The mindful self-leader: Investigating the relationships between self-leadership and mindfulness
Marco R. Furtner, Laura Tutzer, and Pierre Sachse (Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck), 2018, 46(3), 353–360

I found this article interesting because I am very aware of the difference in my own self-leadership skills and ability when I am in a state of mindfulness, as opposed to when I am not. 

The authors state that “a mindful self-leader may act more consciously and use self-leadership strategies (e.g., self-goal setting, self-reward, self-talk, evaluating beliefs and assumptions) more effectively than does a self-leader who is not mindful” (p. 354).

Authors found that “while certain core features of mindfulness (self-regulation of attention, curiosity, and openness to experience) could enhance self-leadership, acceptance without judgment may have a negative effect on self-leadership” (p. 357), which caused me to wonder why it is that acceptance without judgment would have a negative effect on self-leadership, whereas the other mindfulness features enhanced self-leadership. 

My work as an IT manager and as a glass artist both require focus and mindfulness, which reduce stress and error. When I attempt to undertake either of these tasks without mindfulness chaos often ensues and errors are made. Therefore, I certainly appreciate the benefits of being mindful during self-directed work. Also, from my own experience, I know the benefits of being able to critically analyze my work or set goals based on judgments of my workload and abilities. These actions would conflict with the mindfulness feature of acceptance without judgment, giving me some reason to agree with the authors’ findings. 

This raised several other questions for me: is it possible to employ only the mindfulness features (self-regulation of attention, curiosity, and openness to experience) that enhance self-leadership? And, if “mindfulness is the intentional (purposeful) and nonjudgmental observation of all experiences in the present moment” (p. 353; italics mine) then how can acceptance without judgment be separated out from the act of being mindful, to enhance self-leadership? 

On page 358 the authors state, “to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the relationship between self-leadership and mindfulness has been examined, and we found that the observing facet of mindfulness may have the strongest influence on self-leadership.” I look forward to further research on the relationship between self-leadership and mindfulness, particularly in relation to why acceptance without judgment may have a negative effect on self-leadership and what strategies might allow this mindfulness feature to have a positive effect on self-leadership

Suzi Brown | IT Manager
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal