I was recently invited to a positive psychology talk (by my wife and daughter) with Smiling Mind – some of you may know the app?
Being receptive to new ideas, I went along. I was impressed by the panel of speakers who included well-known psychologist Michael Carr Gregg, author and meditation facilitator Tami Roos, and Professor of Public Health at Melbourne University Rob Moodie.
Some of the concepts that resonated with me were:
- We have over 10,000 thoughts at work
- Our day is made up of lots of unconscious thinking
- The mind, body and spirit is our inner world
- Mindfulness means slowing down your thinking and being present in the moment
Contemplating the psychological can be a little scary in the workplace, yet I came away thinking that unless we are careful, our days at work (which for me are often full of interviews and meetings), may also be full of unconscious thinking. In fact I’d argue that most of us are too often on remote control and not really listening to the people we work with or do business with.
Experts say first impressions are vital; we know they happen in the blink of an eyelid. In his ground breaking research about communicating feelings and attitudes, Dr Albert Mehrabian suggests that words only make up a small part of a person’s communication. In fact, “how the words are said, and how people look when they say what they say” are more critical than just the words alone.
To help you be more mindful (present and aware) at work, here are the signs to look for in your next face-to-face meeting with a colleague, client or customer:
- Listening – are you listening to hear or listening to learn?
- Eye Contact – read the person’s behavior with your whole body and mind
- Body Language – the body doesn’t lie, look for what’s really going on
- Vocal Tone – can you hear enthusiasm and passion in the voice or monotone and boredom?
- Pause – be present, be silent, really pay attention
Be more mindful of what’s really going on. Be present, switch on your mind, engage your whole body and spirit. You may see and hear a brilliant new world. I know I have!