Mindful leadership needs skills like focus, vision, clear thinking, creativity, inner strength and adaptability. In modern world, leaders must be able to stretch far beyond the transactional, analytical and knowledge-based approach.
There are many mindfulness based leadership and management skills which you can use to help you get better results. This article is a guide to make mindful leadership skills easy to implement. It is for those seeking to make their life happy and meaningful and to make communities and organizations meaningful, valuable and happier places to be.
Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in each moment with kindness and without judgment. Today, most challenges that leaders face are complex, not routine and not repetitive and constantly changing. Mindful leadership is a wonderful skill to navigate today’s complex, rapidly changing, and uncertain world. Mindfulness is a way of living, leading, and serving that can create a better world.
Below, I have outlined 7 mindful leadership skills which play a critical role in determining your success. Some of these skills overlap and, in many cases, mastering one skill will greatly improve your performance in another. Apparently, these are soft skills, but they go a long way in your success. It is important that you understand each skill and the role it plays in your leadership skill.
1. Cultivate inner strength:
Inner strength, often termed as “resilience,” is the ability to cope with the stressful situations that life throws at you. Research shows mindfulness improves resilience. Mindfulness can help you reach your full potential and enhance your inner strength. Mindfulness will make you aware of and sensitive to your feelings rather than ignoring them. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Do not exaggerate minor issues. Mindfulness will help you to control your reactions. Take appropriate action. Learn to stop and think and not to react quickly when life situations happen can help us live a happier, more peaceful life. Develop self-awareness and have a good understanding of your own likes, dislikes and needs.
2. Learn the art of mindful listening:
Mindful listening is an art. It is a combination of awareness, presence, intention, focus, and time. It is also listening the emotions and values. It is understanding what matters to them? You need to be present in order to listen and u what is being said. You also have to be listening without your own agenda and without being busy formulating what you will say next. Listen mindfully without interruption and allow time for the other to respond. One of the most important traits of mindful leadership is the willingness to listen with humility to other points of view.
3. Know your strengths:
What are your strengths? What are you good at? Maintain your focus on what you are good at, not on what you perceive to be your shortcomings. From our stone-aged ancestral behavior we love to look for negative in everything first. Identify your strengths and focus your energy on those.
4. Declutter your mind:
Eliminate wastage of energies through negative thinking – thoughts, worries, anxieties, fears, and memories. Be mindful about your habit patterns, action patterns, and mindsets to clean up the mental clutter that’s holding you back from living a fulfilling life.
Give few minutes to declutter your workspace or the room you are in. A decluttered, simplified and ordered space around you brings clarity and order to the mind. Work on one task in any given moment. Give time to connect with nature. Just sit few moments with yourself. Optimize your social media interaction. Identify your emotional distractions and be mindful about that without judgmental about them. Decluttered mind will help you to take mindful decisions that are quick, logical, kind and correct.
5. Learn to accept change:
Through accepting change, you grow, you learn more about your own spirituality, and ultimately, its source. When you can accept change, you learn from it. If required, express your feelings in a polite way to others. Focus on constructing a culture of acceptance and adaptability.
6. Communicate your ideas:
Communication is the key leadership skill. Communicate your passion and how you feel to your team via open meetings. Dare to say what you believe in. Mindfully choose your words. Develop your own voice. You might be pleasantly surprised by who listens to you. You will be impressed by your confidence in sharing your ideas. Communication is not a one way process. Place a high value on two-way communication. Be creative, keep your options opened for new, funny ideas. Delegation is an important skill you can develop for your team to grow and communication is at the heart of delegation.
7. Stay focused on what you believe in and forge ahead:
Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task. Start small, maybe five minutes per day, and work up to larger chunks of time. If you find your mind wandering, just return to the task at hand.
Prioritize your daily activities. Be mindful about urgent vs. important activities. Learn to say “no” to the unimportant activities. Make a daily “to-do” list and keep it nearby. Prioritization should always begin with eliminating the tasks which you should not be performing.
Good leaders have a passion for the work they do. In stressful situation, take a mindful breath, calm yourself down, and remind yourself of your strength, values and move forward. Encourage your employees to work together, rather than competitive. Take mindful decisions that are quick, logical, kind and correct. A mindful leader is always calm, confident and creative. Mindfulness will help you to stay calm, clear and confident in every situation of life. Mindfulness will help you to inspire your team to achieve your goals.
- 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.