A community of technology community managers, leaders, and builders.

D10 - Habits to support workplace




Thanks for the great session, everybody, and @hollocher for taking these awesome notes!


In case the pad ever gets blown away, here’s a copy/paste:

Habits for building community

Have you read The Power of Habit (book)? Very useful
author deconstructs habits, not something we break, something we change.
3 parts to habit loop:
trigger - could be anything
reward - the reason we do the routine
habits: programming of the brain
go-system vs stop-system: something you do want to do vs something you want to stop

community can be a very reactive environment - something happens and we react.
Bring awareness to the fact that a lot of things happen that are not concious decisions, but rather just reactions.
Mindfulness can help bring awareness to when we are reacting, or actually make decisions

2nd Book recommendation:
Mark Goulston - Just listen.
breaks down complicated neuroscience. Each chapter has an actionable take-away, something you can practice. All techniques are something you can do alone (practice on yourself before you try with someone else).
negotiation scale: ofuck to ok. before you react, figure out where each person is on the scale. Then you know what you can do to get the person down the scale.

Why Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be a mechanism for preventing burn-out. If it is something you share with your community, it can spread and help support a more resilient community.
Goes beyond self care, leads to intuition and better decision making

How do you convince others to meditate?
Don’t call it meditation; call it mindfulness.
Talk about slowing down
’Slow the fuck down’
Reach people wherever they’re at. Movement can a good avenue (yoga, chi kung)
Timing can help (when to engage such activities)
Start really small
If someone doesn’t think they need it, then their is no convincing them (ie, you can’t force it). If they are curious to ask, then there is an opening.
"Before leading a talk, I take 3 deep breaths (and invite audience to do so)"
Being vulnerable is a way of modelings: being ok with not knowing.
Lead by example.
When introducing, talk about neuroscience to help others understand the benefit.

Working with 13y/o: Pick a song and everyone listens, then explain why the song is meaningful.

Workplace suggestions:
Reading your email before you hit send (out loud, especially angry emails).
Regarding emails:
read it out loud.
For angry emails: write it out
Sometimes it is easier to walk over to someone rather than email the
make a human connection, and get away from your desk
Have fun things at your desk
If you are feeling defensive, invoke curiousity instead: ask some questions.
Sparkfile: a place for half thought ideas, something that tickles your brain. Once a month review your spark file, everything you ever wrote. A way to bring longer term awareness to things that come up.
Make eye contact with people when you are speaking. When you notice

ActiveListening & other mindfulness suggestions:
(Look up Non violent communication)
Conflicts arise from not being heard, not being felt.
Reciprocate others: repeat back exactly what some one says to you.
Instead of waiting for your turn to speak, you think of what question you can ask next.
A little practice activity:
listen to someone for 15 minutes without talking
Assume positive intent when listening to others
In conversation, say “yes” to people, to affirm he/she (even if they are not asking something)
Start with self compassion, then that can/will radiate out to others.
A short time every day is far better than a lot at once (you don’t get strong by lifting a really huge weight once)
Consistency in your practice is most important.
There is no such thing as perfect
Try: every hour take 3 deep breaths
’Coming back’ is what results in brain change

Other activities besides mindfulness:
Getting outside
Having weekly soccer games (could be other sports)
gratitude. In a group setting start with "What’s good?"
thank you posts to others, shout outs (online or in person)

Group habits, events.
Rhythm and repetition can be habit forming that can help build participation
6 thinking hats, everyone gets a chance to speak in a safe protected environment.


BJ Fogg, habit formation. Tiny habits, online class (free).

Book recommendations: Buddha’s brain, Search inside yourself

Sign on the entrance: ‘Inhale’, on the way out: ‘Exhale’ to coworking space

Phone app: Headspace

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