7 Proven Ingredients for Building Resilience
 
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Resilience - the ability to adapt and bounce back.

 

Today’s business world is constantly changing, more so than ever before. From markets to work environments, leaders now need to plan for both the expected and the unexpected. Resilience is playing an increasingly important role in a company’s ability to adapt to change and overcome the challenges associated with it.

 

We all know that no business, individual or team is perfect. There will always be challenges, tension and failure, no matter what role or business you’re in. In order to not only survive but to thrive you need to be resilient.

 

Building resilience is easy for situations where we have control, but it is far more challenging in situations where we are not in control.

 

Here are seven proven ingredients for building resilience:

 

Connectedness 

Teams with strong relationships underpinned with trust and understanding always outperform those without. This is particularly true for teams facing obstacles.

 

Engagement

Connectedness leads to greater employee engagement. Engaged employees are more likely to bounce back from setbacks because they’re more invested and want to see your company succeed. They are also more likely to tackle challenges.

 

Review

Resilience is more than simply moving on. It involves reflection and review. Resilient teams ask questions such as ‘What worked and what didn’t work?, How can we do better next time?, What have we learned?’.

 

Future Focus

Maintaining a positive outlook towards the future is a crucial component of resilience. While learning from the past is important, dwelling on it is not. A leader’s mood has a huge impact on the mood of the team. It is easy to be positive and confident when things are going well. However, optimism has a greater impact in the face of problems. A great leader should maintain their optimism despite how they may be feeling.

 

Recognition & Growth

The majority of employees feel that their importance to an organisation is the main source of their commitment to a company. Recognising employees for their accomplishments is a great way to foster a culture of recognition, growth and resilience.

 

Vulnerability 

Consistently demonstrating personal control and resolve is a well known leadership trait, however it is vulnerability that is most powerful in building team resilience. When a leader role models vulnerability and resolve in the face of vulnerability, they make it ok for their team to do the same and helps boost team resilience.

 

Identify Difficult People 

Within each team in various situations there may be employees who are more difficult or who are bringing down the overall morale among team members. The negativity of even just one employee can have an impact on the overall resilience of a team. Good leadership and a healthy company culture means identifying these people early on and intervening. Addressing the underlying issues that individual team members are experiencing can boost their morale and in turn the resilience of the team.

 

 

Taking the steps to build resilience will put your team in a strong position when faced with inevitable challenges. Building resilience is something that all organisations need to plan for before the difficult times hit. Be ready so your people and organisation will reap the rewards.


 
Active Listening for Leaders

Active Listening: an Essential Leadership Skill

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“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Being a great leader is not just about what you say and do, it involves listening to the voices of others too. Active listening is an essential leadership skill and core component of emotional intelligence. How many times have employees within organisations said that they just want their voices to be heard? People want leaders who listen to them, and doing so is a very effective way to inspire and motivate them.


What does it take to be a good listener?

Active listening goes above and beyond simply being quiet and paying attention. It involves body language, participation and exploring the conversation. There are many components that contribute to this skill, here are a few major ones:


6 Components of Active Listening

1. Undivided Attention: Pay attention to what the other person is saying and avoid being distracted by your own thoughts and thinking of what you are going to say next. Ensure your phone is away so that you’re able to give the person your undivided attention. If you’re not able to, it may be able to reschedule for another time that you can. Giving someone your undivided attention demonstrates respect.


2. Body Language: Show that you are listening through your body language. This can be done through eye contact, nodding your head, facial expressions, short statements such as ‘yes’ and ‘mhmmmm’ and keeping your body turned in the same direction as the person you are listening to.


3. Withhold Judgement: Leaders need to be receptive to new ideas, perspectives and ways of doing things. Maintain an open mind while listening and avoid jumping to conclusions. While you may have an opinion, active listening involves allowing the other person to express theirs without interjections or criticism. Allow the person to have time to think and speak before responding or contributing your perspective.


4. Seek Clarity: If you are not sure or do not understand what the person is getting at don’t be afraid to ask questions. Open-ended questions are great tools for learning more about the person and expanding the conversation.


5. Restate What You Hear: Restating the underlying themes you hear in a conversation shows the other person that you understand what they are saying and are truly listening. It also allows them to realise if their point is not coming across clearly and rectify it in the event that what you have restated does not align with what they are trying to communicate.


6. Share: Active listening begins with understanding, and ends with being understood. As the conversation progresses feel free to deepen it by contributing your own perspective, experiences and ideas. This will build a rapport and positive relationship.


The Impact of Active Listening

Listening builds trust, creates transparency and fosters loyalty. Active listening also give leaders insight and makes them more mindful of the stress and tension points of those they lead. It encourages stronger communication between leaders and team members and drives engagement. It can also act as an indispensable soft skill during the conflict resolution process.

By taking the time to master this skill leaders can go from simply being leaders to being influential leaders within their respective organisations. Going the extra mile and encouraging employees to learn active listening skills or providing them with training can truly transform an organisation and team culture.

The Importance of Showing Vulnerability as a Leader
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“Vulnerability is the best measure of courage” ~ Brené Brown

At a glance, vulnerability is seen as a weakness, particularly in business. When it comes to leadership, vulnerability is often treated as a liability for leaders. Leaders feel a constant pressure to perform at a higher level than others. After all, it is leaders who are expected to have a vision, take the actions necessary to bring it to fruition and answer the tough questions along the path.

In reality, this view of vulnerability prevents leaders from being effective. When we hear the stories of successful people we are frequently inspired by the circumstances and obstacles they were able to overcome along their path. Although we go to great lengths to hide our own vulnerability, it is most often the vulnerable leaders who share their weaknesses and struggles that we find the most authentic, inspiring and easy to connect with.

Not only does vulnerability allow us to be our authentic selves, it is a powerful tool that we can use to empower others. So how does one go about utilising their vulnerability as a leader? Here are some important points:

What is Vulnerability in Leadership?

Contrary to popular belief, being vulnerable does not mean you have to share your deepest, most personal secrets and let it all hang out. It means letting your guard down, putting pretenses aside and being yourself.

Brene Brown, the best-selling author of books including The Power of Vulnerability and Daring Greatly, has done extensive research on vulnerability. Brene argues that vulnerability is ‘engaging in life, being all in, dedicating yourself to something.’  

