James Van Auken, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Van Auken at his Dissertation Defense.
L-R: Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Member, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Chair, Dr. Ron Cacioppe (not shown), Committee Member.
- Lize (A.E.) Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
- Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Member
Ron Cacioppe, Ph.D., Committee Member
mindfulness, mindful leadership, leadership, contemporary leadership demands, narrative inquiry, thematic analysis
The aim of this study was to explore and understand the relationship between mindfulness practices and actual leadership practices. This qualitative study utilized narrative inquiry with phenomenological interviewing techniques to explore selective leaders who use mindfulness practices, and see how they used mindfulness in their leadership practice. Sixteen in-depth interviews were conducted and thematic analysis was utilized. Eleven themes were identified with multiple sub- and sub-sub-themes, including: “Personal, Internal Mindfulness Practice,” “Being Mindful Toward Self,” “Being Present with Others,” “Being Present with a Group,” “Mindful Shift of Focus/Attention,” “Emotional Intelligence,” “Buffering of Reactivity,” “Resilience and Recovery,” “Alignment,” “Improved Job Performance,” and “Mindful Leadership.” The participants described the ability to move into the present moment, gain discernment, choose a needed action, even if the best choice of action was not acting at all, and then remerge back to the present moment. Mindful leadership was found to be the ability to see oneself, others, the situation(s), the complexities and emotions at all levels (intra- and interpersonally), and then to step back, integrate it all, and with a humanistic approach—lead. A significant implication for leadership that this study may offer is that the simple practices of mindfulness can potentially ripple out through one’s life in ways that take shape as some of the best practices across multiple leadership theories and models. Practical applications were found on both an individual leader-level, such as with developing a humanistic approach; and an organizational leader-level, such as the value of mindful leadership training and coaching. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and Ohiolink ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Van Auken, J. (2019). The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Leadership: How Mindfulness Practices Affect Leadership Practices. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/522
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