Trust: Cultivating Wisdom in Education, Health and Leadership
People trust – and follow – people who are real, who are consistent, whose behaviour, values and beliefs are aligned.
We trust people we do not constantly have to second guess.
I recently gave the closing speech at Adelaide’s first Mindfulness Symposium for The Royal Adelaide Hospital Wellness Centre.
All people who are influencing others are practicing leadership – regardless of their job title. Leadership is about vision, focus and relationships. It is about the intent to influence, and involves the transference of hope, and the invitation to greatness in ourselves and in others.
If we truly want to see people and organisations flourish, then we want our educators, health professionals and managers to lead. To be more than great technicians in their field, but to be adaptive, wise and influential. Every person in a leadership position reaches toward wisdom, is expected to have wisdom, and wants to be wise, even though it is not always easy to articulate what wisdom is or how one develops it. Leadership wisdom is the ability to consistently discern, decide and deliver wisely.
Mindfulness is one of the most powerful, albeit challenging practices for developing wisdom in leadership. Initially, mindfulness practice helps us to: calm down, soothe reactive emotions, be kind to ourselves, quieten the chatter in our mind, stop judging ourselves so harshly, focus our attention, open up our creativity, and live our lives more in line with what matters to us. We sleep better. We enjoy ourselves more. We think better. These are the obvious reasons that health care providers introduce mindfulness for reducing stress, depression and burnout, and managing relationships and communication. This is what we focus on in our three live courses ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy’, ‘Mindful Relationships’ and ‘Emotional Intelligence and Personality’.
Over time however, and at a more profound level, mindfulness practice allows us to gain deep knowledge about ourselves, to be really honest, able to admit when we are wrong or uncertain, able to be open and flexible. These qualities help us access our innate wisdom and leadership qualities.
Mindfulness is simple, just not easy. We develop the skills for ourselves and then integrate those until they become automatic. Then we bring those skills into our immediate relationships and communications, then into the context of larger groups, and then into increasingly complex situations.
The Applied Mindfulness International Certification Program (AMICP) has been designed to facilitate this layered approach to integrating mindfulness into your personal and professional life.
Mindfulness helps us be consistent and present. It nurtures the moment-to-moment clarity, courage and conviction sufficient to cultivate visionary wise leadership, and move us toward shared visions.
Liana Taylor © June 2014