The Connection Between Meditation and Leadership
Though high-performing CEOs may be the last people you’d expect to slow down and meditate, they may be among the group of busy people who benefit the most from a dedicated practice.
Leaders of all kinds can expand their capacity to handle responsibility and make decisions under pressure when they meditate consistently. Vedic Meditation has proven over and over to help leaders and CEOs perform better in four key areas that we’ll cover in this blog post.
1. Keeping a Leader’s Perspective
Most effective leaders have a lot of demands and input coming their way at any given time. When an executive or CEO needs an action plan to improve leadership skills, Vedic Meditation provides the expanded perspective they need to handle many responsibilities and expectations all at once.
Leaders have a lot on their plate in terms of analysis, guidance, support, innovation, and thinking about future strategy for their organization. They need to be able to hold the vision in spite of pressure and stress.
Vedic Meditation has a unique function of guiding the mind beyond thought with a mantra assigned by the instructor. This means that each meditation provides a touch point with the field of being and a connection with universal intelligence.
Transcending thought means transcending all the inputs, demands, and data that a leader deals with every day. By doing so, they can zoom out and access innovative problem-solving that isn’t just ‘stuck in the weeds.’ It’s all about accessing fresh perspectives.
When teams set an ‘improve leadership skills’ goal, committing to a meditation practice can help them step beyond the stress of the day and make decisions from a more expanded, calm, and intuitive perspective. Rather than getting bogged down by stressful details, they can hold the bigger vision for their teams and continually organize new ways to fulfill that vision.
2. Improving Performance
One of the key factors of being a successful leader is to be able to make accurate decisions quickly under pressure. Those in a leadership position need to be calm in stressful situations and resist letting stress push them to make bad decisions or procrastinate. Great leaders can easily prioritize decisions, delegate, and come up with resourceful solutions, all which require emotional intelligence, clear thinking, and rapid processing of information.
The main benefit of Vedic Meditation is that it releases stress from the body.
When the mind is active and conscious while the body is resting, stress is released as the mind settles down to quieter and quieter states. Stress detracts from mental clarity and even bandwidth, which in the Vedic Worldview we call ‘adaptability energy.’
When someone’s store of adaptability energy is low, they can’t think clearly or focus on any one thing because of the static of stress distracting their mind and disrupting their body’s natural rhythms.
When a leader can stop for 20 minutes a day, twice a day (the standard Vedic Meditation routine), they get to release stress and reset. They get to restore adaptability levels to be able to handle anything that comes their way without being bogged down by yesterday’s stress.
They can also handle pressure because the mental space they’ve gained from meditation allows them to respond with creativity and innovation. Meditation for business leaders can be a key tool to stay energized and focused throughout day after day of high-pressure decision-making.
3. Becoming Resilient to Change
Stress happens when things don’t go the way we were expecting. With a change in expectation, we have to adjust our course and respond quickly. Business leaders are responsible for keeping the goals of the company and the culture of their teams all on track in spite of change.
When the mind and body are over-stressed, the mind is filled with thoughts of the past and worries about the future. Too much change at once can derail someone who is overly stressed and send them into a reactive, low-performance mode.
This is why it’s important for leaders to have a regular way to process stress out of the mind and body every day.That way, when change comes, they can handle it and reassure everyone around them with a clear sense of direction, effective communication, and confidence in spite of the changes.
Meditation and leadership go hand-in-hand for the leader who doesn’t want to be stuck ‘putting out fires’ or trapped in a reactive, always-behind mindset. With regular meditation and mindfulness practice, the leader can stay in the present moment. This allows them to focus on the most important task at hand without distractions, and even begin to forecast what’s coming for their business.
Leaders who practice Vedic Meditation all report that they’re more grounded in the present moment. They embrace change. And because of that leadership style, they are nimble to be able to guide their teams to respond to change confidently.
4. Leading with Empathy
Many managers and executives wonder how to improve leadership communication skills because they know that creating a great culture will propel their teams forward. Though they need to rely on critical thinking for business decisions, it’s important for good leaders to build empathy with coworkers and teams to strengthen relationships and understand their needs.
When we sit down for a Vedic Meditation session, we are using the mantra to drift beyond thought into the field of being, which is universal intelligence. We step beyond our individual selves and get a sense of unity, and we feel that we are part of a greater whole.
This sensation is the beginning of true empathy. As we release stress and become more relaxed and open, we can more easily sense what is going on with other people and respond in an empathetic way. Often, executives will book mindfulness meditation for corporate leadership and management to build empathy together and emphasize the importance of personal development as well as releasing stress regularly.
Learn to Meditate
Leadership doesn’t always mean having an executive or CEO title. Becoming a leader requires only that you choose the direction of your life and create it, rather than staying in the predictable, ever-repeating known.
To start that journey, or to improve your performance as the leader of a company or team, reach out to Susan to book an introductory talk. You can start to notice more clarity, resilience, and innovative thinking in the first week or two of your Vedic Meditation practice.