Can mindfulness help you become a better leader?

Survindar Chahal, content and customer experience manager at First Practice Management, explains how you can practice mindfulness as a practice manager

Do you ever find yourself trapped in difficult situations, being anxious about the future or worried about how to manage your employees effectively? We know that being a practice manager is not an easy job, and you can easily get caught up in a web of anxious thoughts. This may have a negative impact on your productivity, your relationships with your colleagues and even with your private life.

One way to stop this from happening is to practice mindfulness – but let’s define mindfulness first. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Lots of you might think that this is something you already do day-to-day but, due to the hectic nature of the PM job, we know that being present and aware of what’s going on in the moment, is something that sometimes is easily forgotten. So today we will talk you through five facts about mindfulness and how it can help you be a better manager.

How to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness can be cultivated through several techniques. Here are some examples:

  1. Seatedwalking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down, but often leads to sleep).
  2. Short pauses we insert into everyday life.
  3. Merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports.

(Mindful Staff, 2020)

How mindfulness can help you as a manager

Being mindful means that you are able to pay attention in the moment while maintaining relaxation – a state of self-control in which someone is aware of their feelings and emotions and is able to think clearly, identify issues and stay on track both mentally and emotionally.

In this way mindfulness not only helps you personally, but also with managing your team in the best possible way. Your team is following your example so the more prepare you are to handle situations the more you are, ultimately, inspiring your staff to do the same.

Mindfulness has also been associated with emotional intelligence, the ‘ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognise and influence the emotions of those around you’. Psychologist Daniel Goleman has stated that, “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way – they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.” (HBR, 2019)

Mindfulness has also proven to help with all four stages of emotional intelligence. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review stated that mindfulness training procedures helps leaders in developing three capacities – resilience, the capacity for collaboration and the ability to lead in complex conditions. The study also highlights that the rate of development depends on the frequency of the training. Attending more workshops, and practicing mindfulness every day for 10 minutes, will strengthen someone’s leadership skills, compared to those who do not. (HBR,2016)

Five facts about mindfulness

  1. Anyone can do it: mindfulness requires practice but it’s easy to learn and anyone can benefit from it.
  2. It frees the mind: being a PM means that your mind is full of thoughts and you are constantly planning, reflecting and developing strategies for the practice. Mindfulness will help you be fully present and see the world from a different perspective.
  3. Gives you new ideas: apart from all the anxiety, worrying and stress, we all have uncovered ideas and creative thoughts waiting to be investigated. “Practicing mindfulness clears away the mental chatter and makes way for new creativities to emerge. Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not a trait or a skill; it is a state of mind.” (,2018)
  4. Improves your ability to focus: it might be hard to focus when you start, but practice makes perfect and, with time, you will notice that you have greater control over concentration.
  5. You don’t need to change: practices that require people to change who they are have proven to be unsuccessful. However, mindfulness will help bring out the best of you as well as enabling you to discover traits you didn’t know you have.

Want to find out more and practice mindfulness? We have created a new Thornfields Training Course for 2022. This workshop gives delegates a brief practical understanding of what mindfulness is, its potential benefits and how individuals may benefit from including it in their daily routine to contribute to their sustained overall well-being.  

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