This article was written for readers of our partner publication CUInsight. It received such a positive reaction, we decided to share it with our weekly blog audience. We hope you find it helpful as well.
Have you heard about mouse jigglers? I discovered them during a recent lunch with a colleague dedicated to enhancing employee engagement for businesses. While discussing my upcoming speech on supporting hybrid teams, she urged me to mention "the jiggler." Curious, I inquired further. She enthusiastically explained how mouse jigglers simulate mouse movement to prevent screensavers and sleep mode, a device in high demand due to employers monitoring online statuses. This traffic light system tracks employee availability, signaling green for available, yellow for away, white for offline, and red for busy. It's intended to indirectly gauge productivity, but it's causing a trust divide between employers and employees.
The rise of mouse jigglers reflects employees' attempts to evade monitoring. These devices keep screens active, maintaining an "available" status even when the user is occupied with other tasks. This conversation with my colleague led us to a more significant concern: the implications of such monitoring on employee engagement.
In the dynamic landscape of credit unions, where community impact and member trust are paramount, your team members represent the true wealth of your business. They drive member service excellence and embody your credit union's mission. To unlock their full potential and cultivate an engaged workforce, leaders must embrace strategies focused on building trust and caring about each individual. It's not about monitoring availability; it's about prioritizing employee engagement.
Why is employee engagement more critical than ever? According to Haiilo,
However, the reality is concerning. Gallup's latest study reveals that only 23% of workers are actively engaged, with 18% actively disengaged. Over 50% fall into the "conditionally engaged" category, indicating that merely 23% of your staff are thriving and genuinely committed to your credit union's mission. The remaining 18% are not just disengaged but potentially disruptive to their peers' productivity, especially those in the 59% who are on the fence.
So, what can you do to ensure your team doesn't fall into this disengagement trap? It all boils down to one essential ingredient: CARE. Leaders must show they care by engaging with each team member individually, tailoring their approach, and maintaining consistency in communication, team norms, and continuous touch points.
In the hustle and bustle of the financial world, it's easy to overlook the human element. However, your credit union's mission and values come to life through your team members. Each individual brings a unique blend of skills, experiences, and motivations. As a leader, it's crucial to genuinely CARE about their well-being, growth, and job satisfaction.
When employees see that you CARE about their personal and professional growth, they are more likely to stay committed to your credit union's mission.
Recognize that each employee is a unique individual with distinct motivators, communication styles, and work preferences.
Begin by understanding what motivates each team member. Some may be driven by recognition and rewards, while others may find purpose in personal growth and the credit union's mission. Tailor your coaching and recognition strategies to align with their specific motivators. For those motivated by recognition, provide regular feedback and acknowledge their contributions publicly. For those seeking personal growth, offer opportunities for skill development and advancement within the credit union.
Next, pay attention to their communication style. Some employees prefer relational communication, emphasizing relationships and feelings, while others lean toward fact-based communication, focusing on data and logic. Adapt your coaching conversations accordingly. Use emotional intelligence and active listening when coaching relationally-oriented employees. For those who prefer a fact-based approach, provide clear, data-driven information and logical reasoning.
Effective leadership is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It's about adapting and TAILORing your strategies to meet the unique needs of your team members. Consider each individual’s preferred pace of work. Some thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, while others excel with a slower, more methodical pace. Offer new challenges and variety to those who thrive in a fast-paced setting. For employees who prefer a slower pace, provide stability, and assign routine or long-range tasks that benefit from patience and tenacity.
Balance the need for structure and autonomy. While some employees thrive with clear guidelines and structured processes, others are at their best when given autonomy and creative freedom. Customize your coaching and management style to provide the right level of guidance. Set clear expectations for those who need structure, and allow flexibility and opportunities for innovation for those who prefer autonomy.
Consistency is key to maintaining open lines of communication with your team and building trust and stability within the organization.
In the dynamic world of credit unions, leadership isn't just about managing finances; it's about inspiring and nurturing a team passionate about serving members and communities. Leading with CARE—Caring for every person on your team, Engaging individually, Tailoring your approach, and striving for Consistency—is the foundation of effective leadership and employee engagement.
