Tired of sitting through endless, unproductive meetings, where your mind often drifts and your creativity feels stifled?
If you’ve experienced the frustration of meetings that lack focus, purpose, and engagement, then it’s time to consider a transformative approach: introducing mindfulness into meetings.
By incorporating mindfulness, you have the power to create a meeting environment that fosters collaboration, encourages communication, and enhances overall well-being.
Let’s explore three powerful strategies that can turn your mundane meetings into purposeful and effective sessions. Sessions where every participant feels valued and the outcomes are truly impactful.
1. Mindful preparation and intention-setting
We all know that meetings without a clear intention or purpose can become frustrating and a waste of time. But in order to combat this we need to go beyond simply defining the purpose and setting an agenda.
Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself why it is necessary and what specific outcomes you want to achieve. And – crucially – communicate this with the other attendees in advance to allow them to come to the meeting with a shared purpose in mind.
However, we all know that when diaries are packed out, people may not have time to remind themselves of the objectives and purpose of a meeting right beforehand. Participants may arrive buzzing with thoughts and priorities from previous meetings.
Take time together at the start of the meeting to connect mindfully with the meeting’s purpose and understand how it aligns with the organisational and individual goals. Allow space for everyone to reflect without the pressure of contributing aloud. This could be done through a short mindfulness practice, or simply through the meeting lead offering some reflective prompts.
This will help infuse the meeting with a clear and mindful intention, and help steer away from aimless discussions.
2. Creating a mindful meeting environment
Establishing a mindful meeting environment is crucial for encouraging participants to be present and engaged. Begin each meeting with a brief mindfulness exercise, such as a few moments of deep breathing or a short meditation. This will help in centre everyone’s attention, foster a sense of calm, and promote focus on the meeting’s content. A calm and welcoming atmosphere can boost creativity, reduce stress, and encourage better communication – leading to more effective and meaningful discussions.
Here at MindfulnessUK, we start all our team meetings with a short mindfulness meditation, allowing everyone to settle into the space and approach the meetings with an open mindset.
3. Mindful listening and communication
Mindful listening is an essential aspect of productive meetings. Encourage participants to practise active listening by giving their undivided attention to the speaker. Discourage multitasking, side conversations, or distractions during the meeting.
Mindful listening enhances understanding, promotes empathy, and reduces misunderstandings. By fostering an environment of respectful and attentive communication, you can ensure all ideas are heard and considered. The result? You’ll see better decision-making and outcomes from your meetings.
You might want to consider running a training session to help staff develop this skill.
Incorporating mindfulness in meetings is not only beneficial for individual well-being but also for the overall effectiveness and outcomes of the meetings. By setting intentions, creating a mindful environment, and encouraging mindful listening, you can transform your meetings and encourage better decisions and outcomes for your organisation.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can create a mindful culture within your organisation, check out MindfulnessUK’s JOY programme. JOY is a train-the-trainer style programme specifically developed for organisations and businesses looking to improve outcomes in the workplace.