POISE - A Dialectic Practice for Mindful Leaders
By The Mindful Leader Team
In our prior exploration, "Dialectic Thinking: The Secret to Exceptional Mindful Leadership," we explored the fascinating intricacies of dialectic thinking. We examined its impact on leadership, revealing the tug-of-war between binary and nuanced thinking in our society, politics, and personal decisions. Delving into neuroscience, we discussed how the prefrontal cortex overpowers our instinctual, primitive binary thinking. Importantly, we explored the paradox of acceptance and change, a striking contradiction that mindful leaders must learn to handle.
Building on this foundation, we now introduce an actionable exercise: the POISE Practice. This method aids in balancing conflicting emotions, responses, needs, and desires, specifically in the workplace. By fostering mindful leadership, resilience, and harmony, the POISE Practice can contribute to a harmonious and productive work environment.
Rooted in dialectic thinking, the POISE Practice invites us to view contradiction as part of a unified whole. It helps us to validate and reconcile conflicting elements, leading to comprehensive understanding and resolution. Though it sounds simple, this practice demands conscious, consistent effort due to our inherent pull towards binary thinking.
In the following sections, we'll explore each step of the POISE Practice with the aid of a real-world example, translating the theory of dialectic thinking into tangible action.
The journey towards mastery in any skill requires patience and time. Learning the POISE Practice is no different. But the results - amplified emotional intelligence, stronger leadership, improved relationships, and increased self-awareness - are worthwhile investments. By embracing dialectic thinking, we enhance not only personal growth and leadership but also positively influence team dynamics and organizational success. Consider starting the practice with the mindfulness meditation of your choice and journaling your responses. Let's begin.
Step 1 - (P)inpoint: Identify the situation and your emotional response to it.
Example: "I'm burdened with an important report this week, and I've been asked to head a new project. I feel overwhelmed and think of delegating tasks, which induces guilt."
Step 2 - (O)bserve: Recognize the positive intention or value behind your primary emotional response.
Example: "The guilt I feel indicates my value for teamwork and my commitment to my role."
Step 3 - (I)dentify: Acknowledge your initial emotion, understanding it reflects your values. Next, identify the conflicting need or desire causing tension with your initial response.
Example: "My guilt is valid as it echoes my commitment to teamwork. Yet, I also need to manage my workload effectively."
Step 4 - (S)ynthesize: Accept the conflicting need or desire, understanding its importance without negating your initial response.
Example: "Managing my workload effectively is as valid and important as my commitment to teamwork. Delegation is a necessary part of leadership."
Step 5 - (E)xecute: Find a resolution that respects both your initial response and the conflicting need, whether through compromise or a fresh perspective allowing both to coexist.
Example: "To honor both my commitment to teamwork and my need for effective workload management, I'll delegate tasks. However, I'll also support my team and clearly communicate about shared responsibilities."
The POISE Practice, a simple practice to integrate dialectic thinking into daily life and can be adapted to suit your unique situation. Remember, transforming your thought process requires patience and continuous effort
Consider how you might incorporate the POISE Practice into your daily routines. How might dialectic thinking enrich your personal and professional life? Can you envision resolving contradictions in your environment using this approach? How might you modify or improve the practice? We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below as we continue exploring the potent impact of dialectic thinking on mindful leadership.