Mindfulness and its place in the mercurial corporate world is a complicated subject. One of the reasons why industry leaders are never done talking about practicing mindful leadership at work is because it is an evolving practice. When leaders are at the front end of a company’s crisis, being mindful acts as an influential asset. Today, corporations are promoting mindfulness to improve resilience in individuals and teams. This is because corporations and public organizations are starting to see the connection between mindfulness training and better business outcomes. The pursuit of mindfulness has emigrated from Himalayan hilltops to the corporate boardrooms of Google, Zappos, Target, and even the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a general sense, the meaning of mindfulness is being present, without judgement, in every moment. It is a practice of self-observation which allows us to see what is front of us without any judgement or bias. It helps us make aspirational rather than fear-based decisions about the work we do. It is a wonderful practice that is both complex and perpetual.
In an age where corporations are increasingly under attack for short-term thinking, dearth of vision, and tepid reaction to quick stimuli, integrating mindfulness into the strategic planning processes has become sine qua non.
Mindfulness requires us to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment. It allows us to engage actively with whatever is happening in the present moment, and at the same time, view the moment from a more strategic standpoint.
By being mindful, we are able to -
Respond to situations rather than react.
Create a flexible and well-attuned response rather than quick stimuli.
Gain clarity and perspective, and allows us to see the bigger picture.
In the corporate world, where change is non-negotiable, mindfulness helps reduce disorder. It helps us respond to change skillfully, and in an unbiased way. It allows us to be less caught up in our thinking and better listen and see what is happening around us. It allows us to decide what approach will best support the organization’s strategies and agendas. Moreover, it increases the number of human beings who are effective professionally and have also realized high levels of compassion kindness, generosity, and happiness.
The empirical evidence of practicing mindful leadership is compelling. Research suggests that practicing mindfulness affects areas of brain related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotional regulation, introspection, complex thinking and sense of self.
Mindfulness is no longer considered a ‘nice to have’ for execs. In fact, it is a must-have, a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation. To be a forward-thinking professional, stop worrying about the future for a moment. If you want to achieve more, measure and manage your life as you’re living it. Pay attention to the present moment, be aware of your feelings and emotions, and learn to keep them under control, especially when during a moment of crisis.
The pursuit of mindful leadership helps individuals find purpose even in the most mundane, everyday activities. It helps us see value in living a meaningful life that serves the greater good, and not just self-interest. It helps enhance our leadership abilities and create a better workplace and personal space. It empowers us with a better way of leading and living.