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Thursday, 09 November 2017 11:07

The Definition and Purpose of Forgiveness

We’ve all been in situations where we feel wronged, hurt, or betrayed by someone. This can be very painful to experience, which means that we typically have to work our way through the stages of acceptance before we can forgive someone, and in certain cases, forgiveness alone may not serve you as well as also remembering what you’ve learned from the experience. The trick is to find your balance between forgiving those who have wronged you while maintaining the knowledge and lessons you’ve learned from the experience. Let’s take a closer look at what forgiveness is and how we can incorporate it into our mindful leadership practices.

 

Forgiveness, like so many things in life, has slightly different meanings for everyone depending on how you were raised and your life experiences as well as what you intuitively know to be true at the core of your being. The types of situations that may require you to forgive someone are as infinite as the types and depths of forgiveness that you are capable of as a human. Betrayal and forgiveness take on many forms, so your emotional guidance system comes into play quite a lot, especially when you’re navigating life with other people. Wherever there are people, there are bound to be mistakes, which means that forgiveness is a tool you should cultivate thoroughly if you’re working with people in any capacity.

 

Wikipedia has a very good definition of forgiveness:

 

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

 

Now, as far as the purpose of forgiveness is concerned, there always seems to be an initial misconception that forgiveness is for the other person’s wellbeing rather than our own. As we continue to grow and then refine our understanding of forgiveness, we come to realize that it is for our own sanity and health that we must choose to forgive others, not for the sake of their soul or wellbeing (although it can’t hurt, right?).

 

Forgiveness serves us in many different ways on an emotional, spiritual, and even physical level. It also goes hand in hand with love – the real, unconditional brand of love – as well as compassion and empathy. It also goes hand in hand with inner peace and mindfulness, and because everything ties together in this way, understanding each component on a deeper level can greatly improve your overall wellbeing and help you put all of these loving practices into action in your daily life as a mindful leader.

 

On Practicing Forgiveness

 

Being able to wish someone well despite a betrayal, abuse, or falling out can sometimes be a challenge, especially if the actions against you were abusive or traumatizing in any way. This means a great deal of inner work for healing yourself, which can easily turn into bitterness and resentment toward those who wronged you and “made you” have to do all that hard work. Healing and working through trauma can be painful, so it takes some strength to face it head on and – make no mistake – the only way out is through, and emotional energy doesn’t just disappear into nothing. It stays within the body, causing other forms of damage and dis-ease over time.

 

This is a natural way to feel at first, but it is not a state of being that is worth holding on to. Resentment, anger, and vengefulness have a profound effect on your body because these emotions increase the stress hormone cortisol and decrease the “love” hormone oxytocin. These negative emotions also activate the fight or flight response, which – if activated on a consistent basis – can also have damaging effects not only on the body but also on the mind and spirit.

 

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is a method of releasing those negative emotions and coming to a place of inner peace, understanding, and if not love, at least compassion for those who know not what they do and have hurt you. Because, oftentimes, people hurt each other through subconscious means, learned habits, misunderstandings, or chaotic circumstances where people are simply trying to do their best with what they have. However, sometimes it is conscious and it is abusive. That is for your discernment, although dwelling on it too much can drive you a little crazy, especially if you’re trying to figure out the motivations of an abuser who uses manipulative tactics, which may very well be part of their modus operandi.

 

One of the most important things that someone told me during a point in my life when I was leaving an abusive relationship was, “If you keep going back for anything – your stuff, to talk, or whatever reason he gives you and you use as an excuse – then you are, in effect, giving him control. You’ve got to take your power back.” The reason I bring this up is because it was difficult to hear... I was only 23 at the time, but it was like my heart got zapped with an electric current for a minute, just before the warmth and excitement of epiphany swept over me. What’s interesting is that this helped me to realize that it all happens in the mind and heart... as long as I didn’t take responsibility for my part in what was happening, all the blaming and arguing in the world wouldn’t change anything and would only serve to keep me indirectly under his control... which had seeped into my perception and thoughts, the most dangerous place to allow anybody else to live for an extended period of time.

 

Knowing this, I certainly hope that you have gained a deeper level of understanding about the definition and purpose of forgiveness. It isn’t always easy in practice, especially during highly emotional situations, but finding your inner place of peace will also allow you to handle those types of situations in a much more constructive way. In some situations, you may need to cut your losses and walk away, letting go of toxic relationships that aren’t salvageable. If that isn’t a possibility, you’ll have the tools necessary to stay strong and handle things more gracefully than before, in effect neutralizing the situation.

 

Thank you so much for joining us here on the Mindful Leader Blog! I hope you’re having a wonderful week, and I look forward to sharing more information about forgiveness with you throughout the month of November.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 18:34

5 Habits for Resilience as a Daily Practice

When we reach a certain dimension of consciousness, resilience becomes more attainable than it may have seemed during previously experienced times of chaos. The realization that life will never stop presenting us with challenges, whether the pause in between is a week, a month, or several years, will help you to nurture your desire for being resilient rather than just surviving. While survival was once the most important thing for humans, we have since evolved to a place where surviving shouldn’t have to be our main focus anymore, so why are so many of us stuck in this mindset? The reptile brain – which the ego uses to manipulate us into keeping ourselves trapped under the guise of being “safe” – is the only portion of our brain that is still concerned with survival rather than thriving, and in order to survive, playing it safe is required. However, in order to thrive, we have to be willing to take risks and challenge ourselves into growth and evolution. Cultivating our own sense of resilience is imperative to maintaining this attitude of abundance and thriving.

 

So, what are a few things that you can do on a daily basis that will help you to cultivate a sense of resilience and trust in the process? If you’re finding it challenging to stay in an optimistic state of mind for any reason, keep reading for five ways to cultivate resilience. Much of this is inner work, but you probably already figured that would be coming if you’ve been with us for any length of time.

 

5 Ways to Cultivate Resilience

 

1.      Let go of any fears you may have that don’t involve a threat to your life or the life of a loved one. The majority of our problems these days as human beings in Western society are not life and death problems, so we should all learn to relax a little bit! Remember, the reptile brain is hard at work creating mountains out of molehills and trying to convince us that things are more disastrous than they really are. By letting go of these fears, you are releasing the need for control a little bit, and therefore releasing yourself from being controlled by your fears.

2.      If you catch yourself thinking worrying thoughts, steer your thinking in a new direction. Your thoughts tend to drive your emotions, and your emotional guidance system is set up to let you know when you’re headed in the wrong direction – feelings like worry don’t serve you. In fact, they keep you from reaching your potential and keep you controlled by your fears. Learning to steer your thinking in a more positive direction can absolutely change your life, but it must become a daily practice in the moment. The most practical way to do this isn’t by policing every thought; rather, if you begin feeling a negative or uncomfortable emotion, try thinking about something else that steers you in a more pleasant direction.

3.      When you meditate, you can begin to reprogram your subconscious mind by repeating a mantra to yourself and really focusing on it. For the purpose of cultivating resilience, you may choose the following or come up with one of your own that is appropriate. If you want to repeat something to yourself, please make sure it focuses on the positive and isn’t something about getting out of debt or wanting to see less violence... focus on the positive end of the spectrum because if you’re thinking debt, more debt will come. If you’re thinking violence, more violence will come. Be extremely careful with wording. On that note, here’s a great one for building resilience: “I can handle anything. I trust in my ability to figure things out.” If any part of this suggestion makes you feel anything less than joyful, create one that works better for you to inspire positive feelings and raise your vibrational frequency.

4.      Build trust in yourself! There are multiple ways of doing this and inner work is very important here, but one of the easiest ways to begin building trust is by catching when you’re being critical of yourself and steer your thoughts into a more positive direction. Another way is by being brutally honest with yourself and catching yourself in dishonest thought patterns and stopping them (like when you’re making excuses or blaming someone else for something you know is your responsibility; don’t deny it, we all do this!. This will require you to be 100% personally accountable to yourself as no one else can know what it is you’re thinking. If you’re critical of yourself all the time and working on stopping that, you can also expect a period of time when your ego tries to turn that criticism outward toward everyone else. It will be okay; keep it to yourself as much as you can and steer your thoughts to a more positive topic. Think of this like a layer of your false self getting ready to fall away from your spirit to lighten your load. Healthy thought habits can greatly increase your quality of life, so shedding these various different false aspects of ourselves can mean the difference between a joyful existence and a miserable one.

