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Mindful Leadership

Varsey Laurelle and Molly Williamson talking at table at Haven Collective
Photo by Sugar Plum Creative

Varsey Laurelle, Executive and Leadership Coach, led us through a mindful leadership workshop recently. Many people weren’t familiar with the basics of mindful leadership, so we thought it would make sense to share that knowledge here. This allows you to start on a solid foundation and build off of it as you strive to become a better leader in all aspects of your life.

What is Mindfulness?

The dictionary will tell you that mindfulness is 1) the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something and 2) a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging + accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Some people might find this to be more natural than others. You can cultivate more mindfulness in your life with practice. You’ve probably heard a lot about meditation as a way to do this, but if that feels like too much right out of the gate, try incorporating short pauses into your everyday activities. Combine meditation with other activities you enjoy like yoga. Or try different kinds of meditation to find one that resonates with you. You can meditate in motion or still, in silence or with music, guided or unguided, long or short. The meditation practices are endless and there is no wrong way to do it.

Adding a mindful practice to your life, whether it be a 60-second breathing pause or a 60-minute yoga meditation, is the first step in becoming a present, focused, mindful leader.

What is Mindful Leadership?

A Mindful Leader embodies leadership presence by cultivating focus, clarity, creativity, and compassion in the services of others. That’s a mouthful! But in practice, because they are mindful and calm and aware of the situation, they are creating space for opportunities for creativity, clarity, focus, and compassion. Some of the best leaders harness mindful leadership! They focus on things like thinking, collaborating, and inclusion.

What are the qualities of a Mindful Leader?

  • Mindfulness: Focused instead of distracted. Aware instead of on autopilot.
  • Selflessness: Selfless instead of ego-centered. Confident instead of diffident.
  • Compassion: Kind instead of indifferent. Wise instead of ignorant.

The hardest of these is Selflessness, but letting go of our ego is critical for Mindful Leadership.

What recommendations do you have to continue learning to become a Mindful Leader?

  1. Seek out mindfulness techniques like breathing, meditation, movement, and visualization exercises.
  2. Learn from thought leaders.
  3. Read more on the topic. (The Mind of the Leader by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter)(The Servant Leader by James A. Autry)
  4. Connect with Varsey Laurelle.
  5. Join Haven Collective for more personal and professional growth opportunities, plus replays of all past signature events and workshops like this one. All members get access to the resource library to tap into knowledge exactly when it’s needed most.

You manage processes and lead people.

Sources: MindfulDictionary

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