The Mindful Leader – Mindfulness Explained
By: Abraham Khoureis, Ph.D., M.A.
Introduction: Slow down, count to ten, inhale, exhale, calm down, be quiet, and pay attention. And so the story goes that in order to influence the state of mind and the environment of others, a leader must be aware of his or her own state of mind and environment. Here comes the concept of the “Mindful Leader.”
The Mindful Leader is someone who effectively redirect his or her own awareness to the now, and the immediate present with the good intention to positively influence the livelihood of others.
This awareness of the present moment in time is derived from acknowledging our own self-awareness, which when perfected may lead the individual-leader to understand and be aware of her own character, desires, and feelings. Being mindful is to be thankful and grateful. In influencing others, the Mindful Leader most often adopts the practices of the concept of Mindfulness.
Mindfulness means different things to different people, but its premise is the same: paying attention and being aware of your own abilities and environment.
How to Master “Mindfulness”?
There are variety of techniques, training programs and seminars that could assist you in reaching your potential in mastering the skill of being mindful, leading to full mindfulness. The price of each training session varies from one vendor to the other. However, these are some of the techniques I practice that may help you start today:
Every evening of your day set about 10 minutes to reflect on the activities of your day. Reflect on whom you met and what you said. If the results are approved by you, great. If not, plan and work on changing the behavior, and not repeating the words. This may lead you to thank others or, apologize from them. Take it easy, and just act on it.
Being a Listener:
Learn the skill of listening. Whether it is on a phone call, or in-person conversation, be aware of your behavior, and listen until the person finishes and then talk, or, give your feedback, etc. This skill will help you get better results. If you felt the person on the other side is manipulating the conversation, politely interject, and guide them for “my turn, your turn approach.”
In addition to your daily reflection, for about ten minutes, find a quiet place and be by yourself, meditate, reflect, pray, close your eyes and dream. Practice and reflect on whatever gives you tranquility and peace.
Be Mindful of Others:
Being aware of your environment involves being aware of the presence of others. Consider the comfort of others before you do, or say anything. Paying attention to this practice will lead to a civilized environment and society.
Understanding Emotional Intelligence:
Practicing emotional intelligence plays a great part in mastering the awareness of your own Self, which may lead to the awareness and knowledge of your own behaviors. This is important to understand and practice. If you are an emotionally intelligent person, this behavior with practice comes to you naturally. Otherwise, for its full benefits, read more about it.
Mindfulness, How Important Is It?
For once, it relieves your own personal environment from stress. And stress is the primary cause of the demise of too many leaders and great people. So, losing these people is a loss to us all. Second, it is important to society. And personally important to you, as a mindful “aware” leader you are enticed and encouraged to make an informed, healthy and wise decisions, which are essential to the organization, family, economy, safety, society, and health of its people.