According to Mindful.org, mindfulness is characterized as the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s happening around us. It’s a practice gaining momentum in the workplace, with many organizations promoting it as an effective method to combat anxiety and depression that can lead to workplace burnout.
This article will explore what it means to become a mindful business leader, its benefits, and how you can flex your mindful leadership muscles. But first, let’s examine why companies choose this effective leadership style.
Business advantages of a more mindful workplace
Leaders of mindfulness programs at organizations like Google, Intel, and LinkedIn have formed the Mindful Workplace Movement to build community and support others who want to facilitate mindfulness initiatives in the workplace and share best practices. While success for every company looks different, members of the Mindful Workplace Alliance have documented undeniable results, such as:
· Increased skilled applicants
· Increased employee wellbeing
· Increased ROI
· Increased employee engagement and leadership trust
· Decreased employee absenteeism
With so many business benefits of adopting a mindful leadership approach, you might wonder what makes leaders mindful. Continue reading to discover more about the qualities of a mindful leader in our next section.
What is a mindful leader?
The Institute for Mindful Leadership describes a mindful leader as someone who embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion in serving others. In the book, Mindfully Wise Leadership, author Keren Tsuk, Ph.D., shares the following five essential qualities of a mindful leader:
Other sources have defined mindful leaders as having high levels of emotional intelligence or the ability to notice and manage your feelings while seeing and responding adequately to the emotions of others. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, the author of the book Emotional Intelligence, characterizes emotional intelligence as having four quadrants:
1. Self-awareness – Self-awareness is the ability to be aware of your mood and thoughts and their impact on others. As a result, you understand what drives you, your values, and your principles, allowing you to stand firm in your beliefs.
2. Self-management – Self-management is the ability to effectively manage your feelings, thoughts, and actions through self-control, transparency, adaptability, and optimism.
3. Social awareness – Social awareness is the ability to accurately gauge others’ emotions and situations through empathy, organizational awareness, and service.
4. Relationship management – Relationship management uses the above skills to manage social situations effectively while at work through influence, conflict management, and collaboration.
No matter how you define a mindful leader, one thing is clear: mindfulness is an intentional and effective strategy for optimizing workplace performance.
How to become a mindful leader
If you’re looking to up your mindful leadership quotient, consider the following tips:
· Practice mindfulness – Harvard research revealed that most people spend 47% of their waking hours not fully engaged or paying attention to what is in front of them. Whether you have one minute, five minutes, or an hour, becoming a mindful leader starts with practicing mindfulness. By focusing solely on tuning into your breath as you inhale and exhale, you can give yourself the time and space to recenter and focus on the present, enhancing your happiness and leadership capabilities.
· Reduce multitasking – Multitasking is a surprisingly ineffective practice that asks your brain to work on two or more tasks simultaneously. Studies show that multitasking makes you less efficient and more prone to errors, reducing productivity. To amp up your mindful leadership abilities, aim to focus on one task at a time.
· Decrease distractions – Phone calls, meetings, emails, and other distractions at work prevent many leaders from maximizing their potential. Mindfulness experts suggest blocking your calendar every day for distraction-free work. Whether it’s fifteen minutes or several hours, this sacred time can help you be fully engaged and present at work.
· Explore mindful leadership resources – Resources created by mindful business leaders can be an effective way to learn how to become a mindful leader. Consider exploring the Mindfulness Workplace Playbook, attending the Mindful Leader Summit, or becoming a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator to integrate mindfulness into your organization successfully.
Mindfulness is both a leadership style and a way of life. It has the power to transform the way you work and live by giving you the tools needed to be happier and achieve your goals. We are an award-winning commercial printer embracing mindful leadership in our organization to help us become more present, focused, and precise in our work. Contact us to learn more about our print-driven communications designed to help you get ahead.