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How to Be More Mindful: Take the Five Minutes

In a recent coaching session, I shared with a client the concept of taking a few minutes to reflect about how he wanted to show up for an important meeting, that is how to be more mindful and grounded so the other person in the room walked away with the right impression. A simple idea my client had overlooked and was excited to try. I encouraged him to take a few minutes and write down exactly how he wanted to show up at his meeting. That is – what kind of impression did he want to make at the meeting? He even agreed to take a few dry runs by having his wife videotape a practice session (the beauty of iPhones and iPads!).

After an important but stressful meeting, another client, who was being bullied by her boss, called to tell me her meeting went well for the first 45 minutes, but instead of taking a quick coffee break to step back and remind herself of her goals to be grounded and non-reactive, she kept on going and as a result did not maintain her goals for the second half of the meeting. Lesson learned: take the 5 minute coffee break!

Many executives are focused on mindful leadership and have shared with me different strategies on how they focus on showing up grounded and present – whether it’s jotting down on a note card how they want to show up or taking 30 seconds to clear their mind as they transition through the door to a new meeting or scheduling time in their hectic calendars to reflect and strategize about their upcoming, busy week.

In our fast-paced world, where many of us are expected to “run” from meeting to meeting and think instantly and brilliantly on our feet – it is important – yet a challenge – to take a few minutes, step back, and think about how we want to show up.

Recently I’ve become curious about how certain professionals have a knack for showing up calm, grounded and able to handle pressure, uncertainty and even chaos. What experiences have helped? What do they do as part of their normal routines so they maintain presence?

So over the last year, I started a conversation with such leaders.

So you may have noticed, I have been and will be featuring a series of stories written by individuals I personally know to that have strong leadership presence.

As always, I would love to hear how you show up more mindfully – so feel free to drop me an email and let me know how you’ve learned to show up more mindfully.

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