I’ve bet you’ve met some amazing and mindful leaders, and a few… well, shall we say it out loud… mindless leaders? No one is perfect, and certainly not perfect all the time, but as a leader you owe it to yourself, and your charges, to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is staying in the present, connecting with the people, thoughts, emotions of the moment, and responding from your heart. Yes, your head gets involved, but there is a time and place for head thinking versus being present and mindful. It’s a balance, and one that becomes easy and more focused as you practice it.
So you’re already mindful and ever present? Awesome and congratulations! It’s tough as a leader to manage that way consistently. Ensure you continue to grow and expand this skill, and use it to support others in their efforts to become more mindful.
Perhaps you’re not quiet as mindful and present as you’d like to be. How do you go about becoming a bit more?
- Start your day with some inner reflection. When you wake up consider some things you’re grateful for, think about your values and goals, then breath into your belly and focus on your body. How do you feel? Smile.
- Whenever you change position (sit to stand, stand to sit) give yourself a mini-reflection moment. Center yourself and breath into your body, feeling the sensation of your heart and your breathing. Give yourself a motivational word that reflects the moment’s need (an example might be “I am focused”, or “I am empathetic”, or even “I am strong and secure”.) One that we are taught via Bulletproof coaching is the “freedom” method: “I am angry and freedom.” You can either note the negative emotion you’re feeling, or choose an emotional state you’d like to be, “I am calm and freedom.”
- When you’re about to have a meeting, a discussion with someone, or any other personal interaction, ground yourself in gratitude, values, goals and your heart. I think of a grateful thought, remember the values that might impact this meeting and the goals I’m looking for, check the intent of the goals (stick solely to positive intent), then bring myself into mindfulness with some heart focus.
- End your day the same way you woke… and smile again.
You create your habits. Create this new one that aligns to a more mindful and grateful you. And remember, being a leader isn’t just being a manager… leadership lives in parents, kids, friends, sports, community, relationships and yourself. Mindfulness will open you up to high performance, health, happiness and success.
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