4 Things You Probably Should Know About Mindful Leadership, But Don't
You might have heard of mindfulness as an important human trait and virtue. The role that mindfulness can play in all cycles of life is far too important to pass for ignorance. And when it comes to leadership – mindfulness is a secret weapon of many successful leaders. The fact that you are here to learn more about the secrets of mindful leadership shows how willing you are to learn more about mindfulness. Here are 4 secrets of mindful leadership that you should know, but probably do not.
Mindful Leadership practices help us to become a better decision maker
In life and business we constantly need to make decisions. The way we decide is dependent on two systems. Our cognitive system helps us to make rational conscious decisions, while our somatic system helps us decide on a deeper emotional and often subconscious level. Most people are under the assumption that our cognitive thinking is more powerful than our somatic system - but think again! The somatic system is rooted in our midbrain, which is one of the older parts of our brains and responsible for our instincts, and therefore way more powerful. It can easily hijack the rational decisions we are trying to make, or it can take great effort to keep our somatic system in check. This means stress. Over a longer period of time this can lead to a dissonance between both systems which often manifests as burnout. We are able to live an enjoyable life if both systems are aligned and understand each other. Mindful Leadership practices can serve as a translator between them and help us make better decisions.
Be compassionate with yourself and don't compare yourself with others
Mindfulness 101 suggests that when attempting to be a better version of yourself, focus on your own personal growth, rather than comparing yourself to that of others. Mindfulness is about accepting who you are with all the flaws and strengths that you possess. Some leaders can have a difficult time improving themselves without necessarily comparing themselves to the performances of other leaders in same field. And while this may not be fundamentally wrong, it ends up as a losing game. Forge your own path by minding your progress and be compassionate with yourself along the way.
Practicing 5 - 10 minutes of mindfulness a day is enough to get started
Experience proves that mindfulness, like any other leading strategy, needs practice. You cannot be a mindful leader without training on how to be one. A general misconception is that mindfulness techniques like meditation occupy too much time in your day. This is not true. Just 5 - 10 minutes of meditation can make all the difference. The secret though is to make it a habit and create a healthy routine. Incorporate a mindfulness exercise right after you wake up or before you turn on your computer to work for example. Anyone can make progress as long as you are open to the idea.
Mindfulness is more than just Meditation
Mindfulness is more than just meditation. Even though meditation is one of the surest mindfulness techniques, the truth is that experts recommend engaging other mindfulness techniques during the tense situations. Let's say, for example, you get in an argument with a colleague and you feel how your body gets tense and your breathing gets shorter. To meditate for 5 minutes wouldn't be suitable in this kind of situation. A better approach would be to focus on deep breathing which helps your body and mind to release the tension and can help you process emotion and think more clearly.
The more you try out different mindfulness practices, the better you get at exhibiting the traits of mindfulness as a leader. The idea is to have different mindfulness techniques at hand for all kinds of different situations.
Mindful Leadership is so much more than you might think. We hope now you are even more eager to learn how to practice. If you liked this article feel free to subscribe to our Newsletter and stay up to date on all things regarding Mindful Leadership, Mindfulness and Coaching. Also contact us if you want to become a Mindful Leader and get coached by one of our talented certified Empowerment Holdings Coaches.