By incorporating these principles into your leadership philosophy, you'll create a dynamic, engaged workforce that drives your credit union's success. As you nurture engagement within your team, your credit union will continue to thrive, serving members and communities with excellence for generations to come, and perhaps, we'll see a decline in mouse jiggler sales
Originally published on CUInsight.com.
Succession planning — the process of identifying and developing internal talent to take on future leadership roles within an organization — is often looked at as a lengthy, time-consuming exercise that is only necessary for big corporations and C-suite executives. However, succession planning can be a tremendous benefit for all levels of leadership and for all types of businesses, no matter the size.
Some important reasons for implementing a succession planning process within your company are:
If you want your company to flourish in the future, you need to prepare in the present. Merely hoping that you will have well-equipped people to take the reins is a big risk that could potentially put the future of your company in jeopardy. Taking the time now to uncover employees with potential and setting them on a course to prepare them for eventual leadership responsibilities can help you feel confident about the success of your organization down the line.
Leaders leave companies for a variety of reasons — retirement, change in life circumstances, and taking a new role at a different company just to name a few. If you don’t have people with the right skills and experience to take their place, you risk significant disruptions to your daily business operations. Having a succession plan in place helps ensure that you have qualified employees to fill those important positions at the right time, which can keep your organization running smoothly.
When leaders leave a business, they often take years’ worth of institutional knowledge with them. Having a succession plan allows those tenured managers to capture and pass along that vital information to your organization’s up-and-coming class of leaders.
Omnia can attest to the benefits of succession planning based on our own experience. Years ago, a manager at Omnia identified strong players on her team and the functions that they were well suited for taking on within the department. Over time, this leader gave those employees opportunities to learn and manage different responsibilities, growing their skillset and experience. The manager eventually took a position at another organization, and while we were sad to see her go, Omnia did not experience a difficult or lengthy transition after her departure. Because of the preparation done ahead of time in planning for the future of the department, new leaders arose within the team, and the former manager’s responsibilities were smoothly reassigned to the employees who were identified and developed years ago. Projects that were in progress remained on schedule, the workflow moved along without any hiccups, and our customers did not feel any disruption to our service. Now that’s SUCCESSion planning!
So now that you’re convinced of the importance of succession planning, you may be asking, “How do I get started?” Here are 4 steps to help you jumpstart the process.
Determine the roles that are essential for the future growth of your company and the knowledge, skills, and experience that are necessary to perform these roles well.
Identify employees that either already possess or show strong potential to develop the necessary qualities for taking on those key positions within your business. Some ways you can do this are through performance evaluations, 360-degree feedback, and skills assessments. Behavioral assessments also offer valuable insights into a person’s intrinsic traits, strengths, and motivators — all of which can help you determine if someone is the right fit for leadership.
Invest in the employees in your acceleration pool by providing leadership courses, coaching and mentoring, on-the-job training, and other opportunities. Consider allowing them to cross-train with others within the organization and to rotate through various positions to give potential future leaders a well-rounded understanding of the business. Use the information you gain from their performance feedback and behavioral assessments to tailor development plans based on their individual strengths and challenge areas.
Document your succession plan; delineate your process for identifying high-potential employees, creating development and training plans, and the timelines for leadership transitions. Communicate this process to your employees, and emphasize your commitment to growing internal talent for the future of your company.
You know the old adage: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Don’t leave the future of your company and your valued employees to chance. Omnia can help! Our Leadership Style Report gives you and your employees powerful insights into their innate leadership traits — both the characteristics to build upon and the challenges to work on. Contact us today, and let us be your partner in growing your next generation of leaders.
As Halloween approaches and we revel in the atmosphere of eerie ghouls and goblins, it's a perfect time to delve into a spine-chilling narrative that's not rooted in the supernatural but is all too real: the perils of horrible leadership. Just as we fear monsters under our beds and ghosts in the attic, the horrors of bad leadership can haunt organizations, teams, and individuals in our everyday lives. Sadly, like a scary movie, a bad leadership experience can haunt us for life, living on in nightmares or even worse, looming like a distant memory as we tiptoe into new work experiences, just waiting for that scary behavior to pop out at us in any given circumstance.
