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Mindfulness in Leadership

Developing Mindful Habits

Great leaders come in many different varieties, but mindfulness is one quality they have in common. Contemplation and compassion can make you and your team happier and more successful.

That’s why many major corporations are training their employees to be more mindful. For example, Aetna says their training increased productivity by one hour a week and decreased medical claims by $9 million a year.

Discover the benefits of greater consciousness for yourself. Try these suggestions for developing your own mindful style of leadership.

You’ll need to focus on your inner self before you can change your external behavior.

Training in mindfulness with these activities will help you to lead by example:

  1. Meditate daily. Put aside time each day to sit quietly. Focus on the here and now. Observe your thoughts without making judgements. Start out with brief sessions and extend your time as your concentration grows.

  2. Breathe deeply. Pay attention to your breath. With each inhalation, draw energy into your body. With each exhalation, release stress.

  3. Scan your body. Search your body from head to toe to find any areas of tension. Unclench your jaw and smooth your brow. Lift your chest and lower your shoulders.

  4. Slow down. Create opportunities to encourage mindfulness throughout the day. Catch yourself when you’re starting to rush around. Pause and make your movements more deliberate. Think about the purpose behind each activity.

  5. Adjust your routines. Make ordinary tasks part of your practice. Chant while you vacuum or put on your clothes. Turn your attention inwards when you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for coffee to brew.

  6. Seek instruction. Look for meditation teachings online or in your neighborhood. Community centers and yoga studios may offer introductory sessions for free or at a very low cost.

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