Mindfulness, self-awareness – just being thoughtful.
Call it what you want – it’s a vital skill for managers and leaders to master if they want to fulfil their key responsibility of ‘Governing Change‘ inside your organisation.
To be able to carry out this responsibility effectively, managers need to develop a style which is not simply reactive.
And this isn’t easy, because their ‘survival instinct’ teaches them to react with caution or defensiveness to any new or unexpected development, whether in a wide context, such as the market in which your business operates, or a relatively narrow context, such as a discussion with a colleague that challenges the status quo.
As a result of this tendency, many opportunities in business are missed or lost.
Instead of stepping back and looking from a detached viewpoint, managers falsely link their own personal identity with past experience or expectations to disruptive challenges.
Just as a soccer fan might have a miserable evening if his favourite team loses an ‘important’ match, so managers can lose control of themselves, and therefore their ability to govern change, by attaching themselves to their prejudices.
What’s the first mindful step to overcoming this tendency?
To govern change, managers need to:
1. Pause, think, decide the direction in which they are going to take a conversation.
2. Acknowledge the opinions or ideas of the other person.
3. Move the conversation forwards into the future with an open question like…
“What Do You Propose?”
In our experience – this question is as close to a magic bullet as you will find for organisational development.
So – what do you propose for making your managers more mindful?