How to Lead a Team With Mindfulness

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Harvard Business School conducted a survey of service professionals and found that 94% of them worked 50+ hour weeks. In a workplace survey conducted by Staples, 78% of employees felt their employers shared the responsibility of their mental and physical wellness.

Such a substantial amount of precious time in your life span is dedicated to your work. As a result, it is necessary for owners and business leaders to commit to being mindful about their work/life rhythms. When you care for all parts of yourself, you can leverage your unique knowledge, wisdom, experiences and skills to do your job well. And when you’re at your best, you create an environment that fosters wellness and success amongst the team you lead.

Work should and can be a great daily experience for all, but the necessary courage needed for transformation starts with the mindful leader. Here are eight tips to help you on your path to becoming a mindful leader:

  1. Tune into your emotions and feelings. Are sadness and anger emerging? Are you excited and hopeful? Becoming more self-aware provides opportunities for transformation.
  2. Listen closely to your mind/body. When you can notice thoughts and let go of them, you can gain clarity in the moment. This creates new patterns and rhythms for you and your team.
  3. Kick your nervous system out of autopilot. Instead of bottling everything inside, take baby steps and create microdoses of emotional and mental moves. When you take a walk, notice your surroundings. Use your senses to take in a full range of experiences. Small changes make big differences.
  4. Create new habits of coping. The old way of working in isolation isn’t serving us well. Connect with yourself and then engaged with people you team with to find new connections. Often, shared experiences are invaluable—What was like for you during the pandemic? How do you find meaning and purpose? What brings you joy and sadness?
  5. Bring your heart rate down. Stopping to breathe with 6-8 intentional inhales and exhales can change your entire mood and ease your anxiety. Try box breathing, or counting your 1-8 inhales and exhales.
  6. Bring your heart rate up. Sometimes, you might need an activity to sweat it out and release through exercise. Elevate your heart rate and enjoy the rest afterward as a reward to your nervous system for a job well done.
  7. Use a feelings wheel to identify what you are feeling in the moment. Naming our feelings helps in understanding our unique lived experiences, increasing empathy for ourselves and others on our team. The next step is to notice where that feeling shows up in your body. Move the emotion through your body by noticing your feet, hands or other parts feeling the feeling. This can complete the feeling and regulate your nervous system.
  8. Reach out for support. Talking to a good friend or a professional coach, therapist or healer can help guide you to balance.

Whole, unique and talented leaders help businesses thrive. At Scott Hackman Ventures, we believe mindful leaders hold the key to attracting, retaining and training talented people that can transform organizations, communities and the world. Contact us if you’re a leader interested in using mindfulness to guide your personal transformation. Our executive coaching services may be a good fit for you.


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Scott Hackman is the Founder and CVO of Scott Hackman Ventures. He has over 15 years of experience in business advising, coaching, and leading growth through transitions.
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