Best practices for a leader – how do we face diversity?

By Shalini Gadhia

  1. Reading: Reading relevant material often brings into perspective situations and solutions that we seek. As a leader it is always a good idea to keep up with the best practices of dealing with people and situations. It helps us expand our horizons and absorb nuance for different contexts. Some recommendations I would like to make are ‘Give and Take’ by Adam Grant, ‘Think Big’ by Ben Carson and ‘Screw it, Lets do it’ by Richard Branson

 

  1. Meditation – People often wonder what meditation is. There are different types of meditation – the broader categories are physical and mind related. Here I am specifically referring to the mind related one. Meditation is a simple technique that helps you to listen to your mind and feel calm. This is an essential attribute for a leader who is constantly faced with diversity in the workplace. If you are a beginner, consider practicing guided meditation (you can search for audios on YouTube) and can consider practicing for 5-10 minutes a day. This will help you become mindful and focused through the day. With further practice, you can progress into advanced techniques that will not only help you to be mindful but you may get inspirations (these may be ideas / solutions) in the context of your work / personal life.

 

  1. Physical exercise – daily exercise helps us to flex our muscles and improves the flow of blood in our bodies. This in turn improves energy levels and brain functioning that helps in boosting productivity. Any leader could use the extra energy levels looking at the amount of pressure we deal with on a daily basis.

 

  1. Rest and reflection – ‘I have a deadline to meet, ‘I have to submit a report to my boss’ – do those lines sound familiar?

Every leader may at some point feel guilty for taking time off owing to these factors. Guess what, taking some rest and time for reflection may actually help you achieve your goals more effectively. We all feel we never have enough time to complete all our tasks. So how do we make time for rest and reflection? Well, the answer is that rest and reflection actually open up our mind and give us fresh perspective on situations. Ideas and answers that we cannot find with a busy and stressed mind often come when the mind is still. Take time daily to think about absolutely nothing (this can be 15-30 minutes) and see how a sudden idea or solution just pops up. It is important to note that you cannot force the idea to pop up but have to make sure that you completely surrender to rest, so that you allow your mind to have space to generate these ideas.

 

  1. Mentor – it is often a good idea to have an individual who has been in a similar position whom you can seek guidance from. Speaking to someone who has gone through what we are undergoing may help us have an advanced method of keeping up with things and avoiding situations and dealing with others in a desirable manner. Of course there is no perfect way of doing something but leaders who have had experience may be placed in a good position to provide us with the closest solution. A mentor can be anyone from a colleague at work, a friend / relative that has been in a similar position or an industry leader.

The author is a marketing professional with 10 years of work experience across various industries.

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