Daily Practice #3: Mindful Meeting


Mindful Meetings: Step­-by-­Step, Extracted from siyli.org

Before the meeting

Mindful Meetings ideally start before the meeting begins by creating the conditions that allow for a Mindful Meeting.

1. Agenda:

Mindful meetings start with a shared understanding about the purpose of the meeting. Distributing the agenda and objectives ahead of time (when appropriate) allows everyone to show up prepared.

2. Self­ check:

Do a mindful check­in with yourself prior to entering the meeting space. Try using a 3­ breaths practice or 1­ minute meditation in order to check­in with your mental and emotional state.

During the meeting

3. Minute to arrive:

As the meeting begins, invite everyone to take a minute to arrive. You may invite people to be silent for 1 minute or lead a short focused attention meditation. Choose a practice that is suitable for your group and be willing to try different approaches over time.

4. Group norms:

For groups that meet regularly, establish a set of norms to which everyone can agree and hold themselves accountable. It helps to occasionally review norms in subsequent meetings and norms may evolve over time. If the group does not meet regularly or if this is a one ­off meeting, use this time to set some intentions for this meeting.

5. Quick check-­in:

Take a few moments to allow each person to check in. Depending on group size, check­ins can be from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The intention is create an opportunity for more connection between members. It can help for the leader of the mindful meeting to go first in order to model openness and vulnerability.

The following are some potential check­in prompts:

a. How are you feeling right now?

b. On a scale of 1-­10 how much of your focus and attention is in this meeting right now?

c. Is there anything that is getting in the way of you being fully present? If so, is there something that can be done quickly to resolve that?

6. Review agenda and intentions for meeting:

Review the agenda and desired outcomes (e.g. decisions, action items, or questions answered). Check to ensure all necessary items are included in the agenda before proceeding.

7. Manage the agenda:

As you move through the agenda, articulate when you move from topic to topic and recap any relevant decisions or action items along the way. If a useful diversion comes up, communicate that this tangent is happening and what impact it will have on the rest of the agenda. If the diversion is not useful or appropriate at that time, add it to a ‘parking lot’ for future discussion or delegate that discussion to the appropriate people.

8. Closing:

Take a few minutes at the end of the meeting to recap all decisions, agreements, action items, and/or open questions. Review the questions: What have we decided today? Who’s going to do what, by when? How will we resolve the issues that are still open? What’s likely to get in the way of us implementing what we agreed to today?

9. Check­out:

If time permits, allow each person to share how they are feeling at the end of the meeting. Use the “one breath rule” which means any comment should be short enough to fit into one breath.

After the meeting

10. Follow­ Through:

When appropriate, make sure meeting notes or a recap of decisions and action items are sent to stakeholders.

Download Mindful Meeting Agenda here