Why Business People Should Meditate

I’m not a meditation expert. This is based on my personal experience and learnings, which you can read about later on in this post.

  • Have you been in a negotiation when the procurement agent on the other side of the table says or does something that upsets you?
  • Have you been in a meeting where someone in the room gets into an argument with you?

These are times when your emotions can take over. You begin to react, sometimes poorly. Often, you look back at your behavior and wish you had done something different. In poker, this is called going on tilt. When players lose a hand they shouldn’t have (based on the odds), they sometimes become so upset they begin to make bad decisions.

One great thing about meditation is you may be able to recognize these situations quickly and do something about it.

You lean into the emotion. You realize it’s just an emotion and you may be able to pull yourself out of it. You may be able to use your logical brain again.

Meditation Offers Surprising Benefits for You in Business, and in Life

Meditation teaches you to feel. You start with paying attention to your own breath. Over time you move on to paying attention to an itch, a sound, or even an emotion. What you learn in meditation is that when you start to feel something, if you lean into it, pay deep attention to it, it’s just a feeling. It loses its power over you.

Meditation can help you control emotional reactions and replace them with considered responses. This is a hugely valuable skill in business, especially when negotiating prices.

I am not a touchy feely person.

In fact, I’m the opposite. I’m an engineer. I love math. My right brained friends make fun of my lack of feelings. I’m proud to be logical … most of the time. I recall reading a book on meditation. “Heck if it’s going to make my brain better why not?” I ended up subscribing to Dan Harris’s 10% Happier program and meditated almost every day for over a year. (It’s almost embarrassing to share this.)

I went on this journey just to see what would happen.

It turned out, I was way more emotional than I thought. I would often react negatively, regretfully. I would go on tilt. Meditation helped me realize it and helps me combat it. Many times I’ve been able to catch myself going on tilt, realize it’s just an emotion, and then respond much more rationally. I still mess up sometimes and react before I know what’s happening, but thankfully it’s less frequent.

If you’re a pricing person, you may be similar to me.

You probably love logic and you may even think you’re uber-rational. Maybe you are. But if you’re really like me, you probably let emotions and reactions get in the way sometimes. You might want to try meditation.

If you do, let me know what it does for you.

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