Monday, 11 November 2013

Sunday Times News: Meditate with the marines

The Sunday Times online published an article on 10th November 2013 as a feature in the Home / Public / Appointments titled: Meditate with the marines.

Here are some key quotes:
"Business leaders who want to improve their decision-making skills should take a tip from the marines: meditate before going into action.

US marines who are taught mindfulness techniques report that they are better able to cut through the confusion of battle to distinguish between civilians and fighters, said Jutta Tobias, a social psychologist, while executives find that it helps them to avoid jumping to conclusions.
Tobias suggested that a good way to start practising is by sitting quietly with something that makes one feel uncomfortable. “For example, you could sit with a noise that you don’t like,” she said. “Observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them. It’s not about forcing yourself to sit with this unpleasant noise but about watching yourself be displeased and then creating a bit of a wedge between the stimulus and that response.” The goal is not for leaders to develop an iron will that will allow them to bear any discomfort but for them to get used to living with and observing something displeasing rather than rushing to dismiss it, Tobias said.

This does not have to be a lengthy exercise — even sticking with the discomfort for a split second longer than you naturally would will be useful, she added.
Mindfulness techniques are also useful when it comes to understanding how things like tiredness or ill temper can affect his performance, Bitsakis added. Simply recognising it can help him to think more clearly.

“It is also about trying to read the people I manage. If I am aware they are in a bad place, I can lead them more effectively.”"

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