The practice of awareness is widely advertised as a quick way to more effective leadership.
Awareness is focusing on your inner “Self” to observe your own thoughts, feelings and actions without explanation or condemnation.
The practice of awareness often starts with a simple concentration on your breath. When thoughts start to wander, you notice it and then focus on breathing again. Once your concentration skill will be strengthened, you will be able to notice your inner experiences easily at any time, not drowning in them.
Benefits associated with this practice, vary from the strengthening of relationships with other people to improving the management efficiency.
According to forty-two top managers, awareness is also associated with a wide range of benefits, including:
- strengthening relationships with managers, colleagues and subordinates
- increased productivity
- improving project results
- more effective crisis management
- increase of budgets and total number of team members
- a positive assessment of performance
- career advancement
One manager even reported that as a result of his awareness practices, employees stopped avoiding communication with him (they used to turn around and go in the opposite direction when they saw him).
What was the mechanism behind the transformation of these managers?
Hint: several managers who participated in the study reported receiving feedback from colleagues. They mentioned improvements in such areas as empathy, conflict management and persuasive communication.
And these are the areas Daniel Goleman described as the key competencies of emotional intelligence.
Focusing on awareness as a corporate passion,
managers risk to miss other opportunities to develop key emotional skills.