Guest blog: Executive coach Dr Siân Taylor explores how practicing mindfulness helps her to help others

One of the best “side effects” to becoming more mindful can be the positive influence that it has on our compassion for others and on our level of patience.

This week, Dr Siân Taylor shares her experience of taking a moment to be mindful in order to help her to support others as an executive coach.

A huge thanks to Siân for sharing her personal experience below 🙂

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“I am about to meet with one of my coachees.

My day has been email [clearing down the never-ending inbox] | meeting [lots of words little action] | chasing payment [getting nowhere] | meeting | chasing contract [one step forward?] | meeting | urgent request for information [again!] | email [eating sandwich] | hurried telephone call | panic when I realise the time…

I grab my things and hurry over to where I am meeting my coachee. I’ve just managed to arrive with 5 minutes before my coachee is due. I get the room ready. In haste I stub my toe. I realise I’m tired, frustrated, and focusing on all the things I haven’t accomplished.

None of this is good for my coachee.

I stop for a moment and sit down in one of the chairs. I realise that my shoulders are tense and my neck and the base of my head are starting to ache. I know my coachee will arrive at any minute. But I decide to close my eyes…

… I draw a deep breath…

… I exhale slowly…

… I pull the air into my lungs again…

… I concentrate on dropping my shoulders…

… on relaxing my hands…

… on grounding my feet…

… on sitting up straight to stretch my back…

I open my eyes and gently bring the room back into focus.

I feel still, a quiet calmness. I know that I will go back and revisit the frustrations I brought with me and decide on how I will deal with them, but for the moment they will wait.

My coachee walks in…

My coachee was having a difficult time, and an incident in the office involving colleagues meant that they were feeling isolated and exposed. The coaching space provided them with a safe space to release and explore how they were feeling and decide on what they wanted to do.

The one thing they didn’t need was just how frustrated I had been with my day.

In taking a couple of minutes for myself, focusing on how I was feeling in that moment, I could both acknowledge my frustration and place it to one side. It meant that as my coachee walked in, my focus and attention was on them; how they looked, what they said, how they were feeling, where they wanted to be and how I could help them get there.

At the end of the coaching session, my coachee thanked me and said, “I feel so much better now”

Until recently mindfulness is not something I ever seriously considered practising. I was aware that many people benefitted from practising meditation and yoga, I just didn’t have enough interest to find out what it could do for me.

Busyness… completing tasks on my to-do list | clearing down my email inbox | completing the bigger pieces of work | finishing reports | delivering projects. All these things give me a sense of purpose and achievement. Yet a busy day was exhausting and often frustrating.

I first came to understand what mindfulness could do for me, 18 months earlier, on a leadership intensive retreat. In the middle of the first morning after an intense couple of hours, our host Lois asked us to take two minutes out. Starting with a head full of thoughts buzzing around, I found myself in a quiet calm space.

Sometimes I find it hard to find that calm quiet space. Even though I understand and have experienced the benefit of practising mindfulness, I can still find it difficult to stop thoughts buzzing around. But I do it, and even though I may not find the calmness, it gives me enough time to refocus my thoughts and decide on what I’m going to do next.

I’ve found that using the technique Lois first introduced me to, where I focus on my breathing is simple and straight forward enough that I can use it where ever I am. I’ve often found that using it on the daily commute on the train, helped me start the day in a more positive frame of mind.”

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Again, a huge thanks to Siân for sharing her experience of how using mindfulness at any point during the day can help us to refocus, de-stress and to remain calm.

If you are interested in finding out how executive coaching could help you with your personal progression, leadership or management skills – contact Siân for a free 45 minute consultation call at sian@siantaylorcoaching.co.uk.

Thanks as always for reading!

Love,

Chrissy x

Further information:

http://www.siantaylorcoaching.co.uk

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