5.      Loving yourself for who you are and in turn realizing that you deserve the best that life has to offer you is imperative if you want to thrive for a lifetime. You can draw strength and resilience merely from the fact that you know you love yourself, that your inner being has your back, and that life is shifting around to line everything up for you perfectly. To begin loving yourself, a wonderful exercise is to look yourself in the eye in the mirror and say, “I love you,” as well as anything else you feel guided to say that is loving and encouraging. When I do this, I imagine I’m speaking directly to my soul, my inner being. I say, “I love you! Thank you for having my back and helping me to keep my faith strong, especially during hard times. I appreciate you and everything you do, as well as the wonderful creative endeavors we collaborate on. I love you.”

 

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that this article helps you to begin cultivating your resilience. Come back throughout October to read more about resilience and the subset of skills associated with it.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

Let’s face it… sometimes, things are up in the air for a while before opportunities or information come to light to help you continue to move forward. Other times, you simply have to tap into your patience in order to keep from going too stir-crazy while you wait for solutions to present themselves. So, when everything seems to be in limbo, how do you keep yourself from letting it get to you? Here are five ways in which you can keep your balance mindfully, especially during times of uncertainty.

 

Another circumstance in which you might feel stuck or at a standstill is if too many problems continue to present themselves. This is the perfect opportunity for you to ask yourself one very important question:

 

Is it really YOUR problem?

 

Or are you taking on other people’s problems and helping them rather than helping yourself?

 

This is a very common problem for caring and mindful leaders, so it’s important to learn how to keep your problems and responsibilities separate from those of your team. As a mindful leader, it isn’t your job to fix anything for someone else; if someone on your team needs help, you can use your coaching skills to help guide them to their own answers and solutions, and then allow them to take care of their own problems. Not only will this free up your time and energy for other things, but it will help them to feel empowered about what they can accomplish for themselves.

 

5 Habits for Mindful Balance

 

1. Get out of the problem. Essentially, this means distracting yourself and not dwelling on whatever is going on for the time being. Oftentimes, taking a few steps back will give you the opportunity to relax into a potential solution you may have missed if you were up in arms about the issue. Becoming a master of self-distraction is a good thing!

 

2. Reserve judgment. By keeping an open mind and understanding things from multiple angles or perspectives, you can more easily focus on solutions and problem-solving methodologies without getting emotionally involved in whatever issue is surfacing. The emotional aspect of a problem is often the most damaging, so maintain your bird’s eye view by suspending judgment.

 

3. Practice the art of allowing. Sometimes things just need to play out in whichever direction they will end up playing out, so allowing others the freedom to make their own decisions and do things the way they see fit will ensure that everyone is happy… or, if not, that everyone at the very least has to own their words and actions during the process.

 

4. Practice the art of acceptance. This is essentially accepting people for who they are, as well as accepting yourself for who you are and being okay with it, especially when you learn about personality quirks that may clash when combined. By not getting stuck on those personality quirks, we allow the other person to be who they are and the entire problem solving process becomes less stressful… and even fun.

 

5. Above all, maintain your inner peace. This is a daily habitual practice you should be implementing as a mindful leader no matter what may be going on in the world around you, in your life, or with your loved ones. No, this doesn’t mean that you should bury your emotions or try not to feel anything. On the contrary… this means finding daily habits that help you to stay centered, on track, balanced, and peaceful.

 

Your mindset is largely dependent on what you do for yourself and your emotional landscape every day. For some people, this may mean eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise; for others, it may mean journaling and getting enough sleep. It’s up to you to determine which habits are most effective for you to be the best version of yourself and maintain your inner peace.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 11:49

Mindfully Allowing Life to Move Forward

Whether you’ve been doing something for ages or you’re just beginning, failures and growing pains will surely find you over the years. Repeatedly. Sometimes way too often. It isn’t really a question of if, but rather when you will have to strategize for moving forward despite things being in a negative or undesirable state – or worse – in limbo, up in the air, or at a standstill. Maybe you’re waiting for more information, for someone to get back to you with an answer or a piece of the puzzle, or you’ve just set everything in motion and have nothing to do but wait. In any of those cases, limbo is rough and can be a maddening place to be, so for the sake of your own sanity, read on to learn five ways of moving forward mindfully… without losing your cool.

