UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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October 2009: Notice where the ‘chi’ is moving.

The Chinese word 'chi' is often described as energy flow and this energy is present in all things….conversations, meetings, interpersonal relationships, etc. We can observe energy flow in others and ourselves, and in noticing, may begin to detect where there are blockages to communication and skillful conversation. While we can’t control others, we can begin to observe how we either contribute to smooth ‘chi’ flowing or how we create unintentional blockages that sabotage flow.

It's an interesting practice to begin noticing the 'chi' that moves in conversations and our attempt to control it. One particular place to observe ‘chi’ flow is in meetings. There are some meetings where the ‘chi’ flows nicely – the conversation stays on track and builds with each participant comment, or if it veers off-track, there is agreement from the rest of the group to go in that direction. And, there are other times where the energy gets stuck with one person ‘holding court’ for too long. You’ll know this by observing the body language of others. How do we show up? Are we aware of how our comments either keep the energy moving or block it? In the next month, pay attention to your contributions in conversations and observe how they impact the listener or group. What changes might you personally make to help keep the energy moving? How does this impact your relationships?