I am a founding member of the Mindful Workplace Alliance, which focuses on fueling a game-changing movement of mindfulness in the workplace. It promotes human flourishing. I hosted a lunch for our members, which is comprised of the Chief Mindfulness Offices, program leads, and supporters.
I was surrounded by my dear friends and leaders in the industry. On my right was Eve Ekman and Jason Marsh from the Greater Good Science Center. On my left was Cory Smith, CEO of Wisdom Labs, and SAPs Peter Bostelmann. In front of me stood Scott Shute Chief Compassion Office at Linked In.
What do a bunch of Mindfulness experts and friends do when they get together? For us, we engaged in deep, meaningful, and mindful conversations with the person next to us. Like many work lunches or dinners, you sit next to two people and only really connect with the person beside you on either side. This could make for a great or miserable dinner, depending on who is next to you.
I think we were all beginning to realize the missed opportunity for larger connection and learning after Eve suggested a concept she learned from Dr. Dan Siegal.
“Let’s have a Jeffersonian conversation, shall we?”
“What does that mean?” we all stared at the brilliant researcher.
“We pose one question to the table and each person shares their answer. That way we all get to engage, share and be heard.”
“Ugh,” I thought. As a child, I didn’t enjoy playing group games. To this day, I struggle with facilitated group trainings. And yes… this is ironic, given what I do for a living.
So, I went into it with a beginner’s mind.
And I’m glad that I did. In under an hour, I had an opportunity to hear from all the thought leaders at the table and I picked up some very valuable tools and information.
The only downside… I didn’t finish my meal as I was practicing mindful listening.