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5 Ways to Supercharge Your Teams Motivation With Mindfulness

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how to boost team motivation through mindfulness
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Mindfulness is no longer a buzzword that you can ignore. In fact, companies like Google and Nike are treating it as their secret recipe for a successful workforce. If you’re a struggling entrepreneur with a discontented team, or newly promoted human resource manager with the task of boosting team motivation then, mindfulness is the way to go. And no, it’s not just meditation.

Is mindfulness for my team?

Whether mindfulness is for you or not, it can be determined by understanding what it is and how it will benefit your organization, and more importantly your team. According to The Foundation for Mindful Society’s definition: “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

So, being aware of the situation, understanding our purpose and knowing what to do next are aspects that mindfulness helps you with. For a team and its leader, that sort of works like a mind map.

In an organizational setting, the first thing that you need to understand is the goal, then you work your way around it through broken down tasks and smaller goals to support the bigger goals. Often, employees feel lost when they are not given clear directions; or they are too down the line of workers that they do not feel involved in the company’s mission. That’s where mindfulness comes in to help align them with the company’s vision and motivate them to achieve such goals.

Mindfulness has a way to positively  influence team motivation in a meaningful way at the corporate or small business level. That’s why it has been a success with several large corporations where work processes and large team dynamics tend to pull morale down. Even if you have a small team, you can supercharge team motivation with mindfulness for the long haul.  Below, are five ways to do it

1. Bust stress

One of the most corrupting elements at the workplace is stress. Stress if not tackled, can lead to mental and physical health problems such as anxiety attacks, obesity, and poor self-image. Integrating mindfulness programs like meditation and yoga at the workplace not only bust stress but also increase the stress tolerance level.

When stress is reduced, the mind is better focused on productive activities such as creative problem solving and coming up with better ideas, the dwelling in resentment, disappointment or worries.

2. Boost self-confidence

There is nothing more harmful to a workplace environment than employees cowering at the mention of their bosses. Mindfulness exercises usually involve both team leaders (and bosses) and employees to engage in team building activities that help break the ice. You can further boost your team confidence by encouraging them to interact and engage with you outside the mindfulness program.

In fact, a study by Academy of Management Proceedings, indicates that mindfulness not only boosts the confidence of employees but also of leaders because they get inspired and motivated to share their vision with team members.

3. Improve well-being

When employers encourage team members to take care of their health, whether through exercise breaks or getting a standing desk, they are motivated to do more for the organization. Mindfulness programs help transition the mindset from careless to caring among HR executives, managers and leaders.

Mindfulness exercises enhance employee health by outlining activities and lifestyles that will alleviate stress, anxiety, and frustration. When mindfulness is at work, employees feel vigorous and energetic because all of their energies are focused on having a healthy lifestyle and balance work with it.

4. Raise morale

One of the reasons that team motivation deteriorates over time is because there is a lack of team bonding and poor emotional health. While HR managers consider their jobs done with a couple of team building sessions, the reality is, energetic and spirited teams need more than just that. They need consistent boosts; they need affirmations; and they need to build themselves before they can support others.

Research by a professor of psychology at Harvard University indicates that mindfulness is co-related with emotional well-being.  When teams are in a constant state of worry and stress, they develop mental illness which, if not intervened, can affect their morale and motivation, apart from their physical health. Mindfulness can be the catalyst to help the organization to engage with employees to develop emotional intelligence and positive attitude.

When employees have something to look up to, and are emotionally intelligent to take care of their problems and work challenges, they develop mechanisms to tackle hard situations like deadlines, hard decisions and competition.

5. Develop empathy

Last, but not least, mindfulness helps develop empathy in individuals which are often lacking in a competitive corporate world. Managers are not inclined to give lee-ways to employees when tasked with high targets, while team members compete against each other for the “bonus” to the extent of exclusion of co-workers. What’s more damaging in this rat race is that teams nowadays no longer act like people with feelings and emotions; they’re unaware of what goes on in others’ lives except what matters to them.

How to suppress this cold attitude, and develop an interest in empathy among team members? Mindfulness of course. From the above discussion we’ve come to know that mindfulness teaches one to be aware and mindful of others around us. What’s more important is the fact that mindfulness also nurture empathy among individuals and among team members.

So what can you do to encourage empathy at your workplace?

As a boss or team leader, you need to set expectations but at the same time offer room for divergence so that team members can find a better way to achieve your goals. And more importantly, encourage them to work in groups, interact more frequently to achieve the same goals. When people work in proximity, they tend to develop an empathetic attitude towards their partners.

Don’t consider mindfulness as an easy way out of saving money, or a temporary fix for your team. When mindfulness is applied with the focus to build team motivation and overall well-being of the organization, it would benefit the company in the long run. Think of it as an investment in your organization that have outreaching impact on the overall performance and productivity level.

Jeanne Smolt is a freelance writer and digital marketer for Motivation Matter and Yo Fit Mamas. She has a passion for writing on diverse topics including business, technology, fitness, and digital marketing. Her goal is to help small businesses achieve goals through her creative and strategic content. Connect with her here. 

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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Motivation

What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?

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The Killer Morning Routine to Boost Motivation

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Why “No Pain, No Gain” Is More Powerful Than You Realize

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