A leader who expresses vulnerability is someone who does not feel compelled to be the first to answer or come up with an idea. Being vulnerable as a leader involves a change in mindset that enables you to see through the eyes of the people you lead. By doing so, you invite them to become the drivers of the conversation. The result is that people become more involved and invested.


How to be Vulnerable as a Leader

Although we are all vulnerable at the core, expressing this outwardly in a meaningful way is not easy nor is it necessarily comfortable. Here are a few ways to open up communication and vulnerability in your leadership practices:

Learn the Value Vulnerability- Being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak, it allows you to show people your authentic self.

Recognise Your Own Vulnerability- Confronting your own self-doubt is a great starting point for getting in touch with your own vulnerability. No one is free of worry or reservation at all times. When you address your own self-doubts they lose their power over you, and in doing so help you better empower others.

Practice Vulnerability- Even if you see the value in vulnerability it does not automatically translate in being able to convey that vulnerability freely. Most of us need to practice being vulnerable because we’re used to doing the opposite. Work on your vulnerability by being an active listener and not worrying about saying the right thing. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have all the answers or be wrong. Sometimes the boldest thing a leader can do is listen and truly hear other people’s ideas and answers.

Using Vulnerability as a Superpower

Emotionally intelligent leaders recognise vulnerability as a powerful tool. Smart leaders who are in touch with their vulnerability and express it appropriately at the right times to the right people will experience greater support from their followers in addition to empowering and inspiring them.

Here are some powerful benefits vulnerable leaders experience:

Meaningful Connections- By embracing moments of vulnerability leaders can form more genuine connections.  Even though it may feel uncomfortable it portrays the leader as a real person rather than a robot, someone relatable.

Greater Innovation- Although leaders do have a an important role to play by absorbing fear and uncertainty, courageously expressing vulnerability allows them to lead with authenticity. This fosters a growth-mindset culture in organizations by creating a sense of psychological safety, allowing employees to move beyond their comfort zone and take risks. By meeting uncertainty with openness and a willingness to learn vulnerable leaders and their teams set themselves up for greater innovation.

Accepting Help- Leaders often find it challenging to delegate a portion of their work to others. This may involve admitting that they have too much on their plate or that someone else may be better suited to the task at hand. By letting go and allowing someone else to take on a portion of the responsibility leaders demonstrate trust in their team and are sharing their vision. It also allows them to focus on their strengths and leverage the contributions of others rather than struggling alone with their weaknesses.

Decreased Stress: Expressing vulnerability can kick the elephant out of the room and allow people to talk freely about topics that may otherwise have been uncomfortably avoided. The result is increased openness and decreased tension in work environments (and for leaders themselves).

Greater Self-Awareness: When leaders identify their vulnerabilities and express them appropriately, leaders can become more self-aware and less insulated.

Identifying Issues Faster: By creating a more open, communicative work environment through their own vulnerability leaders are then able to discover problems faster. People are more likely to bring issues forward and admit to mistakes if they are less afraid of doing so.  Vulnerability stimulates collaboration, learning and growth rather than fear, cover up and blame.



Although it may seem paradoxical, showing vulnerability is actually showing strength. Exhibiting such authenticity and speaking truthfully about vulnerabilities is the essence of leading with a growth mindset. Vulnerability is indeed a superpower and leaders should take the time to learn how and when to use it to empower those they lead.



Developing Heightened Emotional Intelligence
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Our emotions drive our behaviour and have an impact on others. We respond to stimuli in our environment on an emotional level and many of our decisions are based on these feelings.  Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is defined as the ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions as well as recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others.

According to Talent Smart, 90 percent of high performers possess high EQ, while 80 percent of low performers have a low EQ. Increasing our EQ can have a huge impact on our relationships, careers, self-control and perspective. The good news is that your emotional intelligence can be enhanced and improved overtime so long as you have the desire to learn and grow.

While emotional intelligence is commonly treated as a quality in and of itself it is actually a collection of many traits. Here are some of the top qualities associated with high EQ and ways you can enhance them:


Self-Awareness

To be self-aware is to understand how we are interacting with and reacting to stimuli in our environment. It is the ability to understand and see ourselves and adjust our behaviour accordingly. Increasing our own self-awareness involves being mindful of how our thoughts manifest themselves in our body. Pay attention to how your feelings feel, whether it be carrying tension or an increased heart rate. By developing deeper mind-body awareness we are better able to recognise our emotions and the impact they may be having on us. By becoming more aware of our emotions we are better able to evaluate them and deal with them accordingly.


Empathy

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and is an essential quality of emotional intelligence. It gives us perspective and connects us to others on a deeper level. While our primary experience of empathy is simply a reaction to others, greater empathy can be learned and improved by experiences and mindfulness. Taking the perspective of another person is not something most of us do reactively. It involves taking the time to mentally imagine how they may be feeling. To become more empathetic take a moment to put yourself in the other person's shoes and then determine the best way to interact with them.


Adaptability

Emotionally intelligent people recognise that they can always change and know when to adjust their sails. Adaptability is recognizing that the current method or course is not leading them in the direction they need to be going and trying different strategies rather than giving up. Frustration or feeling as though you are ‘in a rut’ can be a red flag that you need to adapt. Leaders constantly need to adapt their leadership method in order to motivate and inspire those who follow them. If you have been trying one approach and find you are not getting the results you want, it may be time to adapt.


Prioritisation

A major part of increasing your EQ is being able to distinguish between things you need and things you want and prioritise them accordingly. This also involves an internal awareness about what we need and want in our lives versus what society tells us we should want: a mansion, luxury car and the latest phone. We all have the potential to do many things, but only 24 hours to do it in. It is easy to make a long list of things we should be doing but at the end of the day the difference lies in knowing what not to do.


The Ability to Analyse & Apply Logic

It is important to be able to look at our emotions and behaviour, and that of others, with a non-reactive, more logical lense. By thinking deeply and analyzing the information we have rather than simply reacting we are able to evaluate our habits and ways of doing things and determine how we may improve them in the future. It is when we are on the verge of losing control, take a step back and try to process your emotions in a more logical manner. This will help you regain your sense of control and move towards problem solving rather than being a victim of your own emotions.


Being Inquisitive

Emotionally intelligent people ask lots of questions because they are willing to learn and improve. A sense of curiosity is essential to personal growth. This quality also has a positive impact on relationships as it allows you to deepen your empathy and understanding of others by asking lots of questions. This is a fairly straightforward quality to cultivate, you simply need to start asking more questions and you will slowly find that you get better at knowing what questions to ask and getting the right answers.


