Connecting the dots...
Mindfulness is being aware. It’s a concept foundational to Buddhism. And after several millennia of living in the world of philosophy and religion, mindfulness now extends to the realm of psychology, where it underlies a range of therapeutic approaches.
I continue to think about the potential of mindful communication. Mindful email, for example, would – instead of reflecting the process of formulating an idea – reflect the critical thinking and insight behind an idea that was developed before it was shared.
If you are one who began stringing nouns and verbs together in the days of pen and paper, you might agree that writing used to require greater thought. Even a touch of mindfulness meant fewer cross outs and crumpled pieces of paper. The typewriter opened the door to spontaneity, but White Out took time. It still paid to think first.
Back to email and electronic communication in general: On the face of it, the ability to quickly get an idea down, read it and then improve it was a huge leap forward. At least it was for me.
The issue is what we do with the words and ideas we compose electronically. It's about how quickly we hit “send.”
Without mindfulness, words and ideas can become commodities. Not only do many lack value, they can serve as agents of misunderstanding and markers of ignorance. The easier it is to write and send, the greater the chance of damage. And whether words have merit or not, instant communication can render them quickly forgotten. As Cincinnati Enquirer sports writer Paul Daugherty says in today’s column, “In an age of Instant and Instantly Ancient, we don’t know much. Knowing requires depth. Depth takes time.”
I’m interested in enhancing mindful communication in the workplace, and want to test a few approaches. If you’d like your business or organization to participate, speak up. Hit send.