Overcoming the crisis with resilience through mind leadership - A successful online workshop at the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt

Published by Martina Esberger on


The current crisis, a virus that has kept the world on alert for almost two years, over 5 million deaths worldwide, rising infection rates and the renewed lockdown are a challenge for each one of us. An ongoing pandemic that is not limited to simply a viral infection, but one that has had profound economic, social, emotional, societal, and psychological effects on the planet.

At this critical time, being mindful is more important than ever before. Numerous studies during the corona pandemic suggest that meditation helps to better deal with difficult emotions, like anger, fear and anxiety during challenging times and anticipate stress before it arises. A balanced mind leads to more conscious decision-making, higher social competence, and resilience. Training the mind fosters leadership skills, which are characterized by presence, compassion, kindness, and empathy, to name a few.

Increased self-knowledge through Mind leadership

In order to better deal with the crisis, the HR department of the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt decided to offer employees a five-part seminar on mind leadership training. The seminar focused on elements such as distraction, emotions, thought awareness, stress, kindness, and compassion, in order to build individual resilience. These skills and methods can be applied whenever the need arises or as part of a daily practice. A positive effect is, that what has been learned is passed on, both at work and at home, leading to a dissemination within the organization.

Understanding of social and emotional intelligence

The ten-week seminar series constituted theoretical input, meditations, and related exercises. Each module covered different aspects of mind leadership and personal and work-related mindfulness. A focus was laid onto the overlapping world of work, privacy, and leisure. What skills do I need to survive in a hybrid working world shaped by digitization? How do I deal with difficult emotions? What is stress and how do I deal with stress triggers and stress reactions from a mindfulness perspective? Why does the neurophysiology of the brain permit us to learn new attitudes and to change our mindset? Why are empathy and compassion in the professional context a guarantee for better cooperation and team cohesion? Why does mindful communication mean present, compassionate listening, and hearing?

Joint practice sessions

Between the online seminars, which took place every two weeks, a joint practice session was offered in each intervening week. Thus, the theory, tips and exercises were put into practice.

Participants positive reactions:

As participant Lisa Zach put it: “This seminar is a great enrichment for me personally and I was able to take a lot with me. Thank you very much for the great course. Was time spent well”.

“It was absolutely ingenious that the FH made this seminar possible. I’m super, super grateful,” said another participant.

Agnes Hofer was of the opinion: “The course offered a good mix of scientifically sound findings and practice, so that there was something new in every unit, even if you were already familiar with the content. It’s about practice – the fact that we regularly got together over several weeks to practice with each other helped a lot to transfer the content into everyday life. Martina leads with great experience and expertise, so that the time was always used sensibly. All in all, a great gift given to us by our employer.”

Dr. Alexandra Zimmermann, HR Manager and initiator of the seminar said: “Thank you very much! I was able to take a lot with me personally.”

Ten weeks of mutual inspiration!