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Whether you’re delivering good news or bad news, you can go about it gracefully or not. This rings true no matter what announcement you have to make to your team or to an individual; as a mindful leader, part of your job is good spoken communication, especially when you have to address many people at the same time or deliver bad news, such as someone being let go. But how can you make sure you’re doing your best to communicate well? Here are a few tips with mindfulness in mind ;).

 

There’s a lot to be said for nuances such as tactfulness and subtlety. However, these small aspects may not be noticeable without a certain degree of self-awareness and mindfulness already present. Also, some news is sensitive or difficult to divulge, so how do you best handle that as a mindful leader?

 

Being Honest When it’s Difficult

 

Sometimes the news, announcement, or conversation you have to have is not one that you’re looking forward to. Whether this is because of what you have to tell this person or how you have to tell them doesn’t matter; a difficult conversation is a difficult conversation. Use these pointers to maintain your courage and remind yourself of the bigger picture; the greater good.

 

·         Take a deep breath and maintain your calm. Reactions can be unpredictable, and your staying calm will encourage the other person to handle the news gracefully, whatever it is.

·         Be sensitive to this person’s needs. Even if you can’t meet them, you can be understanding of them.

·         Respect their privacy and deliver whatever news you need to in private. Never confront someone in front of their coworkers as this decreases employees’ respect for you and damages their trust in you as well.

·         Be patient. You may be waiting for the right opportunity to tell someone something; that’s okay, but make sure you’re not falling into a habit of procrastination because you’re losing your nerve to tell them the truth.

·         Follow through. Again, don’t fall into the trap of procrastination and make it a habit; the sooner you can deliver the news, the better, and everyone will then be able to move on.

 

If you need to make an uncomfortable announcement to the entire office staff, there are a few things that you should remember as you go about planning your wording.

 

·         Be direct but gentle. A difficult truth is much easier to accept if the person telling you this truth uses some sensitivity and empathy. Be honest and loving at the same time.

·         Keep things as simple as possible, on a need to know basis, so to speak. If people have further questions or need more details, instruct them to email you with questions or speak to you directly.

·         If comfort is needed, don’t forget to provide it. Receiving bad news is much easier if leadership makes it a point to be supportive. This may mean having a therapist on staff for a few months to help people, depending on the situation.

·         Encourage everyone to be supportive of one another and work together during difficult times. This fosters a supportive work environment that will serve everyone well for years to come.

·         Prepare for people to be a little off balance for a while. Depending on the severity of the news and how everything is affected, this may take differing amounts of time.

 

 

As always, continue leading mindfully! For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

So, is honesty the best policy? In short, the answer to that question is yes. Of course, there will always be circumstantial nuances surrounding your decision about how and when to be honest, as well as how much of your truth to share. However, as a general guideline, honesty is absolutely the best policy… especially when it comes to being honest with yourself… and your team. Let’s explore that thought a little more deeply, shall we?

 

Honesty is not only a virtue, but it’s a habit. A lifestyle, just like any other habit or recurring action is. Also just like any other habit, it has an opposite or reverse side of itself – the “negative” opposing habit you may fall into. Now, I don’t know what the opposite of being a liar is (is being a “truther” a thing?), but maybe we can just make it a point to do our best to be honest ;).

 

Now, are there ever times when honesty may not be your best bet? Typically speaking, being honest about what’s happening is more beneficial in the long run than not being honest. However, there are a few ways in which you can make sure you’re maintaining your integrity while also not shying away from tough leadership decisions, messages, and so on.

 

3 Ways to Be Honest and Tactful

 

Honesty is important because it builds trust between you and your team. However, just spewing out whatever pops into your head is not what we mean by being honest. Rather, to build and maintain trust and rapport with your team while being honest, some of the following ideas might help.

 

1. Take Time to Step Back and Think.

This is especially helpful if you have something challenging to talk about and/or solve. The challenging times are when you, as a mindful leader, need to take additional care to be at your absolute best so that you can help your team through the aspects of these challenges they may not know how to deal with. Taking a day or three to figure out your wording in order to maintain the best possible relationship with your team is a small price to pay for doing it right the first time.

 

2. Meditate.

When you meditate regularly, it is much easier to widen the gap between data coming in and reactions going out. That space is meant to give you the time and reflection necessary to go from reacting to responding on purpose. Remember… you don’t always have to respond right away. You can also take some time to think.

 

3. Don’t Tiptoe Around the Issue.

If you’ve thought about things all you can and planned your wording all you can, then don’t procrastinate. You should go ahead and address the issue at hand as soon as you’re ready but before you have a chance to talk yourself into waiting longer ;). Analysis paralysis is avoidable if you know what you’re dealing with, so keep that in mind moving forward.

 

The Benefits of Honest Leadership

 

·       Mutual Respect – leadership and employees respect each other and therefore take each other’s ideas more seriously.

·       Crisis Prevention – if everyone is on the same page to begin with, challenging times are much easier to handle.

·       Employee Encouragement – if you are honest about any challenges that come up and have enough confidence in your team to allow them to solve their own problems, not only will your team be more up to the task, but they will find ways to solve problems without having to ask for help if you allow them to.

 

As you can probably tell, honesty, more often than not, is definitely the best policy. Even though it may not always be the easiest way to handle things, it’s much easier than trying to keep track of lies or omissions of truth and which version of your story you told to which person. To keep things simple, maintain your integrity, and prevent the messes lies can create, it’s much easier to be honest to begin with.

 

As always, thanks for joining us here on the Mindful Leader Blog! Continue leading mindfully, and if you’d like to learn more about the International Mindfulness Federation and the Mindfulness Movement, please visit:

http://www.mindfulnessfederation.org/

 

 

 

No matter what your business or company specializes in, your customers are extremely important, and much of their experience depends on the individuals they work with: your employees. As a consumer yourself, I’m sure you’ve noticed when companies, businesses, or even government agencies have “dropped the ball” and are essentially just doing the bare minimum to punch the clock and get paid. Talk about a sad state of being, especially at work where you spend the majority of your waking hours! So how do you go about making sure your employees are happy, passionate, and fully contributing their unique value? Read on to learn more.

 

There are typically five key areas that should be examined to determine whether your work environment is healthy or not. If it isn’t, you may have some work ahead of you, but getting and keeping everyone on track will be well worth it in the long run. If you discover problems in one of these areas, you may need to overhaul everyone’s attitudes and habits, so brace yourself – if you’re a mindful leader getting ready to take on a company or department revision of any kind, be ready for challenges, resistance, and maybe even having to let a few people go (depending on how things play out).

 

Alright, now that we’ve covered the doom-and-gloom part, let’s get back to our usual business of sharing solutions.

 

Five Areas of Interest for a Healthy Work Environment

 

1.      The Leadership.

 

Oh, no! No leader wants to hear this, right? However, one of the first places to look for issues concerning the work environment as a whole is whether leaders in this department or organization are narcissistic, sociopathic, manipulative, or otherwise toxic. If you’re the leader and this doesn’t seem like you, then you might be okay (although you may consider asking for feedback from your employees to be sure). If you’re evaluating another leader’s performance and see any kind of toxic behavior, do what is necessary to keep this person from destroying the health of the organization from within.

 

2.      The Communication.

 

Communication is important anytime there are people involved, so unless you’re living as a hermit, off-grid in a cave somewhere in the mountains, it may benefit you to hone your communication skills… and everyone else, for that matter. Communicative dysfunctions can come in the form of misleading information, indirect communication (sending messages through other people), and withholding information. Pay attention to learn whether this is an area of concern or not.

 

3.      The Side-Effects.

 

Are your employees depressed, gaining weight, suffering from addiction or alcoholism, or not sleeping well? These could all be the result of a toxic work environment, so if one department in particular seems like its employees are unhealthy, sluggish, or just plain miserable, you may need to take a look at that department to determine what’s going on. This type of development over time is not good, and it may eventually even be the downfall of the entire company. It’s better to acknowledge and solve a problem when you discover it rather than letting it fester and get worse.

