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Mindful Strategic HR
An IOSM Certificate Course

An Important
New Capability

Science-based mindfulness is a critical new capability for Strategic HR. The past two years of personal and workplace disruption have impacted us all. Now, on top of an already challenging workload, HR is at the center of an unprecedented mental health crisis. In fact, we’re part of it. Recently, 71% of HR leaders reported that this has been the most stressful period in their careers. At the same time, 83% of employees report that they feel emotionally drained, and one in four are exhibiting signs of severe burnout.

Paradigm-Shifting Results

Mindful Strategic HR is a comprehensive introduction to the science, practice and outcomes of mindfulness, designed specifically for HR Professionals. The class provides knowledge and hands-on experience that can be applied to the objectives in the SHRM Competency Model. It offers personal development for people-facing, relationship-critical, HR professionals – and a paradigm-shifting new toolset for workforce health, happiness, performance and productivity.

Mindfulness Matters to HR

Human Resources professionals have earned their seat at the strategic table, and have become integral business partners with the line - with an important responsibility to optimize the effectiveness of the people who power the company. Mindfulness is precisely the type of 21st-century solution that strategic HR was created to lead - an initiative that impacts financial results and creates competitive advantage through creative human capital management.

Lead the Charge

Organizations with active mindfulness programs (including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Aetna, SAP and General Mills) are reporting significant reductions in stress, anxiety, depression, workplace conflict, chronic illness, absenteeism and health care costs – and gains in focus, engagement and productivity. Any one of these outcomes are sufficient to generate an attractive ROI - and it’s important for HR to be leading the charge.

Course Contents

IOSM Certificate courses blend live instruction with self-paced learning, daily practice, unlimited 
group coaching and community support


Pre-and-post course assessments

Master Class

Live, instructor-led master class


8 weekly self-study lessons 


8 weekly progress exam-lets

Daily Practice

8 weeks of daily email videos


8 optional coaching sessions

Final Exam

A comprehensive final exam


Certificate and digital badge 

Associate Access 

IOSM resources, tools and events

Lifetime Access

IOSM Global Alumni Community

Anytime Help

Phone, chat, text and email support


SHRM & HRCI recertification credits

Course Objectives

You’ll learn the nature, science and practice of mindfulness, and how to apply its outcomes
to strengthen personal performance and important career capabilities.

Personal Wellbeing

Reduce chronic stress and anxiety

distracting Icon

Reduce distraction and attention deficit

Performance Capabilities

Increase mental clarity and awareness


Increase focus, attention and concentration

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Reduce compulsive or addictive behaviors


Increase reasoning and critical-thinking


Reduce rumination and depressive thinking


Increase motivation and on-task engagement

Cultivate a positive and growth mindset

Self Reflection

Cultivate self-awareness and emotional control


Cultivate joy, happiness, care and kindness 


Cultivate empathy and care for others


Cultivate positive relationships


Cultivate listening and communication skills

Critical Thinking

Cultivate mental and emotional strength

Become more organized and productive 

These capabilities are essential to SHRM Competency Model requirements for leadership, ethical practice, relationship management, consultation, critical evaluation, cultural effectiveness and communication. 

Course Outline

Public courses offer the eight weeks of self-study below. Corporate programs can be customized by changing the length of the course, or swapping any modules with alternative classes from the library

Guided Meditation

Week 1: Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a process of neural training that helps us intentionally change our mindsets and behaviors. This class is a comprehensive introduction to the nature, hands-on practice, outcomes and application of science-based mindfulness.

You will learn:

  • The neuroscience, biology and psychology of mindfulness, including research outcomes in health and wellbeing, cognitive performance and emotional intelligence.

  • The essential practices of mindfulness: Present Awareness, Breath Control, Breath Meditation, Visualization and Insight Meditation - and how to apply them to optimize your physical, mental and emotional states.

  • The foundational attitudes of mindfulness: Non-judgment, Patience, Beginner’s Mind, Trust, Non-Striving, Acceptance and Letting Go - and how to apply them to intentionally solve real problems in the real world.