In this bone-chilling blog, we'll explore the true horrors through tales of leadership gone awry and the lessons we can learn from these nightmares.
The first eerie tale we encounter in our exploration of the perils of horrible leadership is the haunting of micromanagement. Picture this: a leader who hovers over their employees, scrutinizing every move, and draining the life out of autonomy and creativity. Much like the relentless chains of a ghost, micromanagement stifles productivity and leaves personnel in a state of perpetual fear. This nightmare scenario often results in low morale and high turnover, making employees feel like they are in a never-ending loop of darkness.
In the dark corners of bad leadership, we discover the curse of poor communication. Leaders who lack the ability to convey clear expectations and share their vision cast a dark pall over their teams. This menacing fog of ambiguity leads to misunderstandings, mistrust, and missed opportunities. Employees are left wandering in the dark, unable to make informed decisions or feel aligned with the organization's goals. Much like a chilling ghost story, poor communication can make the workplace a labyrinth of confusion and dread.
As we continue our journey into the depths of leadership horrors, we confront the ominous shadow of inequity. Bad leaders who display favoritism or discrimination create an environment that's more like a haunted house than a thriving workplace. Inequity not only damages employee morale and engagement but also perpetuates a cycle of fear and resentment among team members. The perils of horrible leadership can manifest through unfair practices, leaving an indelible mark on the organization's culture.
Leaders who are consumed by the spirit of short-term thinking can be likened to those possessed by malevolent entities. These leaders prioritize quick fixes and immediate gains, often at the expense of the long-term health and prosperity of the organization. Their actions are akin to dark magic, where they sacrifice the future for the present, ultimately leading the organization down a path of inevitable decline.
Unaccountable leaders are like elusive ghosts that evade responsibility for their actions. When leaders refuse to take ownership of their decisions and mistakes, they create a culture where accountability is scarce. Worse is the leader who won’t admit mistakes or openly display any vulnerability. This eerie absence of accountability allows problems to fester, unresolved and unchecked, and can replicate itself in other characters throughout the organization — giving everyone the indication that mistakes are meant to be covered.
The curse of burnout is another dreadful tale spun by terrible leaders. They push their teams to the brink, like a relentless vampire, sucking the life force out of their employees. These leaders don’t take breaks themselves — working nights and weekends and never taking a full vacation — and expect their personnel to do the same. This creates a workforce plagued by exhaustion, mental and physical health issues, and high turnover rates. It's a story of demotivation and despair that leaves employees feeling like they're stuck in a dark tunnel with no light at the end.
As we step out of these leadership nightmares, let me give you a silver lining: there is hope. The perils of horrible leadership are real, but they serve as cautionary tales. In recognizing these terrors, we can strive to avoid them and work towards leadership that is both effective and ethical. Let this Halloween be a reminder of the importance of leadership that inspires, empowers, and uplifts rather than terrifies and torments.
In the spirit of Halloween, we've explored the perils of horrible leadership, revealing the haunting tales of micromanagement, poor communication, inequity, short-term thinking, unaccountability, burnout, and more. Just as we love the thrill of spooky stories, we should strive to learn from these leadership nightmares, making sure our organizations are free from these frights.
It's up to us to create workplaces where leadership is a beacon of light, not a source of darkness and dread. As we don our costumes and embrace the ghoulish fun of Halloween, let us also commit to exorcising the specters of horrible leadership from our professional lives.
Omnia is here to help! Take refuge from the perils of leadership horrors, and delve into the personality traits of great leaders. You can start getting to know your unique attributes by taking our assessment and consulting with one of our experts to learn how your leadership traits can keep you from starring in one of these horror tales.
In the hustle and bustle of running a company, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and lose sight of something that might seem intangible but holds immense power: your company culture. You might think culture is just a buzzword or something that only big corporations or the HR Department worries about. In reality, it's a driving force that can make or break your business, no matter its size.
Simply put, culture is the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that define how things get done within your organization.
