Mindfulness a key part of any development plan, but for many people it can be one of the most challenging aspects as well.
The data do not lie though. Emotional intelligence is a key predictor of success. So, if you want to take your personal and professional life to the next level, the answer is simple: Build and strengthen your total emotional intelligence, or EQ, through intentional personal and professional development.
The benefits of mindfulness are well documented, but mindfulness is also a space for reflection, for creation, and much more. That is why the Ascent Leadership Development Program contains a mindfulness component, which serves two purposes.
First, a mindfulness practice is simply that important. Mindfulness is beneficial for both your performance and your well-being.
Second, working on a new or expanded habit will help you better understand your unique evolutionary process.
Armed with a new or stronger mindfulness practice and new understanding, you can create virtuous cycles of personal and professional development for yourself and help others do the same. This means stronger leaders, stronger teams, and so on.
For individuals and organizations looking to pinpoint specific areas for development, assessments like the EQ-i are a valuable tool.
Mindfulness can take many forms - yoga, meditation, journaling, and breathing practices are some examples - but it is important to frame it in a way that works for you. For example, Kim Scott calls it “Thinking Time” in her book Radical Candor.
Since launching the Beta version of the Leadership Program, I’ve focused on enhancing my own meditation practice.
Here are five tips that have helped me strengthen and expand my daily practice over the past four weeks.
1. Schedule it. New habits require structure. What gets measured get managed.
a. I’ve been meditating after lunch. I find that it helps me digest my food better and puts me in a good frame of mind for my afternoon.
2. Create a space for mindfulness.
a. Especially when starting out, make sure your environment is somewhere you can relax and focus, undisturbed. Eliminate distractions. Soft music can help, and putting your phone on “do not disturb” is a very good idea.
3. Prompts are your friend.
a. Meditation prompts, guided meditations, journaling prompts, and other mindfulness aids are everywhere. Use them when you need some inspiration or a guide.
4. Be patient. Seek consistent small victories.
a. Habits take time to build and some days will be easier than others. Showing up every day and giving it your best is what matters. Consistency will deliver results.
5. Set an intention
a. Like prompts, an intention can help you focus your practice. Sometimes that intention can be to clear the mind and just relax and breathe. Others, the practice can be focused on a particular goal, topic, or obstacle.
Keep working to refine and improve your own personal practice, and if you need a little more inspiration, here are some excellent resources on the benefits of mindfulness practices and some additional tips to help you continue to grow your own practice.
About the Author:
Matt Beckmann is the Founder & Managing Director of Ascent Consultants. In addition to experience as a former Chief of Staff to the Missouri Auditor and as a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, he has advanced training and certifications in law, business, coaching, athletics, and leadership. His blog content, inspired by his deep passion for unlocking his reader's best potential, consistently equips business owners and individuals with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles that may be hindering growth.
Ascent Consultants provides business and strategy consulting, executive and leadership coaching, and leadership assessments. By converting client growth goals into an actionable "game plan," we help companies and individuals unlock their full potential.