 

Now, that’s not to say you’re guaranteed to keep your cool in all cases, but you will certainly find it easier to maintain perspective, inner peace, and serenity. Some people may still trigger you, and that’s okay. You’re human. The trick is to build a solid set of internal habits that you can access anytime you need to. Of course this takes practice and maintenance on a daily basis, otherwise, it won’t be nearly as effective as it could be. However, these daily habits can be applied at any time of day, in any place, very discreetly, and you don’t even have to bring anything special… except for yourself.

 

Five Ways of Allowing Forward Movement

 

1. If you find yourself in a situation where strong emotions are involved, allow the feelings to wash over you and through you, but then let them go. Acknowledge that they exist, but reserve judgment of your own emotions. We’re not worried about how you feel about the way you feel. As a matter of fact, we’re more worried about getting you to shut your thoughts off for long enough to simply exist, which brings us to number two.

 

2. Be present… live in the now. This current moment is all that exists, and as we move into each of our subsequent current moments, we must continue to be present in the now. Getting caught up in regrets about the past or worries about the future has no point or purpose except to show us again what we don’t want. Unfortunately, this can mean we attract it back to us for a while, but we can oscillate like that quite often.

 

3. Live and let live, baby! You have about as much right to control that guy over there’s life choices as I do controlling yours. It’s not going to happen! Am I right? So… why worry about it? Just let that guy do his thing, you do yours, and I’ll do mine.

 

4. Meditate often. Yes, I know, I know… this is a recommendation in almost all of the mindfulness articles you will ever read, but why not recommend something that works so immensely well? This tried and true practice will allow you to further your life experience as well as open your consciousness to new and greater things.

 

5. Find something that feels better and keep doing that. Do this for 30 days and see where life begins taking you. Each better leads you closer to the very best, and that is a win each and every day.

 

Did you find this article useful? If so, please share it. You never know whom this may need to find in each moment.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

How much control do you think you have over your life? During any given day, do you have control over much of anything, really? Well, maybe a little. However, the real question is (and be honest with yourself here): Do you feel like you need to be in control of everything around you all the time? The difference between being in control of your own mind and being in control of your environment is night and day. Let’s pinpoint some of the key things involved in healthy control over your mind versus unhealthy control over the environment.

 

The one extremely obvious point to note is that one version of control turns your focus inward, while the other version of control turns your focus outward. Why does this matter?

 

Have you ever tried to control the ocean? That would be impossible for one person to do. And you know as well as I do that barking orders or yelling at the ocean wouldn’t change a thing. It would simply continue on its course, ebbing and flowing in its natural rhythm.

 

However, you can go within and make the decision to go with the flow of the water. This allows for collaboration and harmony rather than control and force.

 

We could learn a lot from the ocean. Actually, we could learn a lot from water in general.

 

Becoming Like Water

 

Water, though flexible, is powerful, steady, and persistent as it carves out its own path. It is confident (have you ever seen water hesitate?), reliable, and typically stays put unless it gets too hot, in which case it evaporates and eventually falls back to the earth. No matter how you look at it, though, water is always present in the now because it has no mind to think thoughts of worry about the future or regret about the past.

 

1. The present is everything.

When you focus your attention in the present moment, you begin to notice details and spaces that you may not have noticed before. Time may even stretch out for you. This is because you have found a state of being completely focused and present and your thoughts aren’t a part of this focus.

 

Should you notice your thoughts wandering, just bring your focus back to your breath. The breath is vital to us, not only for staying alive, but also for connecting with our inner selves and balancing us out.

 

2. Breathing is powerful.

Think about it. With each breath you take, millions of tiny cells carry oxygen to every part of your body to keep it functioning properly. If any part of your body loses oxygen, your body will begin to shut down. If your brain loses oxygen for too long, it dies and can no longer function.

