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Spirituality in Business Tip #1: How To Kick Off a Meeting.

November 12, 2009


One of the most opportune moments to introduce an element of spiritual influence into your work environment is when you are starting a meeting.

If you are the one who is leading the meeting, then you should very well be able to set the tone with a spiritual call to order. But not in a way that would make everyone think you are a freak. Which, yes, I would be concerned about that too.

So, anyway, I’m not saying that you should start the meeting by lifting up your hands and calling out for the Holy Spirit to drop down tongues of flames upon your agnostic and multi-faith team members. No, you can tone it down while still making an impact and opening little crevices for the Holy Spirit to move in strange and mysterious ways. Here are a couple of simple but powerful things you can do:

1. Begin each meeting with a moment of silence. 

The Quakers have been doing this for centuries. Instead of making it an overtly pushy Christian thing, you can simply say that you would like to begin the meeting by asking everyone to spend a moment in silence, to clear their minds, to take a few deep breaths, to transition from whatever they just came from. It will help them to focus their thoughts on the important work that you are all about to embark on.

This may be awkward the first time or two, especially for those spiritually shallow chatter-brains on your team that can’t stand to be alone with themselves for even just a nano-second. But I can guarantee that most people sitting around the table will appreciate it, if for no other reason than it allows them to squalor away a moment of peace in the midst of a hectic day. And – here’s the beauty – it builds in an opportunity for you to compose yourself with your own silent prayer before every meeting. 

2. Have the participants greet each other before the meeting begins.

How many times have you been in a meeting and realized you don’t even know the names of some of the participants? Happens to me all the time. Wouldn’t it be nice if you allowed a minute or two for folks to walk around the table and introduce themselves? Even if everyone at the table is old chums, having a minute to simply say “Hello, how’s it going?” before the meeting can break down unseen barriers and warm things up a bit before jumping into business-GO mode.

The greeting is a simple way to remind us of our humanity, that we are all just little people with big souls working towards some sort of greater purpose – together. At your meeting.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2009 6:39 pm

    Cool idea, Brad. I’m going to try it.

  2. November 12, 2009 9:45 pm

    a little red light time before it changes to green.

  3. November 12, 2009 10:21 pm

    Well, I sure think some of my meetings could use some of that HG Fire….or even a prayer for sanity….

    Working with creative people, even has an opinion about what is right, but nothing is really ‘right’ in the subjective world of words and art and the like.

    So, the moment of silence isn’t a bad idea.

  4. November 13, 2009 1:50 pm

    As always, great post!

    Many leaders I know go into the meeting room before others arrive to pray silently for guidance and set their leadership intention. Before the group moment of silence, there’s a reminder of the purpose and vision of the meeting, along with an appreciation for the gifts of all who have come to the table.

  5. November 13, 2009 4:30 pm

    I wonder how the challenge of an on-line meeting is met the same or differently with these techniques. 🙂

    The moment of silence idea, I found particularly enchanting.

  6. November 13, 2009 4:31 pm

    What? No food? No pastries or muffin tops? That’s a GREAT way to start a meeting! But your ideas are good, too.

  7. November 14, 2009 1:10 pm


    Your opening cracked me up. I can just picture that scene, but there is a tambourine in my version.

    I love the moment of silence idea. Many times I have rushed to a meeting with something else on my mind and missed half of the meeting in my mind because I was not focused. I am sure by the look on some of my colleagues faces that this has happened to them as well.

    Thanks for the tips.


    • November 27, 2009 11:32 pm


      I just wanted to let you know that this post stayed with me long after I read it. In fact, I quoted you in my post today.

      Thanks again for this post,


  8. November 15, 2009 12:59 pm

    Good tips. I’m not hosting many meetings at work. But I am the member of a local Jeep enthusiast club, and we begin all our meetings with a short prayer. Nothing extreme, just a moment of thanks. Clubs are often a little more liberal with things like this than businesses, but it’s easy to draw comparisons. It really sets the mood for the rest of the meeting to flow.

  9. November 17, 2009 4:43 pm

    I’m with Katdish… however, a moment of silence WOULD be better for my expanding waistline!


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