A strong culture keeps your employees engaged and motivated. When your team resonates with the values and mission of the company, they're more likely to give their best effort, leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction. Moreover, a positive culture reduces turnover as employees feel a sense of belonging and are less likely to jump ship.
In a competitive job market, top talent is looking for more than just a paycheck. They want to be part of something meaningful. A compelling company culture acts like a magnet, drawing in candidates who align with your values and vision.
A culture that encourages open communication and diverse perspectives fosters innovation. When employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and experimenting without fear of judgment, your business becomes more adaptable to changes in the market and can stay ahead of the curve.
Your company culture often seeps into your products and services. A team that believes in exceptional customer service will naturally deliver it. Happy employees tend to create happy customers, leading to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.
When your culture is well-defined, it becomes a guiding principle for decision-making at all levels. This consistency helps streamline operations and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the company's priorities.
Every business faces challenges, whether it's economic downturns, industry disruptions, or internal issues. A strong culture acts as a stabilizing force during these times, rallying the team together and providing a sense of purpose.
Cultivating a culture isn't a short-term fix; it's an investment in the long-term success of your business. A robust culture aligns everyone towards a common goal and provides a framework for sustained growth.
Building a strong company culture takes commitment and time. In this week’s blog, we are happy to share an example from Wendy Wynn, Culture Experience Officer at First Federal Bank. Wendy and a team of people at the bank have been committed to building First Federal’s culture over time and involving everyone in the business. Here’s First Federal’s journey that Wendy shared with us in her own words.
Culture is the reason that First Federal Bank (FFB) has been around for 61 years! It’s the little things that make our culture stand out and make us who we are.
The Culture Program at FFB was established in 2013 under the leadership of our then President and CEO, Keith Leibfried. Keith had a vision that every employee would be connected to our culture — knowing, living, and owning it every day. Keith shared that vision with Stephanie McClendon who also had a passion for culture.
Stephanie became FFB’s “Culture Queen.” Culture Ambassadors were elected to serve in our branches and departments throughout the bank to promote our culture to their coworkers. In 2014, I was asked to join the program as a branch ambassador. To say I fell in love with the program is an understatement. In 2015, I became Assistant CA to support Stephanie and the CA initiatives.
In 2019, I was honored to become the first Culture Experience Officer for FFB. Eager to learn all that I could and to share that knowledge with others, I began researching and reading all things culture related. I quickly learned that there was no “set in stone” definition. Culture can be hard to define. We’ve all heard these…
2019 was dedicated to continuing to build on the foundation that was established by Stephanie McClendon and the Culture Ambassadors. I created New Employee Culture Training for our new hires. Stephanie shared her long-held vision with me for a Culture Guide that would house our culture concentrations, principles, and core values — a guide that would be shared with every employee to proudly display on their desks and at their workstations.
In December of 2019, along with Keith Leibfried, Stephanie and I had the privilege of rolling out our first culture guide to our employees. It was a proud moment indeed!
2020 held high hopes! I was entering my second year in my dream job as Culture Experience Officer, and it was shaping up to be a year of opportunities. And then March blew in like a lion!
Perhaps nothing has stopped us in our tracks like March 2020 and the C word. For me, the C word at work was the massive Change (with a capital C) that was about to occur. And then, to compound the Change, was the word that was heard around the world, “Covid.”
Every day it seemed we were faced with new detours. I was adapting to a new leadership style, added responsibilities, and working from home. Not only were employees working remotely, many were now also teachers, daycare workers, care givers, and lunchroom staff to their families who were also home.
One morning I felt compelled to check on one of our employees, a single mom with an elementary school aged child. When I asked how she was doing, she admitted she was a bit overwhelmed with working and the added responsibilities of overseeing her child’s education, meals, after-school care, etc. This was just one of many who were experiencing the additional duties put upon us by Covid. The importance of our culture was driven home to me that day by that five minute phone conversation.
To me, culture is about connection. Whether it’s with the coworker in the cubicle next to you or a remote team member reporting from home, connection is critical to culture. It was brought into the light even more by Covid.
