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Amazing Humans

Amazing Humans is BBC Three’s series of profiles dedicated to inspirational individuals across the globe who are making changes in their community, big and small.  From acts of kindness and generosity to defying the odds in all shapes and forms.

Click here to go to BBC Three and choose what interests you.

These are some of our personal favourites:

  • The Falkirk student bringing joy to care home residents (image above)
  • The woman who gives free sanitary products to the homeless
  • The biker who sings to people with dementia
  • The lady who creates henna crown tattoos
  • The British doctors who turn drainpipes into prosthetic limbs

The videos are just 2-3 minutes long but beware, you may want to watch them all!

KineticFuture runs fantastic resilience courses which help your team tackle their own resilience and mental game challenges. We’ve worked successfully with sales teams to CEOs.  Our approach is evidence based, 90% practice and pragmatic.  Do give us a call if you’d like to chat through your situation.

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Recommended Reading: Black Box Thinking

‘Black Box Thinking’ is an incredibly thought provoking book by bestselling author, columnist (and former Olympic table tennis player) Matthew Syed.

In an occasionally far from easy read, he looks at the secrets of high performers and how they deal with mistakes and weaknesses.

The approach in sport of looking for marginal gains and developing a supportive, learning culture can be applied to business and life in general.

Buy the book from Amazon.

Find out more in this BBC article ‘Viewpoint: Should we all be looking for marginal gains?’

And read some reviews on the book below:

“An extraordinary, inspirational book which reveals how great performers and teams are driven by an insatiable curiosity for marginal gains, together with the intellectual courage to challenge their most cherished assumptions” (Dave Brailsford, General Manager, Team Sky)

“Creative breakthroughs always begin with multiple failures. This brilliant book shows how true invention lies in the understanding and overcoming of these failures, which we must learn to embrace” (James Dyson, Designer, Inventor & Entrepreneur)

‘Black Box Thinking’ will forever change the way you think about screwing up’ (Daniel Pink, Author)

KineticFuture runs fantastic resilience courses which help your team tackle their own resilience and mental game challenges. We’ve worked successfully with sales teams to CEOs.  Our approach is evidence based, 90% practice and pragmatic.  Do give us a call if you’d like to chat through your situation.

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Game, Set & Match

Our sports stars take their resilience training as seriously as they do their physical training. A top tennis player will tell you that their mental side delivers 70 per cent or more of their success.

Johanna Konta, Wimbledon’s rising star, says that her resilience and the ability to close matches was once a regular weakness. She says her transformation is due in part to putting in the number of hours a week of mental training that respect this 70 per cent.

Andy Murray, World no. 1 tennis player and Dylan Hartley, the 2017 England rugby captain, also talk about how mental work has helped them become leaders.

It’s the same for we business people. We need to be able to stay the course in the tough times, stay focused, have patience when it goes wrong and bounce back.  Resilience also gives us better control of our emotions, more energy and enables us to make better decisions.

So, how much time do you personally spend working on your mind-set?

Here are the quick and quirky resilience tips that have emerged from our sports stars over the past week:

  • Work out where the thoughts come from. You try to find a number of beliefs – I need to win, I don’t want to make mistakes, what happens if I lose? – and you replace those with more positive thoughts.
  • Of course you have a number of tools you can use to relax. Breathing exercises. Visualisation. You visualise a positive outcome – not winning a match but a small step like a corner where you want to serve.
  • Trigger words you can say in your head; words that keep you thinking positively – ‘keep fighting’, ‘you can do it’ ‘that point doesn’t matter’.
  • The philosophy is to focus only on things you can control. Not winning or losing control or your ranking but your effort, your attitude. You release the pressure of what you can’t control.

And if all else fails, take Konta’s advice and bake muffins! Great distraction.

KineticFuture runs fantastic resilience courses which help your team tackle their own resilience and mental game challenges. We’ve worked successfully with sales teams to CEOs.  Our approach is evidence based, 90% practice and pragmatic.  Do give us a call if you’d like to chat through your situation.

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Resilience Rocks Playlist – Summer 2017

Remember last week we asked for contributions to our Resilience Rocks Playlist? We were looking for songs that make you feel strong and ready to tackle the world.

We received lots of replies and it’s been great fun putting together a YouTube playlist, so thank you if you replied. We’re certainly feeling energised in the KineticFuture office!

It’s a real mix of music, from a funky song by Busted, to a crazy video by Mika, opera from Franco Corelli and heavy metal from Hatebreed. It takes all sorts to get you going!

Just go to our YouTube channel to play our Resilience Rocks Playlist Summer 2017.