Optimism

Developing heightened emotional intelligence means believing in yourself and others. Approaching tasks with a positive attitude tends to lead to better outcomes.

The most important part of maintaining a positive attitude is being able to manage our own negative emotions. Try to be less reactive and avoid jumping to conclusions. Look at the situation from multiple perspectives before reacting. This reduces the chances of a misunderstanding due to a negative assumption.

Another obstacle to optimism is fear. Fear of rejection can hold us back. An emotionally intelligent way to deal with fear is to give ourselves lot of options when dealing with important situations, also termed scenario planning, so that no matter what happens we have confidence in our ability to cope and choose alternatives.

Staying Calm

We all experience stress, it is how we handle this stress that makes the difference. Emotionally intelligent people know how to be assertive rather than reactive when under pressure. When faced with stress our bodies often go into ‘fight or flight’ mode. One of the best ways to stay calm is to get rid of the physical presentation of stress in the body and back into your mind. This can be done through breathing exercises, physical activity and making sure we get enough rest when under stress.


We all have varying degrees of emotional intelligence and different strengths and weaknesses within our EQs. Identify which aspects of developing heightened emotional intelligence need the most attention. This approach will help you deepen your understanding of yourself and others and allow you to be a better friend, family member, partner, parent, coworker and leader.

Nine Ways to Overcome Anxiety & Avoidance
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Anxiety can lead to avoidance and what we commonly refer to as procrastination. This creates a catch 22 as avoidance creates stress and increases anxiety about whatever it is we may be avoiding.

When we feel overwhelmed we often procrastinate. We all have things we feel overwhelmed by whether it’s one big task or a series of small tasks that are piling up like a mountain. Sometimes willpower alone is not enough to motivate us to tackle what we have been avoiding. Anxiety and a pattern of avoidance can cause procrastination to get out of hand. Therefore, it is wise to develop a set of strategies to help you break through procrastination and avoidance.

Here are 9 strategies for overcoming anxiety, avoidance and procrastination:


1. Sort Tasks by Project Rather than Days

Save the space on your daily to-do list for things you truly need to do that day. Over cluttering your daily to-do lists can make you feel as though you are constantly falling behind as you run out of time and continue to have to bump tasks to the next day. Instead try creating a list of tasks around each project and outline all the actions you need to take so that you can tackle them when you have time.

2. Check Your Expectations

Sometimes we overestimate how much we can get done in a single day. When our expectations of ourselves are not in line with what we can actually accomplish it can lead to stress, anxiety, lower confidence levels and ultimately procrastination and avoidance.

A great way to assess what you can actually get done in a day is to see how much you manage to get through on your daily to-do list during an average week. By looking at what you have actually done rather than what you need to do you can create more realistic expectations for yourself in the future.

3. Watch Out for All-or-Nothing Thinking

All-or-Nothing thinking is very common among people who experience anxiety.  For example, if you need to reply to a couple dozen emails the task seems much bigger if you think you need to tackle all of them at once. Instead, just look at them as individual replies rather than something you have to do all at once.

4. Identify Tasks Where You Have Predicted a Negative Outcome

Sometimes we avoid doing something or seeking feedback because we fear getting negative information. If we do not feel confident that we can cope with negative outcomes we are more likely to avoid facing reality. Half of the battle is identifying that you are making negative predictions. Once you have, a good way to overcome this is to recognise that the outcome may not be negative, or that if it is you will be able to cope. It is a good exercise to think about how you will cope with any negative emotions associated with a task, such as dealing with debt. When you plan on how you will manage your feelings around a task it will make it a lot easier to take the steps you need to in order to get it done.

5. Adopt a Growth Mindset

Having a fixed mindset can lead to avoidance coping and a growth mindset can overcome it. Fixed mindsets affect our confidence and competence when approaching a task leading to thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I am not good at giving speeches’. A growth mindset can help us overcome anxiety and avoidance by increasing our confidence that we can learn new skill sets and improve on existing ones. Learn more about Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets.

6. Seek Support

Sometimes we experience anxiety and avoidance because a task is actually too much work or requires too much knowledge to tackle on our own.These difficulties are common for new tasks where the path is less clear. Sometimes we need help or advice on the best way to approach a task. Allow others to help you with difficult tasks.

7. Learn to Tolerate Uncertainty

Uncertainty can cause a lot of anxiety that ultimately manifests itself as avoidance. This is commonly referred to as feeling stuck or not knowing where to start. In many instances we spend a lot of time working through different scenarios rather than taking the first step. Learning to tolerate and accept uncertainty can help get us moving on a task.  

8. Clear Obstacles

If you have been avoiding a task for a long time and it is particularly important, such as choosing health insurance or filing a tax return, try setting aside an entire day dedicated to the task. While you may not need an entire day to get the task done, clearing your to-do list so there are no other options for procrastination can help you focus and tackle the tasks you have been putting off.

9. Reward Yourself

Some tasks are not enjoyable or have negative feelings associated with them, leading to greater anxiety and avoidance. Sometimes rewarding yourself for doing a task can make it easier to begin the process of knocking it off of your to-do list.

How Your Mindset Affects Outcomes
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A mindset is the mental frame that you organise and orientate the world with. Your mindset will dictate the actions you take to achieve and sustain success as well as how you go about problem solving and generating ideas. Not only does your mindset guide your actions, it guides how you react too.

Your mindset is formed through a combination of your thoughts, experiences and values. You can change your mindset through mindfulness and self-awareness.

Types of Mindsets

None of us are simply one type of mindset all of the time. We are all unique and may take on many different perspectives, beliefs and mindsets throughout our lifetime. There are many different theories and ways of thinking of mindsets. Here are a few popular ones:

  • Growth vs. Fixed Mindset:  First described by Carol Dweck, this definition of mindset is largely based on abundance thinking and scarcity thinking. With a growth mindset one views their skills and capabilities as abundant and something that can improve over time. In a fixed mindset, intelligence and abilities are viewed as finite and something less able to change or evolve.

  • Optimistic vs. Pessimistic: Someone who is an optimist may believe the best about people, situations and outcomes. A pessimist is likely to expect the opposite and predict negative outcomes. Both of these mindsets affect not only how we perceive outcomes but guide our actions in accordance with our expectations.

  • Risk-taker or Risk Averse: In general we tend to avoid taking risks if we believe that the negatives outweigh the positives. How we evaluate whether or not a risk is worth taking is largely influenced by our mindset.  



The Impact of Mindset on Learning

Both adults and children learn new information and skills better when they adopt a growth mindset. Those with a fixed mindset view their intelligence as limited and are less likely to see opportunities for self improvement. People who understand that the brain can become smarter tend to see failure as part of the natural learning process are more likely to respond positively to challenges and learning new things.


Mindset Affects How We Learn From Mistakes

Those who are focused on learning rather than solely on performance tend to learn more from their mistakes. Your mindset affects how you seek feedback and this is echoed in future performance.

This is well demonstrated in a study by Mangels et al. that examined the brain activation patterns of participants during a trivia test. In this study, participants showed the same activation patterns when they found out they had answered a question correctly. However, those with a growth mindset showed more brain activity after finding out they’d answer a questions incorrectly. They also found that those with a growth mindset were much more interested in learning the correct answer whereas those with a fixed mindset were more likely to tune out after finding out they were incorrect. At the end of the study the participants were asked to answer the same set of questions again and those with a growth mindset outperformed those with a fixed mindset.


Mindset Affects How We Approach Tasks

Two people with very similar circumstances can bring about very different results in their life on the basis of their unique mindset. How we approach a task directly affects how successful the outcome will be. Any task or goal will have obstacles to overcome and sometimes even setbacks. By approaching these tasks with a growth mindset we are better able to persevere in the face of failures and setbacks.



Thoughts are the starting point for everything that we do. You can decide to create the right mindset to achieve positive outcomes in your life by being selective about your thoughts. One of the best ways to do this is to practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness will help you to gain awareness about your thoughts and to help you to be able to control them. Check out our blog on How to Bring Mindfulness into your Workday.

Dr Jodie LowingerComment
10 Habits of High Performers
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When we look at successful people we often think they are lucky, when in reality success is almost certainly the result of hours of work, sacrifices and learning from when things haven’t gone to plan. Although each person has their own individual path to creating successful outcomes there are several habits that are common among high achievers.

Here are some of the top habits of high performers:

1. Embracing the Morning

The easiest way to let the day slip away from you is to sleep through it. By having a healthy morning routine high performers set the tone for the day. It is far easier to optimise your time when you wake up at the same time each day and have a consistent routine. Ensure your morning routine sets your mind and body up for success.

2. Learning From Failure

Everyone fails, even high performers. However, high performers make a point of learning from failure and seeing it as an opportunity to improve. When you fail you can determine what to do in order to succeed next time.

3. Acting from a Place of Purpose

In addition to determining what we want to do we need to find the reasons why. High performers have a sense of purpose that guides their actions and decisions. Acting from a place of purpose makes our work and sacrifices more meaningful and can help us stay motivated.

4. Developing Patience

Overnight successes typically come after years of hard work. In order to become a high performer you must be patient with yourself and focus on the steps along the road to achieving the results you desire.

5. Self-Care

Performing at a high level requires a great deal of energy. In order to generate this energy high performers understand that they must take care of their mental and physical stamina. If we are too fatigued and not properly nourished it is difficult to maintain focus.

6. Task Prioritisation

Everyone has the same 24 hours in each day. In order to be productive high performers prioritise the activities that will have the greatest impact. Sometimes this means learning to say no to opportunities that are not related to your end goals.

7. Minimising Distractions

Staying focused takes a lot of discipline. Sometimes success means staying at the office and working on a beautiful sunny day. While this is not enjoyable, high performers understand the importance of getting things done and saying no to distractions.

8. Seeking Knowledge

Successful people tend to be lifelong learners who seek out new information and feedback that can guide them along their way. They read books, listen to podcasts and invest in conferences to continually extend their knowledge.

9. Choosing Positive People

Negative people have no place in a high performer’s social circle. It is crucial to surround yourself with people who have a similar outlook and are supportive. Friends that drain your energy or distract you can hinder your ability to achieve your goals.

10. Maintaining a Positive Attitude

High performers generally adopt a proactive, positive approach to everything they do. Positivity is a much better motivator than fear of failure, as fear is more likely to create inhibitions that stand in the way of your achievements.


Each individual defines success differently. It is important to define what success means and looks like for you and to determine what steps you need to take in order to get there.

Action: write down what success means to you and determine three things that you can change today in order to get you one step closer to success.





How To Turn a Confrontation Into a Conversation
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Confrontation is typically viewed in a negative light. Many of us associate confrontations with the dramatised versions we see on TV and social media that are overflowing with insults and threats. For most of us, conflict may take days - even years - to truly surface and while it may not be as dramatic it can be deeply uncomfortable.

Conflict is a part of life and depending on how you approach it, conflict can also serve as an opportunity to open up dialogue. The majority of people do not particularly like conflict and many of us go out of our way to avoid it. Avoiding conflict can be even more detrimental than having a confrontation as it denies us the opportunity to express ourselves and may deny others the opportunity to alter their behaviour. It is especially important for leaders to become adept at conflict resolution.

Ideally conversations will happen before they manifest as confrontations. However, more often than not we will find ourselves experiencing conflict with someone. Even if this is the case the confrontation can still be redirected into conversation.

Why conversation over confrontation? When in a fight people tend to take on a ‘win/lose’ mentality. When people are focused on winning they are less likely to be receptive to feedback, open to resolution or trying to come to an agreement. This is why it is crucial to transform a confrontation into a conversation to achieve the best outcome possible for both parties.

Here are 5 steps for turning confrontation into conversation:

 

1. Increase Your Internal Awareness

If you are not actively engaged in a face to face conflict you have the opportunity to increase your own awareness on the issue before confronting someone or being confronted. Doing so will allow you to better express yourself and empathise with the other person. Even in the time following a confrontation there is the opportunity to increase your internal awareness on the issues and readdress them.

 

2. Acknowledgement

When you do find yourself in a face to face conflict, begin by acknowledging the frustration the other person is expressing. This does not mean you have to agree with them. You can disagree with them but still show empathy. Even if they are asking for something that you cannot deliver you can acknowledge them and move them towards discussing alternatives. Sometimes people just need to be heard and acknowledged.  

