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- [Narrator] Most people know just a little about mindfulness. Yet, business leaders recognize its career impact and workplace benefits. As psychologist Audrey Tang reports, a mindfulness initiative study found that users said mindful practices made them feel positive, focused, and resilient. Mindfulness can help you be more conscious of your prejudices, goals, and values. It can also strengthen your leadership skills. Tang describes how mindfulness leads to better decision making. It helps you set priorities and distinguish between important information and mere noise. In considering the practical aspects of mindfulness, Tang discusses using mindful practices to support collaboration, resilience, creativity, emotional agility, and confidence. Her comprehensive introduction to mindfulness shows readers how to use it step by step. Tang encourages those who wish to deepen their leadership skills to add mindfulness to their methods. Practical mindfulness. If you asked group of people what they understand about mindfulness, about half of them will talk about meditation or breathing or perhaps yoga. The other half will say that it's nonsense. They will disclaim interested in hearing anything more about it. Yet, the business world has embraced the concept of mindfulness. Universities teach courses on mindfulness in business schools. Publications produce articles that revert to mindful practices in the halls of tech industry leaders, such as Intel, Apple, and Google. These articles highlight the gains mindfulness has brought to these companies. Originating in Buddhism, mindfulness is, according to one definition, a contemplation of one's own experience subsumed under the four objective domains of the body, feelings, states of mind, and experiential phenomena. In 2016, Cranfield, Birmingham, and Aberystwyth Universities conducted a study for the mindfulness initiative. Participants reported that mindful practices made them feel positive, focused, and resilient. It enhanced their insights into other people's behavior. Practicing mindfulness strengthens your leadership skills. Perhaps, you multitask in your daily life and, as a result, find it hard to pay unfragmented attention to everything you do. Think about the number of times you've tried to talk to a family member or a friend and had to interrupt your conversation to take a call. You can become a better leader if you learn ways to balance what you do and how well you do it. In his book "High Performance Habits," Brendon Burchard discusses an executive who found a way to clear his mind as he shifted from one assignment to the next. He would splash his face with water and do a quick set of physical exercises to end one task and prepare for the next. If you emulate this practice, you can refresh yourself and better prepare to end one chore and begin another. Making decisions. Leaders make decisions constantly. You might have a preferred method for decision making, or you might rely on what you've learned from your experiences. When you face a decision, mindfulness can help you discern the limits of your knowledge. Use it to become more conscious of your prejudices, goals, and values. A mindful approach also helps you distinguish between important information and mere noise. It may give you more faith in your decisions as it helps you prioritize and focus on choices that are strategically important. Mindfulness can prevent you from making emotional decisions, and it can energize you to tackle new challenges instead of just repeating the work you found easiest in the past. A mindful approach can help you sort out information for both decision making and problem solving. When you are trying to solve a problem, you attempt to find the root cause of an issue. When you make a decision, you pick among different options and don't need to return to a root cause as you do in problem solving. You can turn to a simple rule to distinguish between a problem and a decision. If you know what you want but don't know how to make it happen, you're confronting a problem. If you need to weigh different alternatives but can't determine which option should prevail, you need to make a decision. Your biases can cloud both problem solving and decision making. When you confront a problem or need to make a decision, use all the senses that apply, sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, so you make yourself fully aware.