As a leader, are you on autopilot, distracted throughout the day and going through the same old routine? What if you were to slow down, increasing your productivity and making stronger relationships? If this appeals to you then perhaps it’s time to engage in mindful leadership.
The concept of mindful leadership includes meeting the needs of yourself, your team and your organisation with presence, emotional flexibility, curiosity and an open mindset. This style of leadership has improved focus, quality relationships, creative thinking and innovation at its core. Slowing down may feel counterproductive, however it can allow you time to see what’s actually happening and allow your leadership intentions to thrive.
Stepping towards mindful leadership
Listen, with the intent to understand.
Often leaders are focused towards the loudest voice, not on the most important. Offering full attention is the key to effective listening and communication. This can be tricky as leaders multitask and juggle conflicting priorities. Listen deeply with the intent to understand. Practice empathy and compassion so that understanding is increased and there is a sense that we are all in this together.
Practice Self Care.
Building a healthy routine that incorporates self-care and mindfulness will allow leaders to work effectively and build skills to execute mindful leadership. Practice mindfulness more informally throughout the day. The in-between moments allow leaders to stay grounded in a busy day and maintain presence. Leaders are encouraged to take their eyes off screens, even for a minute and simply notice, yourself and what’s around you, this is the starting point for mindful awareness.
Approach problems with an open mind.
Leaders that follow a to-do list may be productive however being stuck in the list does not allow room for creativity and innovation. Being flexible and accepting of new information allows ideas to flow. Mindful leaders are open to feedback so that new information can be considered.
Understand your unconscious biases and judgements.
Leaders should start every task with a moment of presence as this will build focused engagement and clarity. Clarity helps leaders to see what is actually there, not what we hoped or expected. Suspending biases and judgements can lead to creative thinking and problem solving as new information is considered.
Mindfulness is a movement gaining momentum, and leaders need to embrace it to be successful in their roles. Mindful leadership involves cultivating focus, reducing stress and anxiety, and building the essential capacity of resilience in yourself, others and the organisation.
How can we help?
If you want to transform your leadership styles and practise mindful leadership, below are some courses that can help you engage in mindful leadership today:
- Leading Me, Leading Others
- Avoid Burnout @Work
- Mindfulness @Work
- Resilience @Work
- Leadership Essentials
Blog written by Jo Riley | ATI-Mirage’s Lead Consultant PD & Wellness