Mindful Listening – Top Tips For Leaders

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During the day, whether you are the Headteacher, class teacher or office manager, you have many conversations. These conversations with children and adults range from fleeting to lengthy and form important parts of our lives.

Using Mindful Listening strategies can make those conversations more positive and productive. The strategies are not difficult; but, they may take some practice.

Mindful Listening Top Tips for Leaders

1- STOP! What people want from these conversations is to be listened to with full interest and intention. Take a deep breath, look them in the eye and LIsTEN to what they are saying. Don’t allow your mind to wonder and don’t start formulating a response before they finish talking. To them, what they have to say is extremely important and, many times, they don’t expect a full answer straight away and will usually appreciate the pause that will be required to formulate your response when they are finished talking.

2- CONTROL– Control your reactions. Notice your body’s response to what is being said, particularly if what is being said goes against your own feelings about the situation. Notice any rise in your own stress levels and take action immediately. Take deep steady breaths, relax your shoulders and continue to focus on what is being said.

3- NO PROMISES – Never make any promise you are not perfectly sure you can keep. Promises are an easy out of difficult conversations or situations. However, broken promises can destroy trust and make your life as a leader more difficult. What you can promise is that you will continue to listen to them, consider their opinion and make decisions based on what is best for the needs of the children. If you do make a promise, ensure that you follow through!

4- PROCESS– After conversations, allow yourself a moment to process what had been said between the people involved, make your plan of action and then allow the conversation to be put to bed. Obsessing over conversations will not do you or anyone else any good. It will not change what was said and steal time from your busy day. If you find yourself obsessing, take a Mindful Minute and then proceed.

Remember, that, as a leader, you will not make everyone happy with your decisions. However, they will respect those decisions if they know they have been listened to and given the time for consideration.

Take a deep breath, hold it and then exhale slowly. You can do this!

#21DaysOfSummerMindfulness Challenge -Day 14- Developing Mindfulness in Children

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As you will remember, mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment. Children and adults alike can find this purposeful focus extremely difficult. Our brains are humming with a million different thoughts. Multi-tasking is seen as the norm and not the exception. The adrenalin coming from this constant state of motion makes us addicted to the stimulus and leads us feeling lazy if we stop and focus on just one thing.

Mindful Listening allows our brain to focus on the present moment instead of the “what to do next” syndrome!

Basic mindful listening is simple and needs a minimum amount of equipment and time.

This is a nice guided mindful listening meditation created just for children.

How To:

1- Find a quiet space for your child to sit.

2- Have them take three deep mindful breaths.

3- Play this Guided Mindful Listening Meditation by MindscapesRecords.com
http://youtu.be/oj9bX5DqggI (5:33 minutes)

Afterwards, discuss how they are feeling. How does their body feel?

Don’t forget to share your child’s #mindfulmoment and successes in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

#MonthOfMindfulness Challenge Day 23 – Developing Mindfulness One Day at a Time

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We have reached Day 23!

Over the last few weeks you have developed a variety of mindful skills to support your health and well-being. Our days are filled with sounds. There are actually far more sounds happening around us than we notice. We have become experts at tuning out the noises in our day. We just don’t pay attention to them.

Today, we will turn our attention back the sounds we have ignored.

Everyday Sounds Meditation

– Take three deep mindful breaths.

– Close your eyes and listen.

– Don’t try to explain the sounds you hear. Just recognise, accept and move on to the next noise.

– Have you noticed the noises your body makes? Your breathing, you swallowing, your hair as it brushes your shirt, etc?

– Remember, if other thoughts drift into your mind, acknowledge the thought and then let it drift away. Do not act on the thoughts.

Try to aim to do this 5 times today.

Make a mental note about this #mindfulmoment and congratulate yourself for being in the present.

Share your experiences here on the blog or on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince #MonthOfMindfulness .

* Note: I have severe Tinnitus. When I do this meditation, I make a mindful decision NOT to hear the ringing in my ears. That conscious decision allows me to get past that noise and hear the other sounds.

#MonthOfMindfulness Challenge Day 20 – Developing Mindfulness One Day at a Time

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In developing mindfulness, we are bringing our focus more and more to the present. With each experience we have in the present, the more we experience life. We start to fully understand that real life is not in the last or the future, but life is right in this moment.

We will mindfully approach today by ensuring we are present as much as possible.

Check In!

– Be fully present when you are listening to a member of your team, working on a strategic plan, having a meeting, preparing for a presentation, meeting with a friend, listening to your children, partner or neighbour.  Take a breath and be in the moment; be present!
– Focus on making eye contact with others, on really seeing them.
– Mindfully listen— are you truly listening, or are you looking for your chance to jump in?

Make a mental note about this #mindfulmoment and congratulate yourself for being in the present.

Share your experiences here on the blog or on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince #MonthOfMindfulness .