Mindfulness Can Transform You from a Scrooge to a Kindhearted Leader


Dickens Scrooge Man with Candlestick in Foggy Winter Forest at Moonlight.
Dickens Scrooge Man with Candlestick in Foggy Winter Forest at Moonlight.

The holiday season adds another layer of stress to the busy workplace. It abbreviates the work month and adds in staff events, without lessening any of the workload.

As an organizational leader, maintaining calm and focus at the helm is necessary for the good of the company and your own wellbeing. Engaging in a Mindfulness practice can be tremendously helpful in handling the hectic pace of the holidays.

Mindfulness is a way of being present in the moment with total awareness. It enables you to bring the very best of yourself to employee interactions and work situations because it raises your consciousness. It gives you a feeling of expansiveness that lets you show up fully awake and authentic.

Here are some Mindfulness tips to use through the holidays in your role as a leader to help replace stress with calmness and kindness:

Take time to pause during your workday. If your workdays are a non-stop succession of back-to-back meetings, engagements and tasks, it’s critical to take a moment to breathe and regain a sense of serenity. Find your pause in the busyness. That means taking a few conscious breaths and connecting to your place of inner calm. To establish a Mindfulness focus, breathe into your belly or your heart with this simple exercise:

On the inhalation, (silently) count 1234-1.
On the exhalation, count 1234-2.
On the inhalation, count 1234-3.
On the exhalation, count 1234-4.

You will get better at this the more you practice it until you can willingly grab a pause whenever you need one. You’ll soon discover how important and helpful it can be throughout the busy workday to pause and breathe.

Focus your attention on others. The holidays are a time for giving and showing others that you’re thinking of them. What better way to do that than to focus on the staff that work for you? Take time to ask them what they need or could really use to improve their work environment. By focusing your attention on how to improve their work lives, you’re showing them that what matters to them matters to you.

Practice mindful listening. You can be very busy and distracted during the holidays, which means you may not be doing such a great job of listening to others when they’re talking or asking questions. By being more attentive and making a concerted effort to listen more mindfully, you’re showing them that their opinion matters and they are worth giving of your undivided attention.

Donate with compassion. If you have a particular nonprofit organization that you support, consider donating to it on behalf of the organization or in the name of a retiring employee. People appreciate when you include them in something that can make a difference in someone else’s life. It’s a gesture that acknowledges the importance of supporting those in need, while honoring those who make your success possible.

Share resolutions. The end of the year is a time when, individually and within the organization, you declare what you want to accomplish in the new year. Why not encourage partnering on work-related resolutions between mentor-mentees, managers and their assistants or department heads who could benefit by forming a stronger bond? That can mean anything from updating credentials together to holding monthly off-site (but on the clock) strategy sessions to introducing an interdepartmental Mindfulness initiative (yes!). It’s often more inspiring and motivating to follow through on resolutions with another person who will also keep you accountable.

During the holidays — and into the new year — give yourself the gift of a regular Mindfulness practice. By being more present and aware, especially during the busy and chaotic holidays, you can manage your stress and enjoy the season, while also showing your appreciation for those who work hard for you and the organization each day of the year.

**Originally posted at CEO World

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