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The Mindful Leader's Edge: Introducing the Path to Mindfulness

August 7, 2023

By: Keather Snyder

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.

Why being mindful matters now more than ever

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. 

Let’s get started on the path to improved mindfulness.

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:

Start with Self-Awareness

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.

Lead by Example

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.

Create Mindful Spaces

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.

Provide Mindfulness Training

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.

Promote Work-Life Balance

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.

Integrate Mindfulness into Meetings

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 Mindful Decision-Making

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.

Ready to get started?

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.



Also read: 

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


Keather Snyder

Keather Snyder is President & Chief Operating Officer of The Omnia Group, a leader in helping organizations optimize their talent selection, development and company culture. She is dedicated to helping organizations drive results through the power of their people. Keather is also hugely passionate about developing our future generation of leaders and dedicates personal time to mentoring college age and early career professionals.

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