Mindfulness as a Leader
I debated even using the word mindfulness here because it’s so overused. It also connotes ideas that are a bit too trendy or woo woo. I don’t have a better term though, so I’m going with it.
Ironically, mindfulness doesn’t mean making the mind more full or adding more to an already full mind. It refers to the process of keeping the mind open and flexible so there is plenty of room for the present. To create an environment in which nothing else is going on but what’s right in front of you.
We all intend to be present in our conversations with others, both in our personal lives and at work. Certain conversations capture our attention. Our minds are engaged, and we can easily focus. In other situations, our minds wander, we get lost in thought, and before we know it, we miss something.
How can you bring yourself quickly back to the present? By doing some kind of practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness
is defined as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” You don’t have to go to India to study with a guru to do it. Sometimes taking 30-60 seconds to pay attention to your breathing, or a quick walk while you focus on every step, can snap you back to the moment.
The importance of mindfulness for a leader is undeniable because it is a key element of your focused attention. The ability to listen to and be present for your team, or to fully engage rather than providing partial attention is what fuels your effectiveness. When you are continually lost in thought, others will notice. Probably not all the time. But enough to make a difference.
Find a way to clear and focus your mind to be a more attentive leader. Whether it’s through meditation, walking, or another method, it’s an important part of your health and in turn, the health of your team.