The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation in Leadership – Ryan Ayers

mickyates Health, Leader, leadership 0 Comments

When you think of what makes people better leaders, yoga and meditation are probably not the first things that come to mind. These solitary, calm, and spiritual practices are all about inner reflection and relaxation—not about relating with others. However, before you can be an effective leader, you have to be in touch with your own mind, which is something that both yoga and meditation can help you achieve. There are lots of reasons to take up yoga and meditation for personal reasons, but it can be a great tool for enhancing your leadership abilities, whether you supervise just a few people, or you’re the CEO. Let’s take a look at why you can help your leadership blossom by using these tools.

Reduced Stress = Greater Effectiveness

As a leader, you know that your team isn’t at peak productivity when they’re feeling stressed out. The same goes for you. If you’re feeling the pressure, then you may not be reacting appropriately to different work situations, and your whole team’s performance can suffer. Yoga and meditation are excellent stress-busters, helping you feel calmer, more relaxed, and more centered when practiced regularly. Because stress can have a major negative impact on your mood, practicing yoga, meditation, or both can help you to be kind and empathetic with everyone around you.

You’ll Learn the Different Ways to Practice—and Work

In yoga, most instructors give options rather than straight directives. They guide the practice, but there are so many variations and modifications that can be made based on each student’s needs. This is an important lesson in leadership as well as in life—that very little in this world is one-size-fits all. Each employee you manage has a different personality, capacity, and needs. Just as a yoga teacher must ensure that everyone in the class is given the opportunity to go through their own practice, you must be flexible in leadership to ensure that everyone’s talents are leveraged properly, and that you’re not making team members resentful or upset regularly. Meditation is also a self-guided practice, and there are lots of “right” ways to achieve a relaxed and clear state of mind.

Opens Up Your Thinking

Stuck in a rut? Try meditating or getting a massage before you head into the office in the morning. It’s easy to lose your creativity when you’re mired in the day to day management tasks you’re responsible for. The quiet, focused time you will enjoy during yoga or meditation can help you open up your thinking, come up with new creative ideas, and even hone your focus. We live in such a loud world that creative ideas often get pushed out by louder, more insistent thoughts that are focused on daily tasks. Make quiet space for these important ideas by leveraging the calming power of yoga or meditation.

Improved Health

There are health benefits to regular yoga practice, both physical and mental. You’ll likely feel calmer, more relaxed, and able to handle stressors if you do yoga regularly, and you’ll also increase your flexibility and strength. Yoga poses can target muscles all over the body in one practice, and you’ll gradually be able to increase your range of motion and ability to hold poses over time. As long as you’re guided by an experienced teacher and listen to your body, yoga is gentle and should not cause injury.

When and How to Practice

You don’t have to be an athlete to get the most out of yoga, and you don’t have to be an introvert to gain benefit from meditation. There are classes for every level, and both men and women attend yoga classes on a regular basis. If you’re not sure where to start with meditation, you can try with a few minutes at home, or see if there are any guided meditation sessions offered near you.

The best time of day for yoga and meditation is—whatever works for you! For many busy people, mornings are usually easiest, and set a great tone for the day. If you’re not a morning person, however, you might want to wind down at the end of the day with your practice. Try a few different times and see what feels best.

Enjoy the Journey

As a leader, it’s important not to stagnate or become complacent. The wonderful thing about yoga and meditation is that these practices are never finished. There is always more to do along the journey. New poses, new discoveries, and constant personal growth. Using these philosophies in your professional life will help remind you that there’s no winning or losing, no final end goal—it’s about maintaining effort and continuing to grow in leadership —and in life.

Problem Solving

5 Ways You Can Better Leverage Employee’s Problem-Solving Skills – JP George

mickyates Leader, leadership, Organization, Teams 0 Comments

The reason that you brought each individual employee onto the team is that they all have unique perspectives. They can each contribute to finding resolutions to difficult problems. But there can be times when creativity is stagnant. HR experts recognize a few tips that can help you to leverage your employee’s problem solving skills.

1 – Take An Interest In Their Future

Employees need to believe that they are contributing something valuable to the company. If they do, they will be more likely to apply themselves at work. Management can help to facilitate that by taking a genuine interest in the individual’s future at the company.

Talk with the employees about where you might see them five years from now with the skills that they have. Ask what they would like to do with themselves and contemplate whether there is a clear path for their skills to manifest themselves and grow at the company.

2 – Encourage Introspection

This should be conducted, at least in part, by example. Show employees what it means to look inwardly and reflect on where you could put forth more effort. Tell them where you think you could improve your relationship with them or something that you think could change about the company. Then put that change into practice. When they see you practicing introspection, encourage them to look inwardly as well.

3 – Regular Performance Incentives

An employer who provides regular incentives is an employer who keeps the staff motivated. Broadly, these incentives can come in two forms: expensive and inexpensive. Primarily, you should focus on inexpensive incentives because they are usually sufficient to keep the staff motivated. Give away an extra personal day, a free lunch, an Amazon gift card, or similar prizes so that the team will always feel like they are working toward something.

The more expensive performance recognition incentives should be more infrequent, like once a quarter or just a couple of times every fiscal year. Give the top salesmen a paid vacation or a large bonus check. When people win or see their coworkers win, they will be motivated apply their problem-solving skills to their career.

4 – Put Up A Suggestions Box

Let employees make these suggestions anonymously if they prefer. You could sort through the suggestions weekly, hold a meeting and then read some of the concerns to the staff. This will let the employees know that their ideas are being considered and even implemented when necessary. Either way, they know that their concerns are being addressed and they will be more likely to continue providing insight. Management should always provide an outlet for employees to give feedback.

A similar practice could be to have personal conversations with each employee on a regular basis. You could do that just once every month. It will let them know that you are listening.

5 – Give Them Respect

Employees sometimes feel indignant toward authority figures because of their superior role. People tend to conflate ontological superiority with the superiority of a role. Treat employees as equals, even when you have to discipline them. One way to show respect is to respect their time. If an employee says that she needs to leave 30 minutes early to take her child to soccer practice, a respectful employer will do everything she can to honor that request if it is possible.

If your staff has been demotivated, know that the issue is not a lack of skill. They are simply not applying their skills. It is your job as the employer to facilitate their motivation.