meditation and leadership

How Meditation Enhances Leadership Skills

meditation

As a leader in a company or organization or any other similar capacity, you are often faced with some of the most demanding tasks in your place of work and also have the responsibility of solving some of the most difficult problems the place you are leading is facing. You have to constantly be at your best mental and physical state and always be ready to take on more challenging assignments.

However, as a human being, there are times when you are not able to hold It together and can’t perform as best as you would want. Meditation can come in handy during such low moments of your life and help you sharpen your mental abilities, increase your level of motivation and energy levels to keep doing your best work, and more.

Let’s have a look at the 8 interesting ways meditation can enhance your leadership skills.

How Meditation Enhances Leadership Skills

1. Improving your attention and focus – Meditation has been found to increase focus and attention, and maintain them over a long period. Studies have shown that meditation styles such as mindfulness meditation, vipassana meditation, transcendental meditation, Hindu meditation, and Buddhist Tibetan meditation help to improve our focus levels in varying degrees. The practices have been found to influence the patterns of the brain that are linked to low levels of attention and mind-wandering, and encourage more attentiveness even on repetitive and boring tasks.

As a leader, improved focus can help you be able to concentrate on the tasks at hand and get fully immersed in the activities you are doing, be it a board meeting, working on personal tasks at work, talking to junior managers and other employees, and any other work-related activities. Your level of productivity improves as you sharpen your focus and it helps you achieve your daily tasks better and faster (1)(2)(3).

2. Enhancing creativity and problem-solving skills – We would all love to become more creative and improve our problem-solving skills. However, the verbal conceptual processes which are automated in our lives as human beings make that an almost impossible task. The verbal-conceptual process are mainly involved in interpreting the experiences we are having and this often becomes a problem for us and makes it hard to come up with creative solutions to our problems.

Mindfulness meditation training can help reduce the automated process as it helps us work with nonconceptual awareness which in turn pave way for insight problem-solving skills and higher levels of creativity. Leaders can benefit from better problem-solving abilities and creativity and can use them to come up with unique strategies that will take the organizations they are leading to the next level in terms of performance (4).

3. Emotional regulation – Meditation has the ability to regulate our emotions and make us happier and more positive. Studies have shown that meditation reduces the chemicals known as Cytokines which are produced by the immune system cells that respond to stress, which often affect your moods and lead to depression. Meditation also influences positive thinking and optimism in people who practice it often.

One of the attributes a good leader should have is emotional balance. There are bound to be stressful and disappointing moments in any leadership position that can make leaders pessimistic going by the continuous failure of different aspects of their organizations and also times when emotions become overwhelming. Meditation can be of help in such times as it can bring you back to good emotional balance, become positive, hopeful of a better future and optimistic, and help you to keep going despite how things are looking at the moment (5)(6)(7).

4. Reducing stress and anxiety – Is your company making consistent losses and getting you worried about what the investors will say in the next board meeting? Wondering what the outcome of the new technology or solution you implemented will be? Are you fearing that your job may be on the line if you don’t get a problem solved within the next few weeks and still haven’t gotten the solution?

The stress and anxiety that comes with leadership can at times be overwhelming to the point of reducing mental clarity and overall productivity at work. And they can make things worse with time. You can take a 10 minutes break and engage in a quick session of meditation which can help you ease the tension and let go of the worry, anxiety, and stress. Meditation helps to reduce the levels of the stress hormone called cortisol that affects your productivity, mental performance, sleep, inner peace, and even blood pressure. Moreover, the awareness, mental clarity, and focus we gain from meditation can help us create a conducive environment for us to solve the leadership problems we have (8).

5. Improving the quality of your sleep – With all the responsibilities you have as a leader, it can be hard at times to fall asleep because of thoughts on how you are going to move the company forward, how you are going to integrate the needed factors and resources for the success of your company, the pressure from the stakeholders and even personal issues with your life and your family.

Racing thoughts keep playing in your mind and before you notice, it is almost morning and you have barely slept. You get out of bed feeling exhausted, cranky, and moody, and end up having a bad day. Meditation can save you from these experiences as it can help you fall asleep faster and longer through the night, and help you wake up feeling fresh and energetic enough to take on the activities of the following day. Meditation reduces the constant mental chatter that comes about when we are about to sleep. It reduces the endlessly worrying thoughts and helps us become peaceful and relaxed which makes it easy to drift off to sleep (9).

6. Deepening our connections and relations – Some of the attributes that help us become more connected with other people at work or home, are empathy, understanding, and compassion. When we can interact with other people with kindness, love, and generosity, we become more socially connected.

Meditation styles like loving-kindness meditation and compassion meditation help us have more positive thoughts and good wishes for everyone including those with whom we don’t get along. In leadership, we rub shoulders with many people we don’t get along with and by practicing meditation, we can learn how to not only tolerate them but also treat and wish them well despite their dislike for us. The good treatment can help us improve our business relations and increase our chances of success in the future. It can even encourage the people who don’t like us to have a change of heart with time (10).

7. Enhancing working memory – The practice of meditation has been linked to positive effects on different cognitive functions including working memory, executive functioning, and visuospatial processing. Researchers have also found that it increases the size of the gray matter in the brain in the regions associated with self-awareness, compassion, learning, and memory, which are areas we can all benefit from in our leadership positions (11)(12).

8. Increasing self-awareness – The more aware we are of ourselves, the more opportunities we discover for growth. Better leaders are those who are aware of their current abilities, their strengths, and weaknesses and are actively working towards improving themselves. Self-awareness is where everything starts, and one of the ways it can be cultivated is through meditation. Meditative practices such as self-inquiry meditation, Tai Chi, and vipassana meditation can help you understand your thought and behavioral patterns and how they affect you and you can use that knowledge to improve the various needing areas of your life to become a better human being and leader (13).

Now that we have seen how meditation provides different benefits that can make you a stronger, and more successful leader, we encourage you to consider taking up meditation and cultivate the habit of meditation regularly.

To begin your meditation journey, you should first determine which meditation style you want to work with. There are many types of meditation out there and each has its own benefits and approach to self-improvement. Take your time to learn and explore each of the styles and then decide which you feel best suits you.

After getting your best match, you should then learn about it in-depth, and understand the concept behind it and how it should be done. After that, get started with it immediately and try to meditate for 1 to 5 minutes per day if you can. You can even work with guided meditation for the meditation style you have chosen so that you are walked through your sessions by a meditation expert and have an easier time meditating than you would have by doing it on your own.

As you keep meditating and getting better and more comfortable with the practice, you can, later on, consider increasing the duration of your meditation sessions and even start meditating on your own. Getting into meditation is as simple as that.

How do you personally think meditating is going to empower you as a leader? Which meditation styles are you feeling could be the best ones for you? Please let us know in the comments below. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “How Meditation Enhances Leadership Skills

  1. David Palmer says:

    Great information here!

    So much of this relates to focused and diffuse modes of thinking. The human mind goes back and forth between those modes, and learning to manage to switch effectively can lead to many of the same results.

    Now that I think about the similarities, I’m realizing that one core benefit of learning meditation is that it helps you learn attention management. When you can’t effectively focus on what needs attention, or allow your diffuse mode of thinking to contribute at the right time in the right way, that helps attain these outcomes, too!

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there David, 

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic.

      We appreciate your opinion and feedback. 🙂

      We wish you all the best as you begin your meditation journey.

      If you ever need help with your practice, feel free to let us know and we will help where we can.

      Cheers, 

      The IYBP Team

  2. I have always been told meditation will help improve many things we like to achieve but not leadership skills. Came across your blog after searching for ways to improve my leadership skills after getting promotion at my current work place. I will be using your guide to improve my skills and have booked mark for easy access. 

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Janette, 

      We are glad you stumbled upon our post just in time. 🙂

      We hope it is going to help you improve your leadership skills by establishing a meditation routine that you will work with in many years to come.

      We wish you success in your new position at work and believe you will get more promotions in the near future. 🙂

      Cheers, 

      The IYBP Team

  3. I was suppose to see this article today and at this time. I’ve been off sick for the last week and I don’t know if I am mentally ready to go back.  As the supervisor too much is place on our shoulders without the understanding that they will too get tired.

    My many reasons for wanting a successful online business.

    I have recently begin researching meditation and ways to turn off the overactive mind at night. I did not know there were different types of meditation. I will be book marking your site to continue reading more on meditation, it is very helpful and informative. Thank you for this. 

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Ashley, 

      We are glad our article came in handy and just in time for you. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, and we totally agree with you. 

      Leadership can sometimes be overwhelming and exhausting.

      We encourage you to take up a meditation practice and work with it in the long term and you will see how it is going to improve your mind and body.

      We look forward to hearing your experience with meditation once you have begun your journey.

      All the best.

      Cheers, 

      The IYBP Team

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