 

3. Ask Questions

Questions are a great way to explore the underlying issues causing a conflict and move away from confrontation and towards conversation. Begin by asking an open-ended question. Ensure you are asking with sincerity rather than from your own place of attack/defend. This will make the other person stop and think and can help them move out of an aggressive, defensive, confrontational state. By asking with genuine interest in the other person and their response you are much more likely to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.

 

4. Pay Attention to Your Body Language

More than 90 percent of communication is nonverbal. Pay attention to your tone of voice and ensure that your body language looks receptive rather than defensive. Having your words directed at de-escalating the conflict is not enough - your body language has to match.

 

5. Provide Feedback

If you have had a confrontation with someone and succeeded in identifying issues to be worked on be sure to acknowledge them positively when they change their behaviour. If the issue persists be sure to acknowledge it in a timely manner. The phase following a confrontation can be quite revealing. For example, if the person is an employee and they fail to change their behaviour or address the issue at hand it may become apparent that they are not a fit for your organisation.

 

Leaders who embrace these steps become very adept at dealing with confrontation and winning respect in the process. Make no mistake, leaders who are great at conflict-resolution dislike confronting people as much as anyone else but have learned to pick and choose their battles, often anticipating conflicts before they even materialise. For example, a leader who has issues with one of their employee’s performance may wisely opt to deal with these issues as they arise rather than waiting for the problem to spread.

The next time you are in a situation where there is the potential for conflict try to open up the dialogue rather than avoid discussion. This will likely lead to much better results and prevent confrontations down the line.

 

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

The mind is a powerful thing. Sometimes the biggest obstacle to our success is our own thinking. Our mindset can limit us or set us free. No one understands this quite like Carol Dweck, a Stanford University researcher best known for her work on fixed and growth mindsets and her groundbreaking book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. At Mind Strength, we work a lot with our clients to help them develop a growth mindset.

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The Difference Between a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset

Dweck describes the difference between a fixed mindset vs. growth mind as the following:

‘In a fixed mindset (individuals) believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset (individuals) understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.’

A growth mindset is advantageous when making your way through life. Someone with a growth mindset will not hesitate to try again where they once failed. Failures are perceived as temporary setbacks rather than permanent limits. Rather than striving for approval from others those with a growth mindset develop a passion for lifelong learning. As a result, those with a growth mindset are more likely to maximise their potential.

Transitioning to a Growth Mindset

One of the hardest parts of changing your mindset is identifying what your current mindset is. Sometimes we sabotage our own potential without even realising it. Some of our longstanding beliefs about ourselves, such as ‘I am not athletic’ or ‘I am not good with technology’, may have their roots in our childhood and be holding us back as adults. Not only does this prevent us from learning new skills in the short-term, but in the long-term.

Here are seven tips for approaching life with a growth mindset:

1. Focus on the process rather than the result

When embarking on learning anything new it can seem like we have so much ground to cover that it is intimidating. Rather than focusing on the end result break it up into a series of smaller goals to achieve along the way. Focus on learning new things well rather than quickly.

2. View challenges as opportunities

Whenever we begin to learn anything new there are bound to be challenges. Facing these challenges and framing them as opportunities is vital when taking on a growth mindset. Our fear of facing new challenges is most often rooted in our fear of failure. As much as we may want to change it feels safer to continue down our usual path, make excuses and remain in our comfort zones. Overcoming this internal resistance is essential to personal growth and success.

3. Stop seeking approval from others

Your goal when learning new things should be to better yourself for your own benefit without worrying what other people may think.

4. Acknowledge your weaknesses

Even the most successful people on the planet have weaknesses. By acknowledging and embracing our weaknesses we give ourselves the opportunity to improve on them and set more realistic goals.

5. Take criticism constructively

While criticism is often viewed negatively it is often one of our best sources of feedback. Being made aware of our faults allows us to take note and improve. When you take on a growth mindset you will not take criticism as personally.

6. Take time to reflect

Don’t forget to look back on what you have learned and acknowledge your own progress. A journal is a great way to record your thoughts and reflect on what you have accomplished.

7. View learning as a lifelong journey

You will always be learning no matter how old or successful you become. Once you have accomplished one goal you should be prepared to start on another.

 

Developing a growth mindset requires a commitment to changing your beliefs about your own talents and abilities and making room for continuous growth. A growth mindset will enable you to stay motivated by looking at the big picture behind your choices and be less easily discouraged.

Bringing Mindfulness Into Your Workday
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The concept of mindfulness has been around for more than 2000 years but it has only started to show up in business practice in recent years. Major organisations including Google and Harvard Business School are leading the way with recognising the importance of mindfulness and have incorporated it’s principles into their leadership programs and training.

In today’s workplace employees are facing more demands than ever. We often work long hours and never get to switch off because of always being available due to our phones and other tech devices. Not being able to switch off means that we are getting more stressed and not being present. This leads to exhaustion, anxiety and other related mental and physical health issues.

Incorporating mindfulness into your work day can reduce stress and anxiety, while boosting emotional intelligence, resilience and productivity.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Research on the benefits of mindfulness has been absolutely compelling and has demonstrated enormous benefits for the brain. Mindfulness improves both concentration and one’s ability to stay calm.

Physical benefits include:

  • Higher brain functioning
  • Increased immune function
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower heart rate

Psychological benefits include:

  • Increased awareness
  • Increased focus
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Increased sense of calm
  • Greater feelings of connectedness
  • Heightened emotional intelligence due to greater awareness of self and others in the present moment.

Research on Mindfulness

Research indicates that two specific sites of the brain demonstrate a clear benefit from mindfulness exercises. The first is the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for concentration and mental efficiency. Connections throughout the cerebral cortex have been shown to become denser following mindfulness training.

The second part of the brain that demonstrates clear benefits of mindfulness is the amygdala. The amygdala is the control centre for the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response and it has been shown to shrink in size with regular mindful meditation. All of this points to an increase in logical, rational thought and a decrease in the more impulsive, fear driven responses of the amygdala.

Characteristics of Mindful People

People who practice mindfulness tend to have the following characteristics:

  • Present moment awareness
  • Observant and perceptive
  • Tolerant and open-minded
  • Greater intention behind their actions
  • A strong sense of curiosity
  • To be less critical of others and themselves
  • In the workplace these characteristics translate into greater empathy, fewer conflicts, improved teamwork and increased creativity.

The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Our Thoughts

We don’t engage in mindfulness solely as a relaxation technique but the by-product of mindfulness almost always includes relaxation. This is due in part to the fact that mindfulness allows us to have a different relationship with our thoughts. It enables us to notice our thoughts as objective observers that get to choose how we engage. Through mindfulness we can obtain more distance from worry thoughts rather than experiencing them as waves of anxiety. Instead we can watch worry thoughts come and go like clouds passing in the sky.

Mindfulness For the Workplace

There will always be stress at work and mindful people are better able to maintain their focus and stay calm when they are confronted with stressful situations.

Here are some ways mindfulness become part of your workday:

Attention Training

Attention training is an easy introduction to mindfulness.  At Mind Strength we use a neutral task and check in on our five senses in relation to that task. For example, if we were to eat our lunch at work we can focus on taste, sound, texture, temperature, and colour. If a thought comes up while we are focusing on our sense we can notice it and let it just float on by without judgement or getting hooked into the content of the thought.

Mindfulness and Breath

Breath is with us wherever we go and is an excellent way to ground us in the present moment. We use our breath as an anchor. By noticing our breath with a child-like curiosity, without trying to alter it or do anything in particular, we bring our awareness into the body and engage our parasympathetic nervous system.

Drip Feed Mindfulness into your Day

Long mindfulness or meditation sessions are difficult to fit into the work day. Long meditation sessions are not even the best starting point for anyone looking to begin training their brain in the art of mindfulness. Instead what we recommend is practicing awareness throughout the day and practicing mindfulness in five minute intervals:

  • Each day set aside five blocks of time for five minute mindful moments. During these moments try to focus your mind and acknowledge and dismiss any thoughts that may pop up during this time. This reengages the Parasympathetic nervous system and takes us out of fight or flight mode. It also reduces the adrenaline and cortisol levels of our blood, reducing stress.

  • Stay present and re engage with your surroundings regularly. Check in on your five senses.

  • Use technology with awareness. Practice mind-body awareness and be aware of your posture and breath.

Mindfulness is present moment awareness. By being persistent and consistent you will notice that you are better able to recall what your colleagues have said during meetings, enjoy your lunch breaks with all five senses, be less distracted by technology and spend more time in the present, rather than dwelling on the past or future.

How do you stay present and mindful during your workday?

 

It's Lonely At The Top

The expression ‘It’s lonely at the top’ rings true for today's CEOs and senior executives. The Centre for Leadership Development and Research (CLDR) at Stanford conducted a study and found that 100 percent of CEOs expressed that they appreciate receiving leadership advice and executive coaching and value when they take the time to seek the support that they need.

Benefits of Executive Coaching

A study conducted by the American Management Association found that companies who have implemented coaching as a part of their strategy report better market performance. Another study by PwC and the Association Resource Centre found that the average ROI for companies that invest in coaching is seven times that of the initial investment. One quarter of the companies surveyed reported an ROI of 10 to 49 times the initial investment.

While there is little doubt that executive coaching is beneficial, the specific reasons why vary and are unique to each individual and organisation. Benefits of coaching include:

  • A heightened sense of self awareness and awareness of others
  • Increased emotional intelligence and ability to deal with their own emotions and the emotions of others in the workplace, a skill that is extremely useful for conflict resolution
  • Learning to bring their best to the job and looking at stressors as welcome challenge
  • An enhanced range of healthy coping strategies
  • The development of goal setting as a means to achieving peak performance
  • The development of character strengths and a growth mindset when dealing with stressful situations

Too Much Responsibility, Too Little Support

Company CEOs and founders who do not engage a confidential sounding board are more likely to internalise stress, which might manifest as anxiety in the short term and health problems, depression and addictive behaviours in the long-term. While the degree to which senior executives thrive and survive under this strain depends largely upon their individual characteristics and resilience, executives who receive coaching learn strategies to bolster resilience and reduce anxiety and stress. They fare better than those who do not.

Healthy Leaders Mean Healthy Companies

Needless to say, it is paramount that CEO’s and senior executives make optimal decisions for their teams and companies. The benefits of independent, objective advice and strategies are enormous. Even the best leaders have blind spots and can benefit from an outside perspective. It is also common for employees to withhold feedback to top level executives. The result is that CEOs do not actually get the level of peer feedback and support that they need. This is where a coach can prove to be invaluable.

Executives Want To Be Coached

According to the study conducted by Stanford and The Miles Group, 78 percent of CEOs who have received executive coaching indicated that it was their idea to do so and 100 percent of CEOs were receptive to making changes based on the coaching feedback received. Similarly, 80 percent of directors expressed that their company CEO is receptive to coaching.

There are many reasons that coaching is appealing to CEOs. One is that it is external and confidential. Founding a company may mean you have ideas but not all the answers. It is the best of leaders who recognise that there is always room for growth. As leaders, people often want to maintain a strong image in order to effectively lead their teams, however, behind the scenes they may question themselves and their decisions. Top executives recognise this and seek coaching to become the best that they can be.

Coaching Increases Resilience

Executive coaches and consultants can help CEOs and senior level executives bolster resilience and connect with a deeper sense of purpose. Resilient individuals tend to view problems as challenges rather than crises. They also exhibit effective coping strategies for dealing with workplace issues. One of the main things that resilient senior executives have is an overarching sense of purpose that guides their actions. Those who operate from a place of deeper meaning, are more satisfied, engaged and effective.

One study demonstrated that individuals who operate out of a greater guiding purpose experienced significantly better physical health over a 10 year period than those who reported little sense of purpose and direction. Business leaders with a strong sense of purpose are more likely to form deeper connections with others and think of how they can best contribute to their stakeholders and society at large. They are more likely to have a consistent focus on leaving a legacy and experience less inner conflict.

Common Coaching Areas

While the coaching needs of each executive vary depending on company demands and their own unique characteristics there are some areas that are far more popular than others. The top concern for CEOs is how to effectively handle conflict. In the Stanford study 43 percent of CEOs marked ‘conflict management skills’ as their highest priority. This comes as no surprise as most of the simpler decisions in a company are made at lower levels of management and mostly difficult, conflicted ones make it to the CEO level.

When boards commence executive coaching their priority is often improving CEO’s mentoring skills in order to better develop their talent. By investing more time and resources into their CEO’s leadership skills they hope that CEOs will be able to better develop and retain talented team members.

