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Mindful leadership is the practice of being aware of yourself and your environment, leading one towards more effective management. This is a response to what Business News Daily calls the ‘hurry sickness’ of the modern day world where busy executives prioritize multitasking and accomplishing goals above everything else.
This article will consider why cultivating mindful leadership is important for workplace executives. We’ll also look into five actionable steps to help you become a more mindful leader.
Why is mindful leadership important?
Mindful Living Network notes that one of the top 10 employee complaints is micro-management, where a leader excessively hovers over their staff.
Employee micro-management is counter-intuitive since it results in organizational inefficiencies. Promoting the culture of multitasking and the ‘hurry sickness’ divides people’s attention and puts unnecessary pressure on them, which keeps employees from doing their work properly.
Moreover, 93% of managers voiced the need for training on how to coach their employees, proving that many managers lack expertise when it comes to organizational leadership.
Nowadays, coaching employees is just as important as leading them. In Maryville University’s summary of the organizational leadership industry they detail how this has led to a demand for training specialists who can bring about management change.
This is reflected in how job growth is high for human resource managers (9%) and management analysts (12%), and a clear indication of how organizations are looking for specialists who can provide solutions to the inadequacies of current leadership styles.
Fed up with complicating the workplace and burnout rates, managers are looking for more efficient ways of leading.
The best to do this is to become a more mindful leader. Mindful leadership provides one of the best solutions to the global workplace epidemic.
1. Focusing on what’s important
We can start being a mindful leader by focusing on what’s important. As leaders of organizations, we have a lot of things on our mind and a lot of people craving our attention. Despite all of this, it’s necessary to learn how to prioritize.
Take a deep breath and determine which of the things needing your attention is most vital, and turn your full attention towards that. Learning how to prioritize and understanding what’s critical at a certain time allows us to accomplish more things in the long run.
Mindfulness brings us back to the present moment by drowning out all the noise and focusing on one task at a time.
2. Continuous reflection and self-improvement
Continuous self-reflection helps improve how we lead. You can do this by taking the time out of your busy day to stop and reflect. At the end of a workday, reflect on the decisions you made and your motivations behind them. Moreover, having a regular meditation practice for just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference in making you more self-aware. This not only helps you understand your leadership style more, but it also helps in knowing how you can improve as a leader.
3. Practicing appreciation and recognition
Appreciation and recognition are powerful yet underestimated tools. Heather Matthews defines affirmation as positive statements you say to yourself.
They reprogram your mind and help create a better mindset, which supports the accomplishment of your goals. You can also do the same with your staff by affirming their work and recognizing their achievements. This allows your staff to improve their mindset, helping empower them to work better through making them confident in their abilities.
4. Practicing compassion
Being mindful also means being sensitive to the concerns of your employees. Compassion in the workplace can be approached in different ways. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by giving your team your full attention during meetings.
Be fully present when you listen to them share their concerns. Afterwards, make an effort to act on their concerns. This not only makes your employees feel recognized, it also allows for a more open and supportive work environment.
5. Leading by example
As a leader, you should be mindful of how your behavior and attitude influences the organization. Being aware of your function as a role model allows you to understand the consequences of all your actions.
Leading by example means promoting solidarity and empowerment through everything that you do. Moreover, understanding that your employees’ work ethic is a reflection of yours stresses just how important your role is in creating a mindful workplace.
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