Mindfulness: A Leadership Skill?


Is mindfulness becoming a leadership skill?  There has been significant research devoted the benefits of mindfulness practices related to health and wellness. Numerous large organizations have taken these benefits seriously and brought mindfulness to the workplace; Aetna, Google, Intel, General Mills are a few leading companies that have offered programs about mindfulness.

Stuart Levine of Credit Union Times, writes:

Mindfulness is a must-have for effective leadership. Published research from graduate business school INSEAD reported better communication skills, more appropriate reactions to stress and improved innovative thinking through mindfulness practice. Effective leaders are keenly aware of how their mindsets, emotional states and actions affect team members. They are able to control their behaviors and suppress automatic responses. Mindful decision makers take time to observe, not falling prey to assumptions which can be misleading and are able to consider various options. The cognitive benefits of being present supports a more effective decision-making process.

What are your thoughts about mindfulness and its impact on business? Do you work for a company with a mindfulness program?

Gather Tips and ToolsSeeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  We gather tips and tools about leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.

Curiosity & the Power of Possibility

TabbyOn February 18th The Wallace Centers of Iowa hosted leadership expert Tabby Hinderaker the Purposeful Growth Coach to share insights about coaching.  Those who attended enjoyed an amazing lunch prepared by our own Chef Katie.

After the meal, participants experienced what it is like to ask questions that support another person’s learning. Alternatively, participants had a chance to experience being coached. Participants commented:

 “I was nervous about asking the right question, however being more aware of the other person made it easier”

“I was surprised by new insights.”

“I can see why coaching is powerful.”

“The way the person framed the questions helped me see my goal in a new way.”

The idea of coaching people to develop emerging leaders is relevant to the needs of the workplace. In a recent post, 4-Tips for Developing Millennial Leaders Now! we reported that according the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the 18-33 year old generation became the largest in the workforce and will grow by 30% in the next 5 years. A coaching mindset is the key to all four tips highlighted in that post.

Join us for the next Leadership and Civility Lunch which will include thoughts from leadership expert Kevin Pokorny.

Gather 510 px squareThe Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we gather tips and tools for leading with civility.

10 Civility Insights #Peopleskills – Feb 8, 2015

Here are the 10 questions Kate Nasser asked on her Sunday, Feb 8, 2015 Twitter Chat.  Reviewing it here gives us an opportunity to gain insight about civility and leadership in the workplace.

1.  Silence is a powerful form of communication.

Silence is one of the main ways to listen well.  Alternatively, silence can lead to an unintended meaning in the workplace.  For example if we are silent in a meeting it could be sending a message of agreement.

2. Becoming skilled at listening well and speaking up gives silence positive power.

Because silence is a powerful form of communication it can have big effects on the world.  The biggest impact comes when we become skilled in civility practices like listening well and speaking up. Then we know when to pause and when to ask questions that promote others to speak up.

3. Silence becomes the trouble when speakers lose their power.

Silence also becomes trouble when speakers become too complacent speak up or too fearful.

4. Children are our future, they need to learn the nuances of speaking up and silence.

The effects of the belief that “children should be seen and not heard” can prevent children from learning and developing important civility practices that will make future workplaces strong, resilient and sustainable.

5. Silence is golden in the workplace when…

Silence supports an opportunity for others to speak up or an opportunity for reflection. Silence is not golden when it recklessly conveys agreement or is used because of fear of a leader’s reaction to speaking up.

6. Silence in the face of injustice…

promotes at best complacency and at worst agreement with the injustice. In the workplace this kind of silence in that face of injustice will lead to bad decisions and eventually legal challenges.

7. Great leaders are skilled at silence.

Great leaders know how to utilize silence to give people time to think and time to respond. When they notice silence they inquire in one-on-one conversations rather than assume that silence equals agreement.

8. A leader’s silence can cause trouble especially when there is trouble.

The leader will be most effective when he or she is skilled at speaking up and connecting with the right people to root out challenges before problems become too complex to change.

9. Mindful vs. Mindless

Silence is liked when it is utilized in a mindful way. Silence is disliked when it is used in a mindless way.

10. Finding the balance between silence and verbal interaction can be found through applying the civility practice of noticing little things.

Noticing little things is the skilled approach to vigilance from the #peopleskills chat discussed last week. Allowing silence in the form of a pause after a curiously asked question is a form of optimism because it allows for the belief that other people have the answers, they just need to be asked in a non threatening way and given time to respond.  Next week Kate Nasser says the #peopleskills chat topic will be: Love/Appreciation.  That should prove to be an equally worthy topic.

Gather 510 px squareThe Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we gather tips for leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.