 

4.      The Rules.

 

If policies and rules are followed sometimes and ignored other times, the entire work environment begins to break down into chaos. One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, and this makes dealing with the company an extremely frustrating experience for its vendors, customers, and even employees. Is everyone up to date on policies and procedures in your department? What about your company as a whole?

 

5.      The Culture.

 

Attitudes can be contagious, whether they’re positive or negative. Just as misery loves company, so, too, does a happy soul love another happy soul to interact with. If your employees complain, feel miserable, and focus on all of the negative aspects of their job, then everyone will be miserable soon enough. However, if there are a few daily habits in place to put everyone in a more positive mood, you can keep the good vibes strong while disempowering chronic complainers.

 

Now that you know where to look for problems, how do you think your company, organization, or department is doing? Is your work environment somewhat healthy, or do you have your work cut out for you? Tell us your story by leaving a comment or reaching out to us via email. We love hearing from you!

 

As always, continue leading mindfully and have a wonderful week. 

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

It’s important for you to make sure that your essential needs are taken care of, especially during times of change, upheaval, or abnormally high stress. We’ve all heard someone say, “If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone else?” Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the point is generally received loud and clear. If you’ve followed us all month, you’ll remember that April has been a month of articles about change, dealing with change, and helping your team to do the same, especially when everyone is working toward a goal or solving a problem. To be at your best and stay there, here are a few things you can do (and even have your team do for themselves) to maintain your calm and sanity during uncertain times.

 

Caring for yourself, especially during times of uncertainty, can make a world of difference in your experience with whatever is happening. It may start out seeming horrible or like an insurmountable problem, but you’ll be much better at solving problems with a clear, sharp mind, well-rested body, and harmonious spirit. Here are several categories of self-care based on the different love languages so that you can determine which methods of self-care are best for you.

 

If you’re unsure about what love languages best fit you or you’ve never heard of the term, this quick definition should give you a general idea about what your needs are.

 

Love Languages for Self-Care

 

The five love languages, as presented in the book of the same title by Gary Chapman, are:

 

Words of Affirmation – If you feel loved when someone offers words of encouragement.

Acts of Service – If you feel loved when someone does something for you.

 Receiving Gifts – If you feel loved when someone gives you a gift.

Quality Time – If you feel loved when someone spends quality time with you.

Physical Touch – If you feel loved when someone hugs, cuddles, or kisses you.

 

Which love languages work best to make you feel loved? What applies for other people can also apply for yourself, so love yourself in the ways that you need most.

 

#1. If you’re someone who likes to hear encouraging words, record yourself speaking or simply meditate with music and say an affirmation to yourself like a mantra. The most effective way to do this is to think about what you need the most at that moment and frame it in a positive way. If you’re feeling lonely, you might think an affirmation like, “I feel loved, connected, and complete.”

 

#2. If you’re someone who feels loved when other people do things for you, you might consider doing something for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage or spa day; something that will help ease your stress and balance your body is best during stressful times, so I recommend avoiding things like alcohol, sugary treats, and so on. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good. A massage is perfect because someone else is giving you the massage… this would also count for the physical touch love language.

 

#3. If you’re someone who enjoys receiving gifts, go buy something that you want or have wanted for a while but never had a justification for getting. Within reason, of course! Whether that’s a new purse, outfit, or yacht is dependent on your finances, so remain responsible ;). For some of us, the tiniest things can make us happy, so ask yourself: what gift would make me happy right now?

 

#4. If you feel loved when spending quality time with someone, then maybe it’s time to spend a little quality time with yourself. The beautiful thing about this is that the possibilities are endless; if you have someone you miss spending time with, spend time with that person. However, if no other person comes to mind, you can do something that makes you happy while you’re doing it. For some that might be a hobby like writing, composing music, or photography; for others it might mean going back to martial arts or dance classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, but if there’s something you can do just for yourself, you will feel more peaceful and better equipped to handle any problems that arise.

 

#5. If you feel loved through physical touch, you can easily seek out close friends and family members for hugs, bond with your pet for a while, or (as mentioned) go get a massage. In some cities there are people who offer cuddling services, so if that’s something you’re comfortable with, you may want to look into it.

 

No matter what your love language is, self-love tends to follow along the same lines, so figure out a couple of things that you can do regularly if you find yourself feeling off. The more of your love languages an activity covers, the less time you need to devote to meeting your personal needs. However, not meeting your personal needs can be a very negative and painful experience, so find ways to take care of you so that you’re at your best.

 

What are your love languages? Has learning about them made it easier for you to care for yourself in an all-encompassing and balanced way? Leave a comment or drop us a line about your stories! We love to read them.

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

If comfort is your goal, growth as a human being is not for you. However, as a mindful leader, you already know this and are probably a pro at being uncomfortable by now. If not, then this article might help. Your ability to go with the flow while directing it is what will allow you to be your most successful, and reframing is a great way to make sure that you as well as everyone on your team is able to accept and embrace the changes that occur inevitably. Read on to learn how to reframe change that seems negative at first, for yourself as well as for your team.

 

First, what is reframing, exactly? According to Wikipedia, “Cognitive reframing is a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives.”

 

Have you ever met someone who always sees the silver lining no matter how heavy and black the cloud might be? This person probably taught themselves internally from an early age to see the good in all things rather than dwell on the negative, whether they realized they were doing so or not. On the flipside, have you ever met someone who is dreary and heavy like the cloud itself, and even if it had a silver lining millions of miles long, they still wouldn’t see it? These are types of people who either never learned to reframe or just never applied the idea to their thoughts.

 

Having said that, what type of person do you lean toward being: an optimist or a pessimist? If you’re somewhere in the middle, you may already know how to and be able to reframe, but you may not give it the credit it deserves. After all, it’s all woo-woo, new agey stuff, right? Well… not really. Though the science behind it is still relatively new, we do know that emotions carry positive and negative frequencies with them, and these frequencies can negatively impact the human body. That’s why depression is linked to heart disease and stress is linked to cancer; your inner work is very important for your outer self.

 

Likewise, shining a positive light on problems or changes that are perceived as negative can increase your team’s productivity almost instantly. So, what are some basic techniques for reframing so that everyone can get back to full functionality and productivity?

 

Reframing Basics

 

#1. Shift from negative to positive. If your team is worried or scared about the problem that needs solving, you might ask them to think about what kinds of positive outcomes would be ideal to them and ideas on how to get there.

 

#2. Shift from victim mentality to empowerment. For those who seem to think they’re “cursed” or have “bad luck,” this is a great technique. If there are people wandering habitually through this mentality on your team, you might consider asking them to explore whether there’s anything they could have done to prevent the same things from happening over and over. If so, it is in their power to help change these events, and realizing that will not only empower them but give them the motivation to keep going even through the challenges.

 

#3. Shift from unknown future to the previously conquered past. If there are people on your team doubting themselves in the endeavors they will need to undertake to do their part, a good way to reframe is to ask them if there’s something they achieved or overcame in the past that made them feel powerful. If they can overcome or achieve that, there’s no reason they can’t overcome or achieve this as well.

 

#4. Shift from past failures to future potential. There are bound to be members of your team who are nervous simply because they’ve never done a specific task or type of project before. In this case, if they have doubts about themselves, you can ask them to visualize how they would feel after successfully completing that exact task or project. This will build confidence.

 

#5. Shift from liability to positive asset. There are bound to be team members who feel that their “weaknesses” might get in the way of accomplishing what they would like to, for themselves as well as for the organization or team as a whole. If you find yourself dealing with a situation like this, reframe their “weakness” to be a strength. For example, if someone is worried about their performance because they’ve always been told that they’re too bossy, you might ask them to consider how and where their bossiness might be most beneficial to this particular change or problem. They may even surprise themselves with their answer ;).

 

No matter what, always keep in mind that change can be scary and every individual is different as far as how they handle things and work through their initial reactions. As a mindful leader, it’s important that you guide them, stay positive as much as possible, help them reframe as needed, and remain as patient as you possibly can.

 

What are some reframing techniques you’ve used in the past? How effective were they? Please leave a comment or drop us an email to share some of your stories!

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

  

 

As a mindful leader, you may be tuned in enough to realize when changes are necessary. Whether this is because you listen to your team’s suggestions, the company has a budget issue, or for any other reason, your instincts are likely trained to tell. This is an excellent skill to have, although deciding to make changes and implementing them are likely going to be a team- or company-wide affair. Not to worry; if you’re in need of a little guidance to help you figure out your next move (or simply reassure you), you’re in the right place. Read on for some tips about how to mindfully make decisions while also including your team and their input.

 

Depending on your individual nature and leadership style, your methods of coming to a decision might vary. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process run smoothly, especially if that process involves the need to deliver bad news to your team or company. Whether this bad news comes from a superior or just exists doesn’t matter; people handle bad news differently, and it’s best to keep everyone as calm as possible as you move through the decision-making and change process.

 

Five Tips for “Bad News” Situations Requiring Change

 

#1. When you first learn about whatever bad news you have to deliver, it may be reasonable to take a little time for yourself to work through what’s happening and figure out the best way to tell your team about whatever is going on. If you haven’t yet, you may want to check out our previous article about the five stages of acceptance so you’re prepared for the various emotional repercussions that will likely come up.

 

#2. Like many people, you’re probably going to need at least a little bit of time to process what’s going on. Of course, this also depends on the severity and scale of the problem, but your ability to move through the stages of acceptance quickly is paramount. There are two ways you can speed up this process: write or journal about it, or meditate on asking for a solution that is beneficial to the majority.

 

#3. Be patient with everyone around you. It’s impossible to tell what a person might be going through in their lives outside of when you know them; a problem cropping up at work might be the fourth or fifth major problem they are dealing with, and even if that isn’t the case, patience is still a virtue. Withhold judgment while everyone settles into this new knowledge, and you’ll find that people will maintain absolute respect for you during trying times.

 

#4. Once most of your team has settled, it’s a good idea to ask them for ideas and suggestions. They may see the problem much differently from how you do, and new vantage points can help you to make better decisions. Ask them to take a day to think about the situation and what they perceive to be the best course of action. Have them write down their ideas and then have a brainstorming session to share, discuss, and come closer to a conclusion.

 

#5. Communicate with your team one on one about their ideas, especially if you want to include them or bench them. No matter which way you’re leaning, it’s important to remain respectful as you create your plan and come up with a solution for the issue. It’s also important to let people know what’s happening with their ideas, whether they are going to be used or not. This validates the ideas themselves, and the people that those ideas came from. Just because you don’t plan to implement someone’s idea doesn’t mean you don’t respect them as a person, and they will be more likely to participate next time if they know that their opinion is valued.

 

No matter what your situation might be, I hope that this information allows you to better deal with and constructively solve any issue you might come across =). Have you used any of these techniques or others to help in your problem-solving and/or change implementation? Leave a comment or drop us an email to tell us about it!

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

  

 

Change is a funny thing, and I don’t mean funny ha-ha. If you’ve spent any significant amount of time being alive (which you most definitely have if you’re reading this), then you’ve probably already learned that change – whether you perceive it as good or bad – is inevitable. It is a constant in life, and when we don’t change enough, we end up stagnating and our growth as an individual slows to a crawl. One of the most challenging things as a mindful leader is to foster positive change within your organization while helping all of the different personality types around you to move through their acceptance processes in a healthy and constructive way. The first time will be the most difficult… but you’ve got this! Read on to learn five actionable tips for fostering positive change as a mindful leader.

 

When we speak about change and being resistant to it, we’re not talking about a useful resistance; that fear and anxiety surrounding change is associated with risk, making our reptile brains completely freak out and go into fight or flight mode. That fight or flight response may have been useful in the past, but nowadays it overreacts to almost everything due to changing times. We no longer have to worry about being hunted and eaten by an animal bigger than us or surviving a night in a cave; we humans are excellent at making ourselves feel more comfortable, at ease, and taken care of ;).

 

These days, we’re dealing with more people who are afraid of change, success, and happiness than ever before. This may not be a conscious response, but if you take it into consideration, you may find that a fear of success is really a fear of the responsibility that comes with it. A fear of change is most likely really a fear of things going wrong. A fear of happiness might really be a fear of getting too comfortable and letting people into your heart. No matter what the case, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the reptile brain does more harm than good, so let’s try to take that old method of reacting out of our minds and replace it with more efficient, courageous, and lasting strategies.

 

Five Tips for Fostering Positive Change as a Mindful Leader

 

Knowing now what we know about the human brain, we can begin to make changes to our internal functions through intentional inner work. The human mind is like a super computer, but always expanding, learning, changing, shifting, and making things more efficient… if we train it properly.

 

#1: Meditate.

 

I know, I know… you probably feel like this is my top suggestion for everything, but that’s simply because of how effective this practice is! Even if you have no clue what you’re doing or how to meditate, begin. Take five or ten minutes a day (you will likely want to increase this slowly as time goes on, but it isn’t necessary) to sit and listen to some soothing music or a guided meditation. You can find many of these on YouTube absolutely free (although I would recommend choosing a video without ads throughout for meditation). Pretty soon you’ll be able to find meditation tracks on our website as well, so stay tuned =).

 

#2: Exercise.

 

This seems like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, regular exercise such as yoga and vigorous exercise such as lifting weights or running can actually help your body release negative toxins and work through negative emotions and stress. It doesn’t take much; ten minutes of yoga a day and a trip to the gym or a walk twice a week is plenty, especially if you’ve spent a while living a sedentary lifestyle (like sitting at a desk all day for work). Incorporating some simple exercise into your daily routine will help keep you balanced and centered.

 

#3: You are what you eat.

 

What we put into our bodies directly affects how much we can expect from our bodies on a daily basis. If you eat a lot of heavy, low-vibration, dead foods, you will likely feel heavy, sluggish, and not as great as you could. However, if we put high-vibration, alive, light foods into our bodies such as salads, kombucha with live probiotic cultures, and fruit, we will feel light, alive, and energetic. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to radically switch your diet in a day; lifestyle changes take a little time. However, beginning to expand your palate and try new, healthy foods can be done immediately. Start trying things that are healthy for you like quinoa, power greens, and green smoothies (best if homemade). Adding these types of foods as snacks or replacing something heavier with something lighter will feel strange at first; however, the more you eat those healthy foods, the better your body will begin to feel, and the more you will crave those foods.

 

#4: Sleep is good!

 

Another aspect of people’s lives that can wreak havoc without being obvious is a lack of sleep or a sporadic sleep schedule. Sometimes we feel like we might have insomnia, but really it’s because we watched TV or drank caffeine, prompting our bodies to resist sleep because we inadvertently tampered with our circadian cycles. If your sleep schedule isn’t consistent, you can expect to feel sluggish and low energy quite a lot, not to mention the emotional repercussions; some are more sensitive to this than others, but oftentimes a sleep schedule inconsistency isn’t even considered to be a cause because we like to be the boss and do what we want instead of getting some rest ;). Forming some solid sleep habits could make a massive difference in your life, so if you suspect that this might be holding you back, try something new.

 

#5: Leading by example.

 

Now that you, the mindful leader, know what to do to help yourself, you can lead people by example. If leading by example isn’t enough, you might consider having everyone at the office stop everything for five minutes for a group meditation. Get creative and think of when this might help the most – first thing in the morning? Right after lunch? Or perhaps you’ll get creative and announce a meditation break anytime the energy in your workplace gets too frantic, panicky, or stressful.

 

The top priority during a time of change is to keep everyone on track, focused, and working with minimal fear surrounding the change or changes occurring. Like a parent, your job is to guide your team through their struggles while allowing them to learn and solve their own problems. Meditation breaks could be the beginning of an incredibly tuned-in workplace, so this shouldn’t be something you only implement during times of change. Start meditating every day! You might be surprised just how much its benefits can turn things around, on an individual as well as a group level.

 

I certainly help that these ideas help you and your team to implement changes in a healthy and growth-oriented way! As always, continue leading mindfully and we look forward to seeing you here again.

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 02:09

The Pushover vs. the Control Freak

This quote leads us to the next pair of “opposite” personality types that might present a challenge for you, the mindful leader. Judging, blaming, or finding fault doesn’t usually help anyone, nor is it constructive. So, how can you lead these two personality types in a way that works for everyone involved? It helps to first understand the basic aspects of these personalities, so let’s begin with that.

The Pushover

Also known as people pleasers, this personality type has likely shown up many times in our lives, not to mention that a number of people who are empathetic by nature can slip into becoming a pushover. Though empathy is important no matter what your position is at work, don’t assume that it means you are a pushover.

So how do you lead someone who seems to be taking on too much, doesn’t want to speak up, and generally agrees with everyone? It’s important to remember that this personality type just wants to make everyone happy. Conflict doesn’t sit well with them at all, and if they can do anything to help keep the boat from rocking, they most certainly will.

Unfortunately, there is stress associated with this personality type, too, so managing how much they take on is a good way to make sure they’re functioning well. If there’s an issue, chances are they won’t confide in anyone they don’t trust, so building their trust in you, their leader, is critical for helping this personality type find their place and thrive in the work environment.

For this personality type, it’s also a good idea to help train them how to say no and keep from taking on too much. If they are empathetic, this can be difficult for some, but your leadership will help them to become better leaders as well… as long as they learn how to say no =).

The Control Freak

Typically perfectionistic and very hands-on, this personality type may have some tendencies toward being obsessive-compulsive. Though they are often perceived as controlling, bossy, or even mean, chances are that they just want to do the absolute best possible and they hold themselves and everyone else to impossibly high standards. If everything isn’t perfect, they may fly off the handle and yell at whoever they believe made any mistakes.

Though this may seem extreme, if they find out that they are the person who made the mistake, they will beat themselves up for it mercilessly. We are our own worst critics, and perfection is their goal (even though most of you already know that perfection is impossible).

For this personality type, it’s important to remember that perfectionism generally runs in a loop. First the perfectionist will be completely motivated, ready to take on the world and conquer the project before them with a very high level of energy. However, when things don’t go to plan or something falls apart, they tend to spiral into anxiety and depression, leading to their outbursts when something isn’t done “right.”

As a mindful leader, your job is to make sure they know that perfection isn’t required. In fact, perfection is pretty much impossible no matter what industry you’re working in. However, get to know the person you’re speaking to. Sometimes stating this outright may not work; they’ll be dead set on proving you wrong! However, if you find a way to show them that this is true (rather than telling them), they are much more likely to understand and take this message to heart.

Again, no matter what types of people you’re dealing with, remember that everyone has a purpose to serve, and chances are that their flaws are minor compared to what they bring to the table… sometimes what they bring to the table is just a little trickier to gain full access to. On that note, continue leading mindfully!

 

The times of the old pyramid company structure are getting further and further away year after year and are being replaced with the idea of servant leadership. Why might this be? It’s much more effective to lead people who care about you and will serve beside you than to lead people with selfish, power-hungry, or financially greedy intentions. Those who work for you, and with you, can sense whether you’re being sincere in your leadership style or not, and they will work for you according to what their perception tells them, especially if they know they have talent and valuable skills.

Whether you’re new at being a leader or have been one for years, you’ve probably picked up on this vibe at least a little bit and know your own preferences. Think about it... would you rather work for that boss who constantly yells and tries to force you into doing things their way by demanding (not earning) respect and obedience, or would you rather work for that boss who takes a collaborative and constructive approach?

Most people prefer the latter, which is understandable. So how can you become more empathetic, collaborative, and mindful in your leadership style? You may be wondering if you have to change your personality around, but the truth is that no, you absolutely don’t. You can be yourself while still leading effectively and becoming the boss everyone loves to work for.

