Mindfulness can be compared with a still lake. In the waters of a still lake, we can see our own reflection. With a calm and composed mind, the clarity of what we see improves greatly.
Mindfulness helps us control and manage the ever-wavering mind. It helps in developing the knack of observing our thoughts, actions and habits. As we all know, awareness is the first step in any change we want to bring, this awareness allows us to choose a different path of thoughts actions and habits. We start our journey of becoming a better human being in general and a better leader at the workplace. The ways mindfulness helps us in becoming a better leader are listed below:
It enhances self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize ourselves and what, why and how of the reactions to the triggers, leading to being more emotionally intelligent or aware. Persons with low self-awareness would always look outwards, blame others, will not take responsibility for their actions/ inactions. At the workplace, these are the people who would always play the victim card and blame others for their failures. These are the people who would not set their goals. They live by the day. They attribute the results or lack of it to fate/ luck. Mindfulness helps us in increased self-awareness, this allows us to be aware of our roles in decisions and relationships.
It improves emotion regulation. This could be the most important part mindfulness plays at work and for self-aware leaders. The element of emotional regulations makes us move from reaction to triggers to respond to events. It is the ability to recognize the patterns, apply consequential thinking, evaluate with empathy and deal with people in a non-threatening way. Leaders are able to make more rational decisions. They are able to deal with negative events around them in a very mature manner. Good Emotional Regulation creates trust, rapport, the two most essential skills for a great leader.
It builds resilience. Burnout is the manifestation of poor stress management. Some amount of stress shall always be there in the workplace. A leader needs to deal with it. Mindfulness helps the leader to deal with stress in a positive and healthy way. This can happen only when the leader’s mindfulness. Mindfulness helps in building and boosting physical, mental and emotional resilience. Resilience helps to bounce back from any stressful situation/ event/ incident.
As a mindful leader, you must encourage the team to engage in mindfulness practices to help them happy, healthy, stress-free and engaged.
(The writer is a Delhi based Master Coach and a Motivational Speaker)