Leaders are under a unique type of pressure; they need to be able to rise above the roadblocks and everyday stressors that crop up in work and life. And this is where mindful leaders succeed.
Mindful leaders put healthy practices in place to manage these stresses and maintain high energy, awareness and creativity. They take their responsibilities seriously and try to make the most out of being a leader and are always looking to improve their leadership skills.
Here are five positive and uplifting behaviours that mindful leaders present. All five of these behaviours are so easy to incorporate, and they will enhance the lives and careers of your team members.
Mindful leaders give people their full attention when they talk to you, regardless of whether it is in a meeting, over the phone or just a quick chat in the office.
When a team member approaches you for help with a problem, rather than trying to solve it in your head or come up with a response, can you actively listen to them and hear what they are saying. Sometimes your team member needs a soundboard to bounce the problem off of and talk through what they feel the solution could be. Be fully focused and present in the conversation.
You empower team members.
By giving your team members your full attention and actively listen to the challenges that they are facing you will empower them to come to their own conclusions. The team’s performance improves when they feel empowered and trusted.
Mindful leaders encourage, compliment and reward great decisions, creating a supportive culture for the team. When a poor decision is mad , it is treated as a learning opportunity.
Use their head and their heart.
Leaders make countless decisions, and each one involves a certain level of judgement and emotion. Mindful leaders will use their head and their heart to make these decisions.
Rather than rushing into a decision, mindful leaders will pause and bring awareness to the situation, their biases, judgements and emotions. And then they make the decision and move on. Being mindful in your decision-making process helps you better assess and make better decisions without your own subconscious bias.
Get enough sleep
Rest is important. A good night’s sleep allows you to be rested and more mindful during the day. Mindful leaders will take time to stop, slow down and breathe, even if it’s just for a moment. They don’t hold on to emotional decisions made in a rush or crisis.
Leaders who prioritise their rest and sleep will start the next day with a fresh set of ideas and energy to counteract those situations. If your mind’s keeping you up at night, then it’s time to bring some to look at adding mindfulness practices to your night routine.
Meditation is worth the time and practice. We live busy lives, and if you are running a team, then you may be stressed or under pressure. Leaders experience burnout at a much higher rate. The stress leaders face due to the demands of authority, loneliness from being at the top and the pressure of daily decisions that could make or break a team or business. Then we add in the outside work commitments like family, clubs, community.
Research has proven that 20 minutes of meditation a day is not time lost; it is time gained. Taking 5 -20 minutes each day to sit and meditate makes a measurable difference in your leadership and your personal life. Taking 5 minutes before you drift off to sleep to focus on your breath will significantly improve your sleep and your energy levels the next day.
Can you make these practices part of your daily routine? Developing a mindfulness practice takes commitment and discipline. Start slowly by choosing one behaviour to focus on for a week and then adding in another one the following week. Notice at the end of the month how you feel, maybe asking those around you if they notice a difference.