 

Breathing is life. If you’d like to do some mindfulness breathing, breathe in through your nose, hold for four, then out through your mouth, hold for four. You can count out four seconds, and then as your lungs become stronger and grow in capacity, you may begin to increase your count.

 

3. Life is liquid.

Just like water is liquid life, life is fluid like water. You may be able to see the big things coming and prepare for them, kind of like large rocks, waterfalls, or a boulder in a river, but you can’t always see all of the little obstacles hidden beneath the surface, nor can you foretell what other unforeseen things may interfere with the flow of the river.

 

You must remain flexible. If you aren’t able to go with the flow and work with it, your entire life experience will feel like an uphill battle of “making” things happen. If you choose instead to consider multiple options for multiple potential circumstances or outcomes, you will already have a higher chance of success because you’re addressing the problem creatively. Master this and you will be able to handle anything life throws at you!

 

4. Maybe the world does revolve around you… just a little.

By that, of course, I mean YOUR world. This is true for every person on the planet; think of yourself as a smaller universe within a larger one, within a larger one, within a larger one. Each level is within another level, all the way on up to the entire expanding universe and all the way down to the tiniest atom.

 

Knowing this, you can approach people you lead in a way that takes their perspective (“the world revolves around me”) into consideration while also helping the whole. Your own perspective will broaden the more you understand this, so try to look at everything from as many angles as possible.

 

5. Nobody else is really any of your business.

When you spend the majority of your time worrying about what someone else is doing, saying, or thinking, you hand away your power over yourself on a silver platter. If someone else is constantly worried about what you’re doing, saying, or thinking, they have given you power over them and it isn’t always pretty for either person.

 

Instead, focus on what you’re doing and staying in the moment while you’re doing it so that you can milk it for everything it has to teach you and show you by studying the details. This is how to remain mindful while you’re working on anything, whether you naturally enjoy it or not.

 

Thanks so much for reading! I certainly hope that this article helps you become a more mindful leader than before.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

When we think of acceptance, various different things may come to mind depending on our life experiences and conditioning. However, when we think of what it’s like to feel accepted and loved, things become very much clearer to us. What do you think – does acceptance play an important role in effective mindful leadership? Why or why not? Read on to learn our theories on this practice and then weigh in in the comments if you feel called to do so. Let’s explore this topic further, shall we? 

 

Acceptance is something that we all want, crave, and need, but unfortunately it is much easier to demand than it is to give, especially if you have never consciously practiced before. That’s because people are automatically focused very much outside of themselves and not enough on how they feel and what their thought patterns are. A big part of the mindfulness practice is to pay attention and become very highly aware of everything, be it good, bad, or mediocre. The step after that? Feeling and moving through things without judgment, and with full acceptance of whomever you’re interacting with at the moment. In the moment is all that ever matters.

 

Here are a few things you may choose to keep in mind consciously in order to cultivate your levels of acceptance organically, with practice.

 

Five Ways to Practice Mindful Acceptance of Others

 

Some of these ideas may seem obvious sometimes. However, being a human also means we are imperfect and make mistakes, and thus our memories don’t always serve us in the ways we need them to. Sometimes things slip through the cracks, slip our minds, and so on. And you know what? That’s okay and perfectly normal. But who doesn’t want to remember not to forget?

 

The key is to practice these inner habits daily so that they become automatic and you can focus on deepening your practice after that. Some of these are simple things to keep in mind for the bigger picture and how you may affect it with the ways in which you interact with other people.

 

1.      Keep in mind that people are not two-dimensional. Yes, you may only see the coworker, boss, taxi driver, etc. However, these people have millions of things at play in their own lives, just like you do in yours. We are all multifaceted, complex, and experiencing various different things, problems, circumstances, challenges, etc.

 

2.      Keep in mind that you’re not alone… and neither is anyone else. Many of us have a lot of things going on, especially right now with so many people going through challenges, so accepting that you’re not alone and that others are also experiencing similar things will help you to maintain your positive perception of others. It will also help you to relate more easily to your fellow man/woman/human.

