Many Americans highly value professional achievement, which is reflected in such democratic virtues as the pursuit of excellence, determination, assertiveness, and love of learning and knowledge. At the same time, momentarily setting aside an achievement orientation helps us tune into deeper currents of wisdom that strengthen democratic virtues like adaptability, honesty, humility, integrity, and social conscience. In Be The Change by Ed and Deb Shapiro, meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn shares a story about starting a business workshop with ten to fifteen minutes of sitting quietly with no agenda. Many of the participants had powerful and moving experiences as they shifted from a focus on doing to just being. To integrate a habit of pausing at work, begin each meeting with a few minutes of silence. If you can, hold longer silent-space sessions twice a day.

Habib Todd Boerger, Jon Kabat-Zinn in Practicing Democracy at Work by Habib Todd Boerger