Mindful Leadership and Wellbeing Survey
Research Topic and Supporters
OrgPsych collaborated with The Mindful Leader™ and Global Leadership and Wellbeing Survey® to conduct an exciting research project to build the science around our understanding of how mindful leadership and wellbeing are related.
Participants completed two internationally recognised evidence-based assessments Mindful Leadership 360° Assessment (provided by The Mindful Leader) and a Global Leadership Wellbeing Survey (GLWS) Assessment (provided by EEK & Sense).
All data has been collated and is being analysed by OrgPsych to look for relationships between the variables. This is the first time a collaboration of this sort has been undertaken. OrgPsych expects to release a final comprehensive report by the end of 2021.
As a way to say thank you, all participants received personal feedback including a 60 minute debrief at no charge. This was a great chance to get independent coaching to benchmark the participant’s current leadership and wellbeing results along with key steps on how to improve in the future.
Research Leaders and Advisory Panel
John McCann Executive Coach, Leadership Specialist, Organisational Psychologist, OrgPsych – Project Director
Dr Kate Lemerle Positive Psychologist, OrgPsych – Research Director
Kellie O’Connor, Relationship Development Professional, OrgPsych – Research Consultant
Michael Bunting, Leadership & Mindfulness Author, Consultant & Facilitator, WorkSmart – Research Collaborator
Karen Gillespie, Organisational Psychologist, EEK & SENSE – Research Collaborator
Caroline (Carrie) Benedet, Adult Educator – Research Collaborator
Dr Wendy Chesworth, Physiotherapist – Research Advisor
Dr Caroline Bailey, Organisational Psychologist, OrgPsych – Research Advisor
Mushfiq Rahman, General Manager, Industrial, ALS – Research Advisor
Fiona Davis, Regional Sales Manager, Metagenics – Research Advisor
Antoine Le Tard, General Manager and Mindful Leader – Research Advisor
Alicia Purtell, People & Culture Director, Lion – Research Advisor
Were all volunteers who were currently in a leadership role and had both a supervisor and a supervisee who could provide input with the assessments.
These assessments were provided completely free to participants and each participant received a full personal debrief from a member of the research team.
Each participant learnt more about their own mindful leadership and wellbeing and received a benchmark on their leadership and wellbeing results with key steps on how to improve in the future.
All research was completely confidential and anonymous and conducted to the highest ethical standard under the supervision of Dr Kate Lemerle.
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Preliminary Summary from Dr Caroline Bailey
Why Mindful Leadership Matters
Old fashioned models of leadership typically emphasized the role of a leader in controlling their staff members’ behaviours – communication being ‘top-down’, directive and task focused. More contemporary models such as Transactional and Transformational Leadership recognise that there is a more complex interplay between leaders’ behaviours and thoughts, environmental factors (such as organisational culture, situational and temporal variables) and the interpersonal dynamics between the leader and individual staff members.
Most recently, in this era of change (rapid technological advancements, organisational flexibility and innovation in response to a global financial crisis and public health pandemic) a third iteration of leadership theory is emerging – the importance of Mindful Leadership. Research evidence is gathering that mindful behaviours in leaders are relevant to a whole gamut of individual, team and organisational outcomes.
So what is Mindful Leadership? Mindfulness is often described as ‘moment to moment non-judgemental awareness’ – a sense of ‘being present’, engaged and actively processing what’s within our senses, whilst being conscious of our own preconceived thoughts and judgements.
Mindful leadership then can be thought of as a way of engaging with staff whilst fully cognizant of individual and contextual factors in the work environment that will impact upon specific individuals’ engagement with work. So when a manager is briefing their team on a Monday morning, this means s/he adapts what they say and how they say it, relative to who’s in the room, what they know of those staff members, and what expectations and goals are realistic for the week ahead.
As fans of Mindful Leadership, researchers at OrgPsych jumped at the chance to collaborate with test publishers of The Mindful Leader (TML) Survey and Global Leadership Wellbeing Survey (GLWS), to offer an independent appraisal of how Mindful Leadership might relate to staff wellbeing.
Managers from ten different organisations, spanning a variety of sectors (engineering, media, education, psychological services, beverages and natural health) in Australia and New Zealand were invited to take part in the project. Forty-nine direct reports (immediate staff members) provided a self-assessment of their own work- and life wellbeing (using the GLWS), as well as an assessment of their manager’s mindful leadership behaviours (TML) and we crunched the numbers!
It was no surprise to us that we found strong evidence linking mindful leadership behaviours to staff members’ perceptions of having both authentic work relationships and high levels of intellectual engagement and ‘flow’ at work.
We looked at specific behaviours within these dimensions, and identified a leader who conveys trust, provides a non-toxic working relationship and enables staff to feel part of a close supportive team were key factors in their staff members’ wellbeing at work.
OrgPsych would like to thank Michael Bunting (author of The Mindful Leader) and Audrey McGibbon and Karen Gillespie (authors of GLWS) for providing researchers access to psychometric test materials. No financial payment or incentives were made during the course of this research. A poster presentation of this research will be featured in the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), 7th World Congress in July 2021.
We look forward to uniting forces in the quest for greater leadership and improved wellbeing in Australia.
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