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- Talal Ghandour, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch - UAE
Developing leadership communication through mindfulness helps in sharpening your mental and emotional states which require to strengthens your mind.
In the 21st-century across the globe, most leaders speak in unimaginable ways. Through social and mass media, the speech of one leader can go viral around the world. As we look at this global net of communication, there are plenty of examples of speech used to inflame the passion for violence, to separate people into sectarian and ideological tribes.
Very few speak which leads to peace and harmony. People justify harsh speech because they believe they are speaking on behalf of a worthy cause. Ultimately, stirring up animosity, acrimony and anger is planting painful suffering seeds that hurts and leads to physical, mental and emotional abuse/violence.
For most this is difficult because we wander away in the mind. Failure, again and again, is part of the learning and development process. Yes, many learnings are expensive and painful ones. That would mean mindfulness is about to stop being self-critical but take the path of self-compassion. Remember breath is the anchor that stops you from wandering in the mind and keeps you in mind flow
Even though mindfulness is becoming very popular in the leadership fraternity, unfortunately, for most leaders, it is just a fashion and fad statement. They only speak about it but are not living it, this can clearly be seen through their communication and actions.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, being aware of where you are and what you are doing and no matter what the circumstances to be aware of your body, thoughts, feelings and mind without judgment.
Mindfulness allows you to win the hearts of people because you learn to deal with their true feelings. Through courage, clarity, conviction and compassion you gain the ability in embracing conflicts (within yourself and others), enriching relationships (knowing yourself and others better) and tapping into emotional wisdom (easily distinguish negative and positive emotions, feelings, actions, thoughts). All leading to being in a state of mind-flow thus elevating every aspect of your work and life.
This means three things:
Be more persuasive and influential in the way you manage a situation
With greater ease eliminate conflicts or misunderstandings to resolve matters
Listen without any preconceived ideas about what should or shouldn’t be said or done
To gain insight into developing leadership communication through mindfulness is to experience it. It is of no use merely to write, read or lecture about mindfulness but rather practice it. Therefore it involves leaders, teams and individuals walking the eightfold path on a daily basis.
This requires training, learning and development in three essentials aspects called WED: (a) Wisdom (b) Ethics (c) Discipline. In this manner, making you mindful to kindle courage, clarity, conviction and compassion in any situation by walking the eightfold path.
“Wise View” is having wholesome concepts and ideas.
“Wise Intention" is having wholesome determination and awareness.
“Wise Speech” is having wholesome verbal (words), vocal (voice) and visual (body language) communication.
“Wise Action” is having wholesome behaviour that is in accord with the truth.
“Wise Livelihood” is having wholesome ways to make a living/ working with others.
“Wise Effort/Diligence” is having wholesome ways to cultivate actions, skills and thoughts.
“Wise Mindfulness” is having wholesome ways to remove those toxic sticky mental and emotional habits and judgments.
“Wise Concentration” is having wholesome ways in knowing nothing is permanent, everything is continuously changing and for every effect, there is a cause.
Harming, violating or abusing yourself or others certainly is not being a mindful leader. Mindfulness leadership is carried throughout your every living moment. It includes being mindful when you speak, think, eat or walk. Every interaction, activity and engagement requires you to practice mindfulness. It is not just about taking the time out to meditate.
When you are lost in anticipation, indulgences, or worry that is not mindful. Holding on to the bitterness of rejection, resentment and regret is neither mindfulness. Thus, you have opened the gateway to unwholesome acts, unskillful ways and unwanted thoughts.
Mindfulness means observing and cleaning your belief system. Yes, this a tough one as cleaning would involve especially removing those sticky mental and emotional habits and judgments that lead to escalating unwholesome acts, unskillful ways and unwanted thoughts.
To be mindful is to be fully present. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, being aware of where you are and what you are doing and no matter what the circumstances to be aware of your body, thoughts, feelings and mind without judgment. It requires you to be fully attentive to everything as-it-is and stop filtering through your emotional, mental or physical ways.
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Marcelly Suhali, VP of Sales, Walton International - Singapore
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Talal Ghandour, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch - UAE
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