Here’s the playlist (in order of popularity on YouTube, most played first):

1. Katy Perry – Firework
2. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling
3. Muse – Feeling Good
4. Mika – Relax, Take it Easy
5. Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean – Feels
6. The Jam – Town Called Malice
7. Rita Ora – Your Song
8. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
9. Passenger – Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea
10. Luis Fonsi ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito
11. George Ezra – Don’t Matter Now
12. Busted – On What You’re On
13. Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Perpetuum Mobile
14. Pond – Sweep Me Off My Feet
15. Franco Corelli – Di Quella Pira
16. Hatebreed – Live For This

Feel free to send in your suggestions if you haven’t yet, we love hearing from you!

KineticFuture specialises in coaching the communications aspects of leader development. We are lucky enough to coach CEOs to graduate trainees, engineers to creatives in some of the best companies in the world.  Call us if you have a communications challenge you’d like to brainstorm.

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We’re Putting Together a Resilience Rocks Playlist

Do you have a particular song that makes you feel strong and ready to tackle the world?

Here at KineticFuture we’re putting together a playlist for summer 2017 and it would be great to have your input if you have a minute.

Just email us with your favourite song and artist – we’ll share the results with you next week via a YouTube playlist that you can access whenever you need a boost.

We look forward to hearing from you, thank you for helping!

P.S. Click here to watch the playlist so far – featuring our favourite summer 2017 hits, Calvin Harris (Feel), Rita Ora (Your Song) and Luis Fonsi (Despacito).

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EP & Gravitas Part 6 – The Real Secret of Gravitas

How many people do you know who have this gravitas thing? I bet it’s a short list. Michelle Obama will be up there.

Now ask who makes you personally feel respected, liberated and able to really think at your best. It’ll be a different list but I bet Michelle will still be on it.

The real secret of gravitas is how you make others feel, how you can liberate and ignite their own potential.

These are the people we will walk through walls for. These are the people we would like to elect.

The real secret to gravitas or executive presence is about ease. It is about being able to be genuinely interested in what others have to say because you are not worried about yourself.

It’s about allowing others’ great thinking and potential to flourish because you personally don’t have to control, to be certain, to impress or rush.

Yes, you do need to really know your stuff 6 questions deep and people need to know you are resilient under fire.

Yes, you do need to own and communicate your own point of view in a compelling way.

Yes, you do need to learn to adapt your style to connect with different people and cultures. You do need to make good decisions and execute well.

But the real gravitas, the real secret that makes this possible? That’s about being able to ignite others to fly.

You can absolutely be this person with just a little work.

Whether you are an introvert, an extravert, a young leader or an established leader adapting to a new role.

That’s what we coach at KineticFuture.

We’re often asked why do you blend psychology with the physicality of theatre skills? Why is this resilience and positive leadership malarkey relevant? And what’s with this neuroscience bit and obsession about your planning tools for a communications strategy?

Because these are the skills you need to be genuinely, deep down, long term successful when you are battling real life. And these are the keys to open up yourself to new and exciting personal possibilities.

If you’d like to find out how you or your colleagues could be coached on HOW you can learn to do this, email us a quick “yes please”. And we’ll get in touch for a chat.

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EP & Gravitas Part 5 – Boost Your Confidence

Boost Your Confidence

Q: There are some people who manage to knock my confidence and I start to lose gravitas in the meeting. The worst are people who ask questions aggressively on subjects I’m not sure about. How do I maintain my confidence and gravitas in this type of situation?

A:

  • Be prepared. Develop answers for the questions you dread the most. And be prepared to say you don’t know and will find the information for them. No one knows everything. Also think of framing the answer in terms of what makes sense or is valuable to the questioner, not just to you.
  • Manage your ‘tell’. Just like in poker this is the behaviour that gives away that you are under pressure. For example it could be smiling too much or fidgeting. If you know what your ‘tell’ is you can manage it, which boosts your confidence.
  • Flip it. In your mind, swap the word aggressive for vigorous. And find the upside of these questions. See it as a sign that they are very interested. Or that you are offering them a platform to look clever. Or that their ‘bad’ behaviour will draw others to your cause. What else can you think of?

If you would like to be coached on HOW to boost your confidence, please do get in touch. We offer group and one to one programmes tailored for your own real situations.

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EP & Gravitas Part 4 – Warmth & Authenticity

Warmth & Authenticity

 Q: I’m very comfortable talking to other senior leaders. But my colleagues tell me I lack warmth and emotional connection with less senior people. How do I do this in a genuine way that still maintains the gravitas and presence of a leader?

A: From what you say in the rest of your note you seem to have warmth and connection in your dealings with familiar senior colleagues or with people who share your hobbies. What you’re going to do here is get back to being your authentic self. And to build on what works for you already. The right level of gravitas will come through naturally.

