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Leadership Moments Podcast

Hans Melo & Jason Beck

EPISODE 29 51:16:00

The Role of Mindfulness & Resilience in Leadership

Hans Melo & Jason Beck
Oscar Trimboli

Jason Beck is a doctoral student in Positive Organizational Psychology and is currently an intern in the Research Lab and a member of the coaching community of practice. Hans Melo holds a PhD in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Toronto. He has over 7 years of experience leading multidisciplinary data-driven projects and has expertise in neuroscience, statistics, machine learning, high-performance computing, as well as behavioural economics and decision science. Together they discuss their research into mindfulness and resilience and the relevance of coaching.


Transcript - Episode 29 Hans Melo

You'LL Learn

  • Research within general organizational psychology shows that individuals that have higher mindfulness can basically gather more information from the environment to help in decision making
  • Mindfulness ultimately affects decision making by allowing leaders to bring a different point of view to their attention and their awareness to what is actually happening at the very moment rather than being caught up in their thoughts and biases. It allows them to be present and actually observe the stress and not react to it, to just observe so they are able to listen to others and make better decisions
  • Leaders have two different roles. They have to be able to succeed in performing in their own tasks and they also have to manage, support each direct report or follower that they have and if a leader can have the presence of mind to reduce their own stress in a moment they could actually be a source of service to their followers
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn one of the fathers of mindfulness defines it as a non-judgmental state of mind and acceptance of events
  • Any time someone influences another person that is leadership. People are always enacting influence and persuasion over others with some goal in mind by touching some sort of value that the person holds on to deeply and in aligning with that value he/she is able to have high motivation to go forward
  • Resilience is the ability to bounce back from negative experiences.
  • A number of studies have shown that to some extent resilience might be determined by one’s genetic makeup and yet studies have also shown that most of our ability to come back from adversity is not from our genetics but by how we deal with it. Barbara Fredrickson argues that if we are able to experience positive emotions like joy, happiness and gratefulness, that positive emotions like those build resilience
  • Many behavioural researchers understand resilience in terms of the HERO framework. This is based on research called Positive Psychological Capital where H is for Hope, E for self-Efficacy, R for Resilience and O for Optimism
  • There is transactional leadership – if you do something good for me I will reward you, if you do something bad then I will punish you versus transformational leadership where the leader sacrifices his own self-serving goals and connects to the values of his followers offering that unique support for each individual. He examines the goals of each individual and creates one large picture that connects to each person and makes a real impact.
  • Learning environments or a psychologically safe environment for growth should include a determination of leadership developmental readiness before an individual enters a program
  • How do we make sure that a leader is ready to develop? Ask the following questions. Do they have the right personal resources and metacognitive abilities? Do they have the right relationships in the workplace that help them in terms of a mentoring relationship, reverse mentoring with followers? Do they have the right motivation in terms of what is their intrinsic or extrinsic motivation for this type of event and does that need to be altered before the training program?
  • Gut feeling is actually scientifically explained by the fact that we have a fairly large number of neurons in our gut and these neurons communicate with our brain, so when people say, “I have a gut feeling,” the nervous system from your gut or stomach is sending signals to your brain which are then incorporated into the decision making systems for example or the emotional system
  • Taking care of your body, your health, nutrition and fitness have direct impact on your leadership
  • We tend to attach ourselves to outcomes whether in research or business and when we fail to see the results we want, we stick to it. We should instead let it go. We should learn something new and fail fast
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