 

3.      Keep in mind that everything is connected. The more often you practice mindfulness and meditation, the deeper the connections you’ll be able to observe in your day to day life. More and more levels of connection and synchronicity begin to be revealed as you go, so dig deep.

 

4.      Be aware of what kind of influence you are on the people around you, and thus, the world. Are you spreading positive or negative energies? In more practical terms, are you being kind and helpful to others, showing them compassion rather than impatience and intolerance? Or are you going out into the world with a negative attitude, infecting those around you with negativity as you treat them badly and cause more pain, which could very well result in a ripple effect? Are you creating happy ripples or painful ones?

 

5.      Don’t fall into the complaining/bickering trap. The more often you allow negative complaints to pass through your lips, the easier those complaints begin to tumble out, and pretty soon that’s all you’re talking about. What you focus on grows, so if you want your problems to go away, don’t pay them any more attention than you absolutely have to, and if nothing can be done right now, just stop thinking about it. Driving yourself nuts won’t solve anything, after all.

 

I certainly hope that this helps you to practice accepting others in a way that creates more and more success for everyone involved.

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

Allowing, Acceptance, Understanding, and Mutual Trust are all necessary components of a working relationship with your team that goes beyond the ordinary. These are also components of love… not the romantic kind, but the general kind that you can apply to yourself as well as your fellow man and the collective. It may seem a little strange at first, but bear with me here. If your team members all care about each other and each other’s ideas and skills, your team is able to work together much more effectively as they get to know each other better.

 

One aspect of developing this kind of closeness and mutual respect is Allowing. This is more for you as an individual than anything else, so whatever your position might be, Allowing can help you develop a positive attitude and feelings toward everything and everyone you encounter.

 

What is Allowing?

 

Allowing has two components:

 

1. Letting things unfold as they unfold without being anxious or nervous about it.

2. Trusting that, no matter how “bad” things may seem, everything will be okay.

 

This is essentially a relinquishing of the illusion of control. We are, after all, the creators of our lives, but we are not in control of anything except for our own thoughts and emotions, so we cannot seek to control the things and people outside of ourselves.

 

Begin a Practice of Letting Go

 

This is probably the easiest and most effective way to make letting go easier. Once you have this mastered, you can expect workplace nonsense like gossip and drama to go down drastically. Here we go:

 

·         Talk or write about it. This will help you to work out whatever is bothering you about the thing you’re dealing with.

·         Confront what’s bugging you. This will obviously vary depending on what your circumstances dictate, but confronting a problem can be the first step toward a solution.

·         Feel your feelings. However you need to do this, do so… if you have the urge to hike to the top of a mountain to scream at the top of your lungs about it, then do that. If you need to cry for a few hours until your head is pounding and you can’t breathe, then do that. You’ll be okay.

·         Do something with or about what’s bothering you. If this is the route you choose to take, try to maintain a positive stance and put a positive spin on whatever it is you end up doing.

·         Sit back and watch. If there isn’t much you can realistically or feasibly do about anything, then let it go and let the universe do its thing. “Let go and let God,” is one popular version of this idea.

 

Getting to the point of letting go takes practice, but you will find that problems often solve themselves or simply go away on their own, or the solutions begin popping up all over the place. You will see them and take notice if you’re paying attention.

 

As always, continue leading mindfully! 

 

 

For more information on the International Mindfulness Federation or the Mindfulness Movement, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Whether you’re delivering good news or bad news, you can go about it gracefully or not. This rings true no matter what announcement you have to make to your team or to an individual; as a mindful leader, part of your job is good spoken communication, especially when you have to address many people at the same time or deliver bad news, such as someone being let go. But how can you make sure you’re doing your best to communicate well? Here are a few tips with mindfulness in mind.

 

There’s a lot to be said for nuances such as tactfulness and subtlety. However, these small aspects may not be noticeable without a certain degree of self-awareness and mindfulness already present. Also, some news is sensitive or difficult to divulge, so how do you best handle that as a mindful leader?

 

Being Honest When it’s Difficult

 

Sometimes the news, announcement, or conversation you have to have is not one that you’re looking forward to. Whether this is because of what you have to tell this person or how you have to tell them doesn’t matter; a difficult conversation is a difficult conversation. Use these pointers to maintain your courage and remind yourself of the bigger picture; the greater good.

