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It never ceases to amaze me how we think and behave as people belonging to a complicated social fabric.
Recently, we were working with a small financial firm on making mindfulness part of their work. The entire team was sitting together, including senior management. The exercise we were doing involved the team giving the top tier a little feedback on life at work.
One staff member, I remember, remarked about how they don’t feel trusted to do a good job because of the mistakes they’ve made in the past. They even mentioned that they’re not sure if the errors are because of their low self-confidence or their managers’ lack of trust.
One manager (I’m guessing the person who was most affected by this feedback) was quick to respond. “When you guys make mistakes, it forces us to do some of the work. We don’t mean to make you feel like we don’t trust you, but sometimes, it can’t be helped.”
While we facilitated this back-and-forth dialogue, one thing I noticed is that as humans, we’re almost compelled to provide justifications or excuses when we’re confronted with what people think of us.
Of course, it’s not easy being receptive to tough feedback. It was even challenging for me when we did the same exercise with Michael and the team a few years ago. Taking 200% accountability, as Michael likes to say, however, was a big turning point in my leadership.
Mindfulness is not just for leaders, though. It’s for anyone who wants to grow, personally and professionally, and embrace their full potential. If so, what are the other benefits you harness from being mindful at work?
Mindfulness improves your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the bedrock of building better relationships at work and it also affects how we manage our behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions.
With mindfulness techniques, you learn to recognise and understand your emotions as well as those of the people around you and use this awareness to add value to your relationships.
By using mindfulness techniques such as guided meditation, you enhance your emotional intelligence and thereby build better professional relationships.
Both immediately and in the long run, this increases your value in the workplace and positions you as a leader, regardless of what your title is :)
Mindfulness helps you tap into your creativity
Creativity refers to your ability to think innovatively and ‘out of the box’, as they say. Based on my experience, how creative you are can really depend on your mental state.
With mindfulness techniques, you learn to overcome the negative thought patterns that stifle creativity and self-expression and prevent you from getting into a more creative frame of mind.
Being present can also liberate your brain from distractions and boost your ability to look at things around you with a new lens. You learn to approach challenges and opportunities with a fresh perspective.
It boosts your vitality
Mindfulness techniques, like meditation, also teach you how to reduce workplace burnout, anxiety, and absentmindedness. It helps you accept your present experience rather than ruminate about the past or future.
This sense of relaxation provides one of the most vital organs in your body, the brain, a well-deserved break :) Another side effect of this kind of awareness? you also reduce muscle tension.
When you learn to focus on the present moment using mindfulness techniques, you don’t experience that tell-tale rush of adrenaline that disrupts your work. You can also avoid feeling drained because you’re mentally burnt out.
At the end of the day, better mental and physical health is critical for meaningful career success.
Leverage mindfulness techniques to enhance your professional and personal growth
In his book ‘The Mindful Leader’, Michael defined mindfulness as a way of maintaining an awareness of our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and surroundings, in the here and now, without any judgement.
Achieving this state is not easy, but it’s very rewarding; when you practice mindfulness every day, this becomes a more achievable reality.
Get in touch with our team at Awakened Mind and discover the personal and professional benefits of mindfulness. Explore how you can tap into your potential with a few minutes of meditation using our mindfulness app!