Other common areas of focus for coaching CEOs include delegation and team building. Senior executives have often worked their way up the ranks due to technical brilliance and hard skills. However, it is the soft skills of motivating and engaging others that is critical for business leaders, to not only be able to manage their employees effectively but to also inspire them.

The top does not need to be lonely for the CEOs and executives of the future. There has been a change in the way executive coaching and consulting is viewed, making it less remedial and more like top athletes having trainers. Top executives have coaches to offer perspective and facilitate strategies to be the best leaders they can be.

Dealing with Aggressive People at Work
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We all encounter aggressive personalities throughout our lives. We are often able to avoid people we clash with. However, when these people are our employees or coworkers we can not simply avoid them. Avoiding aggression can create a toxic work environment and decrease team cohesion and communication.

Learning how to deal with these people in an emotionally intelligent manner will make life much easier and improve the workplace atmosphere. Aggression can be turned into cooperation and condescension can become respect.

Here are some strategies for effectively understanding and dealing with aggressive people in the workplace:

Emotional Intelligence

Being aware of our own emotions and the emotions of others can help us effectively manage professional relationships by adapting our behaviour accordingly.  Dan Goleman, one of the preeminent researchers on emotional intelligence says that EQ is four times more important than IQ when it comes to success at work and in relationships.

Validate First

Aggression is one of the by-products of the fight or flight response - the physiological reaction to a perceived threat in our environment. When a person perceives a situation in a threatening way a message is sent to a part of that person’s brain called the amygdala which tells the person to fight or run away. When a person is in ‘fight or flight’ mode they are responding with a more primitive, emotional part of the brain. While this function is great for survival it is not great for rational thought. When we are operating on instinct we don’t want to be distracted from too many thoughts, so the more logical, thinking part of our brain shuts down. As a result, when a person is acting aggressively, they are less likely to engage with others in a rational manner.

When dealing with someone in an aggressive state the first thing we need to do is take the person out of fight or flight mode and re-engage their rational mind. The best thing to do is make them feel heard. In doing so we quieten the amygdala. This can be accomplished by validating the person’s emotions by saying things like ‘I understand that this is frustrating for you…’ This will help the person re-engage their rational mind and move on to problem solving.

Ask Rather Than Tell

Once an aggressive person has calmed down and is ready to engage in problem solving it is important to ask rather than tell. Telling the person what to do may put them on the defense again. The best way to engage them in problem solving is by asking the person an open-ended question with your end goal in mind. For example, if your end goal is to get the person to provide more effective feedback to the team when they have not been wanting to communicate you might say ‘I can imagine that the team’s behaviour has been frustrating or annoying for you. How do you think you can provide more effective feedback?’

Regulate Your Own Emotions

When dealing with an aggressive person it is equally important to regulate your own emotions. Raising your voice will only escalate the situation. By talking in a low and slow voice the other person will be more inclined to slow down their breathing and reduce their volume.

Define Value-Driven Competencies

As a leader you can define competencies for the behaviour you would like to cultivate within your employees. It is helpful to catch good behaviours in action no matter how small they may be. Leading edge performance management is much more about a coaching framework than a punitive one. This is built on the premise of ‘what we focus on grows’. Focus on positive behaviours that are aligned to your team or organisational values.

Use the XYZ Strategy

Neither passive nor aggressive communication will help us reach peak performance. Use the XYZ technique: I feel X when you do Y in situation Z. For example ‘I feel disappointed when you didn’t follow through when you told me you would.’ Avoid beginning the exercise with an accusation or judgement such as ‘you are…’, ‘you should…’, or ‘you need to…’ Statements such as these put the listener on the defensive and make them less likely to be open minded. When in a heated argument with someone it is best to let the other person do most of the talking.

Emphasise Points of Agreement

First impressions count. Do not begin by discussing subjects you and an aggressive person may not agree on. Begin by emphasising points of agreement and keep emphasising those throughout the conversation. Stress that you are both striving for the same end.

Stop Pause Play

Use empathy and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. By using the Stop Pause Play method, also known as the Stop Observe Respond method, you will better be able to understand where the person is coming from and address them accordingly.

Knowing how to handle aggressive, intimidating people in the workplace means mastering the art of communication. Learning these skills is essential for effective leadership and will have positive impact on professional relationships as well as personal ones.

How do you react to aggression in the workplace?

The Power of Value-Driven Actions

Values give us an anchor for effective action. They are akin to the foundation stones of a stable architectural structure. They are the driving force behind so many of the decisions we make in our lives and deconstructing them can deepen our understanding of ourselves.

For business owners and executives values are a crucial component of leadership. For employees they are often the factor that creates a sense of fulfilment in the workplace. Therefore, identifying and understanding core values is paramount for individuals and organisations alike.

Start With Why

Values are guiding directions in our professional and personal lives - like marker buoys on the water. Simon Sinek, the Author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, says he always starts with the why when working with business executives. He gets them to answer the question  ‘What are our drivers for behaviour as an organisation, a team or an individual?’ He understands the importance of identifying core values not only for individuals but for businesses. On a micro level values form the backbone and heart of an individual. On a macro level values form the backbone of an organisation. Once specific value-driven goals have been identified the next step is to ensure they translate into value-driven actions.

Aligning Values with Business Strategy

Working in alignment with core professional values is a fundamental quality of a good leader. Doing so ensures that an organisation’s people strategy stays aligned with their business strategy. As value driven creatures we tend to enjoy working for companies whose values align with our own. Having clear company values will help an organisation attract and retain the right talent. It will also increase the productivity of employees as they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

Values Create Unity

Values provide a unifying foundation for leaders and employees. We form relationships and friendships with people who share our values so it’s no surprise that we feel more connected to companies who share them as well. Organisations with clear values have greater consistency and team cohesion. Competent employees can then align their work with the organisation’s values, each other and leaders. Additionally they form a concrete foundation for effective business leaders to bring out the best in their teams.

Values Provide an Alternative Pathway to Fear and Anxiety

When we look at values from a mental health perspective it becomes apparent that they provide an alternative pathway to fear and anxiety. We can stop and ask ourselves whether we are being driven by fear or driven by our values in how we respond to a challenging situation. When we are being driven by fear and worry our responses are often self-defeating and result in more fear, more worry, dissatisfaction and reduced fulfilment. For example, we might fear being judged negatively in a work situation so we don’t interact with the people we need to in order to get the job done effectively.

