Feedback on the management of emotions through mindfulness elective created by Dr Julien Granata, an educational innovation in the service of global performance of future MBS graduates

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop & InDesign, introduction to HTML, department of aerial transport, management of cultural and touristic activities… At the end of the curriculum, the second-year master's students at MBS have the choice between no fewer than 27 specific electives for the last two course days of their last year. Among these electives, the one on the management of emotions through mindfulness implemented by Dr Julien Granata was an innovation. Presentation.

“The idea came following a request from students in the course of the year”, explains Julien Granata, teacher-researcher at MBS. “During my organisational behaviour course, I started to introduce short periods of meditation at the end of the day to aid them in managing and expel their stress. They were in need of it and so the end of the year was a good time to introduce this elective to second-year master's students because they know peaks of emotion and peaks of very important challenges with the thesis that they have to submit and the rest of their professional lives to define.”

During the two days of this specific elective, the 30 participating students began by addressing the theory before tackling the physical exercises of mindfulness. “We ended with the direct response to problems that they can encounter in business,” adds Dr Julien Granata. “In two days, we did about 15 mindfulness practices.”

But a mindfulness exercise, what is it? “To summarise, it’s attentive presence. So the goal was to allow them to be fully in the present moment and mindful of what they feel. We are working on exercises of the identification of humour, tensions, and feelings in order to have a reactional choice. The important thing is to succeed at acquiring distance in order to concentrate on the present moment. We call this also the state of non-distraction with a mind centred on current practice. In other words when I eat, I don’t need to think about the grocery list. For example, we completed an exercise where it’s essential to concentrate on our own breathing because in observing our breathing, we focus on the present moment and in turn we think neither about the future nor the past”.

“In business, we have the tendency to be over-worked, to respond to emails while continuing to work, and so we are not fully concentrated on the activity. The goal is also to reconnect yourself to the present moment in order to fully gain from what the value-added activity can offer you,” adds Dr Julien Granata. “After these two days, the feedback from students was very positive, notably in terms of concrete application. They advanced and understood the utility of the exercises in a professional environment. Now, they have the basic tools to be mindful, considerate, to reconnect with the present moment and to identify their emotions as soon as they arrive.”

Widespread in many American schools at the beginning of the day, these exercises lead to, in addition to heightened concentration, a surplus of benevolence. This is an increased benevolence that MBS can only encourage given its mission to reinforce the global responsibilities and performances with regard to individuals, companies and territories.