Mind Time and Mindful Leadership
Leaders who are more mindful have the capacity to pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment. That is to say, they have enhanced meta-awareness. They are more aware of themselves, others and the world around them. This allows them to respond appropriately rather than react without thinking.
Our research suggests sustained practice leads to statistically significant improvements in resilience, adaptability, emotional regulation, empathy and focus amongst other things. There is some evidence that more mindful people are also less prone to cognitive biases in their decision-making.
Mindfulness is a skill that can be trained. Most of the evidence relating to mindfulness practice, brain structure changes and improvements in areas such as working memory, resilience and emotional intelligence, refers to changes resulting from an extended training intervention lasting several weeks (typically eight weeks).
Essentially it takes disciplined practice over time to change habits and to develop the capacity to be mindful. Quick wins are not easily achievable. Developing mindfulness takes robust interventions run by credible teachers with attention to practice over a sustained period.
You can read more about our Mindful Leadership research in our Harvard Business Review articles:
My book, co-authoured with Michael Chaskalson, Mind Time: How Ten Mindful Minutes can enhance your work, health and happiness can be found HERE on Amazon. It includes links to ten-minute podcast ‘Mind Time’ meditations - you can access them HERE. If these are undertaken daily, they develop our capacity to ‘AIM’:
Allowing – an attitude of kindness and acceptance.
Inquiry – a curiosity about your present moment experience.
Meta-awareness – the ability to observe your thoughts, feelings, sensations and impulses as they are happening and see them as temporary and not ‘facts’.
If we are able to AIM then we open up a space in which we’re able to respond, rather than react, to whatever situation we find ourselves in. AIM is all about choiceful response rather than choiceless reaction. It is one of the most important leadership capacities and crucial to adaptability, perspective taking, empathy, focus, creativity and emotional regulation.
I introduce AIM and Mindful Leadership to audiences through conference talks, half or full day workshops or extended development programmes. See more about my work in this recent article for Forbes Magazine. For more information, please do contact me here.