Article: The Alaska Shipyard Where the ‘Manliest Men’ Meditate Each Morning [The Guardian]

“Crews meditate, stretch and socialize – on the clock – for a few moments at the start of each workday. Every Wednesday, around lunch time, they’re given more time to meditate. Smaller groups of employees get routine leadership training. Some are so committed to the transformative leadership style that they’re mentoring other employees in their off time, sharing interpersonal skills and self-mastery techniques. An hour of employee-led peer counseling is available, once a week, during the workday, paid.”

“Vigor Alaska said it hoped to instill “soft skills” in its industrial workforce, in pursuit of a more productive team with less turnover. Finding a good job and keeping it helps prevent recidivism, and Vigor considers itself a second-chance employer, forgoing background checks and giving felons – and anyone else who has struggled in life – a fresh start.

“In Vigor’s shipyard, strength is measured by more than physical power, big builds and heavy machines. Self-esteem and personal success also matter.

“My co-workers are some of the manliest men you’ll find. The men of men,” said Scott Jackson, 36, a lifelong resident of the island, career firefighter and the shipyard safety officer.

“At 6ft 3in and 250lb, he is hard to miss as he walks the yard, tying down unsecured cylinders of compressed gas, remedying potential hazards that catch his eye. Skeptical of Vigor’s methods, he had heard rumors of guys standing around sharing feelings, chanting and doing “mushy, gushy” stuff. When he experienced men like himself tearing up as they spoke about life’s frustrations on and off the job, he was sold.

“It helped me communicate in a more effective way rather than outbursts of feelings,” said Jackson, who had a self-described reputation for being stern and abrupt.

“He and other employees have said the skills they have learned at work have carried over into their home lives. They are not as stressed or frustrated, leaving them with more energy to put into family and free time.”

Read Jill Burke’s full article at The Guardian: The Alaska Shipyard Where the ‘Manliest Men’ Meditate Each Morning

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