Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
I recently read an article in Fast Company about 3 leadership skills that you should develop before you really need to use them. As I was reading it, I found myself enthusiastically nodding my head in approval. Each skill is critical, in life in general, and especially as a leader.
What are they?
1. Learn to turn off your mind
2. Cultivate perspective
3. Practice having hard conversations
As a leader, a lot of things get thrown at you. You'll have the day to day operations of the business or group. On top of that, you'll have the inter-personal team dynamics, the group to group dynamics, and also you might be the liaison between upper management and your team.
It's like being a chef and having 5 pans on the stove (yes, you have a stove with 5 burners), and you need to take care of those pans while instructing your sous chefs. Eventually, something will go wrong. The pressure will be there. How do you handle it?
The three skills that Reva Seeth, the author of the article, mentions are what will help you navigate that situation.
When we are under pressure - whether it is consistent pressure that one day "breaks the camel's back" or an intense surge of pressure due to an emergency - our brains do not process all the data that comes at us. We are more likely to make mistakes. We are more likely to lash out at others. We are more likely to read the situation wrong.
Traditional management training offers many ways on how to handle the team and personal dynamics. They dive into the topic of how to have those difficult conversations.
But one area that is left untouched is how to turn off your mind and cultivate that perspective. How can you handle all the stress and responsibility that comes with leadership, without breaking under that pressure?
The answer is mindfulness.
If you start cultivating mindfulness as part of an every day practice, you train your brain to selectively focus, to better process and handle the stress, and to see the larger perspective.
The Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School found that practicing mindfulness has a direct impact on our ability to cope with stress, to feel less anxiety, and to act from a deliberative state of being instead of reactionary.
Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School said that mindfulness helps the individual distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a energy and time-wasting worry.
Study after study is showing that this simple practice helps you be able to process information better, perform stronger even when under stress, and it also helps you keep things in perspective.
So why not start now? Are you ready to improve your decision making abilities, enhance your creativity, and bring more peace and harmony to your life? Then join the free Be Still journey.
Start developing those critical leadership skills that you should have BEFORE you need them.