A few days ago I blogged Chris Corrigan’s post about waiting. He was talking about experiences of waiting that is not about anticipating the future but about being fully present. Jeff Risley left a comment saying he’d be reading Chris’ post out at the start of his next meeting and I did the same a few days ago.
The first thing I noticed was that this felt like a small risk. It’s not perhaps the conventional way to start a meeting. The effect was rather satisfying. The first person to speak pulled out a copy of a book by Eckart Tolle and shared her thoughts about the way we adopt masks for meetings so that they become a sort of role-play exercise. The next shared thoughts about the pressures he felt to “perform” even in relatively informal situations. Several stories were told of the experience of being present to the birth of a child (something mentioned in Chris’ post). I don’t think any of these engaging things would have happened if we’d just pulled out our agendas or talked about our deliverables.
It also tends to confirm my growing sense that people are really not that reluctant to converse with depth and show more of themselves, if the context is right.
I noticed how much more engaging and animated the meeting felt after this. It would be great if you felt like trying this yourself and seeing what happens.