Research & Thought Leadership

The Mindful Leader: Developing resilience and collaboration through mindfulness practice

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Mindfulness: The latest solution for the modern world, or just a fad? Supporters of mindfulness training believe it can help leaders better adapt to change. Others say there’s little evidence it’s good for business. Our report introduces a study of senior leaders who undertook an eight-week ‘Mindful Leader’ program using mindfulness training and practice, along with other elements of leadership development. The findings suggest that practising mindfulness for just ten minutes or more a day can significantly improve key leadership skills, such as resilience and empathy. Based on our participant reports, we have begun to develop a theory of mindful leadership, which explores the abilities needed for leaders to respond rather than react to events. This encourages a range of emotional skills such as focus, adaptability, emotional regulation and perspective-taking; all important for successful leadership. Our findings also empathize that mindfulness is not a ‘quick fix,’ and that sustained practise is needed to achieve meaningful results. This has significant implications for those delivering and participating in mindfulness training programs.

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