0 comments on “I’m Only Human”

I’m Only Human

Leaders are only human.  This is a great Ted talk we thought you’d enjoy if you want to tackle any of your own bad habits at work and at home.  It’s all part of being a great energising leader.

This great Ted Talk shows that it’s more effective to be curious about a bad habit than fight it.  The technique tested was twice as effective as the gold standard smoking cessation therapy.

You can use the same approach whatever your habit.  Perhaps you get stressed or angry at work or constantly look at texts, drink too much or take no exercise.  Most of us do something which isn’t helpful to us as leaders and as humans.

This Ted Talk is from psychiatrist and addiction expert Judson Brewer.  He’s using a blend of mindfulness and neuroscience to find a way of slowly letting go of bad habits.

Part of the solution is to be curious in the moment of committing a bad habit; feeling and noticing what’s going on.  One of the people in the smoking cessation study said, “It smells like smelly cheese and tastes like chemicals. Yuck”.  It’s a way of breaking the spell.

So the process is:

1. You have the urge
2. You are curious
3. Have the joy of letting go and
4. Repeat.

Developing insight into your own strengths and ways of thinking is the starting point for our Energising Leadership Programme.  If you’d like to find out how it can help your team to become energised and energising leaders, contact us today.

Watch Judson Brewer’s Ted Talk ‘A simple way to break a bad habit’ below.

Watch ‘Human’ by Rag’n’Bone Man below.

0 comments on “Inoculate Against Anxiety Early”

Inoculate Against Anxiety Early

The United States Army has put thousands through its Master Resilience Training Program – soldiers, family members of soldiers, and Department of the Army civilians – since 2009.

It gives people practical tools to stave off anxiety and potential mental health problems. Surely this prevention strategy is a better route to go than just waiting until people have a mental health issue and treating it.

It’s terrific that the Time To Change Campaign has just been given £20m to encourage companies to end discrimination around mental health. But surely this is ‘after the horse has bolted’.  You also need a routine ‘inoculation’ programme.

Companies can help a great deal by giving training on simple strategies that help leaders and their employees deal with stresses at work. The kind of up-beat strategies used by Olympic athletes.  We even have strong evidence demonstrating that these techniques create stronger performance, collaboration, enjoyment and engagement.

Kinetic Future’s Energising Leadership Courses show business teams what these techniques are and bring them to life by getting people to apply them to practical business problems. Our team also does pro bono work for Action For Happiness – where individuals can learn many of the skills and pay for themselves.  So this could be another route to go.

Our Kinetic clients tell us their top 3 tools from everything they learn on our courses are:

  1. Learning how to find perspective and challenging negative thoughts
  2. Finding the upside in tough situations
  3. Increasing their positive to negative ratio.

Clearly if you are ill, it’s not going to replace clinical intervention but these tools can help inoculate you against anxiety so you not just survive but thrive. And have some fun while being coached.

If you’d like to have a copy of our recommended resources list, see the evidence on what really works or find out more about our courses please do contact us in confidence or check out our Energising Leadership Courses.  You can also find Action For Happiness courses on www.actionforhappiness.org.

0 comments on “Ruby Wax Launches Mindfulness for the Frazzled”

Ruby Wax Launches Mindfulness for the Frazzled

Ruby Wax has recently launched her new book – a fun, accessible guide to what this mindfulness ‘stuff’ is all about and the neuroscience evidence behind it. I particularly like her quote:

“If we don’t advance our more human qualities then we’re doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an ‘Apple’ where our hearts used to be.”

Buy ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’ from Amazon here.

For more help on mindfulness in moments of stress (perhaps when you are about to give an important presentation or attend a critical meeting), here’s a link to a very practical tool.  It’s incredibly simple, only takes a moment (actually just one minute), and could help you find both the composure and the energy you need to give a great presentation.

The One-Moment Meditation (OMM) app by author Martin Boroson, says:

“OMM is based on a very simple but powerful principle: you really can make a significant change in your state of mind quickly.  Just take a minute to tune in… and bring your mind back to the moment.

You can use the OMM app to reduce stress, improve focus, or boost your productivity and health.  With its one simple exercise, which just gets better over time, you’ll be able to recharge your batteries and find a bright, calm, and clear state of mind—anytime, anywhere.  You will see how taking just a brief pause to restore your attention can help you do everything better.”

On our presentation coaching courses, we blend brain science, positive psychology and advanced communications skills to help leaders become exceptional communicators.  You can work with us one to one or in groups. Contact us to find out more.

