to listen to such talks, but a totally different ball-game altogether to actually absorb and apply the learnings. We witnessed the learnings from our talks play out in subliminal actions several times during the offsite and it was heartening to watch!

Inclusivity was the theme that we noticed at the outset – at the airport before the trip started! There they were, the team – not just the leadership, the managers and executives, but also the administrative staff who play a vital role in the companies. We enter clean, gleaming office spaces, filled with water bottles at our desks as we begin our work day, but do we ever wonder how it would be if there was no staff to clean and make the workstation feel hospitable? The smell of the freshly brewed coffee and chai served throughout the day – they don’t really jump out of thin air, do they?! It was endearing to watch most of the admin staff take their first flight ever and stay at a 5-star hotel. Oh and not to forget – team members looking out for them at every step of the way. 🙂

There were several activities that were planned and executed during the offsite. “Games” in their true essence are all about competition – held to determine winners and losers. Here, too, people were determined to win and earn the adulation for their teams. But at what cost? Read on…. What we witnessed was truly heartwarming: The first game the teams played was “dog and the bone” (yeah, we’ve all played this!) and though it may look simple, it can get brutal when you’ve got to run after your opponent after grabbing the bone! We heard echoes of laughter amidst the silent urge to want to win; we saw people fall and hurt themselves and the opponent team members running to their rescue, and going out of their way to make sure they were okay and if they needed first-aid. We saw them apologise profusely and lift their spirits up if they accidentally caused any injury. We saw them deliberately be gentle and mindful in their demeanour.

We had a dance competition among three teams where when one team performed, the others were on their feet cheering and dancing with them, genuinely happy even if their team didn’t win – every team was made of champions! There was also a relay race and musical chairs – where some cheated (and the others knew!) but it was fun-filled all along. The bigger picture was to be together, get to know one another, look out for each other and have a blast!

Bonding over meals, taking walks on the beach, cycling around the resort whilst getting to know each other better held priority over discussing work (which was not permitted – a first for any offsite!). The focus, truly, was on happiness, and connection. The pandemic made a lot of us realise how easily we might have taken human connection for granted, but we’ve hopefully learnt our lessons, making sure we are living every moment more consciously and to the fullest with everyone we engage with.

We were delighted to see the seeds of collaboration and mindfulness firmly sowed in each of the individuals (without them even realising!) and that’s what makes a truly compassionate, successful organisation. Success is often measured in wins and losses, but success is simply an abundance mindset for one and all. It is a heartfelt wish and goal for collective happiness, peace, and love – leading to creating a ripple effect of oneness, spreading across the planet manifesting its magic. 🙂