“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John Maxwell
Being in charge is complicated. Leadership is a delicate balance between facilitating and being part of an effective team, but also taking decisions in a balanced, well-reasoned and decisive manner. Conscious leadership is important to a workplace and workforce. It is important in terms of everything from productivity and efficiency to the mental and emotionally wellbeing of you and your colleagues.
Mindfulness in the workplace starts from the top. The first thing to remember about leadership, when thinking specifically about conscious leadership, is that old cliché, ‘lead by example’. Leaders set out the ethics and habits of a workplace, and so, in order to have a healthy, happy, and conscious atmosphere in your business, you must, personally and professionally, aim to set that precedent.
You may already be doing a great job as a conscious leader, or perhaps you have a little way to go. Regardless, we can always try to do better. Therefore, here are some things to think about when considering how mindful your leadership style is…
1. Open Door Policy
A lot of bosses like to offer a so called ‘open door policy’. This means, in theory, that, should anybody have any queries or problems relating to work, you will always be available. To truly keep to your word on this, you must be prepared to be genuinely available when needed. However, colleagues will only take advantage of your open door if they feel that it is safe and worthwhile for them to walk through. Hearing an issue is one thing, but listening to it, genuinely considering it, and acting upon it are other thigs entirely… and the things that really matter.
The open door policy, when genuine, builds trust between you and your team, fosters honesty and ends up in you making decisions based on the actual needs of your entire workforce, as opposed to their assumed needs.
2. Show Interest
Don’t spate yourself from the people that work under you. Of course, there is an understanding that you are in charge, but a lot of tension can be bought about by leaders who revel in their superiority. You are all people, so treat them as such. It is not beneath you or ‘unprofessional’ to ask your colleague about their kids, or whether they would like a cup of tea… if you treat your team as equals and take real interest in them, you will gain trust and help to galvanise your workforce.
3. Welcome Criticism
You may have a reasonable idea of how you perform as a leader, but the best people to judge your skills of conscious leadership are the people you lead. If you are committed to growing as a leader, then accepting criticism will not only help you to grow, but show others that you are making an effort to be better.
Successful leadership, as I have hinted to already, is largely about trust. Teams to lo leaders for clarity and direction, and so, when you lead, you must do your best to always know where you are going. Not only should you be resolute in the decisions you make but conscious leaders are excellent at explaining their decisions in an accessible way. They also ensure that their team understands why certain decisions may have been made.
5. Take Responsibility
There is nothing more off putting than defensiveness. Part of good conscious leadership is to work ethically and carefully consider matters before making decisions. But more important than that is to be able to admit when you have made the wrong move. Just because you are in charge, it does not mean that you are not human. Own up to your mistakes, and show yourself to be working on doing better next time.
Mistakes are also an opportunity to ask for constructive criticism and to see if any of your team can lend any expertise to the situation. This also highlights their worth to you and your business.
Being a conscious leader rarely comes naturally. Indeed, the very nature of being conscious means to be mindful of the self and to always be striving for better. It may not be an automatic skill, but it gets easier with practice over time.
By Chris Thomson
Another way to lead consciously is to ensure that your workforce are committed to creating mindfulness at work. The Conscious Processional offers a huge range of wellbeing and mindfulness workshops. These will help to help make your business as mindful and productive as possible… The Conscious Professional: Training and Consultancy
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