How to Start a Wild Meeting

Try this.

At the start of your next meeting, ask everyone to settle in for a moment. To take some deep breaths, maybe close their eyes, and think of a time when they were really present. Doing something that was engrossing enough that it had their full attention. Where time slipped away without consequence and without really noticing. Ask them to stay in that place just for a minute or two.

Then, invite them back, feeling their feet on the floor, noticing the sounds in the room, the light, the feel of the space. Then state the larger mission of the organization. For example, at The Wild Institute, we bring our focus back to the meeting by saying something along the lines of ‘The Wild Institute exists to help guide people and organizations back to their true Wild nature, where everyone is encouraged to be Wildly Present, Wildly Original, and Wildly Welcoming.’

Finally, state the purpose of this particular meeting. Something like, ‘this meeting is to bring to life the Work Wild page on the website, in order to offer support, tips, techniques, and principals for people to feel more whole and be more engaged at their places of work.’

We call this our Wild Moment Meeting Starter, and it has become our practice at the beginning of each team meeting. The quality of our meetings has increased dramatically. And we have, for the most part, gotten over the initial awkwardness of starting our meetings this way.

Here are some important factors to remember when opening your meetings with A Wild Moment:

  • Steer clear of calling this meditation. That word can be really loaded for some folks and may result in resistance that just isn’t necessary. You are merely setting the tone for a powerful meeting.
  • There is NO wrong way to do this. You do not need to be an expert or even have done anything like this before. Just try it. You will find your own style and voice as you do it regularly.
  • Wild Moments can be remembering a time when you felt fully present. It can also be a time where you felt energized or peaceful. It could be a place or a feeling. An activity or an
    experience. There are all kinds of scenarios to help people get focused and present. You can mix them up, maybe stick with a certain theme for a while. The main thing to remember is to hold to the practice of starting your meetings this way.
  • Know that some people might roll their eyes the first few times. Hang in there. After they see the difference in the quality and results of the meetings, they will — at a minimum — not be disruptive, and more likely will come to appreciate this start to meetings.

I know this probably feels risky to try at work. You can name that too as you introduce the idea. Wild, after all, means having the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do. Wild isn’t easy, but it’s decidedly worth it!

Let us know where your Wild Moments take your team meetings. This can be a space to share your experiences … things you’ve tried that went well, or not so well. Remember, Wild is who you are. There is no wrong way to be Wild. And there is a community here to support you.

Chris Heeter