Stressed Man

Week 2: HR Stress and Anxiety

HR now ranks near the top of stressful occupations. A recent CIPD study showed that in contrast to 63% of legal, and 54% of retail workers, 79% of HR professionals are impacted by severe stress at work - with 62% also reporting unmanageable workloads.

You will learn:

  • To recognize the onset of negative states, and the simplest and most effective ways to intercept and diminish them

  • To apply mindfulness to shift perspective and reframe regret and rumination in the past, self-critical and depressive thinking in the present - and worry and catastrophic thinking in the future

  • Mindfulness practices to reduce chronic stress and illness, and to increase mental and emotional strength

Office Work Desk

Week 3: HR Focus and Attention

A CareerBuilder HR survey reports that a staggering three-quarters of employees estimate two-hours or more a day in lost productivity due to workplace distractions - with 43% estimating they lose three or more hours a day. This class explores how mindfulness helps us to engage and stay focused on what's most important.

You will learn:

  • To recognize digital distraction, compulsive multi-tasking and switching costs

  • To mindfully pay attention, maximize your focus, engage fully, and do deeper, better work

  • Mindfulness practices that strengthen attention control, and train neural circuits to sustain interest and concentration.


Week 4: HR Change Management

As mergers, reorganizations and market disruptions continue to accelerate, HR is often required to initiate and lead a change project, as well as facilitating changes made across other departments. This class explores ways that mindfulness can be positive and effective part of the process.

You will learn:

  • How change triggers fear circuits in the brain that can hijack our emotional state  - and how to disarm them

  • How mindfulness can help us navigate successfully from the known and familiar, to an uncertain future state

  • Mindfulness practices that help us accept the inevitability of uncertainty, and to embrace change with an open and curious mind

Business handshake

Week 5: HR Relationship Management

HR is a people-facing, relationship-critical discipline that depends on effective interpersonal skills. At the top of the list are capabilities for earning trust and building relationships through observable acts of integrity, fairness and care for others. This class shows how these attributes are born in our beliefs and values, and how they can be strengthened through mindfulness.

You will learn:

  • To cultivate self-knowledge, authenticity and personal presence

  • To strengthen and act on your intentional beliefs and values

  • Mindfulness practices that develop the behavioral traits that inspire trust, confidence and loyalty


Week 6: HR Social and Emotional Intelligence

Social and emotional intelligence are foundational HR capabilities. This class shows how mindfulness develops the pillars of EQ - self-awareness, emotional control, empathy, compassion and social skills - to help us create positive connections and successful relationships. 

You will learn:

  • The most current skills framework for social and emotional intelligence

  • Mindfulness practices that develop self-awareness and self-control

  • Mindfulness practices that cultivate care, kindness and compassionate behaviors

Friendly Conversation

Week 7: HR Communication

HR leaders and professionals make important decisions on what they see and hear, and how accurately they can interpret meaning. Mindfulness trains us to communicate more effectively by paying closer attention to aural tone, non-verbal cues and body language - which helps us unlock our intuition, and create deeper connection and rapport.

You will learn:

  • To listen with patience and respond with compassion

  • To connect and create attunement with others

  • Mindfulness practices that help us communicate more effectively


Week 8: HR Mental Strength and Resilience

HR is a complex discipline, and it can be frustrating, discouraging and exhausting at times. Mindfulness can help, by reducing the negativity that saps our energy - and increasing our ability to cope with difficult situations. This class explores mindfulness practices that develop mental strength and resilience.

You will learn:

  • The principles and practices of peak performance and the flow state

  • The principles and practices of grit and mental toughness

  • Mindfulness practices that help us to withstand, adapt, and recover from challenging circumstances

"It’s key to remember that the work we do is incredibly important — it can make a significant difference in people’s lives. Recognizing that we have a heavy load to bear is the first - maybe most important - step in self-care. Let’s make mental well-being for HR a priority so we can continue to support those who need us in the year ahead. "


HR in Higher Education, 2020

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