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Practicing Mindfulness at work

Kim Nicol on being more present, more calm, and communicating better

Kim Nicol on Mindfulness

Here’s the transcript from our interview with Kim:

When speed matters at work, which let’s face it, is always, the slowest part is always going to happen between the humans.

Even if you have the most talented players there can be interpersonal friction, or people are not communicating well, or not listening, or they’re distracted because there are so many things grasping for their attention, or they’re getting burned out.

We see this a lot, especially with passionate, young developers and across the line. People are so excited — they are so willing to give so much, but that excitement leads to burnout, which leads to churn which leads to slower work for everybody.

Mindfulness is a master key that helps everyone at work to be more present, to be more calm, to listen better, and to communicate better.

Everything can flow more easily between humans when people are more present and aware.

One of the things I see a lot in new organizations is they have new managers, or people who have been promoted because they’ve been with the organization and they don’t know how to communicate with people. They don’t know how to motivate or listen or give difficult feedback.

The human component is the most important part of any organization, but we typically don’t focus on it until a little bit later in the organization’s life. Once that starts to become something you start caring about then mindfulness becomes an incredibly useful tool that you can use across the organization in all of these different ways.

Learning mindfulness as a tool can help to mitigate and reduce the effects of stress.

Stress is going to happen. It’s a part of life. But, having some really specific tools to deal with stress so that you can remain calm, creative, energized, so you can sleep at the end of the day — that’s the kind of thing that will improve the experience and productivity of everyone on the team.

If you have one person who’s going off the rails in terms of their stress level, it affects everybody. If you have just one person who’s really calm, that also creates this positive ripple effect.

Once you are a manager, all of a sudden you have to learn how to deal with humans. You have to learn how to listen, how to motivate, how to resolve conflict, how to give difficult or uncomfortable feedback, and the truth is we typically don’t learn that on the job.

Kim leading a mindfulness session

Being able to relate to humans is something that mindfulness is a critical and super useful tool for. It helps by first having your own self-awareness, and then you bring that into relationships and conversations with others. And you can really clue in on what’s really the issue here.

How can you give them feedback so that they feel excited and motivated to learn and grow?

How can you deal with the conflict between people within your team so that everyone gets focused, aligned, and back on track?

That’s what managers need to do and mindfulness training is a way that we can help them to do it even better.



BigTalker helps companies support their employees with leadership and collaboration skill building programs. Professional development sessions include emotional intelligence, communication skills, storytelling, mindfulness and improv theory.

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Startups, Product Management, technology. Huge fan of functional democracy.