“Mindfulness”, as defined by the Merriam- Webster dictionary, boils down to being aware of your surroundings and your work. As vague as that sounds, mindfulness is really a state of knowing exactly what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and being oddly happy about finishing the task.
Applying this to a meeting, however, can be a bit more challenging than applying it to an individual worker. Over the last few years, meetings have developed a negative reputation. This article from the Harvard Business Review states that “meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years, to the point where executives spend an average of nearly 23 hours a week in them, up from less than 10 hours in the 1960s”. It’s really no wonder why workers try to avoid meetings at all costs.
Stress is a huge factor in the workplace and amplified in meetings that employees would much rather avoid. Stress that’s left neglected can lead to substantial health problems not to mention its contribution to the deflation of morale within any company. Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress and stress-related health problems.
Here are four tips to making your next meeting a mindful one:
Providing healthy snacks for a small meeting may not seem like a priority, but it can significantly increase an employee’s attentiveness in a meeting. Eating a healthier food item will give employees a good jolt of energy without the “crash” from sugary snacks.
PROVIDE MEETING AGENDAS
Walking into a meeting without knowing what is going to be talked about or how long it’s going to take is an added stressor to employees and team members. Rid your meeting of that stress by providing a brief outline of the points to be discussed and stick to it. That way you stay away from any side comments and don’t drag the meeting on.
STAND & STRETCH BREAKS
Our bodies are made to move and sitting for too long may be more harmful than first realized. If you start to notice people failing to cover their yawn, promptly pause the meeting to give everyone a chance to get oxygen flowing to their brains again. Pause, giving them a couple of minutes to stand and stretch. You’ll be amazed at how attentive everyone is once the meeting regroups.
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