I am a keen meditator and believe that mindfulness meditation can be introduced to all aspects of our lives. Recently I conducted a short mindfulness meditation exercise prior to a Senior Managers Meeting for the first time.

After just a few minutes of sitting quietly and being guided through a meditation I noticed that managers were more willing to wait for others to finish talking before they asked a question or contributed an idea. I also felt we were very much in sync and supportive of each other’s ideas, concerns and views.

Executive Manager, Amanda Jennings enjoyed the initiative

“Very happy to link our improved meeting etiquette to the mindfulness exercise! I firmly believe a little time to consider your space and inner being sets the tone.”

Our CEO, Paul Kelly noted the following experience.

“The fast pace of change, exciting opportunities and daunting challenges in our sector, can impact meetings.

I know I can attend a meeting wanting to get a point across and still be somewhere else!

I think the mindfulness exercise at the beginning of our meetings add tremendous value so that we can settle, focus and maintain our collaborative approach to discussion and decision making.”

Manager of Mental Health & Disability, Joel Aitken, agreed.

“It seemed to help pace the meeting in a way that facilitated better information sharing. Slowing your mind down allows for a greater level of self-awareness, how you are communicating to others and understanding what others are communicating to you. Less listening just to reply and more listening to understand builds on ideas as a collective mind.”

Kylie Hain, Finance Manger, had a similar experience.

“I feel the mindful meditation contributed to a better meeting outcome. Our communication was more effective and we had a more synergistic approach to our problem solving. I benefited from the opportunity to clear my mind and sharpen my focus.

But I also think we benefited by simply acknowledging what we wanted to achieve – a meeting where we allowed our colleagues to finish talking before we asked a question or contributed an idea – sometimes a simple reminder can be very effective in influencing the quality of a meeting.”

So is there a place for mindfulness in management? It’s a Yes from us at CHESS!

Please enjoy this simple mindfulness exercise when you get a chance.

Body Scan Meditation

Find a comfortable seated or lying position and if you feel comfortable close your eyes.

Checking in on how you are feeling. Leaving behind all that you have been doing and all that you think you have to do. There’s nowhere to get nothing to do just simply be.

Begin by bringing awareness to the breath, noticing the rhythm, the experience of breathing in and breathing out. You are not trying to try to change or force the way you are breathing, rather just hold gentle awareness on the breath.

Now bring your attention to your body: how it feels, the texture of clothing against your skin, the contours of the surface on which your body is resting, the temperature of your body and the environment.
You may notice parts of the body that are tingling, sore, or feeling particularly heavy or light, just notice without judgement.

Now notice as we scan through each part of the body, paying special attention to the way each area feels.

  • Notice your toes of both feet to
  • The rest of the feet top, the soles of your feet, ankles then to the
  • Lower legs,
  • Knees,
  • Thighs and
  • Pelvic region- buttocks, tailbone, pelvic bone, genitals.
  • From there moving to the Abdomen, then the
  • Chest,
  • Lower back,
  • Upper back- back ribs & shoulder blades,
  • Hands (fingers, palms, backs, wrists),
  • Arms (lower, elbows, upper),
  • Neck,
  • Face and head (jaw, mouth, nose, cheeks, ears, eyes, forehead, scalp, back & top of head),
  • and finally ending with the crown of the head.

When you feel ready to come back to the room you can slowly open your eyes. Take a moment to notice how you feel, stretch move and mindfully move though the rest of your day.

Being more mindful and respectful in the office fosters the type of work culture that breeds collaboration and innovation.

Our suite of Wellness@Work workshops give employers the tools they need to build healthy environments where staff look forward to coming to work each day. For more information check out our Wellness@Work page.

Linda is our CHESS Human Resources manager with significant experience in the development and implementation of a range of progressive human resource initiatives. Linda is a passionate volunteer and volunteers regularly in Coffs Harbour. Other passions include Zumba, Paddle Boarding and Yoga.