Mindfulness at Work: Pause, Notice, Take Action

We could all use self-help that works amidst unsettling moments at work.

Being in the human resources profession means you’ll encounter moments of distress when something suddenly happens at work. Whether it’s a very difficult conversation you are having, or something harrowing occurs that turns people towards HR as the hub for coordination, communication and decisions: the heat can come on quickly.

Mindfulness offers a wealth of practices that can help in times of distress. It can allow you to observe when your thoughts are spiraling out of control and what’s influencing your reactions. It can help you make better decisions, be more effective and overall, not regret your reactions afterwards.

Here is a simple practice you can call upon in the heat of the moment.

PAUSE
Pause and take a mindful breath. Give yourself a micro opportunity to mentally ‘step away’.

NOTICE
Notice your emotions. Check in with yourself. It only takes an instant to do so. Can you identify and label the emotions are you having right now, in this moment? It could be surprise, anger, disbelief or many other emotions.

By identifying and labeling your emotions, you give yourself the opportunity to gain some objectivity on the situation at hand. It gives you some space to consider what you feel are appropriate possible responses.
If you are in a situation that requires immediate action, take a mindful breath. If you have a bit more time, such as you are preparing to go into a heated meeting, close your eyes just for a minute and experience your breath. You can find some calmness, composure and clarity of thought in just a short moment.

TAKE ACTION
After making a decision on the best appropriate response, take action mindfully. Notice how you are responding. Your behavior, body language, tone of voice, etc. Being mindful of your actions lets you create the experience you wish to have, rather than succumbing to auto-pilot responses triggered in the heat of the moment.

Call upon this simple Pause, Notice, the Take Action practice as a tool to get you through those unsettling moments.

Wendy Quan provides mindfulness meditation facilitator training and certification online courses which are available to CPHR BC & Yukon members at a preferred rate. Find out moreAlso, CPHR BC & Yukon member can access her on-demand sessions  Mindfulness for Busy HR Professionals and How to Bring Mindfulness into Your Workplace with No Ongoing Operating Costs free!

Wendy Quan, founder of The Calm Monkey, is an industry leader, helping organizations implement mindfulness meditation programs and combining change management techniques to create personal and organizational change resiliency. She trains meditators to become workplace facilitators.

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