Practitioners of mindfulness are more aware, more perceptive, and perhaps even healthier than their non-practicing counterparts. There are a variety of skills you can pick up from mindful leaders to improve your leadership abilities and your overall work performance. Read on for tips on what you can learn from mindful leaders to become healthier and happier in the workplace.
Anyone who practices mindfulness understands the impact technology can have on the human body. Not only can constant computer or phone use affect your posture, eyesight, and ability to concentrate, but it can also cause you to become disconnected from the world around you.
To stay present, take active breaks between meetings and work sessions. Leave your cell phone at your desk and find a peaceful place to walk alone or with your colleagues. This will improve your physical comfort, concentration, and attentiveness. A mindful leader may also use this as an opportunity to get to know and connect with their staff.
Practicing your breathing throughout the day can lower your stress level, sharpen your focus, and get you more in tune with your body. Mindful leaders will use their breathing to calm themselves when they’re upset and enhance their ability to interact with their staff in a thoughtful, considerate manner.
While sitting at your desk, take a slow, deep breath in and then release the breath slowly, repeating as many times as needed. As you expand your mindfulness practice, experiment with more advanced breathing techniques to increase the positive effects.
Listen More, Talk Less
How well you listen can impact not only your ability to be an effective leader, but also the quality of your relationships. By practicing active listening, you’ll create a deeper connection with your colleagues and improve your ability to recall important details and facts discussed during the conversation.
To practice, be conscious of what’s going on in your mind when someone else is speaking. Are you thinking about what you’re going to say, or simply waiting for a break in their narration so you can say something about yourself? Make an effort to listen closely and ask questions to truly understand and learn about them.
Watch What You Say
As with listening, it’s vital for mindful leaders to be careful about what they say. Not only could you unintentionally offend someone if you aren’t paying attention, but you could also provide them with misinformation that impacts their ability to perform their job. By being mindful of your speech, you’re practicing a deep attentiveness to how your words affect others.
Many people respond to situations without taking the time to carefully think about what they want to say. Pause for a moment before speaking, allowing time to carefully phrase your response. Also pay close attention to your tone, body language, and facial expression, as these are also important parts of your communication.
Tell us about your experience with mindful leaders. What do they do or say that you admire?