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4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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What is mindfulness and how does it help?


What is mindfulness and how does it help

Today, more and more, it seems that mindfulness is being touted as the solution to every problem. 

As someone who has had a mindfulness practice for over 10 years, I’m always amazed by the lack of clarity around what mindfulness is and how it will help.  There always seems to be an air of mystery around it and how it works. 

To me, mindfulness is about being mindful. 

Whether we like it or not, we are programmed by our life experiences, whether it’s our attitude to friendships, relationships or money. We have so much subconscious programming and, for the most part, it’s running in the background without anyone questioning whether it’s even reliable or relevant. 

Mindfulness is really about bringing awareness to this subconscious programming – becoming more mindful of it. 

How does this happen?  By increasing our own self-awareness. 

The practice of mindfulness is about developing self-awareness, which we then apply in our everyday lives. 

So when we are on our yoga mat or meditation cushion, the practice is to be self-aware.  How active is the voice in our head and what is it saying?  Are we judging others or ourselves or feeling smug and self-satisfied?  Are we kind to ourselves or cruel? Do we hold ourselves up to impossible standards?  What are we feeling?

Creating this awareness is the first stage of a mindfulness program. 

The next stage is learning to concentrate on what we are doing so that we block out that voice in our heads. Eventually we learn to control it so that our mind becomes our servant, at our disposal when we need it, rather than living our lives like a puppet on a string.  When we can do this we are fully present. 

When we are fully present, life slows down. We are less distracted and more able to concentrate on what is happening around us. We take in more data, start to appreciate multiple perspectives and start to respond (consciously) rather than react (unconsciously) to what is going on in our life. 

Whether in our private life or in our work life, being able to respond rather than react is a skill that can change the manner of our interactions with others, improve the quality of our decision-making and increase our enjoyment of life. 

That is why mindfulness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and those around us and why it may just deserve to be touted as the solution to every problem. 

Get in touch to find out how to become more mindful in your life.

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Grainne McAnallen

Grainne McAnallen spent 10 years working in the world of hedge funds in London and New York. She was co-Head of US Equities at FRM, responsible for $1.6BN of US Long/Short Equity investments.

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