MINDFULNESS IN WORK
There is much in the press, magazines, online about mindfulness at present so I thought it might be useful to focus it down and look at how it could be useful at work.
Mindfulness is simply the ability to be in the present moment as it is without judgement or wanting it to be any different
The reason to practice it is to achieve calmness of mind, clarity of thought and clearness of thinking
In a work context it provides us with the opportunity to see the reality in any situation without pushing to either get ourselves heard, make our point or move in to blame
The role of meditation in developing mindfulness is to practice the art of being present through sitting and watching your breath in order to sustain your attention over time as best you can.
TRY IT OUT
MINDFULNESS IN MEETINGS
Being mindful in meetings would allow us to listen and hear what’s being said without moving immediately to impatience, dismissal, tuning out, talking too much or simply wanting to make a point.
It would raise the quality of discussion and decision-making considerably!
Being mindful however is a much harder route than any of the above choices.
1 Planning beforehand: why you need to be there: what you are giving to, and what you need to get from, the meeting [5 mins is often long enough to do this]
2 Arriving early, taking in the mood of the room as people enter and giving you space to just sit
3 listening intently, keeping focused on the objective of each discussion. If you find yourself tuning out or getting impatient, simply stop, take a deep breath and ‘re-enter’ the meeting
4 Contributing as succinctly as possible
5 Identifying any decisions made
6 leaving the meeting clear what you and others have agreed to do
MINDFULNESS AT HOME
A good way to practice mindfulness at home is through listening to music
1 Set aside a time to do only that
2 Deepen your concentration by dimming the lights
3 Sit in your favourite chair
4 Plan your selection carefully
5 Breathe deeply and just listen. When you mind wanders just bring it back to the music
INTROVERTS AND EXTROVERTS: WORKING DIFFERENCES
One of the biggest differences in approaches to style and approach I see at work is that played out by extroverts and Introverts.
Extroverts are those who like to do: they like action and talking things through as they go, usually using the maximum of words and often repeating them.
Introverts are those who like time to take things in, reflect on what they think and come out with what they want to say usually in short bursts, making the assumption people understand what they are saying.
Where these two inadvertently clash in work is.
Communication: an extrovert often doesn’t know what they are thinking until they talk it out loud and the process of talking it out loud clarifies their thinking.
An introvert would wonder why you would say anything at all until you were sure what you were thinking.
This can cause enormous problems because an Introvert will take what an Extrovert says literally [why not they must have thought about!], and after putting into practice what the extrovert has said, will find out that the Extrovert was only thinking about it!!
Extroverts will often be at the centre of a noisy group at work – they will find it stimulating.
Introverts will soon find their brains going into overload or freezing in the middle of such a group.
This crucial difference manifests itself at meetings where an extrovert will talk a lot and an introvert very little, which results in losing the richness of an introvert’s thinking and getting lost in the wordiness of the extrovert.
MANAGING THE OPPOSITE
If you are an introvert manager, it’s important you let your team and individual staff member, into your thinking as early as possible: introverts tend to share their thoughts when their thinking is way down the line and wonder why they meet resistance!
If you are an extrovert manager, it’s important to ask your team and individual staff members questions, if not you will simply carry on talking and they will carry on saying nothing and you will be met with resistance at some point.
If you would like to know your full MBTI profile, contact me and you will receive a questionnaire, 2 written profiles, a feedback phone call or 1:1 meeting to make sure this is your profile and how best to make use of it at work and in your personal life.
In this case opposites attract so you may find yourself living with the opposite – you will know if that’s true by the way you both come in from work.
An extrovert will often open the door talking while an introvert will try and slide in unnoticed until they have had half hour to settle. Kids of course complicate it further………