Laura Morrissey: Improve the cohesion of your team with your state of mind

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wellbeing-badge“You can be miserable in Paradise or happy in adversity” claims the so called happiest man in the world Matthieu Ricard. Ricard; a Frenchman, a scientist and Buddhist monk resides in a Nepal monastery has written several books on the topics of happiness, altruism and enlightenment. Most of his advice we can relate to the working world and learning to be happy and successful in our careers and day-to -day lives without the need to go entirely lama-la tenpa (dedication to the Guru!).

Instead, take simple steps to retrain the mind to feel more calmness and regain some real focus through mindfulness. It may be somewhat of a buzzword lately, but mindfulness is more than something you should view as another phase. Mindfulness leads to compassion and to have compassion for others is an important part of finding inner happiness.

In the workplace, particularly for those leading a team or trying to advance their career, taking small steps to take care of your own wellbeing and those in your team around you, will help you to be more effective in your work. A leader that is not mindful is more likely to be impatient, bad tempered and demotivating. A person that is trying to accomplish a stressful task will become much more stressed if they don’t practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness better equips a person for stress and for working with others in a team environment.

A common myth about mindfulness is that it is time consuming when in fact mindfulness is about altering habits and thinking practices. Taking time out can be a part of it, but it is not all about that. Becoming mindful will mean the mindfulness is constantly there with you, not just when you are alone. Here are some of the ways that you can start to introduce self -care into your daily routine.

You don’t have to be forever flexible

Working hours are more flexible and fluid than before and technology means we can be contacted more or less whenever. This means we are often always multi tasking which although its great, you still need to allow yourself time to think and get focused. Particularly, first thing in the morning. This ties into how waking up half an hour earlier, having a slow breakfast, reading the paper, listening to music etc. can put you in a better place; ready to start the day and whatever it demands of you.

Actually breathe

Most of us only use the top third of our lung capacity with quick and shallow breathing. Most oxygen however is actually inhabiting the bottom third of our lungs. Slow breathing down at certain points of the day as to gain more awareness of everything that is around.

In the know

Particularly if you are in a position of authority, there can be endless things going on in the workplace that you could be involved in on any single day. Although this is interesting and depending on your character, you may love being busy; but this can mean your thinking becomes sporadic. Ask yourself every day ‘What exactly is on the agenda?’ to focus your attentions. If you don’t know this then you aren’t in a calm state, mindful of what your responsibilities are.

Likewise, if leading a team you then have others to think of. For team cohesion purposes, make sure you know and they know what they need to be doing. Plus you are more likely to be able to offer sound guidance and advice if you are in a focused mind frame.

At the end of the day

When it comes down to it, your state of mind is largely down to you and only you. Yes, the idiotic or irritating behavior can have its effects, especially if working in a team of people. Look at it the other way, if you are a leader then you too have an impact on the days of others. Look for ways to improve team building and team cohesion and you will engage others. If you are in the mind frame to do good work, you can help them to be as well.

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