How mindfulness can improve meetings at work

It is no doubt that mindfulness can prove to be a powerful tool for improving organizational performance. This stands true even in situations which control the future of the organization, office meetings. Office meetings can be a messy affair, the disagreements, the egos, the inability to focus etc. etc. Forget about solving problems, most office meetings create problems. Now when such situations occurs, some people would say let’s take a break, or let’s all take a deep breath. A researcher at the University of Leiden however took it one step further. He looked to see if taking a deep breath, and a little introspection, before the meeting would help. He separated teams of employees into two groups. One group was asked to practice a short mindfulness exercise before the meeting and the other group was asked to perform a placebo exercise. Both groups were then asked to report on the effectiveness and culture of the meeting. The results were better than expected. They showed that practicing a short mindfulness exercise before the meeting improved several aspects of the group dynamics. The team members reported better problem-solving, improved decision making, heightened listening, and drastically reduced disagreement, tension and emotional responses. The overall interaction between the members was enhanced and the productivity of the meeting was more than satisfactory. These results are yet another push as to why mindfulness based practices should be culminated at the workplace for better efficiency and performance.

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