Well-being is a critical performance factor and it can quite simply be enhanced

I am becoming aware, more than ever, of the critical role of well-being to successful performance. I’m even seeing it as more relevant than culture as the opportunity to improve organisational performance. Let me explain why. Previously I had considered well-being to be restricted either to individual cases or organisationally in broad terms of employee assistance schemes. Now, however, with a much greater understanding of the simplicity behind all psychological well-being comes the opportunity to exponentially influence outcomes. Alternatively, I now see the complexities of organisational life (and life in general) which come from the point of misunderstanding how the human psychological system works. Expressing it simply, with this understanding comes clarity; clarity about what is the right thing to do moment to moment; imagine the impact of that if everyone in your organisation had it! Efficiency and effectiveness without the grind.
Why is well-being critical to performance? And to be clear I am seeing psychological well-being as probably the main determining factor in physical well-being. We already measure and understand the financial impact of absenteeism, but what about ‘presenteeism’ and the negative impact of anxiety, stress and fearfulness on organisational performance? Intuitively we know that with well-being comes greater energy, heightened creativity and better connection; all bed-rocks of performance.
The great news, for those tasked with improving their team’s or organisation’s performance, is that you can now impact well-being across a group of people and therefore exponentially improve outcomes. What is this understanding? If you see other people or circumstances as directly impacting your experience, i.e. making you feel better or worse, you will take action that either avoids or gets you closer to that situation, depending on whether you judge it to be positive or negative. For example, if you are fearful of looking weak in a presentation you will act to avoid giving a presentation; if you fancy a colleague you will take actions which will bring you into contact with that individual! This is an outside-in way of looking at your experience and you will be giving away elements of power and responsibility to something outside of yourself (“I couldn’t help it…”). However, when you see that your experience is always inside-out, that it is only ever your thinking in the moment, you have the absolute freedom to act based on clarity, with your full power, potential and responsibility intact. With this understanding comes peace of mind, well-being and wisdom and an entirely different level of performance.

If you are interested in exploring more about this understanding of how the mind works or you just want some fresh insights for yourself, we are running an open workshop in Weymouth, 6 – 8th July at the wonderful Belfield House.

Contact us NOW on 07774 649549 or via caroline@powerfulperformance.co.uk
Or call us to arrange an initial conversation. We will be running further workshops in the future so do get in touch.

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What could it look like if you REALLY loved what you do?

I love what I do; I always have in fairness but now I REALLY love what I do. So what is the difference between then and now? Yesterday I arrived at the company I was working with for the day and was invited to step immediately into what in the past would have seemed like a challenging meeting. A trainee manager was having what can be most easily be described here as a ‘melt down’ and senior management whilst keen to keep and support him were trying to do the ‘right thing’ for the organisation. I was aware only that I was a human being amongst other human beings all of whom were trying to do their best but were somehow unable to listen deeply to each other because they had such a lot on their minds. In the past I would have similarly had a lot on my mind; how am I going to influence this, why isn’t he listening, why is he behaving like that, what will they think of me, etc. etc. But this time I didn’t go down any of those rabbit holes, I saw it for what it was and an elegant way forward presented itself. Everyone was happy, even the Managing Director.

If you would like to know more about the understanding that has had such a transformative affect on my life and my work, then come along to the next retreat that Liz and I are running in Weymouth in July.

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From Complex to Simple – