Why is mindfulness important to your business?
As the founder and CEO of a growing marketing company, I’m a firm believer in integrating mindfulness into the workplace. Our team at Good Aim Communications practices mindfulness together and we’re better for it. We think more before we speak. We breathe when conversations get tough. We notice when our own “stuff” is getting in the way.
We also talk about ways that we can integrate mindfulness into our work and personal relationships for the greater good of our business and community. Here are six reasons why mindfulness is important to your business:
- We’re the best version of ourselves. Don’t we all want to head into our days as our best selves? This typically doesn’t happen without a solid morning routine that involves at least one facet of mindfulness. A great business day starts at home. Before you step out the door, take a moment to sit down and connect with your breathing, noticing your thoughts and body sensations. Is there a theme to the thought train chugging down the tracks of your mind? Become curious about it. Notice how many times your brain reminds you of your to-do list or a difficult conversation. Is there a nagging ache or pain in your body that you can tend to today? Self-awareness and self-love offer a tried-and-true path to the best version of ourselves. We already know how mindfulness can improve illnesses such as high blood pressure, anxiety and depression – imagine what a regular mindfulness practice can have on your work mentality.
- Words of anger poison your business. I’ve seen how one conversation engaged in with anger can destroy a work relationship. Instead, mindfulness invites us to notice our frustrations and anger, and get curious about it. What’s at the root? Is it something that needs discussed calmly or was it a misunderstanding that needs to be forgiven internally and released? How might pausing – perhaps walking around the block for fresh air or waiting before reacting – help improve our conversation and perhaps save a key relationship?
- Improving yourself improves your team. When we’re disconnected from ourselves, we’re disconnected from others. However, the opposite is also true: When we’re connected to ourselves, we can connect with others. All this takes is a brief pause with some conscious breathing, noticing your belly filling with air and releasing it. It’s amazing to me how a one-minute pause can help us be more present for ourselves, which in turn allows us to be present for others. The greatest gift we can give someone is our full attention, our true presence. How often do you give that to others? To yourself?
- We make more sound decisions. Mindfulness helps us connect to our innate wisdom; when we’re calm, we think clearer and can make better decisions for ourselves, team, company and clients. When I get quiet, silence my phone and meditate on an issue or decision, I tend to reach innovative decisions (sometimes obvious conclusions) that hold the power to revolutionize our company or a client’s future. In a recent study, it was shown that just 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation led to better decision making for business leaders. Finding a mindful practice that centers you – even for just 15 minutes – can have a deeper impact on your business than you might think.
- Focus is power. How many good decisions do you make while distracted? I’d wager to say not many. On average, we’re interrupted every 11 minutes – and it can take up to 25 minutes to refocus. That adds up to a lot of wasted time and energy. Increasing your focus benefits your team and clients with more brain power and creativity. A friend of mine was recently in a bad car accident; a distracted driver behind her plowed into the back of her minivan with her and her young son inside. Thankfully they walked away from the accident, but her vehicle was totaled and the distracted driver was arrested for endangering lives. Never underestimate the power of focus: It can help save a project, relationship or even a life.
- Mindful leaders are mature. Mindful leaders are aware of what’s going on in their thoughts, bodies and home lives—and know that those are their own experiences. This empowers them to respond in high-pressure or emotionally charged situations instead of reacting in a volatile way. Mindful leaders do not let their negative thoughts, feelings and senses taint their day or run roughshod over their coworkers. They calmly attend to what needs attended. Maybe that nagging toothache just needs a dentist, not a snappy comment to your receptionist. Maybe that trouble at home needs a private discussion or counseling, not a cold shoulder to the team. Mindfulness gives leaders tools to acknowledge what is bothering them and respond in a practical, mature way that empowers their leadership and strengthens the bonds of a team.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post where I’ll equip you with some mindfulness techniques you can incorporate into your business practices.