Mindful Leadership: How Meditation Can Strengthen Leadership Skills

By Cynthia Wasco

#Leadership #JLT #Life #Meditation #Mindfulness #Training #Awareness
Published: January 11, 2016

Meditation is the effortless focus of the mind: attention without tension. It helps clear the mind, reduce stress, and in time, makes one more self-aware of actions, thoughts and responses. This self-awareness is what makes for an effective leader. With a greater sense of self-awareness – you will cultivate a greater sense of social awareness, a tuning in to the present moment and really seeing what is in front of you.

Most ineffective leaders have not failed due to a lack of intelligence but rather lack of awareness.

“Many failed leaders seem to lack an awareness of themselves and their actions. Often they do not have a deep understanding of their motivations, and they have not fully accepted their crucibles…These characteristics often cause leaders to lose sight of their values, especially when they are under pressure to sustain their success. In other cases, leaders who lack self-awareness get seduced by success and its rewards…” Bill George, Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO, www.billgeorge.org

Meditation enables you to be more aware of your circumstances, less reactive to stress, more compassionate therefore becoming better equipped to approach challenging situations in calm and thoughtful way. In order to establish a stronger emotional intelligence to lead others, you must first understand your own life story, as George states, to reflect on how these stories contribute to your motivations and behaviors. If you do not take the time to do this, then you will not be able to relate authentically and understand another’s motivations and behaviors.

Here are some ways meditation can strengthen your leadership skills. A regular mindfulness practice helps you:

  1. Reduce stress and develop greater clarity and focus;
  2. Develop greater self-awareness and learn to manage your emotions;
  3. Develop greater empathy for yourself and others, becoming a better listener;
  4. Create distance between thought and action, think before you act;
  5. Tap into your intuition; and
  6. Embrace and adapt to change.

Some helpful links: