Mindfulness as a Management Skill Part II

In the last blog post (Mindfulness as a management Skill Part I) we talked about the cycle leaders can get into and how their stress can affect the performance of the team.  Most companies don’t get the results they want from doing Lean (or any change effort for that matter).  One of the reasons that change is so difficult is that it’s stressful.  During times of stress a manager can actually become less effective as a leader.  The stress response will lead others.  The way that mindfulness works to pull you out of the stress response is to focus your mind.  Imagine your brain is like a person riding an elephant.  The elephant represents your emotional brain and the rider represents the logical brain.  For the most part the rider can keep control of the elephant but if the elephant gets distracted then the rider cannot do anything except hold on until the elephant calms down.  When you are stressed your elephant is in control and you have to find a way to get back into control.  Mindfulness training helps you focus.  Over time it can change the way you think and the way your brain.  One example of this is that negative emotions can register in your amygdala (the elephant part of your brain).  Mindfulness training helps your brain us it’s attention and concentration resources more effectively thus allowing you to keep control of the elephant instead of the elephant running out of control.  Mindfulness also helps your mind be still.  Mindfulness skills, once developed, improve self-awareness and influences how we perceive challenges.  Stillness in thought process is just as important as active problem solving and sometimes even more important.  Mindfulness is important since it also reduces stress.  Stress can kill brain cells and chronic stress over years can really hurt your performance.  Daily mindfulness practice is important to develop the skills you need to prevent brain cell loss.  Another reason mindfulness is so valuable as a management skill is that inner thoughts can really hurt your short term memory and attention.  By being mindful and not letting those thoughts consume you you can elevate your performance.  These are just some of the reasons why mindfulness is so helpful as a management skill.  In a more complex business environment we’ll need more tools to help us grow as people and grow as organizations.  Mindfulness should be one of those tools and skills that are developed by you and your team.

Related Posts:

Mindfulness as a Management Skill Part I

5 Ways to Help You Decide Your Priorities

How to Develop Mindfulness For Management

Want to learn more about mindfulness and how it can help you in your growth as an employee, leader, and/or manager?  Please schedule a free call with The Lean Way.  Please fill out the information below.

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