Mindful Leadership and Emotional Stability
The art of mindful leadership with emotional stability are discussed here. Leadership requires emotional stability – a clam, clear and decisive mind. All the time, you don’t have to have all the answers but your positive energy, confidence, responsibility, emotional stability and passion are very important for success.
A mindful leader is someone who embodies leadership presence by cultivating insights, focus, clarity, creativity and compassion for the benefits of self and others. Mindfulness is often defined as ‘non-judgmental, moment to moment awareness’.
Emotional stability refers to a person’s ability to remain stable and balanced during crisis. Emotions happen too quickly and outside the rational mind. But mindfulness gives you the total control of how you will react. All good leaders require a number of mindfulness skill to help them positively interact with employees or team members.
Your positive attitude can go a long way in your office. You should be able to relax and maintain a positive smiling face when something doesn’t go quite as planned; this helps create a happy and healthy work environment, even during busy, stressful periods. Emotionally unstable people are often moody and often experience feelings such as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, guilt, depressed mood, and loneliness.
Self-awareness and Emotional Stability
Self awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. Self-awareness helps us get in touch with our psychological/physiological needs—knowing what we need, what we don’t need, and when it’s time to reach out for some extra help. One of the best ways to increase self-awareness is to write down what you want to do and track your progress.
Great leaders take initiative to influence the outcome and take responsibility for the results. Until you take responsibility, you are a victim. And being a victim is the exact opposite of being a leader. If your employees see their leader pointing fingers and blaming others, they will lose respect. Accept mistakes and failures, and then devise clear solutions for improvement.
To build your confidence you need to be open to new experiences and be willing to fail or you’ll never grow and find the strength needed to push the limits of what you’re capable of. Confidence has to do with your inner perception of your ability to fulfill a particular role and is built through your experiences and dealings during your life.
Neuroscience of Emotional Stability
Our brain contains about 100 billions of neurons. The number of synaptic connections formed by these neurons is about 1000 trillion. The timescale for neuronal firing is extremely short, on the order of tens of milliseconds, and the firing never rests. Within one second, the brain produces millions of firing patterns. Each neuron is supported by about 10 glial cells that act as a nourishing glue that keeps the gelatin like structure of the brain together.
Emotions are involved in many areas of the human brain and are tightly interwoven with structures of cognition, memory, and motivation. Research suggested that emotion is related to a group of structures in the center of the brain called the limbic system. However, the amygdala remained at the forefront of research into the emotional brain. The amygdala is more consistently involved in emotion than any other area between the hypothalamus and the neocortex.
Scientists observed Gazzaniga (1998a) and Lakoff and Johnson (1999), more than 95% of what the brain does is below consciousness and shapes conscious thought. Unconscious emotions tend to spill over and become mis-attributed to objects unrelated to their origins. Mindfulness removes this unconsciousness of the mind.
The hypothalamus connected to all levels of the nervous system, including the neocortex. The amygdala deserved reputation for generating emotional judgments with minimal cognitive input also made it a gateway to emotional hijack.
Our habitual reptilian brain mode of dealing with stress and complexity is to react. But mindful leadership is all about developing emotional stability and perfect response to the situation. The amygdala has a very low threshold to external stimulation, which adds to its reputation for producing emotional quick triggers. Mindfulness controls the activities of the amygdala and improves the emotional stability.
- Mindfulness Meditation for Corporate Leadership and Management by Dr. Amit Ray, Inner Light Publishers, 2017.
- Good, D. J., Lyddy, C. J., Glomb, T. M., Bono, J. E., Brown, K. W., Duffy, M. K., … Lazar, S. W. (2015). Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review. Journal of Management, 42(1), 114–142.