Being Mindful is an Essential Managerial Skill – Here’s Why

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Being a leader comes with stress. It’s part of the job. But it’s how you handle that stress that dictates your effectiveness with your team and company. Practicing mindfulness is one way to drive positive results, according to a study from Harvard.

The study revealed that when leaders are stressed, their anxiety can be felt across the entire organization. This often becomes detrimental to employees and lowers productivity, even resulting in early departure from the company. Visibly stressed leaders lose credibility with their team, too. Only 7 percent of employees surveyed believed their stressed leaders effectively lead their teams, and only 11 percent with stressed leaders felt they were highly engaged at work.

When leaders fail to manage their stress in a constructive way, more than 50 percent of their employees perceive their leader as harmful or ineffective. Further, when leaders are unable to manage stress, employees lose their drive to advance within the company.
— Inc.

Over the past decade, mindfulness has become more and more popular in the workplace, especially with effective managers. Leaders who engage in mindfulness were found to increase hope, optimism, self-efficacy, and resilience in their teams, according to the Harvard study. They were also able to reduce their own stress, increasing their overall health.

But how does one become a mindful leader? The first step is to develop self-awareness. Pay attention to how you are showing up with people and within situations in the office. Do you show signs of visible stress? Are you able to effectively process the steps you need to take to complete a project? Does your team come to you to help solve problems, or do they avoid you out of fear or frustration? Become aware of how you are reacting and engaging and make a plan to improve where necessary. If all else fails, don’t forget to breathe! Even taking five minutes a day to be with your breath will help you embrace the present moment and think with clarity. 

For more tactics on becoming a mindful leader, read this great article from Inc. As a leader, you have the power to make or break your team and contribute to your company’s overall success, so be sure you’re channeling mindfulness to help you succeed your goals!

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