Become a Mindful Manager – 3 Simple Steps

Become a More Mindful Manager and Watch Your Employees Thrive

Every moment matters when you’re working on growing your business. But between conference calls, employee issues, and day to day tasks, remaining mindful in a management role doesn’t come easily to many. Mindfulness is defined as present-centered attention and awareness. While some may describe the Buddhist philosophy as nothing more than a trend, several studies suggest that there are real benefits to being a more mindful manager.

A 2016 analysis of mindfulness research by Case Western Reserve University found that mindfulness can improve relationships and enhance work processes. Remaining present in a leadership position can have a trickle-down effect that positively impacts overall employee functions, like stability and efficiency.

There are also financial savings to consider. According to David Gelles, author of Mindful Work, a highly stressed employee can cost a company an extra $2,000 a year in healthcare.

The benefits and savings alone should encourage all management to focus on their own mindfulness. To make the most of every moment, practice these mindful manager tips.

Evaluate Your Schedule

Being busy doesn’t always equal productivity. Simplifying your schedule is a great step towards management mindfulness. As you minimize your to-do list and distractions, you’ll have more time to focus.

  • Say no when you can. If you’re being asked to participate or assist in something that doesn’t benefit your business, you don’t have to agree. Avoid overbooking yourself.
  • Learn how to prioritize instead of multitasking. Focus on one task at a time and accomplish your most important tasks first thing in the morning. You’ll find you stay more focused throughout the day and accomplish more.
  • Do you have a company mission statement? There are plenty of benefits to writing down what your company stands for, but one is that you’ll be able to reduce stress by making easier decisions based on your values.

By taking control of your schedule, you’ll be less frazzled, more mindful, and better prepared to lead by example.


Learn How to Be Present with Employees

You can’t lead without being physically present, but you also have to make yourself mentally present in order to engage with employees. Take time every day to work within the same space as them. You don’t have to be an employee’s therapist or best friend but don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on new policies or suggestions for time management processes.

Show employees you appreciate them. If yearly bonuses aren’t in the budget, at least find a way to personally thank each member of your team for what they do. Spending five minutes connecting with an employee can be more valuable than impersonal gifts.

When having a conversation with an employee, remember:

  • Listen without allowing your brain to start drumming up a response.
  • Ask questions or take notes to stay focused, especially when asking for feedback.
  • End all conversations on a positive note.


Morning Mindfulness

As part of your company’s leadership team, you can’t rush through your morning routine and suddenly become a mindful manager once you sit at your desk. Try this morning mindfulness activity to get your day started out right.

  1. Begin with a gratitude list. Before you even get out of bed, think of five things you’re grateful for.
  2. Spend your morning focused on your activities. When you’re in the shower, don’t think about the emails you have to send. When you’re eating breakfast, concentrate on the taste, texture, and color of your food instead of wondering how your meeting is going to go.
  3. Practice your breathing as you head to the office. Exhale completely and then quietly inhale through your nose. Count to four. Next, count to seven while holding your breath. Slowly begin to exhale while you count to eight. Repeat for four breaths.

An excellent manager knows how to listen well, communicate effectively, and learn from their environment and employees. To see a difference in how employees respond to management, incorporate these mindful manager tips into your routine.