Five Tips for Becoming a Servant Leader

Servant leadership is a wonderful concept because it strives to promote harmony, collaboration, and mutual respect as opposed to a race for power or money through underhanded, unethical means. The following five tips are some of the things you can do when working with others to further enhance your mindful leadership skills.

1.      Listen to what your team has to say. Whether it’s about you, a project, another employee, or something different entirely, it helps to take the time to have a one-on-one conversation with each member of your team. You’ll learn a lot if people open up to you, and they will if you listen and don’t get offended or jump to conclusions.

2.      Be a positive force. As a leader, it is your responsibility to create a productive and effective environment, and people are generally most productive and effective when they’re happy. Sure, pressure to complete something might still be there, but at least those working for you will be more content putting in additional hours rather than grumbling about it and being less able to function because they’re miserable.

3.      Express empathy and caring. If you let your ego or pride do the talking, you won’t get very far with those you lead. In fact, it may drive them further away from you and what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish. Empathizing and showing kindness can disarm anger and encourage trust, which is a much more effective solution than fighting fire with fire.

4.      Focus on contributing, not receiving. When you approach your team with this mindset, you’ll be amazed at the collaboration and constructive work that takes place to get you closer to your ultimate goals. Inspiring others is much more powerful than self-involvement.

5.      Be open-minded. Though you’re the boss, this doesn’t mean you’re the be-all-end-all of the project or company. Think of all the ways you can learn from those who work with you, as employees or otherwise, and always approach opposing opinions with genuine interest to maximize what you learn and therefore gain from the experience.

 

As a mindful leader, your focus is probably already on those whom you serve or wish to serve. However, it never hurts to revisit some of the skills and attitudes that make great leaders so great, servant leader habits being one of those things. Imagine all of the people you can help, whose lives you can improve, by being of service to them. That is the key to mindful leadership success.

Many leaders speak about success and how to get there. Fear, however, is a topic that isn’t discussed nearly enough. If it were discussed more, it would cease to be so crippling in its grip on our mindset and perception.

Fear03

Have you ever noticed that when someone goes through a trauma, one of the best ways for that trauma to lose its powerful grasp on the mind and emotions is for the victim to discuss it and get comfortable with talking about it? This rings true for any fear. Getting comfortable with it, getting closely acquainted with the things you fear – this is one of the most powerful tools you can use to work through your fear and take your power back.

Keep Your “Enemies” Closer

·       If you have a close friend, coach, or therapist you can speak with about your fears, that’s good. However, if you don’t want to necessarily share your fears right away – it can be an intimidating exercise at first – then you may want to consider using a journal to get to know your fears.

·       Journaling is a useful tool in life, whether you’re working through a challenge or just documenting something that happened. You may find that it takes a little time to reach the depths you need to reach to get the full positive effect of journaling, but the more often you write, the easier this exercise becomes.

·     Acknowledging your fear and getting to know it better is like becoming friends with someone you find intimidating. Maybe you don’t know why they strike you as intimidating, but as you get to know this person, you may begin to find that they are – as suspected – just a person.

·   Deciding to master your fears is another important step in the process. Everything begins with a decision and the commitment to follow through. This rings true if you’re quitting smoking or writing a bestseller; it doesn’t matter what you’re going to accomplish as long as you make the decision to go for it and commit to the process.

This brings me to the last point I’d like to make about fear. It’s been said that many people are afraid of success; not consciously, of course, but subconsciously. Part of the reason for that is that most of us have a distinct impression of what it means to “get there.” When things don’t go as planned or new opportunities arise while we’re on our journey, we can get confused or sidetracked.

No matter what your version of success is, remember to enjoy the journey itself and take joy in the process. If new opportunities find you, don’t be afraid to take them on as you have the time to. Although it helps to stay focused mainly on your ultimate path, you may find that working on two or three different paths or projects can keep you from experiencing burnout because you have variety along your journey.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” – Alice Morse Earle

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