Grounding Practices for Mindful Team Meetings
Grounding practices and mindfulness principles applied to meetings can support more meaningful participation, more creativity, and greater access to the group's diverse knowledge and insights. Mindful team meetings can help enhance trust, engagement, collaboration and commitment, leading to better results. Consult the following tips to bring more mindfulness to your team meetings.
Prepare for the Team Meeting
- Make sure the team meeting purpose, objectives, and expected results are clear.
- Choose meeting facilitation techniques that are aligned with your objectives (for example, discussion or brainstorm).
- What information does the team need ahead of time to feel comfortable and prepared to participate?
- What value is each team member expected to bring to the meeting?
- Consider if team members would benefit from a check-in beforehand.
- Allow team members to share suggestions for the agenda.
- Be sure the agenda includes at least 5 minutes at the beginning for a team grounding exercise.
- Start the team meeting with a 5 minute grounding exercise.
- This will allow people to clear their minds of previous activities and mentally prepare themselves for their new tasks in the meeting.
- Start the grounding exercise with a breathing exercise: have everyone exhale and inhale through their nose for four rounds.
- In virtual meetings, give everyone the option to turn off their cameras, be on mute and simply listen to the person leading the grounding exercise.
- Members of the team can volunteer to lead this portion as they become comfortable.
- Examples of grounding exercises include: Pick up or touch an item near you. Is it soft or hard? Heavy or light?
- Listen to your surroundings. Let the sounds wash over you and remind you where you are.
- Close out the grounding exercise by asking everyone to slowly inhale and exhale.
Self and Group Check-in
- Take a moment at the beginning of the team meeting to check in with yourself to ensure that you're approaching the meeting with the right mindset.
- Welcome everyone as they sign in for a virtual meeting or enter the meeting room in person.
- Use the agenda as the guide for the team meeting, encouraging team members to use this time to focus and be present in the moment.
- Solicit feedback on the flow of the team meeting at the end. This feedback creates a supportive space for collaboration.
- Ideas and input should be recorded in a way that allows all to see. Consider tools such as a word cloud, mural, whiteboard, chat, or flipchart.
- Delegate someone to take notes to help team members stay in the moment and build on each other's input.
- Model and support healthy and respectful conversations.
- Encourage team members to speak, listen, and question with intention and respect.
Ending the Team Meeting
- End your team meeting with mindful appreciation: Name one to three things in your day that usually go unappreciated. These can be work or non-work related. These things can be objects or people.
- Consider sharing appreciation for something that happened in the meeting: What did you hear from someone else that you are taking away today? What is something that was said that really impacted you?
- The point of this exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate things and people that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our busy lives.
- Encourage team members to share appreciation in the chat (if virtual) or verbally. This can be practiced in one of your team meetings per month.