Our mind is constantly overcrowded with work and personal matters. The oversaturated mind can become a problem when we’re rushing to a meeting. We keep thinking of the endless to-do-lists, the emails waiting for a reply, the calls we have to make, the presentations for the following week, and so on. Learn how to use mindfulness in your meeting and overcome the overcrowded mindset.
Starve your distraction – feed your focus —Tony Robbins
Many of us experience difficulties in focusing, the reason being that there are too many things we have to think and worry about. So what to do when the feeling of all tasks weighs heavy on your shoulders? When you just don’t seem to be able to get in the moment and to concentrate on the subject at hand? Some companies have established a routine of mindfulness exercises at the beginning of an important meeting. As a result everyone in the room is able to be in the moment.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism; it’s a psychological process that brings the mind to focus on what is happening in the present moment. Research shows that practising mindfulness has a positive impact on well-being, sparks creativity, reduces stress and improves a sense of self, of how we can manage our actions and reactions. Make the most of the time you have by starting the next meeting with a few fun, quick and easy mindfulness exercises.
Start the Meeting with Mindfulness
Check the status of your team in the room. Instead of jumping right into the matter, ask participants to take a few minutes and free their minds from any imminent tasks. If someone has to make an urgent call, let that happen. If someone has to add something to their to-do list, let them write that down.
Mindfulness Starts with Being Aware of Your Meeting Room
To test if people are present with their minds, ask them to choose a certain detail. For example the new suit of a colleague, the colour of the wall, the new setting of the room, a pen. Let them focus on the details of their chosen object for a few minutes. It will focus their attention on being in that place right then.
Be Mindful of What You Hear
Put on a song or a music tune and ask the team to close their eyes and to detect what instruments are played, or the different voice tones and ranges. Even if the song is not in their liking, they will be so focused, that they will let go of their initial prejudice. This is a way to let go of preconceptions and to listen more openly to what everyone has to say.
Mindfulness in Your Meeting Boosts Positivity
In the beginning of the meeting you can ask everyone to say something positive, or to write down a positive thing in their lives. Remind everyone in the start that your meeting is a space for collaboration and constructive working. In the end of the meeting, remember to thank all your attendees. Even if you didn’t reach the expected outcome, make sure to still be grateful and to share the positive energy with everyone.
Breath Focus to Your Meeting with Mindfulness
You might be familiar with yoga or meditation? Both practices focus on the way we breathe and how to control your breathing. In stressful situations we tend to breathe lightly and not use our full lung capacity. However breathing is a great tool to calm oneself down, to find focus and to relax the mind.
Before kicking off the meeting, take a few minutes to do a short breathing meditation. For 2-3 minutes you can ask everyone to just focus on their breathing. You should breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Breath in for 1-2-3, and breathe out for 1-2-3-4-5. Your breathing out should last a little bit longer than the intake. Youtube has many short breathing exercise videos that you can also put on the background to guide you through the practice.
How Raisins Create Mindfulness in Your Meeting
In mindfulness courses the raisin exercise is a must. Pass a raisin to all participants. Ask them to pretend they have never seen a raisin in their life. Now ask them to concentrate and describe the following
- How does it look like?
- How does it feel to touch it?
- How does it smell?
- How does it taste?
This is a simple but powerful way of bringing people’s minds to be present, especially its easiness will be a surprise! Would it not be interesting to give it a go and try it the next time?
Mindfulness makes your meeting more focused, relaxed and calm. If you want to find out more about mindfulness exercises, there are many books and materials readily available on the internet. You may also ask your venue providers if they can recommend someone for your next meeting! At HUONE, the team will be happy to assist you in finding just the right person, taking away the additional burden of looking for someone.