Practicing Mindful Communication in the Workplace
At Abernethy Media Professionals, the elements of mindful communication are useful tools for successful corporate communication. A variety of large organizations are also employing elements of mindfulness for their internal and people operations. Why? Because it’s a way to facilitate productive communication — between co-workers, managers and their teams, and between departments. For us at AMP, clear communication is necessary…necessary for collaboration with each other and necessary to produce the right kind of digital media for clients. That’s why we — along with several other big companies — have made it part of our new HR initiative.
As part of our HR strategy, we are studying the application of these tenets in our interactions with each other and how this can be applied to the needs of our clients. Each week in our Monday morning staff meeting, we have the “Mindful Moment.” We take time as a work team to consider mindfulness and how its principles can be used in the workplace. So if you’re looking to bring clearer, more productive communication into your workplace, keep on reading!
Mindful communication grew out of the Buddhist tradition of “right speech” and the desire to communicate with yourself and others in a compassionate and honest way.
The principles of mindfulness can be summed up in three questions that we should ask ourselves before we speak.
1. Is what I am saying true?
2. Is what I am saying necessary?
3. Is what I am saying kind?
Principle one is about truth. While it is obvious that we should all tell the truth in matters that are big, this principle also applies to “little white lies.”
Little white lies happen often in the workplace. Take, for example, situations where we’re faced with difficult conversations: we might pretend that everything is okay instead of providing constructive feedback. We may think we’ve diffused the situation, but it’s only for a moment, and in the end, who have we helped in the long run?
Principle two is about helpfulness and necessity. Sometimes a statement might pass the truth test, but should not be said if it is not helpful or necessary.
Especially when we’re at work, we should think about why we’re saying what we’re saying. Will it move an idea along in the right direction? Will it bring a meeting back on track? Or are we saying something that might be counter-productive and maybe even cause resentment amongst the team?
Principle three is about kindness. Communicating with kindness expresses empathy and compassion.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Think about a boss you had that you loved. Now think about one that you didn’t. More likely than not, the difference between the two was kindness or compassion (or lack thereof). We’ve all experienced the difference, so we know the effect compassion can have in a situation.
These principles are the foundation for transforming your speech into clear, concise and conscious communication. AMP is a values-driven company and we believe in honoring ourselves and each other through mindful communication. We’re not alone — other companies are with us when it comes to practicing mindfulness in the workplace.
Communicating well promotes engagement and is a vital skill in understanding and answering the needs of our clients. We are digital storytellers and are passionate about communicating our clients’ message through video, broadcast, web, and digital learning environments.
For us, employing mindfulness tenets helps us deliver a message that is powerful. For you, perhaps those three simple questions of truth, necessity, and kindness can apply to every project your team works on. At the end of the day, mindfulness can help us all be more productive and manage everyday workplace stressors in a healthy way. What can mindfulness do for your HR strategy?