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How Can Mindfulness Make You A Better Leader

What leadership roles do you have, both formal and informal in the workplace, your family and other social communities? How can you apply the concept of mindful leadership to these roles? What is mindfulness?

What is mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is characterised by dispassionate, non-evaluative and sustained moment- to moment awareness of mental states and processes.” Grossman P et al. (2004)

There is a form of meditation known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. For most of us, paying attention to the activity of the mind for even a few minutes yields powerful and potentially valuable information.

Most of the time our minds are easily distracted habitually moving between the past and future. Often, little time is actually spent living in the present. The results and effects may include:

  • An increased stress response
  • More mistakes
  • Less efficiency
  • Less enjoyment

How can being mindful make you a better leader? Dr.Hassed from Monash University (http://www.49.com.au/wp-content/uploads/The-health-benefits-of-meditation-and-being-mindful_v21-2.pdf) believes that “Mindfulness seems to enhance what are called our executive functions which are associated with an area of the brain called the pre-frontal cortex at the front of the brain. Executive functions include short- term memory, processing information, knowing what to pay attention to, making decisions, emotional regulation and prioritising. Mindfulness training seems to stabilise this area of the brain and help it to function well whereas an overactive stress centre (amygdale) ‘highjack’s’ this area of the brain making functioning effectively difficult if not impossible."

What can you do to increase your mindfulness?

  • Follow your breath for one minute. By returning to your breath as a focal point you are training your attention and reducing you internal chatter.
  • Take a few minutes and scan your whole body from your head to your feet. The increased awareness and connection to how you feel and releasing any tension is beneficial.

What is my favourite mindfulness tip?

I practice using an App called: The Mindfulness App. It gives me the flexibility to have short or long meditations. Try it… https://itunes.apple.com/app/id417071430

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