Can mindfulness improve team leadership?14 Dec 2015
In the modern workplace, there is a range of factors that can derail any project. An excellent skill leaders should have is the ability to hone your team’s focus.
A 2014 study conducted by the Singapore Management University and the University of Cambridge concluded that leaders who utilise mindfulness positively affect employee behaviour and performance.
How does mindfulness improve leadership?
Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the here and now by doing away with unwanted external distractions.
The study investigated whether the mindfulness of one organisational member could influence the experiences of other organisational members.
According to the study, mindful leaders improve both an employee’s job satisfaction and performance.
Interestingly, the higher the leader’s mindfulness, the higher the chance an employee would execute organisational citizenship behaviours (OCB).
OCB is defined as a worker’s willingness to engage in activities that sit outside his or her job description. Actions such as cleaning the work kitchen or staying late after work fall under OCB.
A good way to improve your mindfulness is through leadership training at a quality course provider.
How can I be a mindful leader?
Supervisors with this trait are more likely to lead better teams, have higher productivity and increased performance because their employees are not emotionally exhausted and have a better work-life balance.
However becoming a mindful leader is easier said than done. Nevertheless, by engaging with mindfulness exercises you can expect to be emotionally calm, better positioned to make hard choices and more attentive to how your decisions affect your team.
Practice is what is important. Most believe long periods of meditation or yoga can quiet your mind, but 15 to 20 minutes a day is plenty of time to reach a peaceful state.
One easy way of becoming mindful is by using your breath as the object of your mindfulness. Take time out of your day to sit quietly and concentrate on both your in-breaths and your out-breaths. By narrowing the scope of your concentration, your mind will be drawn to the here and now.
But remember, just like other ways of influencing people, being mindful is all about practice. As they say, ‘practice makes perfect’.