Exercises

  1. Get real. It may be useful to ask yourself “what am I assuming that stops me from connecting well with less senior colleagues?” And “do I have evidence for this view/fact?” Often seeing something written down and challenged can start to loosen up your approach.
  2. Get over yourself. Go into situations with less senior people with genuine curiosity. Ask their views. Listen. Engineer a different communications forum that’s more relaxed and personal. Use your imagination!!
  3. Build on what’s natural to you. Think of a situation outside work where you are your most relaxed self. With the family? At the pub? With your football mates? Practice your next presentation or conversation ‘in the style of’ – talking and listening to one of these groups. It will feel strange. Good. You could even film yourself to see the difference or ask a friend to give you feedback. See what happens.

To receive high quality coaching on HOW to develop your own executive presence and gravitas for your own situation do give us a ring. We develop bespoke courses for individuals or groups of all sexes, ages and cultures.

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EP & Gravitas Part 3 – Double Standards For Women

Double Standards For Women

Q: If a man is assertive and speaks out strongly that seems ok. But if I do the same as a female leader I’m considered aggressive or even emotional. How do I deal with these double standards and have executive presence?

A: Infuriating isn’t it! The EP strategies below have been useful for other senior women and you could add them in to what’s working for you already.

Exercises:

  1. Be clear why you got the job. Yes you need to flex and grow in a new role but don’t squash the assets that made you successful in the first place. Do you know what they are? Are you clear about your own brand, vision and values? Don’t get lost. Don’t make the mistake of needing to be liked. There are huge advantages of being a senior woman at work. What can you do to achieve results in your own way?
  2. Can you make an asset of being different? At first, you can go in with a disruption strategy, but normally it’s easier to connect to ‘The Tribe’ by fitting in and biding your time a little to win their confidence and work out the lie of the land. Then, you can dial up the assets that make you different and useful to the business. That might be your culture, your style or different knowledge and perspective.
  3. Calibrate your reactions. The harsh reality is that in traditional work cultures senior women need to be calmer and more measured in their delivery than men. Do you think you need to dial down your behaviour, choose your moments or just ignore the feedback? Check you have a strong positive physicality. It communicates gravitas and executive presence fast. In particular, work on a lower, more resonant voice – high pitched, light voices can sound like whining and many older men can’t even hear voices on a high frequency. Of course, using wry humour can be a more effective way to diffuse a situation or make your point. Could you mix more of this in?
  4. Come to the forefront on the tough issues. You can score big on executive presence if you communicate strongly when there’s a big issue that the team are finding difficult to solve. Choose your moment and issue, have all your facts and figures in place to make the case strongly. Be savvy with socialising your recommendation ahead of the big meeting or presentation. And follow up with key players.

To be coached on the HOW of developing your executive presence and gravitas for your own situation do give us a ring. We develop bespoke courses for individuals or groups of all sexes, ages and cultures.

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EP & Gravitas Part 2 – Get in the Game for Gravitas

Confidence and grace under fire is one of the top aspects of gravitas, according to research from The Talent Foundation. Today’s question in this series is about being heard.  Timing is everything.  If you can make a well researched point strongly, particularly in the tough times, you will boost your gravitas and executive presence.

Get in the Game for Gravitas

Q: I get the feeling that other senior leaders are not really listening to what I say when we’re round the table. Yet someone else will make the same point and it’s accepted.  Infuriating.  It’s worse when I’m with very loud people.  How do I change this dynamic?

A: This is about developing your professional presence. It’s hard to know exactly what’s happening here without seeing you in action.  But there are three easy things you can try out now and see what works for you.  It’s good practice for when you really need to make a key point in the tough times.  Do the homework below, practice out loud for 15 minutes and then use one or two of the approaches in an easy meeting and see what happens.

Exercises:

    1. Work out a clear point of view and call to action that you can deliver succinctly and with conviction. Then practice. If you ramble, repeat yourself or use words like maybe or perhaps you are undermining yourself. A point of view is a 30 second nugget of good thinking that supports the objective. The call to action is your 15 second advice on what should happen next. It’s the point you would make if you only had 45 seconds. It’s useful to start by saying “To be successful… or To achieve x we need to ….”
    2. Get in the game. This means that before you even speak people need to be aware of your presence. Walk in tall, sit up, lean forward to listen to someone else talking, ask a question, look involved, interested and relaxed. Sit in a power position in the room – in easy line of sight of the key players and avoid being hidden.
    3. Use an easy vocal strength tip. Before you speak, take an intake of breath or use the current speaker’s name to signal you are about to make a point. Then emphasise the consonant at the beginning of the first word of your sentence and the first word e.g. the W in what. Then decide which are the ‘money words’ in your point – essentially the key words you need to emphasise in the sentence. Underline them in rehearsal. This will slow down your delivery and make it more impactful.

To be coached to develop your executive presence and gravitas for your current situation do give us a ring. We develop bespoke courses for individuals or groups. Find out more here.