Tips for Becoming a Mindful Leader

By Juliet Adams

Part of Mindful Leadership For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Mindfulness can help you reach your full potential as a leader. Here are some practical tips to get you started on your mindful leadership journey.

Cultivate self-awareness

Mindful leadership isn’t a quick fix; it’s a journey. The journey starts with a willingness to explore new ways of doing and being with an open mind. The more self-aware you are, the fitter you will be to lead others.

Help yourself before helping others

If you truly aspire to be a mindful leader, focus on cultivating mindfulness in yourself before trying to apply it to others. It’s easy to get caught up in the concept of mindfulness and its multiple benefits, but it’s more challenging to actually practice it yourself. Commit yourself to a minimum of six weeks’ study and practice to experience it for yourself (the good, the bad and the ugly!). This will give you the foundation knowledge essential for deciding on next steps for yourself, individuals or organisational practices.

Think big, think small

After you’ve practiced mindfulness for yourself for a while, you can start to consider how mindful principles can help individuals, groups, departments or the organisation as a whole. It’s always good to start with the big picture in mind but often more practical to start small and build on these small wins.

You should never force people to attend mindfulness training. Mindfulness involves thinking about thinking and a commitment to change at a deep and personal level. Not everyone is able or ready to commit to this. You can’t force people to change their mind! Start with enthusiastic early adopters. Provide an environment in which they can develop and flourish. Others will notice the difference in them and become curious to find out more, building momentum and enthusiasm to work in a new way. You can later harness this momentum and enthusiasm to change your organisation’s culture and working practices for the better.