Yu and Zellmer-Bruhm (2018) defined team mindfulness as situations where members committed to keeping their attention focused on the present and by “experiential, nonjudgmental processing of team experiences”. In other words, “team mindfulness emerges as team members develop similar perceptions about their interactions”, namely, that they stayed focused on the present during interactions and they engaged in “nonjudgmental processing of team experiences” (p. 325). Yu and Zellmer-Bruhm determined these commitments created an environment where team members were less reactive, could process experiences in nonjudgmental ways, and allowed members to take things less personally. In other words, the team members were less likely to get their feelings hurt and more likely to see nuance in what other team members were saying. Other benefits to teams include an assumption of positive intent during conflict, better attention on the task in spite of the conflict, and team members that are less likely to get defensive.
If you are interested in the benefits of mindfulness for your team, how do you get started?
As our discussions at work increasingly focus on improving mental health, increasing productivity, and emotional intelligence, mindfulness has become one of the tools we can use to achieve our goals. If you want to learn more about using mindfulness with your team, Coursera offers a module called “Building High Performance Teams: Mindfulness Strategies”.
Goleman, D. & Lippincott, M. (2017, September 8) Without emotional intelligence, mindfulness doesn’t work. Retrieved from www.hbr.org
Yu, L. & Zellmer-Bruin, M. (2018). Introducing team mindfulness and considering its safeguard role against conflict transformation and social undermining. Academy of Management Journal, 61(1), 324-347.
Kristen Jensen Wall is a Learning and Development Professional with almost 20 years of experience in Higher Education.
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