The following articles, workshops, and updates present opportunities to expand our thinking and learning on leadership and tap the resources of Mindful Leadership and our highly respected alliance partners.
Mindfulness has become a cultural phenomenon, appearing everywhere these days from self- help books on eating and relationships to courses for the military and Fortune 500 corporations. Time Magazine calls it the “Mindful Revolution.” Leadership training and coaching have also leveraged mindfulness for years to develop more Mindful Leaders, and recent studies in the field of neuroscience highlighting the benefits of practicing mindfulness (enhanced focus, emotion regulation, empathy, and creativity) have only accelerated this trend.
As a long-time practitioner of mindfulness meditation, I’ve integrated my mindfulness practice into my work as an executive coach: as fits with my commitment to personal growth and the growth of others, the journey of mastery. Mindfulness practice has helped me increase my ability to pay attention and be present, and has deepened my understanding and insight into myself, others, and the world around me.
Mindfulness, as I define and practice it, is a Way of Being attentive and present in the moment, a non-judging tuning in to the flow of experience as it happens. Through this “practice” of being here now, we deepen our insight and connection with ourselves and others by learning more about how we feel and think—Peter Senge calls it “seeing our seeing”—and by attuning to others’ emotions and thinking.
Mindfulness is fostered through practice—mental training, exertion, and perseverance are involved—and leaders who train their attention and are consciously present set the stage for positive behavior change. We all have this in-born capability to be more mindful versus mindless, the times when we are operating on autopilot and not in the moment. As Daniel Siegel, author of The Mindful Brain, notes, “How we pay attention promotes neural plasticity, the change of neural connections in response to experience.”
My coaching work with senior leaders and teams is grounded in everyday mindfulness. Meditation is not required, just “the simple act of actively noticing things,” states Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer. I address the presented coaching and business goals through a mindfulness framework of three interrelated “Ways of Being:” Attention and Presence With Self, With Others, and With the System.
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