This presentation covers key principles and practices to create healthy and supportive workplaces through mindful leadership. This session draws upon the latest research in leadership/management science, mind-body medicine, and the presenter's personal experience as a whitewater river guide. The pandemic has created an increased demand for new and different leadership models for the post-COVID workplace. We are moving into an unpredictable future and leaders need to be prepared to navigate these uncertain waters while keeping their employees healthy, motivated, and productive. This is exactly what a river guide does on a daily basis! Heading down a raging whitewater river is literally throwing a boatful of people into one stressful situation after another while keeping everyone happy and engaged. The post-pandemic work world is an unpredictable river, and leaders need to have the skills to create a workplace that fosters wellness, belonging, and safety for everyone.
Dr. Matthew Wappett is a researcher, a writer, and an educator in leadership, stress management, and inclusion. His approach to “compassionate leadership” has been implemented in many organizations and classrooms. Dr. Wappett is also the Executive Director of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. He also holds an affiliate appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USU Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Wappett’s teaching and research on the effects of stress on learning and behavior helps individuals and organizations understand how to become more resilient and inclusive. Dr. Wappett is committed to providing educators, social workers, and other human service professionals with the tools they need to manage their stress, and the skills they need to become more resilient. He is committed to creating inclusive environments that foster a sense of purpose and belonging. Dr. Wappett’s work is also focused on the effects of laughter as a stress management technique and a tool to create inclusion. Dr. Wappett genuinely enjoys teaching people how to laugh and his engaging and entertaining presentation style has made Dr. Wappett a highly sought-after public speaker and trainer.