Friday, November 23, 2018

Leadership and Workplace Monday: A Leader who practices Mindfulness and Self-awareness is a Positive Force

keywords: leadership, mindfulness practice, self-awareness, change-agent skills

From, a long interview article, "The Key to a Mindful Work-Life", written by Sharon Saltzberg, 09.20.2018.  Read the full article on the website.

There were several good take-aways from this interview.  Here are my notes.

"Leadership is never about your title or the size of your budget or how many people you manage.  Leadership is always about influence.  Whether you're a sole practitioner, or you're leading a family, or you're leading a clinic, or leading a multi-billion dollar company, it's about influence.....Do you influence more often for better or more often for worse?"
"What we're aspiring to is every day to feel as though we have more often influenced for better and less often influenced for worse.  And to do that we have to learn a lot about ourselves and what's going on in our bodies and minds and what hooks us emotionally, and how we can connect more fully to the big picture and the people around us."

Mindfulness does not make a feeling disappear.  When you mindfully work through self-reflection, you use your principles to guide you toward how you act in the moment.

"We can't change everything around us, but we can change how we meet it."
Wisdom is..."a complete experience that sees more clearly how things actually are.  We can come to feel in our bones the frustration of trying to control something we will never be able to control or having extreme standards of perfection.  It's wisdom that tells us not to be indifferent to the needs and challenges surrounding us but to be balanced."
Wisdom helps us "recognize that the results we seek and the influence we have may not be so apparent right away."

Planting ideas for the Change-Agent:
"it may be that all we're able to do is plant a seed.  It's going to take some more time for something to unfold, a new change in policy or a process that's going to take some time.  We can dissolve a lot of that frustration if we have some insight into not being in control:  I can't just say poof and have everything accord with my view."

It is too common in the U.S. that the workplace has too much busyness causing unhealthy behavior--> you need time to drink water and go to the bathroom, at a minimum.  There is no substitute for good quality (and quantity) sleep.
"One of the most shocking things I ever heard from a medical director was that they were overrun by prescriptions for two things:  sleeping pills and bladder infection medication, because people don't go to the bathroom as often as they should.  People don't take time for a good lunch."
"If you're running on four, five hours of sleep and you're not eating well and you're not taking care of yourself, you can't be at your best and as a society we can't afford that.  We really need leaders who can be role models of self-care and who can find the win-win-win solutions we need today:  good for the organization, good for the employee, good for society."

Mindfulness and Self-Reflection for the Leader
"Mindfulness gives us a glimpse of certain basic truths about life, such as that everything is changing all the time.  It's one thing to know that intellectually, which we all do, and it's another thing to have an increasingly embodied understanding of that."
"You may have carried the smaller perspective that a strong leader is somebody who takes strong command, but you may begin to see that this smaller picture of leadership doesn't include listening, inclusion, or accommodation of other points of view.  It's me-centered.  When you've seen for yourself that this picture is not true--that the strength we associate with an overbearing leader is a seeming strength that is too harsh, too brittle, too isolating--you gain perspective again.  Then you can go forward."  

Read the full article at here.

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