0 comments on “Holiday Preparation Stress Zone”

Holiday Preparation Stress Zone

Holidays are really important. But the lead up can be difficult. You can see the end in sight, you’ve had enough, you’re knackered and you’re worried about your key projects.

Positivity can start to wane and you can arrive on holiday stressed out. So what strategies can you use to manage the situation better? And how can you set a good positive example for your team? Here are some evidence-based techniques from positive psychology and neuroscience.

Acceptance.   Try accepting that you will not have everything in perfect shape before you leave even if you worked 24/7. Focus on the priorities. Stop trying to be perfect.

Reframe.   A holiday is vital for you to think, process & refuel. It is not a luxury. It is essential for peak performers just like good nutrition is for an athlete.

Flip it.   Take your worries and ‘flip them’ to find another way of seeing a situation. For example “projects will go wrong when I am away” could be flipped to “this is a chance for my team to take responsibility” or “they’ll realise how much value I add”.

Avoid multi-tasking.   Your brain will function better if you write your to do list first thing in the morning and then focus on each task with 100% effort. You’ll be more efficient in the time you have left and feel less frustration.

Mindfulness.   A ‘pressure cooker’ period is exactly the time to take 10 minutes to just walk round the block or to do that mindfulness practice (we like www.headspace.com).

Perspective.   Are you really so indispensable? Will the world cave in when you are gone?

Enjoy your holiday!

These techniques are extracts from the KineticFuture “Positive Leadership. Peak Performance” course. Contact us to find out more.

0 comments on “Stress Buster 1”

Stress Buster 1

The business planning season is upon us.  The upside is that it is career enhancing.  You get to present yourself and your great plan to senior leadership.  The downside is that it can be stressful.  Common worries are thoughts of conflict, being caught out in some way or being criticised.

Here are some practical tips to reduce the stress and do well!

  1. Reduce the task – be clear on the process – find out what’s expected at each stage, how many slides, how much time, is there a format and what level of detail is required.  Ensure you receive the correct information and keep in touch to discover what the latest news is.
  2. Tune in and personalise – who do you need to influence and what are their biggest hopes, worries and bug bears?  Let this knowledge drive the approach and content.  And it’s better to tackle the ‘elephant in the room’ than try to avoid it.  Try to anticipate those tricky questions and work out how to answer them well.
  3. Pre sell – who do you need to talk to ahead of any formal meeting to get them on side?  Make these discussions a real priority.
  4. Communicate value in line with business goals – many problems arise simply because people genuinely do not understand what value your recommendations deliver.  Make this crystal clear and bring your recommendations to life in a compelling way.
  5. Reframe the situation – whatever your concerns, ask yourself: can I see this a different way – where is the opportunity?  And ask yourself, do I have hard evidence for this concern – can I think about it more accurately?
  6. Think ‘One Tribe’ and assume trust –  even if the situation is tough it’s more effective to go in thinking and physically behaving as if you  are on the same team, with the same goals and the same ultimate outcome.
  7. Take care of yourself – ensure you get enough breaks, sleep and good food, find things to make you laugh, talk to someone you trust and get some fresh air.  You’ll do better than if you stay glued to your computer.

You can be an exceptional communicator.  It’s absolutely possible.  Find out more about our presentations, personal presence and gravitas course here.

0 comments on “Fake Positivity is a Poor Strategy for Leaders”

Fake Positivity is a Poor Strategy for Leaders

When good leaders feel stressed or overwhelmed, should they hide the negative emotions they may be experiencing?

No, suggests research by Sigal Barsade, a management professor at Wharton. She describes the concept of ‘emotional labour’, the effort that people at work put in stopping their emotions from becoming public.

There are two strategies for doing this: ‘surface acting’ and ‘deep acting’.

The first strategy (essentially, faking positivity like professional smiling) can cause more stress and even burnout.

The second strategy (showing emotions that people have worked on feeling which are authentic, such as empathy) is likely to be healthier, because less emotional exhaustion is involved.

Most leaders experience high levels of stress, so avoiding more is vital to remaining at your best. If things are going badly, leaders should protect themselves by using the second strategy, she advises. Be authentic (honest) and positive (optimistic) about the seriousness of the situation. Employees will appreciate and take comfort from this behaviour.

Source: Sigal Barsade, D. E. Gibson (2007), Why Does Affect Matter in Organizations? Academy of Management Perspectives