Where does Tai Chi fit in the Modern-Day Workplace?
If there was a saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", then it would not be amiss to insist that daily meditation could well be a precise metaphor for an apple.
Meditation exercises come in different forms and all these forms of meditation have unique methods of practice. The distinct pattern of performing or carrying out each meditation exercise only emphasises the knowledge of the differences between individual choices among practitioners regarding style and technique. Although comfort should not be a priority in determining psychological medication, it is always harmless to experiment with several meditation exercise and decide which one amongst them fits your daily clock and is also effective in palliating the problem hindering your productivity.
Tai-Chi, as a slower form of body motion, involves a choreographed pattern of movement that builds up to establish a central connection with our chi. The slow body movements can easily be mistaken to suggest a more lenient means of meditation, but the exercise offers its own unique lessons and challenges as well.
It is important to be aware of the most common challenges to expect, although the benefit of Tai Chi far outweighs any limitation a distant observation may conjure. There are great lessons Tai Chi teaches which are paramount to the 21st century executive and are also immensely practicable in effective leadership.
Through practicing fundamental Tai-Chi movements, leaders and executives can learn how to improve an essential self-control and self-consciousness skill set. Leaders can save themselves an enormous level of stress and poor management by utilizing some basic principles of Tai Chi to make better executive decisions and improve general performance.
Following these Tai Chi principles can create a profound and deep-seated experience for participants who really dedicate time to practice them. These principles are not performed in any order of preference and it's possible that different individuals can find that some of the principles resonate more than others at different times of enactment.
Relax – Achieve a State of Mind Before You Act
Our inherent fight or flight response in the presence of danger is a very familiar survival mechanism our brain deploys to manage perceived threats around us.
When we are faced with a threatening situation, for instance with a natural predator, our brain instantly becomes occupied with more adrenalin and cortisol content than usual in order to get us prepared for either eventuality - fight or flight. Caught between both options, our body and mind becomes tense because of the persisting danger and the haste to decide on what next to do.
Of course this instant hormonal response is an evolutionary development that has its own advantages, but how much of a rational decision can we really make when all our body, including the brain which is the thinking seat, is not at ease?
When we are tense, our mobility is compromised as our muscles grow stiff and our minds centre on fleeing the threat instead of on the more important subject of surmounting the challenge.
However, it is possible to condition our body and mind to relax and overcome that primal urge to be tense during chaos. When we learn this, we have the advantage of freer and agile muscle movements, and a controlled frame of mind with which we can both weigh our options and reach a rational conclusion.
In leadership, the scenario is similar, if not identical. As leaders, we often find ourselves in difficult situations at different times of the day. The way we react to physical dangers makes a striking correspondence to how we respond to executive challenges in our workplace. A lack of proper mental exercise shortens our fight-or-flight reaction time and leads us to make heedless decisions in other to quickly put the problem out of the way.
On the other hand, when we flip the script and are able to remain calm and coordinated in the face of a threat, we give our brain the favourable condition with which it can come up with a whole lot of rational and usually better options instead of responding with a knee-jerk and often regrettable reaction.
However, that is not all the benefit of achieving a calm state of mind before taking major decisions. Added to that, remaining calm and coordinated when we are faced with a clearly intimidating danger or problem can rub off on the people around us and make them calm and able to look at the problem differently as well. The effect is serial and injects positivity into the working atmosphere, thereby establishing a resilient and coordinated business organization.
Although Tai Chi has many other practice moves we will look into, its vital role in establishing a calm and an undisturbed outlook of events is both enough credit to its efficacy and also an accentuation of how fragile the mind-brain connection can be.