What are the Benefits of a Cultivating Your Wise Advocate?
Sales professionals tend to be highly skilled at Low Ground behavior. Closing means managing expedience and solving problems. But they may tend to miss the more substantive, longer-term, more lucrative opportunities, because they aren’t tuned in to what their customers need over time. The Wise Advocate is an inner voice that cultivates their ability to seek the best solution for everyone – and to help their customers solve their problems in more fundamental ways that foster greater loyalty and trust.
To be an HR professional is to be continually caught up in the pressures of the moment. But by operating on the High Ground, you can develop the longer-term patterns of mental activity that help you anticipate tomorrow’s problems as well as solving today’s. You can help the people of the organization cultivate their own inner voice of strategic leadership and thus align what they think with what the organization needs to accomplish.
The High Ground offers a way of seeing your own organization as a compassionate outsider might see it. It helps you build a culture of psychological safety that enables employees to make more effective and ethical choices. And it accomplishes this in an accessible way, that isn’t glib, and that won’t make promises your people can’t keep.
Companies are held back by the deceptive messages that people carry: We can’t afford any risk. It must be flawless or it’s worthless. The dangers only apply to other companies, not us.
When you begin to cultivate applied mindfulness, you learn to recognize these messages for what they are: assumptions and attitudes that have taken on a life of their own. Once you relabel them as only messages, then you can reframe your situation, and cultivate the messages that are healthier for your organization to hear.
Even when we think we’re being “rational,” most people are influenced by impulse and emotion. The practice of the Wise Advocate helps us become more aware of this – and more capable of saying no to deceptive brain messages and organizational cognitive distortions. Though we can’t turn off our impulses, we all have “veto power” over them, and through practice, we can develop a high level of “free won’t” and break the cycle of unhealthy organizational activity. The Wise Advocate is like a self-correcting mechanism in your own mind.
The contemplative practices encouraged by many companies are good for peace of mind. But they don’t always help an organization move forward or realize its strategy. That’s because they’re not linked to decision making. If you’re already practicing mindfulness in your enterprise, you can build on that experience and use applied mindfulness to think about your thinking, pay attention to your attention, and thus improve your capacity for leadership.
Learning to lead, avoiding bias, cultivating strategy – all of these things can be learned, but they can’t easily be taught. However, you can set up ongoing practices and habits that naturally encourage people to become better decision makers. Instead of downplaying expedient decisions, or avoiding the big issues, you can cultivate the ability to tackle both.
Most professionals have learned to do well at their jobs. But they hit limits – and those limits curtail their aspirations. They think, I can never lead, or I’ll never get that technology right, or I will never accomplish what I hoped to accomplish. And they downsize their ambitions and aspirations accordingly, particularly their aspirations for improving the world. Many of these limits stem from habits of mental activity, and those habits can be changed. (Some limits are real limits, and you can learn to recognize those and work with them.)
Wise Advocate Enterprises is a small enterprise that manages the ideas and practices emerging from this work. If you are interested in learning more contact us.