One of the best ways to help your team practice mindfulness is to be a mindful leader. When you’re more centered and aware, your staff respond accordingly.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment – not allowing your mind to become tangled up in what happened yesterday or what you’re worried might happen tomorrow. Studies indicate that mindfulness increases concentration, improves resilience, reduces stress and boosts decision-making capabilities.
Here’s how to help your employees – and yourself – embrace mindfulness.
1. Make it voluntary.
A “mindfulness activity” requirement rarely fosters mindfulness. In fact, it’s far more likely to do the opposite: Participants who don’t particularly want to be there will focus on what else they’d rather be doing, not on maintaining their awareness in the present moment.
Encourage mindfulness by making mindfulness options available, but not mandatory.
2. Share and use simple mindfulness exercises.
One of the easiest mindfulness exercises is simply to pay attention to your breathing. Pay attention to every breath as it goes in and out, without trying to change it. If you notice your attention wandering, just bring it back to your breathing, without judgment.
This exercise can be done for a few seconds or for several minutes. It’s simple, portable and it puts you squarely in control of your awareness – all of which are ideal for cultivating mindfulness anywhere, at any time.
3. Create a quiet space in the office.
Law offices don’t tend to be raucous, but they are often sites of intense concentration. Encourage employees to step away from work and re-center themselves by creating a quiet space in which they can do so. For instance, you may set aside a small room for mindfulness. No work allowed!
4. Do mandate regular breaks.
Lawyers and legal support professionals tend to be driven. It’s not unusual for many professionals in this field to work through lunch or to skip breaks.
By requiring staff to take a lunch break or other short breaks through the day, you help prioritize mental reenergizing and mindfulness. The break brings your staff “down to earth,” reminding them to be present in their daily lives as they work through a tough problem.
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