This is the second post of my 2-part summer series “What a great boss does differently during the holidays” (check out Part 1 here). Today, let’s explore how you can grow tolerance and mindfulness to strengthen your connection with your team.
Being a great boss is not just about being dedicated to catapulting the team’s performance. It’s about being human. It’s about being able to relate the situation to the emotional context of the group, and ensuring that you can remain calm, collected and fair at all times.
The best bosses we all remember are, first and foremost, incredible “people persons”. They have this unique ability to give attention to each individual, respect their opinions and create a space for healthy, constructive challenge within the team.
They work hard to improve their own behaviour, and start in the most obvious place: their life lessons. So this week, I encourage you to see the wisdom in your holiday habits and use it to become a tolerant and mindful leader.
1. The mindful leader is not afraid to indulge in passion
Doing something you love releases endorphins. Not only does it decrease your stress levels, it fires up your intrinsic motivation, too.
Finding the energy to motivate everyone and make “happy at work” possible is a huge challenge for all team bosses. How do the best mindful leaders handle it? They tune into their own sense of motivation, and are creative when it comes to emulating this for their employees.
Say, you’re a golf fan. What, exactly, do you like about it? The precision of the swing? Having quality time with your golf partner? Landing a birdie? Spending time outside for a few hours?
Now, how could you incorporate this into your team’s day to day? Would you need to stress the importance of attention to detail in delivering your products? Do you need to reinforce cooperation between some team members? Who’s already established as the go-to person when it comes to bringing everyone together?
We tend to segregate what we do outside of the office, and inside. The reality is, the positive energy you get through your passion is contagious. When you speak from a positive place to your team, your message will automatically ignite their motivation and aspiration.
2. The mindful leader travels to nurture tolerance
The strength of a team lies in the collective alchemy of individual personalities, skills and perspectives. Exposure to different cultures is proven to encourage acceptance of others’ perspectives, and strengthens inclusion.
How can travelling make you a better boss?
Travelling is when you trade a routine role for real-life tolerance training. And it can give you a surprising insight into people dynamics, too.
Next time you catch yourself falling into judgement, such as “Jane has always been resistant to share her drafts before they’re 95% complete”…
Why has Jane developed that behaviour? Is it cultural? A manifestation of her personality? In which circumstances would having Jane make a strong point on maintaining standards, even for drafts, actually help improve the team’s quality of delivery?
Outstanding, mindful leaders value uniqueness so much that they intentionally create space for everyone to contribute to the organisation’s improvement. They promote positivity in the workplace, foster a culture of inclusion and at the same time they leverage the best behaviours of their team.
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3. As a mindful boss, take a holiday from yourself
You’re ambitious. All year long, it’s all about you. Your business growth. Your performance. Your career, maybe. How you can make it better? How you can impact more?
Why not put your ego aside for a while? An important quality for efficient leadership is empathy. Here, I’m not asking you to say “yes” to everything and everyone. I’m encouraging you to develop the emotional intelligence to understand the others’ point of view. One thing I have learned is that mindfulness is the sure path to meaningful interactions.
I’m sure you will use your break to spend quality time with family, friends and be as social as you can. Train yourself to practice active listening. Instead of reacting spontaneously, ask yourself what the inner motivations are for people to say what they say. Encourage them to go deeper into their ideas. Help them bring more value to the message they want to convey.
A mindful leader listens more than she speaks, because she values the work of the team first. Making it all about others is exactly the same as charity: it starts at home!
A cohesive team is bound by trust and tolerance. As an authentic team lead, you know well that leading by example is the most powerful way to get your crew to stick together. The way you nurture your own emotional intelligence outside of the office has a direct influence on how you approach your team on a daily basis. Your passions, the places you travel to, and the attention you give to others’ opinions, are all the powerful lessons you can use to turn the workplace into a healthy and inclusive zone.
How do you nurture tolerance and mindfulness within your team? Share your best stories in the comments below!