Mindfulness Part 2
By: 17160 Stephen Kalyta
In the second part of this series, we want to quickly re-define mindfulness. Mindfulness occurs when you bring awareness to a situation and remain active in assessing the situation as it unfolds. Whether a police officer, soldier or any first responder, your objective judgement will serve you better than reactive responses. This is the skill of being mindful.
Mindfulness is something you will be called upon to demonstrate as a leader, countless times in your career. Particularly as a relatively inexperienced graduate, you will find yourself at your new unit facing a myriad of personnel challenges as they relate to the people in your command. Often, the situations you will face may be highly emotionally charged, involving complex problems that you must resolve. Although this responsibility will at times rest squarely on your shoulders, being a leader does not mean being alone. This is in part where exercising mindfulness could serve you well. A great leader will always seek counsel, learn the objective facts, and if time will allow, make a decision based on thorough analysis. Even when a decision is rushed, your training will support the essential calming of the mind to promote you taking appropriate, measured action.
You may think that in times of immense personal peril, mindfulness may be easier said that done. I would argue that it is in these exact moments where you can show mastery of your craft through the consistent, rational application of mindful leadership. This is something that can be developed as a “barman” at the college. You are in a position of authority within the boundaries of CMC codes of conduct and leadership that inherently promote the qualities you will need as a leader. Use them, exercise them with care, daily.
Just like it may be unrealistic for you to bench press 500 lbs., the many that can do so, achieved this goal through continuous training. Be your own continuous improvement process, seek feedback, take responsibility for shortcomings and make measured decisions. In no time the cerebral equivalent of a 500 lb bench press will be trained into your leadership approach.
They say it takes over 10,000 hours of practice to become a virtuoso in a chosen field. Choose to work toward your 10,000 hours as a mindful leader and this trained skill will appear to others as second nature.
This article is offered for training purposes. It should not be seen as a substitute for obtaining professional counselling.
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