Developing and practicing Mindfulness is something everyone can do and it’s a powerful skill in terms of creating and maintaining positive and productive workplace relationships.
Many years ago, I took an 8-week course called the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR), which was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as “a lifetime engagement not to get somewhere else, but to be where and as we actually are in this very moment, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.”
Since that time, mindfulness has continued to be a core part of how I try to move through life and it’s certainly a concept that’s deeply integrated in the work that I do. Some of my recent social media posts have spoken to the importance of mindfulness in the workplace; if you missed them, here are two articles from Harvard Business Review you can read:
(A follow-up Facebook post will come out next Monday, so “Like” my Facebook page if you don’t want to miss it.)
Being mindful is another way of saying being fully present — and that’s what you need to be during every encounter you have with someone at work. Here are 5 steps to help you do that:
- Embrace the notion that the OTHER person is the most important one in the conversation, not you.
- Listen more, talk less.
- Temporarily let go of the past — listen without prejudging.
- Don’t get emotionally hijacked — when you let your emotions take charge, you’re no longer listening.
- Remain focused — don’t let distractions break your connection with the other person; ensure they get the message that they’re the most important thing to you at the moment.
The more you practice these things, the better you’ll get at them. The better you get at them, the better your workplace relationships will be.
Have an enjoyable and productive day!