Learn how in just 20 minutes a day you can bolster your concentration, performance and, on a greater scale, your interpersonal skills
As part of the Bootcamp on Training Strategies, Alain Beaudoin, CEO, and Nathalie Doré, Practice Leader, Learning and Talent Management, both from IC FORMATION, led an interactive workshop on new trends in leader development training. One of these trends was more surprising than the rest: mindfulness.
Once you have maximized your performance through technology and training, what else can you do to improve yourself as a leader? “Learn, through mindfulness, to optimize your brain, which is your primary tool in a knowledge economy,” explains Nathalie Doré.
With its roots in meditation, mindfulness is a strategy for emotional regulation that directs attention inwards. According to Doré, “In a way, it’s an improved version of emotional intelligence, which has been a popular topic in recent years. Integrating mindfulness into training programs allows people to manage their energy and gain many other advantages.”
A recognized practice
The use of meditation in training programs is by no means new, assures Doré. “Meditation has been taught at Harvard for many years now. In the same way, McGill University offers meditation courses to its professors and students. UQAM has developed a mindfulness laboratory.” (http://dandeneau.uqam.ca/en/projects/mindfulness-thinking.html ) Here is a recent study conducted at Harvard confirming that mindfulness practices change the very structure of our brain: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/?tid=sm_fb
By developing mindfulness, we can observe our actions and thoughts, and better understand their impact. “We talk about being in the present moment, which allows us to better concentrate on tasks and better manage our energy,” says Doré, who believes this skill is essential for leaders in a globalized economy, subject to an unending stream of information. “It is increasingly difficult to stay focused in this environment. Above all, leaders are in contact with people who think differently, and must manage increasingly complex problems, especially when they are related to people.”
Paradoxically, connecting with yourself through mindfulness allows you to be more open to others, and to be solution-oriented. This is a windfall for managers, who are constantly managing complex problems and making decisions. “It’s difficult to develop leaders, because they must have technical skills, but most importantly they must develop many interpersonal skills,” said Doré, who believes meditation can be a positive addition to trainings. “For example, it’s great to learn conflict-resolution or diplomacy techniques. But they will be much more effective if the leader is present, attentive and listening very carefully to others.”
Alain Beaudoin, partner and CEO of IC FORMATION, works on major and complex projects as a project manager, coach, and strategic affairs partner. He has more than 25 years of experience in training, consultation and organizational development.
Nathalie Doré is an adult education specialist, occupying the position of Practice Leader, Learning and Talent Management. She has worked for over 20 years designing strategies and programs to hone employees’ expertise and interpersonal skills at all levels, thus increasing their levels of efficiency and commitment. Creative and passionate about knowledge assessment and transfer, she will help you develop or redesign your strategies and training programs.