 

·         Take a deep breath and maintain your calm. Reactions can be unpredictable, and your staying calm will encourage the other person to handle the news gracefully, whatever it is.

·         Be sensitive to this person’s needs. Even if you can’t meet them, you can be understanding of them.

·         Respect their privacy and deliver whatever news you need to in private. Never confront someone in front of their coworkers as this decreases employees’ respect for you and damages their trust in you as well.

·         Be patient. You may be waiting for the right opportunity to tell someone something; that’s okay, but make sure you’re not falling into a habit of procrastination because you’re losing your nerve to tell them the truth.

·         Follow through. Again, don’t fall into the trap of procrastination and make it a habit; the sooner you can deliver the news, the better, and everyone will then be able to move on.

 

If you need to make an uncomfortable announcement to the entire office staff, there are a few things that you should remember as you go about planning your wording.

 

·         Be direct but gentle. A difficult truth is much easier to accept if the person telling you this truth uses some sensitivity and empathy. Be honest and loving at the same time.

·         Keep things as simple as possible, on a need to know basis, so to speak. If people have further questions or need more details, instruct them to email you with questions or speak to you directly.

·         If comfort is needed, don’t forget to provide it. Receiving bad news is much easier if leadership makes it a point to be supportive. This may mean having a therapist on staff for a few months to help people, depending on the situation.

·         Encourage everyone to be supportive of one another and work together during difficult times. This fosters a supportive work environment that will serve everyone well for years to come.

·         Prepare for people to be a little off balance for a while. Depending on the severity of the news and how everything is affected, this may take differing amounts of time.

 

As always, continue leading mindfully!

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://www.mindfulnessfederation.org/

 

So, is honesty the best policy? In short, the answer to that question is yes. Of course, there will always be circumstantial nuances surrounding your decision about how and when to be honest, as well as how much of your truth to share. However, as a general guideline, honesty is absolutely the best policy… especially when it comes to being honest with yourself… and your team. Let’s explore that thought a little more deeply, shall we?

 

Honesty is not only a virtue, but it’s a habit. A lifestyle, just like any other habit or recurring action is. Also just like any other habit, it has an opposite or reverse side of itself – the “negative” opposing habit you may fall into. Now, I don’t know what the opposite of being a liar is (is being a “truther” a thing?), but maybe we can just make it a point to do our best to be honest ;).

 

Now, are there ever times when honesty may not be your best bet? Typically speaking, being honest about what’s happening is more beneficial in the long run than not being honest. However, there are a few ways in which you can make sure you’re maintaining your integrity while also not shying away from tough leadership decisions, messages, and so on.

 

3 Ways to Be Honest and Tactful

 

Honesty is important because it builds trust between you and your team. However, just spewing out whatever pops into your head is not what we mean by being honest. Rather, to build and maintain trust and rapport with your team while being honest, some of the following ideas might help.

 

1. Take Time to Step Back and Think.

This is especially helpful if you have something challenging to talk about and/or solve. The challenging times are when you, as a mindful leader, need to take additional care to be at your absolute best so that you can help your team through the aspects of these challenges they may not know how to deal with. Taking a day or three to figure out your wording in order to maintain the best possible relationship with your team is a small price to pay for doing it right the first time.

 

2. Meditate.

When you meditate regularly, it is much easier to widen the gap between data coming in and reactions going out. That space is meant to give you the time and reflection necessary to go from reacting to responding on purpose. Remember… you don’t always have to respond right away. You can also take some time to think.

 

3. Don’t Tiptoe Around the Issue.

If you’ve thought about things all you can and planned your wording all you can, then don’t procrastinate. You should go ahead and address the issue at hand as soon as you’re ready but before you have a chance to talk yourself into waiting longer ;). Analysis paralysis is avoidable if you know what you’re dealing with, so keep that in mind moving forward.

 

The Benefits of Honest Leadership

 

·       Mutual Respect – leadership and employees respect each other and therefore take each other’s ideas more seriously.

·       Crisis Prevention – if everyone is on the same page to begin with, challenging times are much easier to handle.

·       Employee Encouragement – if you are honest about any challenges that come up and have enough confidence in your team to allow them to solve their own problems, not only will your team be more up to the task, but they will find ways to solve problems without having to ask for help if you allow them to.

 

As you can probably tell, honesty, more often than not, is definitely the best policy. Even though it may not always be the easiest way to handle things, it’s much easier than trying to keep track of lies or omissions of truth and which version of your story you told to which person. To keep things simple, maintain your integrity, and prevent the messes lies can create, it’s much easier to be honest to begin with.

 

As always, thanks for joining us here on the Mindful Leader Blog! Continue leading mindfully, and if you’d like to learn more about the International Mindfulness Federation and the Mindfulness Movement, please visit:

http://www.mindfulnessfederation.org/

 

 

 

No matter what your business or company specializes in, your customers are extremely important, and much of their experience depends on the individuals they work with: your employees. As a consumer yourself, I’m sure you’ve noticed when companies, businesses, or even government agencies have “dropped the ball” and are essentially just doing the bare minimum to punch the clock and get paid. Talk about a sad state of being, especially at work where you spend the majority of your waking hours! So how do you go about making sure your employees are happy, passionate, and fully contributing their unique value? Read on to learn more.

 

There are typically five key areas that should be examined to determine whether your work environment is healthy or not. If it isn’t, you may have some work ahead of you, but getting and keeping everyone on track will be well worth it in the long run. If you discover problems in one of these areas, you may need to overhaul everyone’s attitudes and habits, so brace yourself – if you’re a mindful leader getting ready to take on a company or department revision of any kind, be ready for challenges, resistance, and maybe even having to let a few people go (depending on how things play out).

 

Alright, now that we’ve covered the doom-and-gloom part, let’s get back to our usual business of sharing solutions.

 

Five Areas of Interest for a Healthy Work Environment

 

1.      The Leadership.

 

Oh, no! No leader wants to hear this, right? However, one of the first places to look for issues concerning the work environment as a whole is whether leaders in this department or organization are narcissistic, sociopathic, manipulative, or otherwise toxic. If you’re the leader and this doesn’t seem like you, then you might be okay (although you may consider asking for feedback from your employees to be sure). If you’re evaluating another leader’s performance and see any kind of toxic behavior, do what is necessary to keep this person from destroying the health of the organization from within.

 

2.      The Communication.

 

Communication is important anytime there are people involved, so unless you’re living as a hermit, off-grid in a cave somewhere in the mountains, it may benefit you to hone your communication skills… and everyone else, for that matter. Communicative dysfunctions can come in the form of misleading information, indirect communication (sending messages through other people), and withholding information. Pay attention to learn whether this is an area of concern or not.

 

3.      The Side-Effects.

 

Are your employees depressed, gaining weight, suffering from addiction or alcoholism, or not sleeping well? These could all be the result of a toxic work environment, so if one department in particular seems like its employees are unhealthy, sluggish, or just plain miserable, you may need to take a look at that department to determine what’s going on. This type of development over time is not good, and it may eventually even be the downfall of the entire company. It’s better to acknowledge and solve a problem when you discover it rather than letting it fester and get worse.

 

4.      The Rules.

 

If policies and rules are followed sometimes and ignored other times, the entire work environment begins to break down into chaos. One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, and this makes dealing with the company an extremely frustrating experience for its vendors, customers, and even employees. Is everyone up to date on policies and procedures in your department? What about your company as a whole?

 

5.      The Culture.

 

Attitudes can be contagious, whether they’re positive or negative. Just as misery loves company, so, too, does a happy soul love another happy soul to interact with. If your employees complain, feel miserable, and focus on all of the negative aspects of their job, then everyone will be miserable soon enough. However, if there are a few daily habits in place to put everyone in a more positive mood, you can keep the good vibes strong while disempowering chronic complainers.

 

Now that you know where to look for problems, how do you think your company, organization, or department is doing? Is your work environment somewhat healthy, or do you have your work cut out for you? Tell us your story by leaving a comment or reaching out to us via email. We love hearing from you!

 

As always, continue leading mindfully and have a wonderful week. 

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

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