...and how to be one
These days, we often hear the word “mindful” or “mindfulness”. In fact, the practise of mindfulness — the act of being present in the moment — is almost as ubiquitous as breathing.
And now mindfulness has even permeated into the realm of leadership.
If you are in a leadership role, youprobably face stress that comes with your position. Not only do you have to be disciplined but you also faceenormous responsibility towards others — as you guide them through their job roles and instil productivity and a sense of belonging.
As a leader, you are constantly bombarded with one decision after another, oryou have to tackle different types of problems and scenarios and also attend to various tasks — as you work through a schedule.
Simply put, you are multitasking and switching your brain power from one task to another. However, science tells us that multitasking is counterproductive to efficiency. All you are doing is swappingone taskfor another and imposing an enormous amount of stress on your brain. As a result, no one taskis getting your full attention as you lose focus and this impacts your leadership, decision-making, productivity and ultimately your health.
Proponents of mindfulness have long extolledthe benefits of mindfulness which has now been backed by research over the last decade or so. Research shows that just one hour of mindfulness practice can improve psychological and physiological health, while workplaceresearch reveals that mindfulness enhancesemployee focus, attention and workplace behaviour as co-workers learn to manage their stress effectively and develop greater compassion and empathy for one another.
In fact, many large organisations such as Google, Target and Aetna have implemented mindfulness programs, and data shows a definite impact on leadership qualities with significant improvements in productivity, decision making, mental focus and stress management.
The cornerstones of effective leadership are empathy, focussed-attention and self-awareness. And the very premise of mindfulness dwells on developing self-awareness as you learn to focus on the present and discover your true self without any pretence.
With mindfulness,you let go of thoughts and ideas and not cling to them with a rigidity which may come from years of conditioning, as you observe not only your emotional state but the interactions of those around you and the environment you are in.
You learn to be flexible as you respond with awareness and empathy towards others.
With mindfulness you develop clarity and a sense of peace; you learn to listen to your co-workers without judgement or impatience, and you buildcreativity in achieving your goals and in solving problems. But more importantly, you empower your organisation with thoughtful leadership.
So how can you become a mindful leader?
- Develop a mindfulness meditation practice at least once a day.
- Take a meditation break in the middle of the dayto clear your mind and help you focus.
- Learn to cultivate self–awareness throughout your day.
- Find time to participate in mindful movementssuch as tai chi or yoga.
- Implement and participate in robust mindfulness programs at your workplace.
Developing mindfulness may take time. It certainlyrequires persistence which will slowly evolveinto a daily habit. Leaders who are mindful reap tremendous benefits which you too will discover in time.
Reach out to Wellineux today to guide you on your mindful leadership journey https://www.wellineux.com/mindfulness-training/