I started the year on the topic of silence. I want to end the year on this critical leadership behavior of silence and mindfulness.

Silence is more than just the absence of sound. It is a state of mind that can profoundly affect physical and mental health. Silence can help us cope with stress, improve our concentration and focus, calm our racing thoughts, and foster mindfulness.

Mindfulness can help us reduce anxiety, depression, and negative emotions and increase our self-awareness to pay full attention to what is happening around us – people and issues to be addressed and to be clear about what is most important to us.

A real example of mindfulness – It is just past dawn in London, long before most people are awake. John is the CEO of a mid-size company performing his daily run through the park. He then spends the rest of the morning meditating, reading, and spending time with his wife and children before heading to his office. John accomplishes more in one day than many people do in a week. So how does he do it?

John has developed self-awareness and empathy behaviors, giving him keen insight into people and the world around him. He knows what is important to him and why. He has figured out how to live his beliefs and values. He sees other people and situations very clearly. He notices what is happening inside him and around him. John is aware and actively attentive to himself, people, and conditions. He uses what he sees. Such a pattern is called mindfulness.

Silence and mindfulness are important parts of your effective leadership. So, begin your morning in silence with positive thoughts, embrace your surroundings, and welcome the opportunities to be an effective leader and person who inspires others.

Our daily experience of silence and mindfulness enhances our joy in this special Holy season.

“To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to keep silence and a time to speak.? – Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 7.

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Gerald T. Hannah, Ph.D.