EBMC operates through an evolving model of Shared Leadership, one of the five elements of the EBMC 10-year strategic plan. A key part of Shared Leadership is creating an organizational culture in which conflict avoidance is reduced, and commitment to recognizing and raising tensions before they escalate into conflict is increased. Mindfulness meditation helps us to recognize tensions in our bodies and in our minds, and to use these observations to interact more honestly and skillfully with others. 

Mindfulness-based Operating Principles for Handling Tension

  1. We foster a culture where respectful disagreement is okay and enriching
  2. We value constructive feedback that is not blaming or shaming, but in support of the community and the mission of EBMC
  3. We get curious about our own experience first. *
  4. We practice deep listening, to ourselves and each other
  5. We work together to identify the structural component of where a tension originates from, and try to find a solution that aligns with the mission and values of EBMC
  6. We effort to interact from our most healed selves, rather than reverting back to our most wounded selves. It is from this place that we raise tensions for the benefit of the whole

 These emerged from the Shared Leadership process at EBMC in the fall of 2016 with consultant Amy Vito. 

*  As a bottom line, mindfulness practiced correctly reminds us constantly that we don’t know what we don’t know, which is a key point raised often by diversity, equity, inclusion practitioners. Instead of assuming that our individual and culturally-based collective ways of knowing are the norm, we can remind ourselves to engage with others in culturally humble ways that might help us to learn, grow, respect, and better understand the reasons for their actions and behaviors, while we also become increasingly aware of what motivates our own actions and behaviors. 

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash