Follow Us

Please reload

Recent Posts

If business coaching is recommended by Bill Gates...

May 13, 2017

1/2
Please reload

Featured Posts

Take a Breath, Would You?

March 21, 2016

 

Has your day been a stressful already by the time you get to work? Are you a bit nervous about an important meeting today? Have you lost some concentration by the time the mid-meeting “bio-break” arrives? Is it sometimes tough to re-focus during the workday?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, help is available from an age-old source you might not have thought about. If you answered “nope, got it under control” you are superhuman or you’ve already learned about the benefits of being “present” and “centered.”

Being present is the ability to consciously and intentionally react to each specific situation, instead of doing so automatically, which limits decision options. Being centered is the ability to be focused as compared to being pulled in a number of directions. The pace and immediacy of business can make it difficult to be present and centered. Sound familiar?

These concepts are fundamental to my approach to coaching, and, not coincidentally, to my life as a yoga instructor. Don’t stop reading! Remember, I said help can come from an unexpected source!

Let’s look at two tools that prepare us to be present and centered in business . . . and in life: controlled breathing and meditation.

Controlled Breathing: Two Minutes Will Make a Difference

In our frenetic world, we need a method for calming the body and mind. Doing so enables us to be present and more free of the noise of that meeting we just left, the irascible customer we just talked with, the unreasonable family member, and of course the demanding boss that just dropped a bomb on our day.
 
Before I begin any chat with a client, I sit for a few minutes in a comfortable and relaxed position, close my eyes and just breathe. I encourage all of my clients to do the same prior to our chat, as well as before they enter another meeting, or to decompress after an earlier one.

In yoga, the word for controlled breathing is “pranayama,” derived from Sanskrit “prana” meaning “breath” and “ayama” meaning “control of breath.” Pranayama is therefore control of your breath or life force.

Try this exercise for calming the mind which will result in a centered, present and calmer you!

  • As you sit with your eyes closed, inhale and exhale through the nostrils, and visualize breathing in “peace” from your heels up the back of your spine and then pausing at the top of your head.

  • After a short pause (1 or 2 seconds), exhale all other thoughts out and down the front of your spine. Your inhalations should be as deep as your exhalations.

  • Do this 10 times—inhaling peace up, exhaling everything else down for a more refreshed and calmer you!

If you do not have the privacy of an office, you can face your computer (assuming that it is tucked away in the corner facing the wall), close your eyes, and follow the three steps. I promise, it works, and in no more than 2 minutes.

Meditation: A Twenty Minutes Process that Gives Your Mind a Much Needed Rest

No, it’s not mystical, it’s not glorified daydreaming, and you don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor (unless you want to).


So what is meditation? Meditation (“dhyana” in Sanskrit) is a more than 5,000-year old process whereby we calm the body and mind to enable a greater connection with our inner selves.


“Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.” 1


A December 2015 article in The Harvard Business Review2 explains “The research on mindfulness suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory, and emotional intelligence,” and cites studies and other information indicating that:

  • Meditation builds resilience

  • Meditation enhances creativity

  • Meditation improves your relationships

  • Meditation helps you focus

In a series of studies conducted by the European business school INSEAD (Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires) and The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania3 , “research participants who had spent just 15 minutes in ‘mindfulness’ meditation, focusing on their breathing, were 77% more likely than others to resist what’s known as the ‘sunk-cost bias,’ the tendency to stick with a less-than-optimal strategy merely because a lot of money has been sunk into it.”


What’s the best way to approach meditation in a business setting?

  • Use a chair, wall, or something else to support your back. Though it’s not a necessary part of the technique, you may wish to rest your hands on your knees.

  • Although you don’t have to sit in a “yoga” position, do not lie down. Your neural circuitry changes when horizontal (and can actually lead to sleep), so you must avoid this position to obtain the benefits from the technique.  If you need to move and change positions, do so. You should be comfortable when meditating.

  • Set a timer (your cell phone will work great) for twenty minutes and then forget it. Don’t worry if thoughts about how much time is left enter and leave your mind!

  • Inhale/exhale through the nose (pranayama), and focus on your breathing.

  • As you inhale, silently repeat the Sanskrit words “So”, and when you exhale repeat the word “Hum.”  Both words together translate to “I am that.”

That’s it!  You can start out meditating for short periods of time, but the best results will occur when you meditate for at least 20 minutes. I guarantee you that if you stick to the technique, it will be the fastest, and most rewarding, 20 minutes you have known!

A few other things to keep in mind:

  • You may feel happy and peaceful during or after meditation, but don’t be concerned if you do not experience those feeling either during or immediately after meditation.  

  • Meditation is not a one-and-done process, but a practice that that reveals its benefits over time.  Once you experience those benefits, such as clarity and focus of thought, you will incorporate daily meditation in varying amounts of time (but typically not less than 20 minutes).

  • It is perfectly normal for random thoughts to enter your mind while meditating.  That is the nature of the human mind and it is impossible to prevent random thoughts to occur during meditation.  The idea is to acknowledge these thoughts but to not focus on them.  Instead, refocus on your breath.  

 

Would You Like to Try Controlled Breathing or Meditation?

It’s not your typical “free trial offer,” but the results could be life changing. We’ll talk you through the controlled breathing or meditation process on the phone to get you started.  Click here or call us to arrange a convenient time.

SourceOne Innovations is an executive coaching firm that recognizes that leadership is the ultimate competitive advantage. Through a centered, mindful and effective coaching methodology our niche is in helping organizations increase sales, productivity, teamwork, etc. and a result decrease the amount of time spent on employee attrition issues. Please visit our website at www.Bill-Hooker.com for more information.

 

If you find this valuable or interesting please share it with your network.

 

 

1 The Real Meaning of Meditation, June 3, 2013 by Swami Ram.

 

2 E. Seppala, PhD. How Meditation Benefits CEOs. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/12/how-meditation-benefits-ceos#.

 

3 A Little Meditation Helps You Make Better Business Decisions, Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2014/01/a-little-meditating-helps-you-make-better-business-decisions/

 

 

 

Please reload

Follow Us