Where do you find your peace?
Where do you find your peace?
Being business coaches, VIM Executive Coaching is frequently asked questions about increasing productivity in the workplace, being more effective, squeezing every second out of every day with maximum output. There are indeed many books written on the topic, in fact, a whole library full.
But in reality
Even sharks rest, you know, and there are no practical perpetual motion machines. And, we have known many hard-chargers who do relax but unfortunately, it was in the neighborhood bar or some other destructive pattern. Things break, and things break down. Neither the human body nor the human psyche can be pushed without consequence. It takes a toll somewhere – and if not the hard-charger, it can be his or her family and friends.
We are proponents of mindfulness meditation not because we are espousing a philosophy or believe in pushing a health-based agenda (though the research is on our side), but because the five or ten minutes of meditation before, during or after the workday can yield remarkable results.
Despite the efficiency books and the productivity systems, along with expensive software and older school planners and organizers, our experience with coaching executive leaders shows mindfulness meditation to be invaluable. If we can take a few minutes to respond to our breath, our environment, our very mental state, it has a profound influence on how we respond to our co-workers, peers, those we manage and the very problems that confront us.
Our workplaces, indeed our lifestyles are virtually set up to keep our engines running until they burn out. Whether the digital folly of social media, reality TV, serialized episodes, the latest and greatest smartphone devices or the constant demand for faster and quicker, many of us observing executive leadership see people based their lives on reaction rather than authenticity. It is a dangerous precedent with dangerous outcomes.
We can’t go back, no…
True we can’t go back to rotary phones, Dictaphones or electric typewriters; our workplaces move in different ways and require different tools. Nevertheless, all of the devices in the world and all of the software created to run the devices – and then some, cannot replace calm and peace and cannot, in and of themselves, replace effective leadership.
While we are told that we are all more connected than ever, those who tell us that, have become more disconnected emotionally and socially. For every advance we see digitally, psychologists and sociologists tell us that the lack of self-awareness in our society is affecting not only our workplaces but our families.
Tools such as mindfulness meditation allow us to find peaceful places, islands if you will, that allow executive leaders and those they manage to reach an authentic and self-aware place. Those who eschew the creation of places where they can better respond rather than blindly react, are often out of touch, unaware and generally annoying individuals. They serve no one, especially themselves.
Yes, a leader can be a hard-charger. She or he can react to everything if they so desire, and be inauthentic executives. Where do they find peace? Generally, they don’t. It does take a toll and the toll eventually is that they become strangers to themselves.
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