How Mindfulness Techniques shape Better Strategic Leaders
Mindfulness techniques are known to be beneficial to all if practiced with commitment and a desire to improve your life. As a Mindfulness Practitioner® myself, I’ve worked with people on their personal and professional front to shape individuals and develop higher levels of self-awareness. A challenge I’ve noticed revolved all around bringing mindfulness at work. This was one of the key concern areas for professionals in leadership positions.
A recent survey mentioned -
- 76% noted that the stress at the workplace affected their lives in a negative manner.
- 66% reported sleep disorders.
A stressed leader is harmful to the growth of the organization. Many HR teams have reported the resignations of their most productive employees who could not handle a toxic leader.
Shame has no boundaries of gender, age, class/status it is all pervasive.
When leaders are ineffective in doing their core job, they are unable to support people and their organizations. Powerful mindfulness strategies are a great way to find a balance and create a fantastic work culture.
What is Mindfulness?
It’s about cultivating the power to be in the present moment. A person who has practiced mindfulness techniques is aware of the self and knows how to work on their relations with others.
Read more about mindfulness and how you can integrate it into your life here.
Mindfulness at Work: What are the Current Challenges of Leadership Mindfulness?
Lack of observation skills: The stress of leadership is a part of the job role. My personal experiences during mindfulness training programs I’ve held have been the lack of observational skills I’ve noticed among many participants. There is a need for leaders to be attentive to the current situation and observe with quiet reflection. This poses a challenge for leaders in the midst of chaos - always having an eye on targets, team performances, business deals, and more.
Mindfulness courses teach the importance of the power of now while gently training the mind to be watchful without involving emotions. Mindfulness promotes thinking capacities for leaders giving them the power to be observant in every situation.
Lack of listening skills: Most leaders know to lead but do not tune in to the needs of the team members. When a leader walks into a room and does not connect with the members present there, it leads to a disconnect with the work colleagues. A leader who listens with the intent of understanding the situation and challenges is largely successful and effective. One who only dictates hardly solves business problems.
Mindfulness practice assists leaders to develop these skills while being aware of themselves and others around them. They learn to listen to the problems, understand viewpoints, and arrive at a conclusion based on their thinking abilities.
Lack of questioning skills: Leaders often refrain from asking questions for the fear that they do not appear as a subject matter expert. The ability to ask questions is a skill that is critical to the success of a leader. For e.g. a leader who conducts a meeting, and grows impatient with the outcomes and quickly leads to closure has actually wasted productive hours. Leaders who know how to question, develop a better understanding of the situation and then take the required action.
Mindful leaders are able to discover the real challenges and use their energy to resolve issues faster. A mindful leader also develops the ability to learn rather than judge and take responsibility for the outcome.
Mindfulness is the mantra, take charge of the emotion and it will no longer be in control of your life.
Lack of action: A good leader is a role model for team members. A leader who motivates employees, guides them, builds morale, and takes the required action finds greater performance between teams. What I’ve noticed, however, is the lack of action on part of leaders. Good leaders have the vision but few are able to act upon their plans. The leadership role becomes one with multiple tasks leading to little time to build goals and take action. The teams work on an auto-pilot mode without pausing to stop and take a look at the actions that happen within
Mindful leaders develop the capacity to be their own judge and take the right decisions required to empower teams and their firms.
Lack of displaying their own self:: Leadership is about influencing others to get the desired response from teams in order to get things completed on time. Leaders, however, often lose their own essence in the increasing pressures of the modern day environment. It’s easy to be lost in a maze of duties. Mindfulness brings attention to being yourself and exercising those qualities in life while being a role model for teams. A leader who believes in great organizing skills must display this personality trait to build credibility with team members. If a leader does not practice what he/she preaches, it reflects negatively on the team members. A mindful leader is aware of which personality traits to embody and inspire others.
Lack of self-reflection: A leadership role brings with it a whole range of responsibilities that often causes professionals to turn the gear on a fast mode. This is when leaders tend to compromise on their core self. This is why I often recommend my clients to maintain a daily practice of self-reflection. It enables leaders to make empowered choices to get powerful results. It can be as simple as taking time for 10-minute meditation. A disciplined leader who is mindful about self-reflection develops the ability to understand how he/she feels, what needs to be done, how to make teams work successfully, how to be more of an effective leader and more.
Every individual may show different ways to self-reflect. A leader may find it effective to be mindful every morning, others may find it better to write their thoughts down.
Leaders have multiple roles to perform apart from getting jobs done to monitoring progress, managing self, and performances of teams. Mindful leadership is effective to ease the worries and tensions while preparing one’s mind to be completely aware of the thought processes.
Why Do We Need Leadership Mindfulness?
Mindful leaders display a higher level of understandings to be the best at what they do - lead.
- Mindful leaders can keep their personal core self away from the current stress. They can look at a situation, analyze it well without letting it affect how they feel, behave or what actions they take.
- Mindful leaders are able to control their reaction in intense situations. They develop the ability to think, respond and take action based on what is required without allowing a situation to affect their internal emotions.
- Mindfulness helps to develop the ability to remain focussed for problem-solving and decisions. A regular mindfulness meditation strengthens the mind.
- A mindful leader finds it easier to develop clarity of the situation. A leader will no longer assume, rather, one will use sound thinking abilities without being involved in the situations.
- Mindfulness helps leaders be more compassionate towards self and others.
- The most important things leaders learn is the power of now. Meditation can easily be forgotten and left in the meditation room. Yet, mindfulness easily blends with leadership and becomes one force. This is why a leader can practice and enjoy the benefits of mindfulness every single day.
How to be a Strategic Leader with Mindfulness?
Are you at a leadership position? Or, do you aspire to be a strong leader someday? Now, you can easily practice mindfulness daily. Download the Mindfulness Meditation App on your smartphone or any device. Listen to the powerful sessions by Dr. Paras - Life Leadership Coach and Mindfulness Practitioner®. All it takes is one single step to download now and begin your journey as a Mindful Leader.