John C Maxwell believed, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” A worthy leader directs the team through all the thorns in order to land on the rosy carpet. We know the basic qualities that a leader must possess but what about the one thing that sets him apart from his counterparts. The quality that I am referring to is ‘mindfulness’. A leader will only be able to lead his team if he also incorporates mindfulness at work, apart from all his knowledge and skills to direct a team. A mindful leader attracts more followers.
I’ve kept throwing this word, “mindful,” but what does it really mean? Mindfulness is to delve into self-observation and not get distracted by any disturbances, either from within or outside. Since we are bombarded with a lot of information during the day, it is obvious that our mind would get preoccupied with it. Mindfulness helps us think clearly about what we want to, without having other thoughts or outside disturbances hindering us.
Mindfulness at work for Daydreamers
Daydreaming is not something unusual. It often happens that, when you are thinking about a particular issue, your mind tends to wander to other topics. So you might be thinking about how to solve a problem but then your thoughts skip to another similar issue, which then goes to how you could have solved it better. By the end of that chain you would probably be with your favourite actor in Europe for a holiday trip. Daydreaming at such times can be harmful because it shows how little your attention span can be. Mindfulness helps you get to conclusions faster and better. It helps analyse all your options properly and come to an informed conclusion. A leader cannot afford to daydream at work since he needs to be on his fours at all times.
... For the fickle:
A leader will only gain their teammates love and respect if s/he works diligently and does what is required, and when it’s required. In a meeting, a leader needs to discuss the important issues in order and distribute work accordingly. It can be very distracting when the boss diverts from the topic and talks about other significant things. This can end in building a negative image in front of the team members. As a leader when you tend to deviate from your topic, people might feel that you are not serious about your work.
Mindfulness helps in bringing all your energy together shooting it towards the right direction. When you are mindful, you know what the issue at hand is and, you are aware what needs to be talked about. A meeting is successful when it has first solved all the problems that need to be dealt with. When you discuss about things other than work, people doubt whether you require the necessary skills that a leader must possess. Hence mindfulness allows you to not get distracted easily and focus on the important
How to acquire mindfulness:
Acquiring mindfulness may seem like a cakewalk, but it is actually more than that.
Meditation can help you channelize your thoughts properly. It helps in calming your mind and neglect the disturbances. Thus it lets you surrender yourself to the environment you are in, keeping your mind focused on what is going around you. When you pull yourself away from the world and keep yourself in the center, you are shifting your priorities by analysing your thoughts and inner-self without any judgements. Mindfulness requires you be in complete sync with your body and mind, and be aware of what is happening to you. Meditation helps in acquiring the same.
No, we are not recommending jogging for your health. As funny as it sounds, exercising, walking or jogging in the mornings can help you become more alert. Early mornings are the best time to go out for a walk or a jog because you don’t have any traffic disturbing you with their honking or people coming in your way. Morning jogs freshen you up, thus help you in getting more creative ideas. I go for early walks myself around 4.30 in the mornings. The fresh air helps me to think about myself, my decisions and how I can enhance my life. My morning walks have brought a change in me where I am less reactive to situations and more active towards them.
I strongly recommend it for they have an amazing effect on you and help you work better by finding solutions faster. The fresh air helps you pay attention to the minor details around you, like a dog sleeping soundly on the pavement, or a bird in the nest, or anything of pure beauty.
Make it a point to go to gardens or on the outskirts of town at least twice a week. Wake up early on Saturdays and Sundays and go to the hill-side or maybe near a lake. Sit there and breathe in the nature. It will help you relax your tensed nerves and think clearly. Nature walks are the best way to practice mindfulness.
These are a few ways you could practice mindfulness. Initially it might be a bit difficult to practice mindfulness at work because of the tensed environment. But, start practicing when alone and then you shall see how it helps you change and become a more aware and an active human being. At times like these where we constantly need to keep ahead of others and be vigilant, mindfulness helps us bring balance and creativity in life.