5 Mindful Leadership in Action Fundamentals

Posted on January 3, 2017

As we enter the new year, energised by freshly formed goals, aspirations and intentions for our personal and professional projects, Redwood & Co would like to take some of what we learnt in 2016 about mindful leadership and share 5 Mindful Leadership in Action Fundamentals, to help you craft a mindful approach to your journey into 2017!

What is mindfulness? There are many definitions out there to describe the practice and philosophy of being mindful but we think this one by EverydayMindfulness.org captures the essence of our mindful leadership experiences to date well:

“Mindfulness is the awareness and approach to life that arises from paying attention on purpose, being fully present, with curiosity and compassion. Mindfulness helps to change the way you think and feel about your experiences by paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in order to become more aware of them, and better able to manage them.”

Our 5 Mindful Leadership in Action Fundamentals are:

1. Self-Awareness – And take the time to focus your attention on yourself, right now. Ask yourself: what is happening in my mind and body? This will help you gain some emotional distance from the amygdala hijack and move from reactive to active thoughts, feelings and actions.

2. The Dreaded Drama Triangle* – If you find yourself enacting a challenging dynamic with another person, use this framework to identify where in the triangle you are currently acting from (are you behaving as a ‘victim’, a ‘rescuer’ a ‘persecutor’?) Okay, if so, look at the corresponding position on the TED* triangle- The Empowerment Dynamic, and transform your challenging conversations/relationships into more creative, constructive exchanges. By doing so you will empower yourself and the other person to generate new solutions/ideas and build self-confidence.

3. Listen, Listen, Listen – Listen not to reply but to be totally present in the moment. If your head is racing, give yourself permission to ask the person you are talking to to ‘give you 5 minutes’ in order to centre yourself and come back to the conversation with more engagement. If you find yourself wanting to jump in with what you know, remind yourself that ‘everyone has a hidden amazing thing about them to be discovered’.

4. Explore Your Purpose and Dreams – Craft moments during the year to explore your own and others’ dreams, aspirations and values. Studies have shown that the secret to success lies in our intrinsic motivation i.e our autonomy, our mastery and our purpose. Allow conversations and reflections around how you and others are staying aligned to the dreams and purpose that ignite that creative spark in you, to surface both in work and at home.

5. And Remember… Mindful Leadership is a Journey – mindful leadership is not a one time event, nor a race, it is a journey of discovery and mastery which leads one to ever greater depths of understanding in themselves. While we may not arrive at the destination, we can be sure that the journey is certainly a scenic one!

What mindful leadership practices will you be taking forward into the start of this new year?
Please share with us your own mindfulness techniques and stories- we would love to hear from you.

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