Culture did not stop because of Covid! Culture is not a switch we turn on when we walk into the office in the morning and off when we leave at the end of the day. Culture is who we are. You won’t find our principles, core values, and culture concentrations ornately framed and displayed in our buildings. Our beliefs and behaviors are framed by the interactions and attitudes of our employees toward fellow employees and customers. We know, own, and live our culture every day.
Our once in-person morning meetings, “Showtime”, entered the virtual world for the numerous employees who were now working from home, many for the first time in their careers. It was critical that our employees felt connected.
My team had daily morning calls to check in and check up on each other. There was one rule: Nothing work related was discussed. I soon discovered that not only was culture about connection, it was also about caring.
I began writing a weekly Culture Cares email to provide a smile or laughter and offer encouragement. I write from the heart and share personal life experiences from my children to my fur babies. I’m always amazed at how a simple story can touch someone. Almost every Friday I receive a “Thank you, I needed this today” or similar response.
We established culture committees within the CA program. Each CA serves on at least one of the committees. To be honest, this was a bit of a struggle for me because I believed I had to do it all. Today, I am thankful for the gift of delegation, freeing me to devote time to more pressing initiatives and, at the same time, allowing culture ambassadors to explore and embrace opportunities to shine.
A connected and caring culture results in a thriving work environment where employees are engaged and there is a sense of belonging, knowing that our contributions make a difference and benefit not only our immediate teams but the organization as a whole. A connected and caring culture values people, seeing and knowing them for who they are and valuing them as individuals.
First Federal Bank has proven again and again that culture matters and it makes a difference. Our 2021 and 2022 annual surveys included the question, “What do you like best about being a part of FFB?” The number one answer — culture. And Newsweek Magazine has named First Federal Bank as the Best Small Bank in Florida for three consecutive years. We’ve also been recognized as Best of the Best places to work, Best of the Best banks, and Business of the Year.
In closing, Wendy shared her biggest lessons learned:
Remember, your company culture isn't something that happens by accident. It's a conscious effort that requires consistent communication, leading by example, and a commitment to fostering an environment where values aren't just written on the walls but are lived and breathed by every member of the team. As a business leader, you have the unique advantage of shaping your culture from the ground up. So, seize this opportunity, and watch how a strong culture propels your business to new heights. Thank you, Wendy, for sharing your experience with us.
About Wendy Wynn, Culture Experience Officer at First Federal Bank
Wendy leads the Bank’s 37 culture ambassadors throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Kansas and oversees the committees within the culture program. She provides culture and customer service training for local businesses and is instrumental in assisting them with defining and designing their unique culture. She has presented culture for BankersHub, Training Industry and HRO Today and is an accomplished writer and motivational speaker.
Raise your hand if you remember the iconic tagline "Softer Side of Sears," or let's start with, raise your hand if you even remember Sears Department Store. Now that I have dated myself, let's get into why I embarked on this path and the concept of the softer side of leading, also known as Mindful Leadership. The role of a leader is challenging, and while it brings numerous rewards, there are some tough aspects that can create layers that harden over time like a callous. Mindful Leadership can break through those layers or, better yet, prevent them from forming in the first place.
Mindful Leadership goes beyond focusing solely on success and holding people accountable; it puts a strong emphasis on empathy, connection, and compassion. It involves leading with your heart, nurturing authentic relationships, and making a beneficial impact on the lives of others. This transformative approach moves individuals to realize their full potential while promoting kindness and understanding. When people can see and, more importantly, feel that you legitimately care about them, the benefits will come back to you tenfold. And when I say benefits, I am not just talking about profits and production but the relationship between you and the employee as well as the group.
I know the word “synergy” is overused, but it does perfectly encapsulate what happens when you are a mindful leader. Here are 4 ways to get you started.
Mindful leaders understand the importance of empathy and compassion in their interactions with their team. Your people want to work where they feel safe, valued, respected, and included. A safe place does not just refer to the physical space, although that is important too. In this context, we are talking about emotional and/or psychological safety. The quickest way to do this is to treat mistakes like a baseball game, #GoRays. When a batter misses the first or even second pitch, they don't get benched; they are given another chance. And don't think this is all about the batter. If the pitcher (i.e., you) didn't throw the ball legally the first time or even the third time, you don't get benched either. Your people are not perfect, and neither are you, so everyone deserves grace and a chance to improve. Coaching them starts with actively listening and coming up with "done wells" and identifying areas of improvement for next time. Click here to access Omnia’s coaching guide.
