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Active Voice || Stretchy Wisdom

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

It’s interesting how being active has many benefits for your working life. I recently read an excellent article about ‘mindfulness in the board room'. This article discussed how boards are at their most effective when they become focused on their purpose and the strategic impact of their decisions with vivid clarity (i.e. mindfulness).

Yoga pose_web

To me there were many parallels to what we gain – mentally – from being active and mindful on the job. For example, one of my commitments over the past four years has been to yoga. As a runner with little flexibility, I tended to think yoga was a wonderful idea, but only attended once every few months. I now attend at least three times a week, and have realised the gains are in my head as well as body.

Here are the three lessons from yoga and being active that can be applied in business mindfulness:

  1. Always learn: Reflecting and being prepared to ask questions of yourself (or organisation), without judgement or blame. In the board/professional sense, this means reviewing and assessing what is needed in the future.
  2. De-clutter the situation: Focus on removing layers of extra information and getting to the meaning in terms that the board (or you) understand. For the board, it means taking away the emotions and extra information to gain a clear, straight forward focus.
  3. Find solutions that fit: Each challenge is different and the environment changes. Being adaptable and responsive means thinking about what works for you (or your organisation). In yoga, there are many options in each pose. In business mindfulness it means what works for another firm or your firm last year, might not be the answer today. Customise your response to the timing and situation.

Being active also means we are better placed to cope with work pressures; so even on the days where nothing goes according to plan we know there will be perspective after the workout. We also learn that there isn’t a quick route to outcomes: consistent effort and discipline are core to achievement in exercise and business.

Thanks to all those yoga teachers from whom I learn something from every class!

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