The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Leadership: How Mindfulness Practices Affect Leadership Practices

All age groups have become amenable to learning this craft, art and some even call it a behavioural science.

Who is a good leader? Someone who lets their leadership bring empowerment for those that are being led, thereby also lending a sense of safety, security, equality and equilibrium. If one were to think of developing these qualities consciously, this may come across as a tedious and tall task. So, what is it that can simplify the seemingly arduous? Mindfulness.

Modern holistic experts define mindfulness as a way of living comprising perceptions and actions which are driven by conscious, holistic thought rather than arbitrary, whimsical ideas. And there's a flourishing industry teaching mindfulness to a wide spectrum of age groups, from young children to octogenarians.

Mindfulness maybe anything from a minute of silence to introspect one's thoughts and actions or it can be a more nuanced set up involving breathwork and certain set postures, following a predefined protocol.

Whatever it maybe, mindfulness is scientifically proven to bring stress reduction, increased self-control, objectivity, more tolerance, enhanced flexibility, equanimity, improved concentration and mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others and one's self with kindness, acceptance and compassion. All these virtues are tailor made for good leaders to lead others become the best versions of themselves.

Moreover, all age groups have become amenable to learning this craft, art and some even call it a behavioural science. That is so as this wondrous practice brings about a drastic change in one's overall persona. Leadership too, then, is not discounted from the areas which are benefited from mindfulness.

Let us explore in depth, certain ways in which mindfulness can be therapeutic for sound, sagacious and sane leadership.

Mindfulness brings about level headedness in an individual, such a vital trait for a leader. Handling complex situations and complicated team members both make ample use of sensibility, prudence and pragmatism which mindfulness naturally helps an individual hone.

Next, mindfulness practices promote calmness and peace from within. Leaders are in constant exposure to situations which may leave them agitated, confused or worked up. A calm leader is able to handle this burden that much easier without letting his emotional and mental feathers ruffle.

From time to time, leaders are required to instil enthusiasm and adequate motivation for the teams they lead. Mindfulness is known to take an individual to the deepest recesses of their mind and let go of unwanted thoughts. This brings about a natural flair for being happy and sustaining a good mood irrespective of external circumstances.

Regular practice of mindfulness is also reported to lend greater empathy in individuals. As leaders, individuals are as much of people managers as they are anything else. And good people managers understand the underlying pain points and challenges confronting their subordinates and others around them. After gaining a firm grasp over the issues confronting people, mindfulness practitioners who become leaders work strategies to mitigate those challenges such that individuals grow through these challenges. In fact, at times, highly mindful leaders may help those they lead overcome their fears in a way that they never get bogged down again confronting similar hurdles in the future, seeding permanence of happiness.

Mindfulness teaches an individual to lead a goal-oriented life such that every action is oriented towards a purpose and ultimately lasting achievement. Good leaders help their junior team members map out their approaches towards accomplishing milestones in projects, assignments or tasks assigned to them. So, a team lead by a mindful leader will always remain rooted to their ultimate destination. Eyes on the prize, as they say.

Mindfulness brings a sense of liberation to an individual. This in turn may prompt them to analyze any and every situation better and thereby help them assess their response in a far better and effective fashion.

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