Mindful Leadership urges you to go beyond the traditional hierarchy and connect with your people on a deeper level. Facilitate open communication, active collaboration, and idea-sharing to break down barriers and create a culture of shared purpose and mutual support. Although you always want to be aware of appropriate boundaries because you don’t want to be known as the “busy body” of the office who is always in everyone’s business, developing strong relationships is essential for fostering camaraderie and unity. When your personnel feel connected to you and their colleagues, their engagement, motivation, and productivity will skyrocket.
Your actions as a leader carry significant influence, often more than your words alone. When you lead by example, you embody the values, behaviors, and work ethic that you expect from your team. This consistency establishes credibility and sets a standard for excellence. By modeling the behavior you desire, you create a culture of accountability and integrity. This pushes others to show up as their best selves, creates good juju, and encourages each person to contribute to the collective success.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Mindful Leadership is its focus on making a positive impact, both within the company and in the broader community. Recognize that your role extends beyond business goals and profits. In the face of global challenges and societal changes, you, as a leader, must also be mindful of the broader impact of your actions. You have the opportunity to leverage your position of influence to address social and environmental issues, promote sustainable practices, and foster ethical decision-making.
Actively seek ways to contribute to society as well as champion social responsibility initiatives and causes that align with your values. Lead with purpose and inspire your team to make a difference as well. Implement corporate social responsibility programs, engage in community service, or establish partnerships with nonprofits. Also, provide your employees with opportunities to give back. This approach strengthens the bonds within your organization and builds a sense of pride and fulfillment. The Omnia Group practices this as we recently had a volunteer day and worked with Habitat for Humanity.
A leader that recognizes and acknowledges the efforts and achievements of their team will make them feel appreciated and energized. This will also make those inevitable difficult conversations we as leaders must have easier because trust has been established. Plus, your team will not feel like you are coming after them but more so trying to help them.
Lastly, let us redefine leadership as an ever-evolving concept that continuously embraces new perspectives, challenges the status quo, and promotes inclusivity and adaptability. By doing so, you unlock your true potential as a mindful leader and embark on a journey that transcends boundaries, creates meaningful connections, and leaves a lasting impression. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The Mindful Leader's Edge: Introducing the Path to Mindfulness
Accountable Inspiration: Striking the Perfect Leadership Balance for Success
The Leader's Playbook: A Comprehensive Guide from Onboarding to Offboarding
Redefining Leadership: Embracing the Power of Servant Leadership in the Modern Workplace
A Call for Revolutionary Leadership in Today's Context
Can you believe it's already time to bid farewell to the dog days of summer? Let's cross our fingers and hope the scorching heat wave bids us adieu too. In the bustling business world, summer vacations have wrapped up, the kids are back in school, and we find ourselves staring down the final months of the year. Is anyone else finding yourself saying, "The holidays will be here before we know it!"? And boy oh boy, does that mean the pressure's on to accomplish a whole lot before Thanksgiving rolls around.
I know many of you are feeling it. It’s completely normal at this time of year to be experiencing a heightened sense of urgency and maybe even impending doom as the end of the year approaches. That’s why we're turning our attention to a topic and a strategy that’s guaranteed to help take your leadership to the next level. We're diving deep into the art of being mindful in our communications, the extraordinary power of mindful leadership, and the eye-opening benefits of self-reflection. The practice of mindfulness can take you from not only surviving a year end but coming out the other side of it more balanced, productive and ultimately more successful. Get ready to embrace mindfulness like never before.
In today's fast-paced and demanding world, we find ourselves grappling with an immense amount of pressure when it comes to making crucial decisions and effectively managing our teams. But it's not just us — our teams are facing their own unique challenges as they strive to stay engaged while balancing personal demands and meeting ambitious goals.
