You’ve probably heard the term mindfulness before – maybe you’ve embraced it, or maybe you’ve never given it much thought.
There’s been much said about the benefits that mindfulness can bring to our lives, both mental and physical, and there is now a growing awareness of how it can also benefit our workplaces. But how can we begin to practice mindful leadership, and what will we achieve by doing so?
Mindfulness explained and why it breeds success
Mindfulness, at its core, is all about being present in the moment. That means not thinking about the future or worrying about past failures. Sounds simple – but most people would be surprised by how much of your day you spend anxiously planning ahead or worrying about the past.
Mindlessness is the norm
Let’s talk about the norm – at Reo we interview thousands of candidates every year and the predominant reason why people resign from jobs is because of a lack of leadership.
I call it mindless leadership.
Off-siding your team is easy. Just ignore their concerns, disrespect their desire of how they want to be managed, be blind to their emotional desires, and there you’ll have a disengaged team member. This lack of mindfulness towards your colleague (be it manager or subordinate) seems to be the norm in corporate practice and it’s the minority of organisations that are bucking the trend.
So who is in this minority and how are they bucking the trend?
The predominant reason why people resign from jobs is because of a lack of leadership.
What can you do to bring mindfulness into your workplace?
I have met many directors and leaders over the years who have had the courage to introduce mindfulness practices into the office; ranging from 3-minute meditations before all leadership meetings, to regular canteen lunches with the team to connect with them on a personal level, to a simple techniques of putting your hands on your belly and asking yourself how you are feeling.
These simple things have helped the leaders involved to shut out the stressors and concerns from their day so they can be present in the moment. This presence allows for creativity and sharp decision making. When you become mindful, you make much better use of your time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but the successful people among us somehow seem to use their time more effectively. Their secret? They focus on the present, which allows them to experience every moment and to make the most of it. That’s the power of mindfulness.
Is mindful leadership the way forward?
Today, every leader is looking for new and powerful ways to bring success to their organisation. I believe that mindful leadership and a mindful culture is something that we should all be aspiring to as a path to future success.
By fostering a workplace that encourages not only its leaders, but every staff member, to be mindful, connected and present can only be beneficial. Clarity of focus, clear and fast decision making, making the most of every available moment – these are all traits that will benefit our organisations. And as companies like Blackmores have shown, mindfulness makes the workplace somewhere people want to be. And that is priceless.
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