“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.”
– Thích Nhất Hạnh
The ability to remain calm under pressure and stay focused in the midst of problems – these are just a few traits we expect from people of great wisdom and character. Since we usually hold leaders in high esteem, it is but natural for us to assume (or require) that the head of a group possesses the said characteristics. However, as the world continues to get increasingly competitive, staying cool amid stressful situations is definitely not easy. One thing that can help leaders overcome this challenge is through mindfulness.
What is mindfulness and how to practice it?
We are often oblivious to it but our minds tend to wander all the time. This is why in one or more instances, you probably find yourself guilty of the phrase, “physically present but mentally absent.” You want to avoid this by practicing mindfulness which is simply the process of training your mind to stay in the moment. Mindfulness can trace its origins in Buddhist teachings and has been used as a basis in designing therapy and wellness programs.
It is a process of controlling thoughts so you manage to deliver the most appropriate reaction to a certain situation. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are some of the techniques you can use to develop mindfulness. Since mindlessness potentially robs you of the opportunities of the present moment, everyone is bound to benefit from practicing mindfulness. It will most especially be helpful in improving leadership skills. Some of the benefits a leader can gain from it are briefly discussed below:
Too often, leaders find themselves juggling several tasks at once as they try to fulfill the enormous responsibilities that come with their position. Sadly, this attitude often leads to burnout and stress. Mindfulness, on the other hand opens your eyes to the reality that multitasking does not always lead to productivity. It teaches you to slow down and relax, allowing you to give yourself proper care. By making self-care a priority, you also make work-life balance possible. In the end, a well-rested leader is most often a better leader.
Improves work quality.
Mindfulness encourages your mind to tackle one task at a time. This practice may seem to be a slow process compared to others who try to do several things simultaneously. However, giving one task your undivided energy and attention will likely result in an output of higher quality. With more time to polish your work, you also avoid errors and create excellent work.
Strengthens mind power.
We live in an unpredictable world but while it is almost impossible to control many circumstances, mindfulness teaches us that we can always control our reactions to it. Leaders who follow this principle learn to deal with any situation without breaking down or panicking. As they train their minds to rise above any circumstances, they can successfully avoid being distracted in a chaotic environment. They can likewise be able to make better decisions even during a crisis.
Leadership is definitely not easy but it doesn’t have to feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders all the time. More likely, a simple change in your mindset can make all the difference. With that, you may want to begin practicing mindfulness today.