Posts tagged ‘authenticity’
How often do you go through a day carried in a stream of busyness and doing? Constantly running from meeting to meeting, call to call or rushing to get things done. In doing this, how often do you get chance to take stock of where you are at your deepest level-listening to that small voice or feelings that get trampled on in the rush or pushed aside-until we have more time to think things through?
Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment and allowing a sense of spaciousness and non judgement. Mindfulness encourages us to wake up to our deeper selves, it shapes us and deepens our self and other compassion along with our wisdom and wellbeing. However in practicing mindfulness, we are not as such trying to get anywhere other than to be fully present and getting out of our own way.
Why might this be important in the world of work? It is about the quality of attention you are giving while you are at work and for that matter out of work. Can you trust the quality of decisions that you are making? Are you listening to your deeper intuitions? Have you brought your whole self to bear? In life decisions are you connected with what is deep and best within your self rather than what is at the top of your ‘mind’ or what you are reacting against?
The following video filmed by Action for happiness at their evening with Jon Kabat Zinn which I attended in March, talks more about mindfulness and gives you an experience of what it is all about:
July 3rd, 2012
On the day that Bob Diamond resigns I can’t help wondering about how success is defined and its ultimate impact on human and therefore organisational and societal behaviour….
Having worked in both Investment Banking and in the NHS and consulted in a number of other sectors, I have got to experience a number of ‘cultures’ at work. Having made the step into self employment 8 years ago, it makes you have a long hard think about what type of life work you want to craft for yourself, what do you stand for, what type of work do you want to offer and what do you not want to do…In effect how do you want to define your own success, values and ethics.
In organisations, it is very difficult to step out of line with the current way of doing things without being seen as a maverick, a loner or troublemaker. This is why it is so crucially important for Leaders, individuals, teams and organisations to take a step back regularly and look at what they are creating and what success they are chasing. Is it purely for individual gain or for the benefit of our particular group be it a team or an organisation or even a sector? Perspective is key.
It is a tricky balancing act to please many different parties with different priorities. However, if we do not spend time really thinking about what we stand for, the consequences of our actions and how we define success we are likely to be swept away by the current tide…well if they are doing it, it must be alright…yes?…well not always!
In these current turbulent times, it forces us to look at how we define our success and I believe a reflection on our values cannot be a bad thing. Looking at the situations we face and the decisions we make from a view wider than ourselves, considering the impact and consequences at a societal rather than an individual level (for personal gain) may help in navigating us down a path with our integrity intact.
May 18th, 2012
It takes huge courage to admit to either yourself or others that we are struggling or feeling vulnerable… Particularly if you are a leader. It could be that we haven’t met the goals we set ourselves or our team/organisation and are judging ourselves, that we have been made redundant or haven’t got the job we want and think we are a failure or that we didn’t get the performance rating or promotion that others have. Outside of work it could come in many forms around perceived societal measures of success or juggling home and work life.
Core to these feelings of vulnerability are a sense of shame, a feeling that you are ‘bad’ in some way. By its very nature shame drives you to hide and self judge and creates a sense that you are not good enough. It gets further compounded, if you are a Leader, with a sense of needing to be seen to be perfect and in control. Many leaders suffer from a sense of feeling an imposter or that they will be found out as not being good enough…
I invite you to reconsider whether in fact the mental self talk that you are telling yourself is in fact helping or hindering you? Could you actually be good enough already? Recognising that imperfection is being human? That presenting an image of infallibility causes challenges for those that work for you and can drive a culture of pretension and in-authenticity?
To be vulnerable in front of others is in fact to be courageous, and you might want to consider to some that
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. ” Brene Brown
To see more of what Brene has to say, a researcher specialising in vulnerability and shame, I highly recommend having a look at her TED talk of a couple of years ago and her more recent talk this year.
By being authentic, taking risks, being vulnerable and daring to do it anyway you may well find that others are on that journey too! And, if you are leader of others telling your story, warts and all can help a more authentic and courageous, creative, resilient culture to develop.