I looked around the meeting room. Raul was quietly talking on his phone. Barry and Jim were sending emails under the table, thumbs furiously pounding. George was reading the business section of the newspaper and Theresa was finishing some paperwork. They were a hard working bunch, but their minds were not in this room. And this was an important meeting.
I made enough noise to get the electronic units shut down, the newspaper folded and the paperwork stuck in a briefcase, but I could see the minds were still charging about the world outside of the room.
“Take a piece of paper and write down two sentences responding to the following question. What do I need to say to myself and to this group to let go the outside world for the next 45 minutes to be fully present here and now?”
There was silence. The sheets of paper remained blank. Pens poised, but not moving. Seconds ticked off and the first response was put on paper. Then another. Soon, the ink was flowing and the pens finished their work.
As we circled around the table, each team member lost their grasp on events outside the room and began to focus on each other. Four minutes had passed and we were finally ready to work.