Are You a Mindful Manager?

What does mindfulness have to do with managing?  Most of us think of meditation when we hear the word mindfulness, but meditation is really just a great way to practice being mindful.  Regular mindfulness practice improves our ability to stay in the moment and focus on what’s important.

Managers experience a barrage of stimuli every day including constant emails and interruptions.  For some managers, texting has also been added to the list of daily interruptions.  Keeping mindful at work means staying in the moment and staying focused on the most important tasks at hand.  Priorities change, but staying calm and avoiding too much multitasking are good habits for the success of any manager.  What else might you do to be a more mindful manager?

  • The first step in being a mindful manager is turning off your “auto pilot.”  With auto-pilot off, you will be able to keep high-level goals in mind, such as taking care of the relationships in your work group.
  • Connect with colleagues in a personal and meaningful way.  Questions such as “How have you been?”,  “How was your weekend?”  or  “What are you doing for the holidays?” may be forgotten when a manager gets too stressed.
  • Limit interpersonal conflict by avoiding sending emails about sensitive matters.  A personal conversation is always better since emails may unintentionally deliver the wrong message or tone.
  • Take control of your email.  Turn off email alerts and read email at reasonable intervals.  When you do check, ask whether something is urgent, important, or both?  If it’s not urgent, don’t elevate it over other high priority items.

Even 5 minutes of mindfulness can change the course of your day.  When you are mindful, you may get a brand new idea or see something from a different perspective.

Can you turn down your “auto-pilot” today?



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