When we are driven by our values the destination is often renewed energy, satisfaction and fulfilment. Instead of acting from a place of fear we can create space and instead align to our values, such as pride in getting a job done well. We slowly and gradually stand up to fear and face the situations we might have otherwise avoided. When people are dissatisfied with their personal or professional lives it is often because they are living out of alignment with their values.

Values build people and people build businesses. Leading with values helps us harness the power of one of the biggest drivers of human behaviour. They act as a ‘home-base’ where we can connect with ourselves and our teams.

What are your core values?

The Bottom Line Imperative of Boosting Mental Health and Resilience in the Workplace
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Your company’s greatest asset is its people and while you may be remunerating your staff well, have you done a check in to see if your employees are ok, or even better, if they’re thriving? Have you put strategies in place to boost staff mental health, resilience and wellbeing? Why is it so important to think about their wellbeing? Because it’s costing you if you don’t.

Nearly three million Australians live with depression and/or anxiety* and according to the State of Mental Health in Australian Workplaces report in 2016, one in five Australian employees report that they have taken time off work due to feeling mentally unwell in the past 12 months**. The cost to Australian workplaces is significant. It’s estimated that untreated mental health conditions are costing approximately $10.9 billion per year***.

Businesses of all sizes are impacted by mental health and therefore the cost is impacting your business too. For a long time now, businesses have put strategies in place for dealing with employee sickness and mental health challenges but it’s only in more recent times that businesses have been thinking about the prevention rather than cure.

The fact is, these problems are not going away. Organisations exist in rapidly changing and competitive environments. Market players, processes and systems are constantly evolving, resulting in ever increasing workplace demands and pressures. This is why, getting on the front foot and being proactive with looking after your employee’s wellbeing is critical to your business success.

So what does this wellbeing strategy look like? It’s not just a simple team building exercise that will do the trick or converting the boardroom into a ping pong table. While there’s no one size fits all approach, every business needs strategies in place that help your people recognise the cause of stress and worry, how to deal with it and ways to work together to bring out the strengths of the team. Here are some things to think about when you’re building the mental health strategy for your business:

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  1. Start by identifying unhelpful stress coping behaviours such as procrastination, over preparing, being passive or aggressive
  2. Provide effective ways to manage and reduce worry
  3. Empower team cohesion with effective communication techniques
  4. Increase productivity with time management strategies
  5. Build awareness of the mind body connection and the importance of physical activity and good eating habits

If you need support with developing the mental health and wellbeing strategy for your organisation, please get in touch with us today. 

 

*Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. Cat. no. (4326.0)

**The State of Mental Health in Australian Workplaces study by TNS and Beyond Blue 2016

***PwC. (2014) ‘Creating a mentally healthy workplace: return on investment analysis’.

Smart Ways To Set Goals That You Will Actually Achieve

It's not too late to set your goals for 2018. If you want to set goals you will actually achieve, here's how to do it. 

Set goals you WANT to achieve

Don’t think about what you think you ‘should’ be doing, think about what you actually want to achieve this year. You need to feel passionate about your goals if you’re going to achieve them. I like to write down an exhaustive list of everything I want to achieve in the year and then I go back through the list and circle the goals I feel strongly about. They are the goals that I need to focus on.

Map out the steps to achieve your goals

These goals aren’t going to be accomplished on their own. We all know how quickly the days, weeks and months pass us by so it’s imperative to put a plan in place to ensure you work out how and when you’re going to get these done. If your goal is to get a promotion or find a new job, you need to work out what steps to put into place to set yourself up for reaching that goal. You also need to think about who you’re going to need to support you along the way.

Create a system to review and update your goals

Once you’ve put your plan together, you need a system in place to keep it on track. I like to set up a monthly review in my diary and I attach my plan to the calendar appointment so that it’s easy to find. Another great way to stay on track is to share your goals with a friend or mentor and set up a quarterly catch up to go through them. This holds you accountable and gives you the support you need.

We hope that 2018 is a successful year for you. If you want help with setting your goals and taking your career to the next level get in touch.

Dr Jodie LowingerComment
Six Effective Tips for Managing Your Time

Time Management is a key to reducing stress. We would all love more time and maybe there is a way - through managing our time better. It's that time of year that everything gets even more hectic as we all try to get as much done as possible before the silly season really kicks in. To help reduce the stress, here are some tips for managing your time more effectively.

1. Write things down

Start by writing down the things you have to do. As you put things down on paper or into your device, you are enabling yourself to process it and process the with  stress.

2. Prioritise

Now that you have everything written down, it’s time to prioritise every task into one of the following:

  • Important and urgent — Tasks that must be done. Do them right away.
  • Important but not urgent — Tasks that appear important, but upon closer examination aren’t. Decide when to do them.
  • Urgent but not important — Tasks that make the most “noise,” but when accomplished, have little or no lasting value. Delegate these if possible.
  • Not urgent and not important — Low-priority stuff that offer the illusion of “being busy.” Do them later.

3. Say 'no'

This is the most liberating way to manage your time - just say no. On every list, there is always something that you can say no to. It may be a meeting you don’t need to attend or a new client that is not worth the stress. Whatever it is, make the decision to say no and notice the relief you feel as soon as it you do.

4. Schedule everything

If you haven’t planned when you’re going to get things done and how long it’s going to take you, then how do you expect to get it done? Schedule your time to work in 40 minute blocks of time is known to be a good period for your concentration. Some tasks will take multiple 40 minute blocks which can be broken up by short breaks. Reviewing your schedule at the beginning and end of the day is a great way to check in to see what you have managed to get done and gives you peace of mind for what you need to get done in the day ahead.

5. Eliminate distractions

We live in a time where there are more distractions than ever. We all have multiple devices, alerts, notifications and messages to interrupt our valuable time. Just scrolling through social media feeds can take up a huge amount of time that we could be using more productively.

6. Take care of yourself

Making time to look after yourself has to be the top priority on any list because if you’re not looking after your mind and body, then you’re not going to be able to get much done at all. Drinking lots of water, eating healthy snacks and meals and getting the right amount of sleep are all crucial to being more productive.

For more tips on how to achieve more in your work and personal life, contact Mind Strength.

 

Dr Jodie LowingerComment