How meditation can help you be a better manager
Mick Timpson - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

If you are a manager, a regular meditation practice will change the way you manage other people. It will also change the way you manage yourself – guaranteed. 

We have previously described how meditation is principally a change of perspective, a shift in outlook. This shift happens naturally through practice and over time will change the way you see the world and most importantly how you see yourself. A deeper self-awareness will unfold, which will impact on how you operate in the world. For example, if your job requires you to manage others, do things really happen 100% the way you want them to happen? No! People management can feel like hard work, but you can change that. It might be that your outer world of work stays pretty much the same but how you manage those events internally changes completely. Then the world is different. You manage it! 

Seeing a bigger picture 

How many managers have you worked with that always confused status with ability? Similarly,  how many managers have you worked with that confused leadership with management? I have worked with plenty. They might start every sentence with ‘I, Myself, Me…’ They are never that effective because they are locked up inside their own version of themselves. They never see the bigger picture because they are distracted. It's a huge source of management stress for the team and the manager. Being able to see differently, or see more, is a prerequisite to management. Seeing where your team has come from, where they are right now and where they need to get to is in fact vital. But it's not always common. Managers who have difficulty seeing beyond themselves are a threat to the profitability, wellbeing and creativity of any organisation. 

Letting go with purpose 

We know meditation is great at tackling stress, helping managers deal with challenging situations in a professional and effective manner. But there is more. This might sound counter-intuitive but a really good manager needs to ‘let go’. But a ‘managed’ letting go. Letting go with purpose, as we often say in our beanddo make happy work modern meditation programmes. When you meditate, you go deeper; you see more. You pass through what David Lynch calls a ‘gap’. You move into a different sort of space. And in there you will find more effective management tools which you never knew you had. And they don't come from a manual. They come from you! They have been there all the time, just waiting to be unlocked, such as: 

Empowerment - It’s often said that if just one percent of the world meditated right now there would be a global transformation. That's the power of the enlightened person. As a manager, you are like a pebble in a pond. You cause ripples of change to flow out. You have that power to transform and empower everyone around you. Start meditating. 

Resilience - The ability to stay centred and still while everything around you is in flux is a core meditation experience. A meditating manager is never overwhelmed, exhausted or knocked off course, has plenty of time and trust that things will work out fine. 

Empathy - Sensitivity to the needs of others and what they need to do thrive and create is a crucial skill born from meditation. Once you learn to get out of the way of you own self-inflicted fears and doubts, you can help others too. Be free and start practicing. 

Creativity - This is your organisation's most valuable asset. It never runs out as long as you know how to keep your team inspired, open and engaged. Creativity (along with happiness) is by far the best and most useful by-product of your meditation. Don't waste it - start practicing. 

Collaboration - With practice you will come to notice that nothing is isolated. Everything and everyone is connected for a reason and collaboration is how this real human benefit manifests. A good meditating manager celebrates everyone's energy and insight. 

Concentration - A meditating manager is clear on what is needed in the moment to make things work. This requires the ability to direct attention, effortlessly and with purpose. Distracting thoughts, bad ideas and blind alleys might still occur but they are never followed. 

So if management is about planning how to get somewhere, then meditation is about knowing how to get there. Imagine then just how different things could be if all your management decisions and actions were based on seeing what needs to be done clearly and accurately, in the moment, shaped by an inner awareness and not by an external ego. Our advice is to be a meditating manager; trust your insight, be open, creative, playful and generous. Observe what happens. 

Sign-up to our make happy work programme and just 20 minutes of meditation every day will transform you. You won't fail… and neither will anyone else in your team. 

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