Mindful leadership training integrates the practice of mindfulness meditation with the practical tools of management. Here are just a few of the results of a regular mindfulness practice:
- Stress reduction
- More clarity and focus
- More patience and gratitude
- Better self-awareness
- Increased neuroplasticity in our brains to assist in the changing of long-held patterns/habits of thinking/behaving that don’t work for us anymore
Show me a busy executive who doesn’t want more of that!
I recently attended a two-day seminar on leadership and mindfulness facilitated by Janice Martuano, a past executive of General Mills who is now founder and executive director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership. What an experience.
I went to the seminar with two purposes: to better understand mindful leadership and its benefits for my clients, and to practice it more regularly myself. Janice says it takes at least six weeks of daily, consistent practice to reap real rewards. Yet after only a week of regular practice, I have experienced many positive results.
Here are four mindfulness practice benefits that are useful for CEOs and other executives:
- It is not “woo-woo.” Neuroscience research has finally proven what psychologists and coaches have known for years: You truly can find yourself by spending time in the moment in quiet reflection, and what you will learn is THE foundation for living a more purposeful life.
- It will feel a bit scary to be quiet and not DO anything. I am actually enjoying it. It is a centering and gentle way for me to find clarity and focus for important decision-making, leaving me with a sense of confidence about my path forward.
- It will help you make peace with that painful habit that seems so much a part of you. Most of us have experienced a behavior that is so hard-wired we can’t help but feel “déjà vu all over again” (thank you, Yogi Berra) when it happens. Research on depression—the kind of depression that is so debilitating that even medication has been of limited value—has shown that adding mindfulness can have a big impact on those behaviors. If it can work in those cases, it can benefit all of us.
- It will help you manage your emotions and increase your effectiveness. Lack of self-awareness and an inability to manage strong emotions is one of the biggest challenges underlying all the business challenges CEOs and other executives face. If you do not see that—and I say this with love—you are missing the boat. Some of you are probably denying it already and you are exactly the executives who need this the most.
I’d be glad to humbly dialogue with any of you interested in sharing your experiences with mindfulness practice or those who would like to hear more about mine.