Mindfulness – what can you do?
TASK: Spend time appreciating the small stuff
This can be as simple as brushing your teeth in the morning or stopping to appreciate the flavour as you slowly chew your food. Too often, we are rushing through one task while our mind has moved ten paces ahead to the next ones. As a leader who is responsible for building the culture of your organisation, this translates to focusing on the moments of success in the day as they happen in real time. Take the time to engage with the team and celebrate these moments, as they are stored as benchmarks for future engagement. Be mindful of what is important to team members and what they see as success in their daily routine.
ENVIRONMENT: We live in the world that we create
It is very important that we learn to look at the busy environment that we exist in through a more positive lens. Many people often tell me how much they dislike the London Underground and how it is filled with unhappy and unhelpful people. If this is what you believe you will find there, then I am not surprised that this is what is received. I personally like the Underground and find it somewhat of a sanctuary for anyone that likes to people watch; I often find myself talking to random people or simply using the time to not talk at all. Hence, as a leader it is key for you to be both mindful of how you are feeling in particular work situations and also how you present it outwardly to others. Bring good energy into the work environment and allow happiness and wellbeing to grow around you. Always be mindful of the stage that leaders perform on.
MEMORY: Build into your daily routine
As busy leaders I am sure most of you can relate to the statement that ‘the day is filled with the demands of others before it even begins’. To do this effectively I had to go back to basics and set an alarm on my phone to ring at scheduled intervals throughout the day to remind me to stop for 30 seconds and ‘just be’. This did not always work and the alarm went off just at the wrong time. Over time, however, I realised that I tended to work much better when I took my mindful moments and how as a leader, part of my role is to act more as a reminder to others and introduce this time to ‘just be’. A culture of wellbeing needs to ensure that each of its members is looked after and this time has to be seen as an important investment in later productivity.
BALANCE: Create space to reflect
Ensure you are able to manage the rising demands of a leader in a changing world. Create a dedicated place within the work environment where you can find solitude and take time to recharge batteries. Practise some calm and light meditation that will allow you to focus on the energies needed to create the place that others wish to be part of. This also needs to be developed as part of the aesthetics in which your culture lives, as people have to be offered better break or down-time rest areas. They also need to be encouraged to consider their own wellbeing and must be given the opportunity and facilities that support this movement.