Service, Emotional Labor, and Mindfulness
15 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017
Date Written: December 5, 2016
From the seclusion of monastic life to the noise of Silicon Valley, the ancient practice of mindfulness has ‘come out of the cloister.’ As an antidote to mindless cognition and behavior, the practice of mindfulness — with its principle of grounding attention in the present moment — has been shown to have powerful and positive effects at both the individual and the collective level and in fields as wide-ranging as medicine, schooling, prison programs, law and negotiation, business, and even the army. This installment of Marketing & Technology introduces mindfulness to managers and explores its potential for enhancing the service encounter. We begin by reviewing the two main conceptualizations of mindfulness: the cognitive and the contemplative. We then explore the service encounter from the perspective of emotional labor and show how mindfulness can change surface acting into deep acting, thereby significantly improving the service encounter for both the consumer and provider. We also explore the other benefits of mindfulness and their application to the service encounter: adaptability, flexibility, and creativity. We conclude by sharing resources for managers interested in implementing mindfulness training.
Keywords: Mindfulness, Emotional Labour, Services, Service Operations, Hospitality, Creativity, Improvisation, Acting, Well Being
JEL Classification: M1, M10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation