Being part of a healthy organization contributes to the well-being, engagement, and productivity of the people in them. This may sound transparently obvious, but it is a fact that is routinely overlooked or ignored. Leaders who are patient, understanding, compassionate, and clear communicators contribute directly to the health of the people on their team.
Conversely, leaders who rule by rigidity, intimidation, and manipulation may get short-term results, but they will ultimately diminish the well-being, engagement, and productivity of individuals as well as the organization.
This is not touchy-feely, new age, management jargon. This is basic human biology. In the short term, the chemicals of stress motivate us. A deadline, a target, a goal, competition these can lead us to marshal useful internal resources. Over time, however, a constant drip of stress hormones will take a significant toll on our individual health, our performance, and on our relationship to others.
This is why it is vital that people in an organization feel that they matter and that their well-being matters. This is the role of the leader. Maintaining the bandwidth to do this is why leaders have a duty to work on their own well-being. There are some obvious ways to do this get enough sleep, exercise, put good food in your body, and spend time with people you love these all support vitality.
Equally fundamental is the cultivation of awareness, acceptance, gratitude, compassion, awe, and joy. These are building blocks of good life practice. These internal resources support resilience, connection, and calm in the face of constantly changing demands. Spending time on these things enhances our ability to return our attention to what is most important when we get distracted and to use our energy purposefully and powerfully.
Its funny that these are talked about as soft skills when, in fact, these laser like tools make us sharper, more insightful, and better able to make tough, principled choices that leverage our energy in the most meaningful ways.
Your brain may tell you that these are a waste of time, or that you simply dont have the time to practice these things. This is only true if the health, engagement, and productivity of the people in your organization is not a priority. The main reason that your brain tells you that you dont have time is so that you will return to the way you already do things. This is a great trick that your brain uses to save energy. It takes energy to consciously develop a new skill, and your brain hates to use more energy than it absolutely has to.
And heres the crazy part it doesnt take that much time. You can cultivate awareness, acceptance, gratitude, compassion, awe, and joy as you go about your day.
Begin with two minutes when you wake up, simply asking What am I most grateful for? Wait until you can feel a sense of gratitude and breathe deeply into it.
Stop several times a day and consciously bring your attention to what is going on within you and around you with a sense of acceptance.
Practice box breathing before a meeting or at lunch.
Look around, and let yourself wonder about the complexity of the lives around you. You can acknowledge that we all struggle no matter how put together we look on the outside.
Sitting up or standing -- drop your shoulders, open your chest, breathe deeply and smile as you savor the miracle of being alive.
Check-in with someone on your team and ask three simple questions and then listen without interrupting to solve, fix, or compare their situation to yours. The questions are:
Whats going on? What feels most important right now? How can I support you?
The opportunities for practicing a good life are limitless. The payoff for your organization is significant. Leadership is the practice of looking out for the well-being of the team and that begins with your own.
Would you like a more graceful and powerful relationship to life?
Dave gives individuals and teams the tools they need to live and work peacefully, positively, and purposefully. If you are seeking greater well-being, stronger relationships, more effective communication, or healthier culture, then contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.appliedattention.com
The Morning Email
Wake up to the day's most important news.
- Stanford Medicine magazine reports on the future of vision - Stanford Medical Center Report - August 25th, 2017
- OU Biology professor awarded grant for corneal research - News at OU - August 15th, 2017
- Geoengineering and Synthetic Biology - PLoS Blogs (blog) - August 15th, 2017
- The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Appoints SPARGO, Inc. as Official Exposition and Advertising Sales and ... - Newswise (press release) - August 15th, 2017
- Alexion, Sema4 Partner on Rare Disease Diagnostics and Systems Biology - Drug Discovery & Development - August 15th, 2017
- Student-friendly, research-savvy new Biology Building opens its doors - Source - August 15th, 2017
- Nominations open for the PLOS Computational Biology Research Prize! - PLoS Blogs (blog) - August 15th, 2017
- We've studied gender and STEM for 25 years. The science doesn't support the Google memo. - Recode - August 14th, 2017
- Google Manifesto: Does Biology Explain Gender Disparities in Tech? - Live Science - August 13th, 2017
- Sleep biology discovery could lead to new insomnia treatments that ... - UCLA Newsroom - August 13th, 2017
- Google worker says women don't advance in tech because of biology - CBS News - August 7th, 2017
- Researchers describe protein previously unknown in biology - Phys.Org - August 7th, 2017
- Can Buddhist Practices Help Us Overcome The Biological Pull Of Dissatisfaction? - NPR - August 7th, 2017
- The biology of color - Science Magazine - August 7th, 2017
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Advances Cryo-EM Leadership to Drive Structural Biology Discoveries - Markets Insider - August 7th, 2017
- Cell Atlases Reveal Biology's Frontiers - Quanta Magazine - July 12th, 2017
- CRISPR adds storing movies to its feats of molecular biology - Science News Magazine (blog) - July 12th, 2017
- Era of 'Biological Annihilation' Is Underway, Scientists Warn - New York Times - July 12th, 2017
- Biology test no longer required for high school diploma | The Seattle ... - The Seattle Times - July 12th, 2017
