There is a leadership crisis in our country today. Leaders are saying they are not being the effective leader they want to be, to support their people, to support their organizations.
The traditional time management and performance enhancement training just doesn't work anymore. Leaders and staff are still overwhelmed and never have enough time to get caught up.
Mindfulness training is the one thing that will not only give people more focus and clarity, but will yield a huge ROI in productivity, improved relationships, and efficiency.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, non-judgemental lens.
Practicing mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment allowing yourself to be more productive.
Some key components of practicing mindfulness according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program are:
Mindfulness can also help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
According to research, Mindfulness has been identified as 1 of 3 soft skills necessary for effective leadership. The most successful and effective leader is no longer the one who had the smartest strategy. They see mindfulness as a strategic imperative to improve performance.
A mindful leader embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion in the services of others. Leadership presence is a tangible quality that requires full and complete nonjudgmental attention in the present moment. Those around a mindful leader see and feel that presence.
One senior leader from a global consulting firm said of mindfulness training,
“I don’t have any other choice, so maybe I’ll train my mind to be a little bit more calm, so that, at least from an internal perspective, I can find a little bit more peace, a little bit more focus, a little bit more clarity, so that maybe then that will actually help me, because the chaos is going to continue, and it’s gonna probably get worse.”
The practice of Mindful Leadership gives you tools to measure and manage your life as you're living it. It teaches you to pay attention to the present moment, recognizing your feelings and emotions and keeping them under control, especially when faced with highly stressful situations.
Mindful leadership means trying to lead without ego and being willing to put the interest of others before ourselves. If you want to develop into a mindful leader, here are five traits you should focus on.
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