Being an observer-self is not to be emotionally flat or robotic, but a path that leads to better decisions and leadership results. Observation allows you to refrain from getting caught up and lost in stimuli.
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The practice of mindfulness meditation promotes self-awareness. It starts with concentration and observation. Observation is to notice without judgment or interpretation. It demands a form of objectivity without regard to emotions and moods.
Detachment is the key to effective observation. In mindfulness practice, it requires that you become an observer of yourself. In order to do that, you have to learn to split your attention.
Modern leadership depends on relationships. Meaningful relationships emerge when you know and understand each other. Observing others is essential for effective communication, interpersonal skills, influencing people, managing group dynamics, and getting buy-in.
Developing your observer-self starts with your choice to pay attention in an unemotional way. Gather information about yourself - how you move, how you feel, the effect you're having on others.
The observer is an objective witness that takes in data without making interpretations, judgments or changes. It is not a critic.
The benefit of observing is that you can engage in an emotionally charged debate at work while remaining intellectually engaged, also accessing an emotionally neutral part. You can analyze a situation without getting frustrated.
Instructions for mindfulness meditations have been found in ancient texts of nearly every major religion, but it's Buddhism that exemplifies best mindfulness meditation: it cultivates non-judgemental awareness of yourself, your feelings, your mind and your surroundings.
It means separating your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from your identity and sense of self. We are more than the contents of our minds (thoughts, emotions, desires).
Keeping a Thought Diary is a helpful way to reinforce this understanding.