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The Table Video

Jeffrey M. Schwartz

Using Mindfulness to Become a Better Leader and Communicator [Jeffrey Schwartz]

Research Psychiatrist, UCLA School of Medicine
June 11, 2014
Even the best leaders are often unaware of their own leadership methods and practices. But using Jeffrey Schwartz’s 4-step mindfulness method can produce clear-minded awareness for all leaders and communicators, thus integrating decision-making processes with your “true self” and your “Wise Advocate.”

[inspiring music]

So one of, oh are you ready to go? Okay. So one of the great things about this practice of mindfulness using my four step method in “The Wise Advocate” is using this kind of understanding to enhance leadership ability. And so that obviously raises the question, so what’s the relationship between practicing mindfulness, and being a good leader? It turns out that many leaders, even excellent leaders, are not as aware of their own inner process of how they arrive at decisions as they could be. So right off the bat, this practice of mindfulness and the utilization of “The Wise Advocate” that mindfulness is very conducive to strengthening, will help anybody who is in a leadership, coaching, capacity, or teachers, anyone who is trying to communicate to other people, and make decisions that they are attempting to communicate to other people. These practices will simultaneously enhance your ability to understand your own inner process of how you come to the decisions you come to.

And that is going to help you make wiser choices. So it adds in an inner dialogue component of clear minded awareness of the process by which you came to your decision, and whether that decision, and here’s the big wise advocate function, whether that decision is consistent with your long term goals and values, which we also call your true self. So we’re trying to integrate your decision making process with what we call your true self, and your true self is basically acting and living consistently with your long term true goals and values. And you do that in dialogue with this inner guide, your wise advocate. And mindfulness just puts you much more in touch with that entire process so that as a leader, you really do basically begin to essentially automatically, and this is a big point for me as a neuroscientist, because you basically wire your wise advocate into your habit center so that you start using your wise advocate automatically as basically the epitome of what we would call a good habit. So it puts you in touch with your decision making process. This will enhance your understanding of how other people think.

And it will enhance you capacity to use what is now commonly called empathy, and it really is a very reasonable word. Empathy is the capacity to discern how other people are thinking, and how there are arriving at their decisions, and how they’re applying their own value system. So my mindfulness very much puts us in touch with ourselves, and our own decision making process. Helps us think more clearly, helps us arrive more consistently at decisions that are consistent with our long term goals and values. But it also helps us communicate better, and it also helps us communicate more effectively because it increases our capacity to be aware of, to use empathy effectively to learn, discern, where other people are coming from. Which of course is very important for effective communication. [inspiring music]