Mindful Leadership: Developing Mindfulness at the Workplace

mindful leadership

GeneralWritten By: Sreeparna Sarkar

In recent years, mindfulness has become increasingly relevant in the world of business. There has been much discussion about the importance of cultivating mindful leadership and compassion within workplaces. Leading companies like Google, General Mills, JP Morgan, and others have already started to implement mindfulness training for the well-being of their employees. Let alone the biggest companies of the world, these days even the top business schools across the world are also offering mindfulness as a course to MBA students. 

But why is this centuries-old idea becoming so relevant day by day? What is the reason the biggest companies and b-schools are focussing to develop a mindful environment more than ever? Let us unearth the profound influence of mindfulness and how it is connected to leadership.

Mindfulness in a Nutshell: 

Mindfulness is not exactly what we think it is most of the time. Although this concept is originated in ancient Eastern philosophy, it has no religious underpinnings. To put it simply, mindfulness is a state of mind wherein a person is consciously aware of his/her actions, words, thoughts, and responsibilities. When we are mindful, we experience the present moment in a more explicit and unprejudiced approach.

While living in this cutting-edge digital era, our minds are constantly bombarded with a barrage of information and challenges. Mindful living allows us to take a breather and ponder what is and is not important in order to change our course of action. It also empowers us with the skill to maintain the presence of mind to cope with any situation and allows us to unfurl all our negative emotions and thoughts that dampen the zeal of life. The spirit and ability to put ourselves in a position to encounter a challenging situation helps us to free others and ourselves from unnecessary fear and anxiety.

Becoming a Mindful Leader: 

It has never been more important to create a healthy and emotionally safe working environment. Like any other skill, leadership starts from within before it mirrors outside. In some way, every one of us is a leader, influencing or making a difference on others. But to become a mindful leaders we need to cultivate self-awareness within ourselves. As the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, "Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power." As soon as we become aware of how we are engaging and reacting, we can form a plan to improve our awareness and presence.

There are three simple steps to incorporate mindful leadership into workplaces – 

•    Being aware of our thoughts: It is true that the way we think has a direct impact on the way we feel, speak and act. We believe it is to some extent impossible to control our thoughts and mind. But once we develop self-awareness within ourselves, our ability to balance and control our thinking process increase. 
•    Being aware of our words:  Words are nothing but mere reflections of what we are thinking or feeling. Even when we do not realize it, the words we speak can hold an incredible amount of vibration and power, whether to uplift or humiliate someone. It is important to be mindful of the words we use in the workplace because they might leave an impact not only with whom we speak to but also on us.
•    Being aware of our actions: We are living in a bizarre world when we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, unable to escape the grind. There is always a fast-paced environment at work, which at times can be stressful. Occasionally we feel overwhelmed by strong emotions that lead to sudden actions or reactions. Mindfulness helps us to become more aware of how we act and react to any situation.

Lead better with mindfulness: 

Every workplace has a fast-paced environment, which can be stressful at times. This is where mindfulness comes in. With the number of people seeking to be more in tune with themselves and aware of their current state, it is no surprise that so many aspects and environments of society attempt to take this approach. However, mindfulness is not any supernatural power to achieve overnight. 

Mindfulness is a constant process that helps us put ourselves in the right frame of our minds so that we can be more aware of our thoughts, words, and actions and be more able to control them without being controlled by them. We may not realize, perhaps the most crucial catalyst to leadership potential resides within us. If we look into ourselves more clearly with a mindful approach, we might discover the elixir to make better decisions and stronger relationships.

TAGS - positive energy positive thinking art of balancing balance at workplace

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