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Mindfulness tips for managers

Published by: LifeWorks,


It may seem challenging to become more mindful during a busy workday. However, it’s easy to incorporate mindfulness into daily activities. Here are a few ways to be a more mindful manager:

Reflect before reacting. A key to practicing mindfulness is to pause before reacting, especially when you are handling a customer complaint, a staff conflict, or a challenge at work. Instead of saying the first thing that comes to your mind, take a deep breath, process your reaction, and think carefully about how to stop a negative dynamic from taking shape. This pause-and-plan approach takes practice, but once you develop the skill, you can apply it in stressful workplace situations.

Focus on one task. Next time you’re writing a report or answering an email, focus only on that activity. Each time your mind wanders—and it will wander—acknowledge the thoughts and bring your attention back to the task at hand.

Make time for mindful breathing. To breathe mindfully, shift your attention from whatever is going on to the act of taking a single purposeful breath. There are many ways to sneak in mindful breathing during the workday, regardless of how busy you are. Some people use bathroom breaks or coffee refill time to engage in several minutes of mindful breathing. Others put stickers on the receiver of their phones as a reminder to pause for three rings before answering, and use that time to take a mindful breath.

Tune into your body. Some people grind their teeth when they are stressed, others clench their fists. Start to recognize early signs that you’re stressed. Then you can take preventive actions to breathe mindfully and work through the stress before it escalates.

Be a more mindful listener. Many of us could be better listeners. Focus completely on whoever is speaking and make him or her the main object of your awareness. Notice the person’s body language, tone, and facial expression. Tune out any background noise and concentrate on the point the speaker is trying to convey.

Use your senses. Lunchtime can provide mindfulness moments that allow for a true break from the stress of the workday. Try mindfully eating your meal by noticing the scent and colors of your food and the textures in your mouth. Or take a walking break outside, where you can focus on being aware of the weather, the trees, the color of the sky, and the warm sun.

By slowing down, breathing, and reflecting, you can increase your ability to work effectively and make the best decisions.

More support for managers looking to practice mindfulness is available for LifeWorks clients. Log in at any time by going or connect by mobile app. There you can search for “manager and mindful” for more articles and resources.

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