Instead of taking accountability for a challenging situation at work, we often complain about our circumstances or vent our frustrations.
That takes us away from self-reflection and we avoid self-examination. So when your leaders reflect and facilitate quiet moments for their employees to engage in mindfulness, they will reap huge benefits. There are scientifically proven advantages to practicing mindfulness. Here are 4 to consider:
- Reduces anxiety and stress that will raise health-care costs as seen in a 2013 Massachusetts General Hospital study.
- Reduces implicit age and race bias leading to enhanced trust by affecting conscious behaviors. Central Michigan University study by Professor Adam Lueke
- Improves cognition. A study published in Consciousness and Cognition Journal showed a significant improvement in visio-spatial processing, working memory and executive functioning.
- Reduces distractions. In a Harvard study participants made faster and significantly more pronounced attention-based adjustments to suppress irrelevant or distracting sensations and regulate the flow of sensory information.
In the book, 10% Happier by Dan Harris, he states that practicing meditation and mindfulness will make a person at least 10 percent happier. A big win for taking time to reflect.
What makes humans different from other animals is that we think about the future. Being mindful doesn’t change the problems we face, but it helps us respond to problems rather than react to them, which enables us to respond in an accountable way. Help your leaders build reflection time into their day-to-day work by practicing these 4 mindfulness techniques.
- Start small. End meetings five minutes early and allow people to reflect on the meeting and consider what implications arose from topics discussed, actions to be taken, relationship to be mended, etc.
- Start early and set a mindful intention. Encourage leaders to retreat to a quite space in the morning to think about the day ahead in order to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they can achieve. Encourage managers to set an intention for their day, such as, every time they think a negative thought, they might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful, and replace the negativity with positivity.
- Take a breathing break. This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down. Have managers take rhythmic breaths of approximately six seconds in and six seconds out. Repeat for about ten minutes and watch their energy rise and cognition improve.
- Be grateful. Have your managers take four minutes near the end of their work day to write down four things in their day that usually go unappreciated. Then have them be grateful for the seemingly insignificant things in their lives. Most of us rarely give a second thought in our busy lives to simple things like the tree outside the window, the elevator that works like clockwork, lunch that is easily accessible, etc.
Many organizations are incorporating mindfulness at work. At Facebook, Instagram, and Google, some meetings start out with a couple of minutes of meditation. Not only does adding mindfulness make people happier and more present, but it also makes people more productive and more accountable.
Our Accountability Workshop is packed with how-to tools, providing your managers smart answers to their most pressing accountability challenges.
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