Let's take a moment to acknowledge the gravity of the situation with some thought-provoking data. According to a survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a staggering 40% of workers are experiencing heightened stress levels in their jobs. And if that isn't alarming enough, The World Health Organization's study reveals that an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
It's incumbent on us as leaders to do something about this — for ourselves and our employees. Mindfulness is not just a fleeting trend or a quick fix; it's a transformative tool that can elevate our leadership skills to new heights. By embracing mindfulness practices in our decision-making and team management, we cultivate a sense of clarity and compassion that paves the way for a flourishing work environment.
But here's the thing: we must also be willing to embrace vulnerability and authenticity within ourselves. When we lead by example and create a safe space for our teams to be their authentic selves, we foster a culture of trust and resilience that can weather any storm.
Getting started on the path of being more mindful as a leader requires a commitment to personal growth and the well-being of your employees. Here are practical steps that you can take to cultivate mindfulness for yourself and promote it among your team:
Begin by enhancing your self-awareness. Take time to reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and reactions in different situations. Mindful leaders are conscious of their strengths, weaknesses, and triggers. Regularly practice mindfulness exercises like meditation, deep breathing, or journaling to become more attuned to your inner state.
As a leader, your actions have a significant impact on your team. Demonstrate mindfulness in your daily practices and decision-making. Show up fully engaged in meetings, put the phone down, actively listen to your team members, and respond with thoughtfulness. When you lead by example, you inspire your employees to adopt a mindful approach.
Encourage moments of mindfulness in the workplace. Consider setting aside a quiet room or designated area where employees can take short breaks for meditation or relaxation. If your team is working remotely, encourage them to use the Do Not Disturb or Focusing tools on your productivity software apps. Allow flexible work hours to enable employees to balance their personal and professional lives more effectively.
Consider offering mindfulness training sessions to your employees. You can start by sharing this month’s blog series and conducting a lunch-and-learn session to discuss the concepts and insights we share. Invite experts to conduct workshops on mindfulness practices, stress reduction, and resilience building.
The numbers I shared at the beginning prove this is a necessity. Support work-life balance for your personnel and prioritize employee well-being. Encourage them to take regular breaks and vacations to recharge. Don’t expect them to work long hours consistently. Be mindful by not sending emails to them outside of working hours. Acknowledge the importance of work-life harmony, and model it yourself.
Introduce mindfulness practices at the beginning or end of team meetings. Start with a brief mindfulness exercise to center everyone's focus and create a calm environment. This practice can improve team engagement and overall meeting effectiveness.
Encourage your team to make decisions mindfully. Advise them to take a moment before reacting to challenges or making crucial choices. Mindful decision-making allows for thoughtful evaluation of options and reduces impulsive responses.
Remember, cultivating mindfulness is an ongoing journey. Be patient with yourself and your team as you embrace these practices. By integrating mindfulness into your leadership approach, you'll create a more engaged, resilient, and cohesive team, fostering a positive work culture that nurtures personal and professional growth.
I’d suggest you kick off this month with us by doing some self-reflection. A self-assessment can be a powerful tool for leaders to take the first step in reflection and become more mindful in their leadership approach. You can begin by taking advantage of the Omnia leadership assessment by clicking here. /try-a-complimentary-assessment/
Mindfulness isn't about perfection or quick fixes; it's a journey of self-discovery and growth. It's about tuning into the present moment and cultivating a deep sense of awareness. When we lead with mindfulness, we not only nurture our own well-being but also empower our teams to thrive and unleash their full potential.
So, my fellow mindful leaders, let's embark on this journey together. Let's create a workplace where compassion and understanding reign and where each team member feels valued and supported. By choosing mindfulness, we ignite a positive ripple effect that extends far beyond the confines of our organizations, making the world a better place for all.
Let's lead with intention, compassion, and mindfulness. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter, more mindful future.
Accountable Inspiration: Striking the Perfect Leadership Balance for Success
The Leader's Playbook: A Comprehensive Guide from Onboarding to Offboarding
Redefining Leadership: Embracing the Power of Servant Leadership in the Modern Workplace
A Call for Revolutionary Leadership in Today's Context