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Mindfulness is one of those concepts that many of us nod to having heard about. It seems to have replaced Wellbeing (last year’s corporate buzzword) and has a Marmite-like ability to divide L&D professionals into Lovers and Haters.
I was intrigued to receive an invite to a CIPD Branch event entitled Mindful Coaching this week… 2 hours on a wet Wednesday evening of time investment required to ‘dip my toe’ into this topical field
What did I learn? Firstly, that despite the capitalisation that makes any concept sound like a mysterious ‘club’ that we have to become members of (I have the same challenges with Coaching, Engagement, Mentoring…), being mindful could be simply described as ‘being present’ or ‘consciously paying attention’
Sounds simple. But the reality for many of us is that our ‘multi-track’ lives .. both in work and at home, mean we are tuned into an almost constant stream of thoughts, beliefs, choices, judgements and habits that run like a Sky News update banner across our interactions with others
Practising a coaching conversation without my usual habit of ‘informal recording’ (aka word doodles on a pad which I think help me think) forced me to be more connected, more focussed on the individual in front of me. That focus enabled me to notice the nuances in body language, verbal language and cues (from them and from me!) that I would have otherwise missed
I felt bereft without my notebook (conscious incompetence!) .. but more directly connected. And in the landscape of coaching, that connection has to be valuable
A new muscle to flex and intentionally practise for sure.