Mindfulness is an escape route from the rat race we are all running blindfolded. This also holds true for the current corporate regime with an increasing leadership crisis, hastily looking for solitude.
Mindfulness can help one steer clear of the deafening hustle of a monochromatic lifestyle and move towards a kaleidoscopic consciousness. A consciousness that not only involves self-awareness, but also a nurturing perspective towards one’s surrounding environment.
Studies have proved that globally, over 24% of the workforce is actively disengaged. A report by McKinsey proved the perspective of 77% of leaders, who thought their leadership was unquestionable, wrong – a disagreement graph involved 82% of their juniors. These statistics revealed the hitherto undiscovered disconnect among leaders and an immediate need for redressing the balance.
What is the exact nature of mindfulness?
This meditative art form emphasises focusing one’s consciousness on the present moment with a non-judgmental acceptance. In today’s digitalised world, the need for alignment with the ‘present moment’ is as crucial as breathing! We desperately need an optimal momentum of connectivity with our present rather than reviewing our past or planning for the future. At this point, mindfulness teaches us to tame our wandering minds; helps them settle and rest. It would not be wrong to say that mindfulness would soon evolve into a transformative social phenomenon.
Thanks to the phenomenal positivity that it brings in with little effort, corporate culture seems to be slowly adopting mindful leadership. A major shift in corporate culture had been reported recently with a greater emphasis on leadership building. It was evident that cerebral health was finally prioritised across hierarchy after subjugation for ages.
Is it antiquity or a contemporary theory?
Talking about its evolution, the roots could be found in Buddhist meditation. This secular art form found proponents on American soil through Jon Kabat-Zinn and his curated project, ‘Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program’. This was launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. The study advocated the need for mindful meditation to improve physical and psychological symptoms, including health, behaviour and attitude.
How can mindfulness bring a competitive edge to leadership?
Mental well-being is the primary goal of mindful meditation. Most importantly, the need for conscious support is crucial. Additionally, being mindfully aware creates a greater capacity to deal with contingencies, a staple in any corporate culture. Studies have proved that mindful meditation can positively stimulate the grey matter and the brain’s region with memory linkage, improving the sense of self and regulation of emotions. It also helps with depression and stress management.
Cognitive-behavioural management is an important aspect that was recognised in leadership building. Leaders need to create proactive and adaptive cognitive behaviour for inclusivity. Studies have proved that mindfulness also helps people accept their experiences, including painful emotions, defeats and failures, rather than evade them. The latest modification in this technique involves combining psychotherapy with mindful meditation. This further helps in gaining a perspective on irrational and self-defining thoughts and defining it with self-appraisal.
Compassion gained through mindfulness is another aspect of great leadership. Our lifestyle at present tends to get overwhelmed with pressure. Therefore, the criticality of compassion cannot be overemphasised. We need to take care of each other to create the bilateral benefactor model. Leaders, through mindfulness, learn to build trust, cohesion and empathy through conscious communication.
Mindfulness promotes the idea of a ‘single task at a time’ rather than multitasking. It is mostly observed that excessive office pressure leads to inattentive members in conference calls or meetings. People think they are overburdened and are preoccupied with wandering thoughts. A session of mindfulness helps employees in increasing their productivity. A focused approach improves efficiency and enhances the return on investment regarding every approach of the business.
The terminology of leadership is vast. A successful and effective leader is not the one with the smartest strategy or the best spreadsheet, but the one who can inspire. Mindfulness is a practice and its propagation can only be fuelled with cognitive radiance to cultivate human potential. What could be more motivating than starting with an investment of 10 minutes of your 24 hours in such positive pathways and inspiring hundreds!
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