Do you know one of the best predictors of success at work and personal fulfillment in life?
Here is what happened when I worked with a chief executive to build a greater level of personal awareness, which in turn transformed his level of effectiveness in leading his organisation.
For 12 months we worked on mastering mental and emotional processes.
I trained him in Mindfulness techniques to build his levels of self-awareness.
I trained him to enhance his abilities to monitor his own feelings and emotions and to observe those of others.
I taught him to enhance his abilities to self-correct unhelpful behaviours, to guide his own actions.
Briefly put, I worked with him on Mindfulness.
Why were those practices necessary?
His challenges called for, and he achieved improved concentration and creativity, greater clarity in thinking, higher levels of self-confidence, higher levels of optimism and resilience.
All of this led to greater personal fulfilment and happiness in his personal life, and it led to his improved effectiveness in leading his organisation.
“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” says Kabat-Zinn. “It’s about knowing what is on your mind.”
Another definition is by Daniel Goleman. He describes it as “a neutral mode that maintains self-reflectiveness even in the midst of turbulent emotions”.
This phenomenon is described by two giants in their field of work; one is a Professor of Medicine Emeritus with a PhD from MIT, and the other is a world authority on Neuroscience from Harvard.
The point is, there is strong scientific evidence supporting the idea that meditation has positive health benefits. The most recent of 47 trials with 3,515 participants found that people participating in mindfulness meditation programmes experienced less anxiety, depression and pain.
It would seem that there is strong evidence that mindfulness meditation informs neuroplastic changes in the structure and function of the brain regions involved in attention, emotion and self-awareness.
Research from the Harvard Business Review with a number of business leaders have found that self-awareness more than any other factor leads to more effective leadership.
How does it do this?
This can happen through the practice of Mindfulness.
Let us look at some of the criteria required for effective leadership:
- clarity of thought,
- high self-confidence,
- greater concentration,
- excellent work performance and
- good personal relationships.
How does Mindfulness impact so many things?
Let’s have a look at how it works on a practical level.
One of the primary ways of practicing Mindfulness is to sit and observe the breath, without judgement.
Scientific evidence actually shows how the breath impacts the body, blood pressure and other vital organs. We can only think one thought at a time although we often hear of “I’m thinking too many things at once”.
There is no such thing as thinking multiple thoughts at the same time.
Our thoughts however, create sensations in our bodies.
Continuous practice enables us to strengthen our capacity to accept or tolerate these sensations created by our thoughts.
Ongoing practice may lead to situations no longer being experienced in terms of being bad or good; instead we experience quantities of energy associated with a situation. We get to measure the situation in terms of pressure, textures and pulsations.
When we are centred (calm) enough, we are able to use this information constructively. It is a practice and takes time to learn, but it is trainable and has amazing benefits.
Just one aspect of this simple practice can impact multiple areas of a persons’ life.
Being able to tolerate the sensations in the body created by thought without a doubt requires discipline. All leaders require this to be at the pinnacle of what they do. In order to have discipline, this requires concentration.
Concentration leads to clarity of thought and greater creativity. Some call this “flow” or “in the zone. When you’re “in the zone,” it is because you have a high level of confidence in what you are doing.
Top athletes know this, great dancers and artists know this.
In many ways, the concepts of time and space disappear, and you are at one with what you are doing.
The only reason you are at one with what you are doing is because you know yourself well. This impacts your levels of optimism and resilience.
Of course, work performance is highly impacted, too, and since this is now a highly honed skill, you use it in every area of life including personal relationships.
All in all you win. Hands down.
When you have the tools to interact skilfully with any situation, it allows you to remain open to and interested in what is occurring at any moment of your life.
The practice of Mindfulness draws us/me/you intimately into the present and gives us/me/you a way to develop a relationship with ourselves based on being awake from moment to moment. The more awake you are, the more successful you can be.
If you want to experience one of the best predictors of success at work and fulfilment in life, call me on for a consultation on 07983 164 667, or click here to complete the contact form. I look forward to talking with you.