By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC
[email protected]

In leadership, there is often a strong focus on doing, whether it is talking with team members, connecting with suppliers and vendors, networking or otherwise. After all, without action, there is no progress.

But all these actions can benefit from one thing – being more mindful.

Today, mindfulness is often linked with meditation, breathing, stretching and so on. These are all good practices to implement, as they can relieve stress, make you calmer and more focused, and even cause you to be more empathetic, which is a good quality to cultivate as a leader.

But mindfulness is not just an exercise. It is something leaders can practice in their daily work lives.

In today’s busy culture, it is easy to forget how important being mindful is. Here are several ways in which mindfulness can positively impact your leadership.

  1. Managing Your Team

Picture this: Your employee, Charlie, is late delivering a report.

Additionally, Charlie has 18 projects assigned to him. He is doing the best he can to complete all of them to the best of his ability. The reason Charlie was trusted with the report in the first place is because he is known for his quality of work and timeliness.

Being mindful of the fact that he may already be overwhelmed can help you make sense of the delay. Instead of coming down hard on him, as a stressed and overburdened leader might be inclined to do, you could help him out by asking another employee to assist him with completing this task.

You can build a stronger relationship with your team members by practicing mindfulness. Ultimately, this can increase your team’s productivity.

  1. Communicating More Effectively

Internal dialogue is a constant within every one of us. Sometimes, we assume that the conversation going on in our head is exactly the conversation others are having with themselves. But, there is a good chance it isn’t.

It is easy to make up stories about others, what they know, what their predisposition is and how they handle challenges. This is where communication can easily break down.

You may think you told your team members that reports require cover sheets. Did you send out a memo or an email stating this? Is it in the procedure documents? Did you follow up using the internal messaging system, or restate it at your latest meeting?

The best leaders are effective communicators. If you are mindful about how you are communicating, you will find fewer things slipping through the cracks.

  1. Developing Better Strategies

Some of the best leaders are known to spend a considerable amount of time just thinking. This is a form of mindfulness all its own.

Thinking allows you to establish clarity on goals to set, next steps to take, how to innovate and create a competitive advantage for your company and more.

Leaders should be spending time on high-value tasks, and strategic thinking should be considered high value. Leaders need to be cognizant of what to do next, as the demands of the market are constantly changing.

Strategic thinking can lead to new ideas and insights, new ways of doing things and even a more proactive and innovative company culture. You can develop a more effective team by directing your focus towards strategy.

Final Thoughts

Mindfulness can extend into every facet of your life. As you achieve success in one area, it will empower you to make worthwhile changes in other areas. It is important to understand the impact that your personal life can have on your career life and vice versa. If you want to be more effective in every area, then bring your presence and awareness to every situation.

Let’s get to work!

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