This week we are delighted to share a blog from Fiona Fenwick, one of our colleagues who advises elite sportsmen and women and corporate clients on the importance of their personal brand and the significant difference it can make to their success on a personal and professional level. **** Living your values is fundamental in building and… Read more
I was brought up in a family that believed that ‘hard work was its own reward’. My family carer guidance was a subset of this ethos and went along the lines of ‘work hard and you will be recognised and promoted’. It took me a few years to find that this was a rather simplistic… Read more
Mindfulness is not new. It is about cultivating a state of mind towards being present and experiencing the fullness of a situation / event, despite how aversive it may be. It means not getting bogged down in one’s own feelings and emotions and being able to see things clearly, so one can respond rather than react.
We say ‘cultivate’ since it takes time. All of our thoughts are habits and we are gardeners in their cultivation. It’s up to us to tend well. Suffering is optional.
As leaders, we invest time and energy in learning and applying new skills, but do we ever ask how those receivers could help us? For example, if I want to be a great leader-as-coach, I need to become really clear on the specific behaviours that I want to put into action, for what kind of situations, what reinforcement I need, as well as the benefits staff can expect. And then, I don’t keep it a best kept secret. I make all of this transparent with my staff. Anecdotal evidence for the benefits of this approach are refreshing and help make the learning, stick further.
Respond or React?
Feeling run-ragged by a pile of increasing commitments, and running from one thing to another? It doesn’t really have to be this way. This is called reactivity and it can become a habit. Being reactive gives us an adrenalin boost and in the short -term feels good, because we are seen to ‘save the day‘ so that’s why we get into the habit in the first place.
React or Respond?
When we react, we feel an urgency, a lack of choice. We may feel as though we’re going down a tunnel or blind alley which seems to get narrower and narrower with less and less visibility. Conversely, when we respond, rather than react, our behaviour is based on conscious thought, the kind of thinking that considers options. We are able to take a breath amidst the discomfort, to see and scan the choices. This is the stuff that leadership is made of.
Over-using the fight/flight reaction, leads to wearing us out, literally. Too much adrenalin and cortisol inhibit the production of immune-giving white cell production. Another reason why we need to care what state we’re in, is that we use up valuable energy and head space that we could be using for other more long term benefit things, like strategy and planning. In our blog we give some powerful tips for a sustainable contented life style. They focus around your thinking and what you give your attention to. You are in the driver’s seat after all.