LeadersEdge blog
Insights for Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
Why Mindfulness Matters
August 8, 2023

In our last blog, we talked about being “in flow” to assist in proactively reducing stress so we can live more fulfilling and enriched lives as professionals and as human beings. Part of being in flow requires us to be present, mindful and self-aware so we can bring our best selves to work and lead by example for our people. Work life balance, health and well-being are top priorities for companies, and fostering and nurturing more mindful teams and organizations can help address this while elevating performance and results.  

Mindfulness is particularly essential in the hybrid work environment, and as a leader, you must juggle not only your own tasks and well-being every day, but that of your team. While technology helps us do our jobs, it may also enable unproductive multi-tasking, which creates a split in our focus that is not effective as the human brain cannot do two things well at the same time. As a leader, you need to recognize that if your people are distracted and unfocused, it will compromise the quality of work and impede achieving the desired goals and objectives of the organization.

Why Mindfulness Important for Organizations

First, let’s start off by defining mindfulness and what it means through the lens of work and life:

Dr. Steven Aldana, CEO of WellSteps, defines mindfulness as simply being purposeful and present in your head and workspace. It can be described as an inward and outward awareness of yourself, others, and your surroundings. Mindfulness is about being intentional. When you practice mindfulness at home or mindfulness in the workplace, you’ll be a better version of you.

When mindfulness is embraced by organizations, business becomes more collaborative, productive, and engaging. And if you’re looking to reduce absenteeism while increasing creativity and decision-making skills, this is your number one reason to embrace it. Mindful leadership means knowing how to tune in to your own self-awareness, which allows you to respond appropriately to people and situations. 

Cultivating your own mindfulness practice takes time, but the payoff is worth it. We suggest starting by doing activities such as meditation, taking walks outside or whatever helps bring you into the present moment. Take breaks so you can recharge and refocus. It is also essential to your overall mental health and well-being. As a leader, you set the tone for your people based on how you are showing up, and your people can sense when you are present, mindful and in the moment with them. When they see that you are both present and engaged, they will be more encouraged to follow suit. 

Companies that have a physical space within their offices for meditation, yoga and other mindfulness practices have more engaged, focused, relaxed, and productive employees. The same can be said of virtual spaces as well. However, the space is not what gives people the mindful edge, it’s the stepping away and taking a break to refresh, reflect and re-set that is essential.

Pausing for mindful reflection in between big projects and deadlines is a great way to encourage employees to check in with their present state of mind and general well-being. These occasional pauses allow people to catch their breath, take stock of their feelings of accomplishments, and strengthen their resilience muscles at the same time, too.

These insights may seem simple but following them can produce impactful outcomes. Like any worthwhile habit or best practice, the trick to being mindful is being consistent in practicing it. You cannot measure outcomes if you are not consistent in your efforts. When you are, you will see and feel results that will elevate you, your people, and the entire organization. 

In previous blog posts, we have written about mindfulness in terms of how it can enhance leadership, and we also explored the mistakes people make that prevent them from engaging fully and effectively in a mindfulness practice. Additionally, we have spent time highlighting how it can enhance your life, both inside and outside the office.

My Mindfulness Journey

Mindfulness is one of the absolute cornerstones of effective leadership in today’s world, and it is something I have devoted much of my life to practicing. While I would hesitate to call myself a mindfulness expert, I can speak confidently about how the practice has impacted my life, as well as the lives of leaders I have coached. It was not always easy, though. I had to begin my mindfulness journey as a complete beginner. Sound familiar?

Eventually, I had a bit of a breakthrough during which I experienced a new sense of clarity around who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. During this time, my mindfulness practice really clicked into place and became a source of internal inspiration for improvements in my personal and professional lives. Truly, the most transformative, transcendent, and amazingly positive changes I’ve experienced in my life and career over the last several years have been due to my consistent mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness has transformed my life and brought me to a place where I am operating more authentically than ever before. I have also seen the ways mindfulness can turn competent, effective leaders into impactful, engaging, and high performing leaders within their respective organizations and industries. I know it can improve the way you live and lead, too, and I want to help you make it happen.

Are You Ready to Become a More Mindful Leader?

I have no doubt that practicing mindfulness will enhance your ability to lead effectively. But, more importantly, mindfulness will not just impact your professional life positively; it will bring you to new levels of awareness, presence, and happiness in all aspects of life. It is simple, but profoundly powerful. It also may be easy to learn, but it is deceptively difficult to master.

We are excited to help you incorporate mindfulness into your life and organization. What are your thoughts on the topic of mindfulness? We would love to hear from you!

You can email me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca or call me at 1.416.560.1806.

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