In today’s VUCA business environment, managers need to tap into new paradigms to maximize their team’s potential. The forces of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity demand that leaders embrace vision, understanding, clarity, and agility (VUCA Prime) in their approach. This is where Higher Mind Leadership becomes critical. By operating from a lens of purpose and possibility, higher mind managers can provide the inspiration and agility to thrive in turbulence. Rather than dated models of control and compliance, the most effective leaders adopt this uplifted approach, unlocking creativity, resilience, and passion within their teams.
As highlighted more and more in best practice leadership, the current landscape requires — what we call Higher Mind Leadership — managing from a lens of possibility versus bureaucracy. This means viewing employees as partners in a meaningful mission, not just resources to be allocated. Leading with vision and vulnerability, not just authority.
By integrating practices like mindfulness, altered states, and emotional synchronization, managers can support this elevated team experience. Research shows these techniques enhance innovation, productivity, job satisfaction and overall wellbeing.
In this post, we’ll explore the neuroscience and psychology behind Higher Mind Leadership. You’ll learn research-backed methods to:
- Foster a team culture built on trust and meaning
- Promote creativity and “flow states”
- Strengthen resilience during change
- Deepen team connection and positivity
The goal is to provide a toolkit to evolve your management approach. To transcend status quo thinking and empower your team to thrive. The principles may be unconventional but the benefits are undeniable – from strengthened team cohesion to renewed purpose.
So let’s begin unlocking your team’s potential through a Higher Mindset. The research-backed techniques will allow you to elevate leadership and take your team’s performance to the next level.
Consider incorporating HeartMath techniques like heart coherence exercises into daily team activities. These few moments of coordinated breathing can harmonize everyone’s emotional state, setting the stage for what’s known as positivity resonance. Research from HeartMath has shown that achieving a state of coherence improves mental clarity, decision-making, and emotional stability.
Emotional synchrony is a well-researched subject in interpersonal biology. This field demonstrates how our biological systems interact with and are influenced by social connections, and it substantiates the idea that aligned emotional states are conducive to enhanced communication and team performance. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that emotional synchronization within teams leads to improved cooperation and effectiveness.
Altered states, often accessed through practices like the Silva Ultramind system, aim to bring the brain into alpha and theta wave frequencies. These states have been associated with heightened creativity, problem-solving skills, and even stress reduction. A 2016 study published in “Consciousness and Cognition” found that individuals in altered states showed significant improvement in problem-solving abilities. This aligns with historical figures like Thomas Edison, who used a technique involving holding ball bearings to enter a semi-sleep state to tap into insights and ideas from “the larger consciousness field.”
Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson’s Altered Traits delves into the science behind how meditation can bring about permanent changes in traits like focus, stress response, and overall well-being. The book not only summarizes decades of research but also indicates that these aren’t fleeting states but could actually be stabilized traits, suggesting long-term benefits for your team members when incorporated into a regular routine.
Bringing this into a management setting, leveraging the power of altered states can significantly improve your team’s creative problem-solving abilities and emotional resilience. By educating your team on how to tap into these beneficial states, you’re not just promoting individual well-being but also enhancing collective performance and focus. It becomes less about ‘managing’ people and more about leading a cohesive, visionary team poised to innovate and adapt in a constantly changing environment.
And speaking of creativity, it’s not just a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. According to the World Economic Forum, creativity will be the third most important job skill by 2025. Adobe and Forrester Consulting’s survey supports this, showing that companies encouraging creative thinking consistently outperform competitors in revenue growth and market share.
Encourage your team to explore the concept of self-transcendence as well. This isn’t just a lofty idea; it has real-world applications for a manager. Drawing upon Maslow’s concept that self-transcendence leads to “peak experiences,” imagine a team environment where members are motivated by the profound impact of their work. These peak experiences often manifest as intense positive emotions like joy and peace, inspiring a sense of connectedness and discretionary effort within the team. Studies have shown that this focus on a higher purpose and collective achievement over personal gain leads to extraordinary results. A 2019 report from the Project Management Institute supports this, emphasizing the importance of purpose-driven work in enhancing team performance and engagement.
So, what does this all mean for your team’s competitive edge? Your group could become a hotbed for innovation and productivity by adopting these multidimensional practices. You’ll not only boost team well-being but also attract like-minded, dynamic talent, thereby offering clients an unmatched value proposition.
By intertwining these innovative practices, you pave the way for a team experience that’s as emotionally enriching as it is professionally rewarding. After all, today’s unconventional wisdom might just be tomorrow’s industry standard.
Things to Try
- Start meetings with a 2-minute heart coherence exercise. Guide your team through synchronized deep breathing.
- Benefit: Heart coherence exercises promote emotional alignment and positivity resonance amongst team members (Fredrickson, 2013).
- Engage in activities that require team synchronization.
- Benefit: Synchrony has been linked to higher levels of collective engagement (Hove & Risen, 2009).
- Encourage open dialogue about emotional states, perhaps using check-in rounds at the start of meetings.
- Benefit: Sharing emotions openly can lead to greater empathy, psychological safety and trust within teams (Dutton, 2003).
- Incorporate mindfulness exercises at the start or end of meetings.
- Benefit: According to a 2015 study in the journal “Mindfulness,” practicing mindfulness increases self-reported levels of positive emotions and decreases negative emotions (Kiken et al., 2015). Mindfulness also enhances alpha and theta brainwave activity, linked to relaxed alertness and creativity (Travis & Shear, 2010).
- Consider training sessions in the Silva Method or similar techniques. Allocate ‘quiet time’ during the day where team members can practice entering altered states.
- Benefit: Research on the Silva Method has found that its techniques can lead to improved intuition and cognitive functions (Razumnikova, 2007).
- Discuss purpose in project meetings, making it a point to connect each project’s goals to the broader mission or societal benefit.
- Benefit: Having a shared sense of purpose improves team motivation, satisfaction, and performance (Grant, 2007).
- Establish a clearly articulated, shared vision or mission for the team.
- Benefit: A study published in the “Leadership Quarterly” suggests that leaders who articulate a compelling vision can positively influence team performance (Berson & Avolio, 2004).
- Foster a culture that values the interconnectedness of team members. Share stories or examples that highlight this during team meetings.
- Benefit: Emphasizing interconnectedness can enhance team cohesion, satisfaction and sense of belonging (Dutton, 2003).
- Consistently celebrate small wins and contributions.
- Benefit: “The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer posits that celebrating small wins boosts inner work life and can lead to big breakthroughs.
- Encourage acts of kindness within the team.
- Benefit: Research from the University of California, Riverside, suggests that performing acts of kindness can improve mood and overall well-being (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).
- Increased Productivity: Teams that operate from a sense of higher purpose tend to be more productive (Berson & Avolio, 2004).
- Improved Job Satisfaction: A focus on personal and collective growth can increase job satisfaction (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990).
- Enhanced Creativity: Openness to new experiences can foster creative thinking (Travis & Shear, 2010).
- Stronger Team Cohesion: Mutual respect and interconnectedness can be fostered through self-transcendence (Hove & Risen, 2009).
- Resilience: Teams connected through a higher purpose are often more resilient during times of change or stress (Fredrickson, 2001).