- Crowdfunding campaign supports biology field study - Cornell Chronicle - July 12th, 2017
- Synthetic Biology Advance May Put Microbiomes on the Clock - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - July 12th, 2017
- University of Vermont faculty win grant to explore biology major - vtdigger.org - July 12th, 2017
- Carbon nanotubes mimic biology - Phys.org - Phys.Org - July 12th, 2017
- SJW's Melt After Feminist YouTuber Tells Them Human Biology 101 - The Federalist - July 12th, 2017
- Sea Spiders Move Oxygen with Pumping Guts, Marine Biologists Say - Sci-News.com - July 12th, 2017
- Molecular Biology Enzymes and Kits and Reagents Market Worth $26.7 Billion by 2025: Grand View Research, Inc. - PR Newswire (press release) - June 29th, 2017
- Readers respond to climate activists, Washington's biology-test twist - Pacific Northwest Inlander - June 29th, 2017
- Chemists discover biology's version of the Friedel-Crafts alkylation - The Biological SCENE - June 29th, 2017
- SCOTUS just made a mockery of biology AND the Second Amendment - Conservative Review - June 28th, 2017
- Biology teacher is accused of soliciting sex with a teenager - Lexington Herald Leader - June 28th, 2017
- Biology professor Paul Sniegowski is named new Dean of the College - The Daily Pennsylvanian - June 27th, 2017
- Cancer studies pass reproducibility test - Science Magazine - June 27th, 2017
- WLU launching masters in biology programs - The Steubenville Herald-Star - June 26th, 2017
- Transgender Prejudice And The Belief In A Biological Basis For ... - NPR - June 26th, 2017
- Nixing state's biology exam results prudent - Walla Walla Union-Bulletin - June 26th, 2017
- Turkey pulls evolution from its high school curriculum - Ars Technica - June 26th, 2017
- NIMBioS: Mathematical Biology Tackles Destructive Plant Virus - Tennessee Today - June 23rd, 2017
- High schoolers may not need to pass biology test to graduate - The Daily Herald - June 23rd, 2017
- Combined molecular biology test is the first to distinguish benign ... - Medical Xpress - June 23rd, 2017
- Central Cabarrus teacher racks up awards doing something she loves - Independent Tribune - June 23rd, 2017
- Seniors who failed biology assessment test would get diplomas under new deal - The Spokesman-Review - June 22nd, 2017
- Beautycounter's scientists invented a moisturizer that mimics your skin's biology - Fast Company - June 22nd, 2017
- How the Biology in Every Single ALIEN Movie Fits Together - Nerdist - Nerdist - June 22nd, 2017
- WLU announces two new Biology programs | WTOV - WTOV Steubenville - June 22nd, 2017
- Open imaging data for biology - Phys.Org - June 22nd, 2017
- A Father-Son Bond, Born in Conservation Biology - SUNY Cortland News - June 22nd, 2017
- eils Krios microscope, opening new possibilities in biology research - Yale News - June 22nd, 2017
- Piecing together genetic histories of isolated populations - BMC Blogs Network (blog) - June 22nd, 2017
- Compromise on high school biology test passes first committee | The ... - The Spokesman-Review - June 21st, 2017
- 'Breatharian' couple magically defies biology, subsists only on clicks and BS - Mashable - June 21st, 2017
- UNF Spinnaker : Biology Professor Brews Up A Buzz - UNF Spinnaker - June 21st, 2017
- To connect biology with electronics, be rigid, yet flexible - Phys.org - Phys.Org - June 20th, 2017
- Biology teacher, Schreibvogel has wild side job | Local News ... - The Garden City Telegram - June 20th, 2017
- Biology Team Samples Drought-Tolerant Bacteria in Death Valley - Wesleyan Connection (blog) - June 20th, 2017
- The Maths of Life and Death: Our Secret Weapon in the Fight ... - Scientific American - June 18th, 2017
- Support Science Communication at Plant Biology 2017 - Biofortified Blog - June 17th, 2017
- Pierre Coulombe, Ph.D. to lead UM Department of Cell & Developmental Biology - University of Michigan Health System News (press release) - June 17th, 2017
- 'The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible,' says Camille Paglia - Washington Examiner - June 16th, 2017
- SUNY Potsdam biology professor warns motorists to watch for threatened turtles on North Country roadways - North Country Now - June 16th, 2017
- Rich Lenski elected associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organization - MSUToday - June 16th, 2017
- Local students wrap up a week of marine biology camp - WWSB ABC 7 - June 16th, 2017
- Senate would give high school seniors a break on biology test requirement - The Spokesman-Review - June 15th, 2017
- Five reasons we're excited by how structural biology is advancing cancer research - The Institute of Cancer Research (blog) - June 15th, 2017
- 18th International Congress of Developmental Biology (June 18 22, 2017): Hongyan Wang - PLoS Blogs (blog) - June 15th, 2017
- Revealing New Details of Cancer Biology with Automated Kinetic Live Cell Imaging - Bioscience Technology - June 15th, 2017
- Biology A-level students mark down exam board after yet another error - The Guardian - June 13th, 2017
- Leaving Cert biology: Incinerator and IVF on lively paper - Irish Times - June 13th, 2017
- 'Exciting biology' uncovers plants' high-fat diet for fungal benefactors - Phys.Org - June 13th, 2017
- The Exquisite Design of Human Biology - Discovery Institute - June 13th, 2017
- Retired biology professor's journey to carpet weaving - Daily Sabah - June 13th, 2017
- Synthetic Biology Expands and Grows - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - June 12th, 2017
- DePauw Mourns the Sudden Passing of Biology Prof. Bruce Serlin - DePauw University - June 12th, 2017
- UNCG biology research abuzz - UNCG Now - June 12th, 2017
- Uncovering the biology of a painful and disfiguring pediatric disease - Medical Xpress - June 12th, 2017
- The podocyte adhesome - Nature.com - June 12th, 2017
- Biology | Definition of Biology by Merriam-Webster - June 10th, 2017
- In Our View: Flunk Exam for Biology - The Columbian - June 10th, 2017
- CSU-Pueblo biology professor dies following crash - KKTV 11 News - June 10th, 2017
- Editorial: Kill biology, but don't undermine testing - The Spokesman-Review - June 10th, 2017
- FBI gets synthetic biology crash course at CSU - Source - June 10th, 2017