Becoming more mindful at Coaching Breakfast

27th February 2020

Sarah Haffenden

We recently hosted our first business breakfast for the year at Coastlands Hotel in Musgrave. The session focused on Mindfulness Coaching for Executives and clients from Transnet, Coca Cola Beverages South Africa, National Lotteries Commission, eThekwini Municipality and others attended.

The session started with attendees describing qualities that could be found in their ‘ideal’ leaders, and attendees were surprised at the vastly different qualities that were mentioned. Some of these qualities included visionary, ethical, accountable and inspiring behaviour, as well as good decision making, showing appreciation and leading by example. This exercise was a great ice-breaker and by sharing ideas, attendees were encouraged to think about things differently.

The session then explored the concept of self-awareness and how to become more aware of yourself by exploring the different areas represented in the Johari Window model. This includes the blind areas that only others can see, the hidden areas that you hide from others and the unknown areas that both you and others do not know about.

The concept of mindfulness was then explored and is defined as ‘Present-Moment-Awareness’. To understand this concept better, we looked at examples of being ‘Mindless’. This included listening but not hearing or recalling what someone is saying, or looking for a lost item and finding that you are holding it. Mindlessness is a result of stress, fatigue etc.

Being Mindful and living in the present moment and becoming more self-aware is key in becoming an effective manager and leader. In order to live more mindfully you can practice daily mindfulness meditations and take the time to live in the moment and experience life with all five senses. Attendees took part in a Mindfulness meditation in class and were surprised by the calming effects of completing this meditation. Lastly we looked at the concept of coaching by defining the term, exploring the benefits and applying a Coaching model known as the Grow Model. Attendees worked in pairs and discussed real-life situations. Overall it was revealed that coaching is a good approach to managing as it encourages creativity, unlocks the full potential of employees, encourages buy-in from employees and allows employees to work in a way that is best for them and still achieves the end organisational goal.