You might think that mindfulness is too complicated or ‘spiritual’ to practise in the workplace. But the truth is, mindfulness is as simple as breathing.
For most of us, breathing is automatic, barely something we think about until we feel short of breath or anxious. It’s in these moments that we learn to breathe deeply, with control and purpose.
When you choose to breathe consciously you calm not only your body, but your mind. This is the heart of mindfulness – consciously choosing to pause, re-centre, and focus your mind.
The most powerful form of mindfulness is closing your eyes and breathing deeply. But there are so many other ways to practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life. Mindfulness can look like:
- Meditation or yoga
- Consciously choosing the workflow of your day
- Pausing to calm your mind before meetings
- Training your awareness to be more calm, collected, and in control of your thoughts and emotions
So what does mindfulness have to do with leadership?
Think about how many times you’ve raced into a work meeting flustered and feeling unprepared. Or times when the topic at hand has been confronting and set the room into a state of unease. Recall all the meetings you’ve had where people were bored, switched off, or visibly stressed.
Now imagine that, as a group, you took a few moments to breathe deeply, calm your mind, and refocus for the meeting ahead.
It’s amazing how 2 minutes and a few deep breaths can change the atmosphere in the room!
This week, I invite you to try practising mindfulness at work. Start by leading yourself, take 3 deep breaths as you take your seat to start the next meeting. Notice the impact it has immediately and how the meeting progresses. Then, consider implementing this with your team. Here are some ideas:
- If your team is open to exploring new ways of operating, add a “mindful moment” to the top of your next meeting agenda
- Ask the team for ideas on how to be more mindful in meetings
- Ask each team member to share their most mindful moment since your last meeting
You’ll be amazed at the results!
Looking for ways to increase your team’s focus, engagement and wellbeing at work? Contact me to discuss how I can help your team’s productivity, workplace culture, and business results as part of your strategy or business planning process.