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Thursday, March 31, 2016
Smile. Breathe. Listen.
As a busy executive, you might think you don’t even have the hour it takes toSmile. Breathe. Listen: The 3 Mindful Acts for Leaders. Here are some highlights that might just encourage you to read the entire book or at least recommend it to your team.
We are hard-wired to smile. We’re even smiling in the womb. Kids smile like crazy, and mirror neurons allow us to “catch” smiling from others.
Smiling is good for your long-term health and for a longer and more engaged life.
Smiling reduces stress, helps us work better, and makes people want to be around us.
The “Duchenne” smile—a smile that engages the muscles of the eyes as well as those of the mouth―is viewed as genuine and authentic.
Smiling makes us appear more likable, courteous, and competent.
Leaders who smile put people at ease, spread positive emotions like a virus, and create an environment in which people can do their best work.
Breathing is automatic. However, leaders who understand how to control their breathing will be much more effective.
Mindful Breathing is the “Big Switch” that helps us move from mental rumination or anxious thinking to more a more thoughtful, relaxed state.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a research-based, highly successful program based on mindful breathing and consistent, regular practice.
Regularly sitting or lying quietly starts the “practice” of mindfulness.
The impact of mindful breathing can be seen in our personal, team, and corporate health.
Leaders who learn mindful breathing not only help themselves become better people but also help those around them to do the same.
Listening is a skill possessed by the very best leaders.
Listening represents an important gift that every leader can give―a leader’s time and attention are highly valued by those around the leader.
Good listening consists of presence, technique, and practice.
Presence is demonstrated when leaders are fully engaged, focused, and not distracted when talking to people.
The Speaker-Listener Technique focuses on the listener fully understanding the speaker’s concerns.
The Ladder of Inference demonstrates how anyone, including leaders, can jump to conclusions based on their own often erroneous assumptions and beliefs.
Despite a prodigious amount of data and statistics about how important listening is, a number of leaders—in business, medicine, and any other profession—have poor listening skills.
Unfortunately, the prognosis for whether people will become more focused, better listeners is not good, because of technology intrusions (emails, texts, phone calls vying for our immediate attention.