We are in The Knowledge Economy, requiring flat, networked-based crews with decentralised decision-making. This ‘flat’ collegial way of working, requires an attendance to mindset rather than skillset. By mindset we mean focusing on our underlying assumptions, how these shape our ‘reality,’ and the possibilities for the future.
A vehicle for accessing our assumptions is through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is about creating in ourselves a state of active open attention on the present, on purpose and non-judgmentally. Calling on an integrated three-part approach to becoming mindful, from Shapiro et al 2006, that Intention, Attitude and Attention (IAA), can really pay off. By increasing our awareness of the importance of mindset in our leadership, we become more able to shape our ‘reality’ and the possibilities for the future, including our adaptation to ever changing circumstances.
Unless thought has been given to what individuals or teams are there to achieve as an outcome (not the same as what they are there to ‘do’ ) a lot of time and energy can be wasted either doing things that are duplicating what someone else is (or should be) doing, or things take much longer than they need to. As a result what is delivered can often be unnecessarily complicated / over-engineered or just plain wrong as a means to deliver the intended outcome/purpose of the team or individual.
I have recently been seeing the positive benefits from women sharing success stories and lessons learnt from their experiences. As working mothers we can sometimes get stuck in a rut and end up feeling like that hamster on a wheel, running like mad and going nowhere. So here are few lessons learnt that have helped… Read more
Most of us can tell when we are demotivated; when the job isn’t right for us, when the environment has gone bad or the boss is just not the kind of person you can work with. We all recognise those external factors that demotivate us reasonably easily. But what if the job is ok, environment ok and the boss is fine, but we are still not firing on all cylinders? No stress, not tired, but you aren’t operating at 100%
Respond or React?
Feeling run-ragged by a pile of increasing commitments, and running from one thing to another? It doesn’t really have to be this way. This is called reactivity and it can become a habit. Being reactive gives us an adrenalin boost and in the short -term feels good, because we are seen to ‘save the day‘ so that’s why we get into the habit in the first place.
React or Respond?
When we react, we feel an urgency, a lack of choice. We may feel as though we’re going down a tunnel or blind alley which seems to get narrower and narrower with less and less visibility. Conversely, when we respond, rather than react, our behaviour is based on conscious thought, the kind of thinking that considers options. We are able to take a breath amidst the discomfort, to see and scan the choices. This is the stuff that leadership is made of.
Over-using the fight/flight reaction, leads to wearing us out, literally. Too much adrenalin and cortisol inhibit the production of immune-giving white cell production. Another reason why we need to care what state we’re in, is that we use up valuable energy and head space that we could be using for other more long term benefit things, like strategy and planning. In our blog we give some powerful tips for a sustainable contented life style. They focus around your thinking and what you give your attention to. You are in the driver’s seat after all.