What to do when morale is low?

Setting Guidelines for Strategic Business Meeting

I recently facilitated a strategic business meeting where the leaders within the organization were very hostile towards one another. It would be an understatement to say that the tension in the room was thick. Morale was at an all-time low. The people present had some unspoken mistrust and fear.  Furthermore, egos were getting in the way of their decision-making process. They were blinded by their own self-interest versus the best interest of the company. So, I did something completely unorthodox in a business environment. I told everyone that before we get started, we needed to close our eyes, take 3 deep breaths and meditate for 10 minutes on the following:

  1. I will bring a servant leadership attitude (inflated egos oftentimes lead to arrogance.)
  2. I will be a Solutionary (be a problem solver, not a complainer.)
  3. I will not interrupt when someone is speaking.
  4. I will not blame, judge, or criticize.
  5. I will be professional and civil.
  6. I will stay Human.
  7. I will bring an open mind (don’t be so attached to your way of thinking.)
  8. I believe anything is Possible (allow yourself to imagine the impossible.)

Communicate Clear Expectations Upfront

Setting clear expectations upfront and voicing the desired outcome was critical to a successful meeting. As the meeting continued, the big egos melted away. Open and honest conversations took place, which was so desperately needed. Laughter erupted throughout the day as they worked together during problem-solving sessions. Dialogue flowed freely. It was truly amazing to witness the transformation from the negative energy in the room when I first arrived to the positive exchanges at the end of the day.  How did 10 minutes of silence create an atmosphere of collaboration versus competition? The power of PAUSE is oftentimes underestimated. Being still and quiet allows for people to get grounded and centered. By taking a few minutes to be silent while other humans are in the room, allows for an intimate exchange of breaths. In the  yoga world, we practice what is called Prana, meaning Breath. It is our breathing that reminds us that we are alive and connected to one another. By focusing on our breath, it gives time to reflect on our own humanity as well as others.  I am happy to say that all parties are now working harmoniously together and have a newfound respect for one another. It’s a good thing because that strategic business meeting I facilitated was for my own company, Hware.

Thanks for reading Hware’s blog!  Feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts.

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