How to Lead a Mindfulness Practice Group at Work?
This guide aims to make it simple for you to bring a group together to practice mindfulness in your company.
Why Start a Mindfulness Practice Group?
There are many reasons why you might start a practice group at work, including:
- Having a group provides structure & accountability, which helps build a habit of practice
- Practicing with others can foster the experience of a deeper practice
- Sharing insights and/or challenges with others helps gain more perspective about the practice
- Building a mindful community supports the sustainment of practice
Running a Group
The following is a list of details and logistics you might consider before your first meeting. Each of these may evolve once you start meeting with the group.
- Time and Frequency: Pick a day/time that is consistent(if possible) and that is convenient for your group. Also, determine a frequency that works best for your group- we suggest weekly, but you can also do twice a week or every other week.
- Hosting: Create a repeated calendar invite & reserve a space (if needed) to run the sessions. This can be a meeting room or quiet space.
- If you're doing this virtually, set up a session in your desired platform (Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, etc).
- If you plan to have any small breakout groups or dyads during the session, be sure that your platform can support this.
- As the facilitator, be sure to be in a room that is free of distractions and outside sounds. Test the audio that you plan to use for meditations and make sure that participants will be able to hear.
Create a list of norms that describe the intentions for the group. Here area few suggested norms for yourself as a group leader and to share with your group:
- Beginner’s Mind: We al come to the group with different levels of practice or familiarity with mindfulness. See what it would be like to meet each moment with fresh eyes.
- Be Fully Present: take a break from email or other work, snacking, and other distractions.
- Kindness & Curiosity: invite these attitudes towards your own experience and others.
- Confidentiality: hold what is shared in the practice session with confidentiality and agree to not share details or personally identifiable information outside of this group.
- Ask people to close or minimize other windows/tabs, and not do emails or other work.
- Try to be in a space that is as free from distractions as possible.
- Encourage people to have video on to support presence and connection.
- If there is background noise in your space, please mute yourself. You might have everyone mute for the meditation, and unmute for discussion.
Invitation & Communication
How you invite people to join and communicate with them about the group can influence people’s interest in joining. Choose language that you believe will be most attractive to your potential audience (e.g. if people in your area tend to have resistance to the terms “mindfulness” or “meditation,”try phrases like “focus and attention practices”).
Send a general communication to share that you’ll be offering these sessions including the purpose and details, and then also send reminders prior to each session to encourage people to join. Below is an example of the email you can share: