6 Tips to Plan Out Your Team’s Approach to Mindfulness

By: The Mindfulness Initiative

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Mindfulness programs need not be time-consuming or expensive. Indeed, many organizations choose to start out with low touch / low-cost options while they experiment with mindfulness. Others choose to rely on in-house champions to establish grassroots support. Whil’s Team Training Guides make it easy to bring any size team together to learn, practice and, most importantly, open up conversation to create a culture of mindfulness, respect, and wellbeing. 

If you’re looking to take your own team culture to the next (mindful) level, here are a few to think about: 

  1. Understand the culture of your team organization. Are you likely to be pushing at an open door? Or might the idea meet with some with skepticism and challenge? Consider approaching some trusted colleagues who can help you understand likely reactions on the part of your organization. 

  2. Be clear on your objectives and their scope. Are you trying to make mindfulness practice available to the team during their lunchtime? Aspiring to make mindfulness part of your team’s formal learning curriculum? Or even seeking to change working culture with mindfulness? In any case, understand what success looks like and keep to your parameters.

  3. Plan your approach. What are the different stages that you need to go through to deliver within your scope? Are there different points at which you need to speak to other people or get approval (e.g., for some budget to feed your momentum)? You may want to write your plan down, so you can see what needs to happen when and make any adjustments. 

  4. Pilot it. It is a good idea to make mistakes on a relatively small scale, so you can learn from them before you start to deliver your project to the whole team. Bring 2 or 3 team members together, get feedback, then expand to the rest of the team. 

  5. Assess risks and benefits. There may be some cultural obstacles, resource constraints or implementation risks (e.g., strong naysayers that haven’t yet bought in).  Make sure you capture and plan how to mitigate these risks. You will also want to commit to delivering some identified benefits and understand how you are going to demonstrate that these benefits have been delivered for your team 

  6. Formulate a communication plan and secure team member support. How are you going to get news about the mindfulness program out there and what will your messaging be? Winning over a range of stakeholders ranging from your leadership team, health & safety team, talent team, HR and facilities will be key to getting the support you need to shape your message and get it out to your audience. Be sure to utilize Whil’s Success Toolkit for communication templates, posters and more. 

Finally, be careful not to over-promise or make unrealistic claims. Mindfulness training is not a panacea, and results depend largely on the length of the training course and commitment level of the team. Last but not least, look after yourself. Lean on your team. Make sure you have people you can turn to for advice and support. Make sure your boss knows what you are doing and is happy to give you the time and space to do it. 

About the Author: This excerpt was edited and reprinted with the permission of our friends at The Mindfulness Initiative. To learn more about their work, please visit www.themindfulnessinitiative.org. 

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