• Friday, July 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

The benefits of Meditation to corporate executives and entrepreneurs

ceo

Mindfulness is quickly following yoga in becoming a billion dollar business, It is no surprise then, that the popularity of meditation which is one way to practice mindfulness is also growing among corporate executives and entrepreneurs globally. Why are business leaders embracing meditation rather than, say, massage or ping-pong? Because it does seem there is something to meditation that appears to benefit corporate executives and entrepreneurs more than recreation or relaxation do alone.

A careful observation has shown there is a growing interest among leaders and entrepreneurs in meditation as a way to build leadership skills and achieve business goals, organisations that specializes in bringing mindfulness training to CEOs, corporate teams and entrepreneurs has collaborated this growing trend. Most people that are sold to mindfulness, are not sold to it as a novelty, rather they want to see how its approaches are truly beneficial to their existing priorities like retention, talent advancement, innovation, etcetera. And examples has also shown a great success rate of the application of this practice in organisations integrating mindfulness techniques into its high potentials program with the goal of creating agile and flexible mindsets as a foundation for leadership.

The research on mindfulness suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory, and emotional intelligence. Entrepreneurs and executives sharing their experiences with meditation have repeatedly shown how their observations about meditation in the workplace connect back to the findings of academic research.

Some of the benefits of mediation includes –

Meditation builds resilience – Multiple research studies have shown that meditation has the potential to decrease anxiety thereby potentially boosting resilience and performance under stress. That has certainly been true for several entrepreneurs and leaders who has worked under undue tension and pressure and thankfully with their mediation practice helped to keep fear and panic at bay even under duress. In market destresses, and political and economic downturn, where entrepreneurs and corporate leaders rather than join in panic and rioting, would thanks to meditation practice keep their composure and propose solutions to reduce the impact of the political, business or market crash.

It benefits You and Your Team – Mindfulness helps to bring calm and focus to your work routine, as it helps people calm down in stressful moments because it provides an outlet for peace and helps give sense of calmness and helps to remain focused. Every session of mediation exercise helps fill participants with a sense of calm, even for first timers.  It helps people to be more present at work and even carry on to being more present with their families at home.

Meditation boosts emotional intelligence – researches suggests that meditation can help strengthen your ability to regulate your emotions. For entrepreneurs who want things to happen in their way and on their timeline, but doesn’t tend to understand what their team is going through, which many times causes them to get angry over the teams inability to perform according to expectations. Given research that shows anger’s impact on cardiovascular health, it is critical therefore that leaders be able to manage their anger and put themselves in others shoes. Thanks to meditation they can develop patience and have a better relationship with their team, and most of all maintain their peace of mind and focus.

Meditation is also valued for its ability to cultivate emotional intelligence. At meetings with vital but disgruntled stakeholders, entrepreneurs may face angry, unreasonable investors or partners, in such circumstances mindfulness practice will help in responding with empathy: when faced with such situation pause and slowly take a few breaths, as it will led you to actually listen and understand not only the person’s situation, but what he wanted and expected. By not responding in an emotional manner, it will result in the would-be partner not only becoming supportive but also becoming an ally in making the company a success.

Meditation enhances creativity – Researches on creativity suggests that we come up with our greatest insights and biggest breakthroughs when we are in a more meditative and relaxed state of mind. That is when we have eureka moments. This is likely because meditation encourages divergent thinking (i.e. coming up with the greatest number of possible solutions to a problem), a key component of creativity.

Meditation is credited with helping to come up with new ideas and ventures that would otherwise not have occurred to one.

Meditation improves your relationships – While stress narrows your perspective and that of your team and reduces empathy which negatively impacts performance, meditation can help boost your mood and increase your sense of connection to others, and make you a more kind and compassionate person. In business you have to start connecting to your customers as your family rather than merely business transactions relationship. The same goes for the relationships with your colleagues and staff.

Meditation helps you focus – Research has shown that our minds have a tendency to wander about 50% of the time, add in work interruptions, text messages, IMs, phone calls, and emails, and it is no surprise that employees have a hard time staying focused. But studies show that meditation training can help curb our tendency for distraction, strengthening our ability to stay focused and even boosting memory.

For example, being an investor requires the distillation of large volumes of information into a few relevant insights. Meditation can help discard interesting but unnecessary information and help you focus on the few things that make a difference to long run investment performance.

Importantly, meditation is not just one more thing to do. If you are thinking that you have enough on your plate and don’t need yet another thing, consider this advice that a successful entrepreneur shared – ‘Although I have known its benefits since my teens, finding time for meditation was always a challenge because I was under the impression that I had to do meditation and I didn’t have time for another burdensome thing to do, fortunately, a friend pointed out one day that we don’t do meditation; meditation does us. That opened the door for me. The only thing to do in meditation is nothing’.

But as both research and experience shows, doing nothing can have real results. More so in this time of our economic and political journey as a nation, where the indexes are causing the heart of many to sink and run riot, it will require extrasensory projection of some kind to wriggle out of the mesh, more so for an entrepreneur.

Nwaodu Lawrence Chukwuemeka