By: Chantelle Fitzgerald, CEO of Mindset Strategies
Mindfulness helps us to be present, centered, focused, and can lead to better productivity, better relationships with colleagues, and an overall happier workplace culture and morale. The immense impacts that COVID-19 has had on all industries and individuals shows the importance of having mindfulness practices and systems already in place in an organization. When leaders are mindful, this helps them better handle crises and lead their teams through challenging times successfully.
To help leaders create a culture of sustainable mindfulness from the C-Suite to employees on the frontline, follow these five top tips:
1. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! –– It is one thing to learn mindfulness tools, it’s a whole other ball game to practice these tools daily. The more that you practice, the better the individual and the company will be. Mindfulness tools that we have taught have helped to increase morale, build self-confidence, create better relationships internally / externally, and increase productivity, focus, and overall bottom line.
2. Accountability: In order for mindfulness tools to stick, there must be accountability. Therefore when we work with clients, everyone gets an accountability buddy to help them practice the tools.
3. Merit Increase / Goal Setting: When mindfulness tools are integrated into the culture of an organization and employees have the opportunity to set this as a goal this can create HUGE dividends for the employee and company. How? The more mindful a person is, oftentimes the better decisions the person makes, and therefore it can result in saving the company money, or helping to increase the bottom line. If an employee is able to show a decrease in money spent and/or increase in the bottom line based on leveraging mindfulness tools, this can be rewarded through a merit increase to the employee. Integrating this practice, creates additional accountability and helps to foster a culture of sustained mindfulness.
4. Senior Leadership Modeling: When the C-Suite and other high level leaders practice mindfulness, and leverage mindfulness tools, it sets the tone for everyone else, and the culture of an organization. When you see the CEO and other leaders “fully” listening and being present with other employees, customers, and stakeholders this creates a HUGE ripple effect. When you see the C-Suite leaders using a technique that we call “A minute to arrive,” which is taking 60 seconds to center yourself before a meeting begins, then that helps to set the tone for other leaders in the company to follow. It starts from the top to lead and demonstrate.
5. Psychological Safety: Creating an environment of psychological safety is another BIG one. What this means is that people feel comfortable working with their colleagues / teams. Employees are able to be themselves and speak up if they disagree with something and not feel like they are going to get fired or stabbed in the back for saying what they think. Leveraging mindfulness tools to cultivate empathy and compassion is key.
Right now, companies and individuals are dealing with significant change and challenges, making it crucial that leaders are able to lead confidently and adeptly. Mindfulness is one way that a leader can become more empathetic leaders who understand how to adapt under pressure and how to guide their teams to do the same. But it’s critical that we don’t stop here and return to normal as we transition out of these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations need to create a culture of mindfulness so we are more prepared for crisis and unexpected change in the future.
Chantelle Fitzgerald is the founder of Mindset Strategies, LLC and an expert in mindfulness in the workplace and leadership development. She will be starting a three month leadership training program– Mastering Resilience starting June 2020. If you would like to learn specific tools and practices on being resilient, live life with calm, ease and abundance, click here to sign up and chat more about how this program will help you through the pandemic.