Ellen Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard University, studying the illusion of control, decision making and mindlessness theory. Amongst other international accolades, she has a movie of her life being made starring Jennifer Aniston.

Ellen opened the 2010 Summit on the morning of the first day. Below is a brief summary of elements of her talk.

In organisations as well as in every day life, we make many assumptions based on information we have not fully examined. ‘There is no more information than there has ever been – we choose to be overloaded’. We need to ask ‘how informative is the information?’ and choose what to pay attention to.

‘Our major job as a leader is to provoke mindfulness in those we lead’.

Paying attention and noticing are key ingredients in mindfulness. In the workplace we need to be aware that ‘priorities are conditional, rather than absolute’. To be mindful, we need to be sensitive to context and perspective, and adaptive in our thinking about changing situations. ‘It is always good to stay a learner’ and to notice when we are on autopilot.

o build mindfulness Ellen suggests starting each day examining priorities and looking afresh from the place of learning and taking time to notice subtle changes. Making subtle changes to our behaviours and then noticing the impact is the way to go about this mindfulness revolution.

For more on Ellen’s work visit http://www.ellenlanger.com/ Original post from http://blog.neuroleadership.org/

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