There’s no denying that ‘mindfulness’ is the latest buzzword in the workplace. While it might have considered a little ‘woo-woo’ a few years ago, right now everyone from HR managers to founders and CEOs are talking about it.
But what does it actually mean? And more importantly how can we look beyond the hype and incorporate it into our daily lives in a meaningful way?
In a nutshell, being ‘mindful’ is having self-awareness and attention of our own emotions in any moment. It’s about being present, so that we’re able to respond without judgment.
Recent Western science has been able to identify three key benefits of mindfulness, that will help you as an individual and as a leader. Corporate Edge has popped together some tips below.
We live in a world today where distractions are in any given moment are seemingly unavoidable. We’re constantly being distracted by the never-ending stream of smartphone notifications, emails and phone calls, ironically designed to make us ‘more productive’.
The result? It’s easy to fall into the trap of being completely reactive. As opposed to focusing on our own work, we can spend our days ticking stuff off other people’s to do list.
In reality, the most productive people are those who are able to focus on one task for an extended period of time (without letting themselves be constantly distracted by others).
Our subconscious mind is designed to protect us from perceived threat or harm – most people understand this as the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mentality. While this is essential in certain dangerous or life threatening situations, day-to-day this response mechanism can actually be more harmful.
If we live in ‘flight or fight’ mode we are constantly being reactive – responding to our own feelings in any given moment, or the actions of those around us.
If you think about the very best manager you’ve ever had, chances are that you really felt that they cared for you and they showed kindness on a common and constant basis. They saw what was best for you in any moment, and had a genuine interest in your future.
Practicing mindfulness can help you strengthen this sense of empathy. It can give you the clarity you need to see things from other people’s point of view, and build trust with your team so they ultimately want to follow you.
This article was written by Dan Czura at Culture & Leadership Partner Corporate Edge