In todays current climate honing strong decision-making skills is an absolute must. Yet, oddly, few of us have received any formal training on the subject. We typically learn through trial and error. While certainly effective, this method is less than ideal for many reasons. For those looking to enhance their decision-making abilities, there’s one surprisingly simple technique that can make a world of difference, and that is mindfulness.
It may sound like some kind of “out there” concept to many, but in truth, mindfulness has a number of real-world applications. In terms of decision-making tools, the evidence is mounting to show that it can have a powerful, positive impact on the process, leading to both better decisions and faster implementation.This once esoteric idea is now becoming more generally accepted in the mainstream. Meditation and other mindfulness practices are being introduced in corporations worldwide (for example at Apple, Google, Nike, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble and more), and the trend is only expected to continue. Fo any of us who want to take a seat at the forefront of personal progress, mindfulness or presence is wise skill to consider.
So, what makes mindfulness such an important tool for decision-making? Simply put, it’s all about awareness. Remaining mindful means that you’re present – conscious of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment.
With mindfulness, the decision-making process becomes a thoughtful, cognitive exercise, rather than an impulsive reaction to immediate needs. Analysis of mindfulness research shows that this kind of heightened awareness allows for:
- Early identification of decisions that need to be made
- More creative problem-solving
- More thorough ethical evaluation
- Improved ability to recognize the limits of knowledge
- Improved ability to identify trade-offs and unintended consequences of potential decisions
These benefits are just the beginning. Ultimately, those who practice mindfulness are more capable of aligning their intentions with their behaviors — a key trait for gaining traction in your decision making roles. Strange as it may sound, incorporating mindfulness (and yes meditation) into day-to-day life will also have a positive impact on more aspects of life than we can imagine. From better decisions to greater emotional intelligence and higher morale, this simple tool can dramatically improve the overall life experience for everyone at all levels.
Peace and Love, Jim