Meet Arthur Puppy and Get Moving!

I saw an interesting interview on BBC news yesterday, all about how physical activity can help children do better at school. It made me think. How much do most adults move around in a work day? How long since you got up from your desk?

We have some ideas to incorporate movement into your day below, as well as a photo of one of our office dogs, Arthur the miniature schnauzer – everyone loves a puppy photo don’t they?! And having a dog definitely gets you moving!

Making small changes to your daily work routine can dramatically reduce fatigue and increase productivity. And staying physically active can reduce your chances of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and type two diabetes. It can also give you more energy, help you handle stress and activate your mind for productive tasks.

simple changes you can make today:

  1. Have standing or walking meetings
  2. Walk or ride at least part of the way to work
  3. Go for a walk at lunchtime
  4. Take the stairs, not the lift
  5. Try a standing desk
  6. Volunteer for the coffee run
  7. Stretch regularly
  8. Track your steps
  9. Walk to see someone in the office, rather than sending an email or phoning

KineticFuture specialises in coaching leaders to be highly skilful communicators and our courses are far from sedentary! Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work:- Time to think coaching, executive presence, presenting and storytelling, tricky conversations, resilience and communicating purpose.

Contact us today to book a course or to find out more.

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.

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

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.

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

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.