Search Inside Yourself fans often tell us they have trouble bringing mindfulness into their company’s culture. They find mindfulness practices to be powerful for themselves personally, but don’t know how to use mindfulness to impact their company as a whole.
Here are a few ways to slowly bring mindfulness into your company, without seeming too “out there.” In fact, you never even have to talk about mindfulness at all to shift your company’s culture.
Begin by Sharing Your Insights
Self-awareness invites self-awareness. People who practice mindfulness often learn a lot about themselves and how their mind works. Sharing this with the people around you can inspire them to be more self-aware as well.
For example, while meditating you might realize that you feel the least stressed when you know exactly what projects are on your plate. Ambiguous tasks stress you out. You’ve never put it in those words before, but the moment they popped into your head, it clicked.
Share that discovery with your co-workers. If more and more people in your office start talking about these kinds of self-discoveries, the level of mindfulness in your company as a whole will go up.
Open Meetings With a Pause
Instead of jumping straight into meetings with technical conversations, start with a pause. Ask people to take a moment to just notice where they’re at. If everyone in the room is feeling wired and stressed, jumping straight into the meeting will naturally make the meeting feel wired and stressed.
Instead, take a moment to pause and point out where the group is at. If everyone’s stressed, just point it out. Do so compassionately, without blame. Naming the elephant in the room places the attention of everyone in the group on what’s really going on, instead of just barreling forward. This instantly makes everyone more aware of what’s in the present moment. Just this awareness can make a big difference.
Over time, you can influence others to be more aware of where they’re at emotionally and where their co-workers are at. You can train others to be more mindful, without even mentioning mindfulness.
Listen, Be Curious, Be Challenging
If someone’s talking to you about an experience of theirs, listen closely. What are they saying with their words and what are they saying with their body language? What do you pick up on beneath the surface?
If you pick up on something, say it. For example, a co-worker might be talking to you about a project they’re working on. You pick up on their subtle cues and deduce that they’re upset about a co-worker. Mention it. Perhaps they hadn’t even put it in words themselves, or didn’t trust their intuition enough to bring it up.
By shining light on their experience, you show that you value their thoughts and opinions. In the future, people around you are more likely to be forthcoming about their experiences. They’ll notice their own inner experiences more and feel more permission to express those inner experiences.
These are a few ways you can take small yet significant steps towards creating a more mindful workplace. Sometimes, you can just hand a co-worker a book like “Search Inside Yourself” and they’ll love it right away. At other times, you have to take a more subtle tact. Now you know how to do both.