Are you a mindless leader or a mindful leader?

 

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Leaders are responsible for making quick  yet “correct” decisions about critical issues and executing those decisions.

It is critical for leaders to be non-judgmental or neutral in evaluating, deciding and taking action.  “Judgment” is often paired with a negative emotion (which our brain interprets as “pain”), which then closes doors to insight, awareness, empathy and solutions.

When we are mindful, or aware without judgment, we have a greater opportunity to evaluate our thoughts, feelings and beliefs without judgment. Being able to label or re-frame these “mindless” assertions, also allows us the opportunity to neutralize the negative charge that comes with the judgment associated with our reactions, painful feelings and “shoulds.”

At that point of awareness and reframing, we then have a choice, and thus an opportunity to execute that choice, try it out and see what happens, instead of being held hostage by the past. Labeling events and feelings, as well as an increased awareness at the levels of sensing, observation and knowing integrates and balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain (Badenoch, 2000).

Leaders can develop the skills to be intentionally mindful, sustainable leaders by developing the muscle of mindfulness in their brain.  As a leadership coach who is an expert in the combination of relationships, communication and neuroscience, I have seen leaders whose peers and subordinates describe as “mindless” and “socially inept” be able to ramp up and learn the skills pretty quickly, and see a noticeable difference in their effectiveness at work, but also significantly lowering their stress level in the process.

About the Author Christina

Christina Haxton is the Chief Potential Officer & Founder of The Center for Sustainable Strategies, a business strategy & executive advisory company, assisting technology and life science entrepreneurs, business owners & CEOs to build a strong, purpose-driven company, achieve sustainable growth & avoid burnout. Contact Christina at (970) 387-8935 or christina@sustainable-leaders.com to inquire about speaking, training, coaching and consulting solutions for yourself or your company.

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1 comment
brainpathways says October 13, 2010

It’s good to see people like you helping educate leaders to understand the principles and practices of practical neuroscience. Respecting and leveraging each others strengths, empathy and communicating on each others wavelengths go a long way to build sustainable organizations.

Stephen Hager
President
http://www.brainpathways.net

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