Only true yoga practitioners understand the phrase ‘yoga for everybody’. Learning mindfulness, yoga and meditation enhance your soft skills. What you learn in your practice can be transferred to other areas of your life. These attributes are also great characteristic to increase your success in any career. Soft skills show how well you work with others. When a potential employer looks at two candidates that are evenly matched, they shift the focus of technical to soft skills. Soft skills help determine if your personality and disposition will fit in with the company’s corporate culture and the environment. Below are five soft skills enhanced by a yoga, meditation and/or mindfulness practice.
Follow Directions. Throughout yoga, you are constantly receiving instructions to guide you into the next position. Each movement helps to cultivate both good listening skills and task execution. During the practice, you are also able to follow a set of tasks through to completion. Following direction increases both your effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace.
Flexibility. In yoga, everyone has a beginning point as well as a plan to adapt to the changes in the classroom. Our level of flexible is dependent on so many factors including goals, attitudes, body shape and size as well as the frequency in which we use certain parts of our bodies. We must be ready at a moment’s notice to change postures and go with the flow of the class. In doing so we adapt more readily to the changes and differences in our environment which includes the workplace. We take into the workplace a more fluid attitude and adjust much easier to shifting priorities and changes in directions. The more flexible we become, the better equipped we are to adjust to the changes around us.
Mental Agility. Mindfulness classes tend to enhance your mental agility. Most yoga classes I’ve taught and attended will have a similar sequence of poses week after week. However, the poses may not be in the same order or the teacher may decide to switch things up depending on the vibe of the class. In either case, it is an opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone for a mental fitness exercise as well. By engaging the brain in something new you create new mental pathways and improve your mental muscles by eliminating stagnation. Your brain becomes alive and ready when it’s not apparent what is coming next. This allows you to be quicker on your feet when faced with unfamiliar options in your career and at work.
Open to Feedback. In class, typically there is general feedback given to everyone in a class. It usually comes in the form of the instructor providing more guidance or demonstrating a pose. There are times when we each need a little more personal guidance to get into the right form for a position. The teacher may come to you specifically for additional support and instructions. In this sequence of teacher – student interaction we learn to be open to feedback. Most of the time we gladly accept the feedback because we are striving to do our best based on our interpretation of the instructions. Being open to feedback is key in your career. When you take constructive feedback from your boss it improves your working relationship and the quality of your work.
Communication. In addition to receiving feedback, over time we start to have a more intimate conversation with our mindfulness instructor. We start to share how we feel in certain poses or we inform the instructor of any tension or pain we feel to receive more specific guidance. The more we trust our mindfulness guide the more we become open to sharing our day-to-day experiences. We even increase our nonverbal communication because usually, the instructor will tune into you to check your comfort level based on your body and facial expressions. This willingness to be open about your experience in the classroom most likely will give you the confidence to be just as open in the workplace.
Mindfulness can enhance various areas of your life including your career. When you slow down to pay attention what you learn in the class room it can enhance your soft skills in your career as well. This practice will continue to impact your overall well-being inside and outside of the classroom.