Time for the Mindful Executive
Continuous stress, the feeling of living from crisis to crisis, being ruled by the agenda, longer working hours that are not well defined, taking work home with you and always being available or wanting to be available – who doesn’t have to deal with this?
The disease of being busy.
The average manager can no longer concentrate well and regularly loses focus. Emotions are not expressed or suppressed and there is little or no structured ‘down time’ to recover from them. Worse still, this way of working is experienced as quite normal within very diverse organisations and not conforming to it is seen as weak, not a team player or incompetent.
Create an Anchor point
In order to sustain yourself, it is necessary to create an anchor point within yourself. In order to maintain focus and be effective, both in handling simple tasks and in dealing with very diverse people and emotional processes, it is essential to maintain control over one’s own mind and emotions. It is important to learn to bring the attention back to the self, inwards, so that an action becomes a conscious choice and not an unconscious reaction to external influences.
There are a number of steps that can be used to master your awareness and give yourself a conscious choice:
1. Be aware of where your attention is going.
2. Interrupt the current flow of attention
3. Bring your attention back inward, for example by focusing on your breath
4. Transform your attention: make a conscious choice of what you want to give your attention to
5. Bring your attention outward to the subject of your choice
Freedom of choice is created by cultivating your attention, for example through meditation or mindfulness. By practising one of these techniques, you learn to become master of your mind, you no longer live on automatic pilot and you learn to make conscious choices.
Mindfulness techniques are also applied in Executive Coaching processes.