Catapult Your Leadership Now: 5 Reasons Why Mindfulness Is The Mother Of All Leadership Skills

  1. Mindfulness Fosters Intentionality. In Meditation, the exercise is to habituate the mind back to the present moment, or back to an object of focus, again, and again, and again. That training builds the neuro muscle so that when our mind wanders or when our attention gets jerked away, in life and the boardroom, we can more easily refocus. In meetings, it’s natural to get caught up in our thoughts, critical points, or the impending presentation, detracting from fully hearing emerging specifics that might require a change in approach. This fostering of intentionality enables us to be with what is, instead of what we “think” is present.
  2. Mindfulness Mitigates Reactive Tendencies — Reactive tendencies are significant inhibitors of effective Leadership. Some leaders lash out, others shut down, while some “go along to get along.” When we react, it is as though our brains have been yanked into a state of fear or anger, undermining our ability to respond thoughtfully. When we have developed the skill to notice, without judgment but with discernment, where our mind is, and the state it is in, we are more likely to pause. That pause enables us to respond purposefully and intentionally chose the next best course of action. Ultimately, that pause not only influences the response, but also how it is delivered. As the adage goes, often, “it’s not only what you say, but how you say it.”
  3. Mindfulness Cultivates Creativity: as we step out of our reactive tendencies, often propelled by anxiety and fear, it opens up space to create and innovate. Studies show that when fear and anxiety override the brain, it’s as though it’s an orchestra gone wrong, you can only hear the out of tune violin and trombone. It’s nearly impossible to hear anything else, never mind allow creative insight to arise. Meditation not only enables us to acknowledge our reactive desires and choose a different action or focus, but it also allows us to hear the rest of the symphony and the space between the notes. It is always in that space that insight arises.
  4. Mindfulness Facilitates Broader Perspective: As the practice becomes more habitual, it inherently builds greater awareness. The act of noticing that the mind has wandered, without judgment, but with full awareness, enables access to more information about ourselves, our tendencies, and the present moment. This expanded perspective in turn fosters enhanced discernment. As researched by the leading thought leaders of The Leadership Circle, core Leadership Competencies of Strategic Focus and Systems Thinker require these skills.
  5. Mindfulness increases Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ): The previous school of thought was that there was no room for emotions in the workspace. Now, research and case studies show that EQ is critical for great Leadership. Meditation increases EQ through enhancing the ability to pause and check-in before choosing a response, as well as through the development of consistent, nonjudgmental awareness. Both of these skills foster EQ’s key components, including Self-Awareness, Empathy, Self-Regulation & Social Aptitude. fMRI scans of the brain further support this claim, as these scans show that Meditation directly increases the activity in areas of the brain related to Empathy and Compassion (EQ).

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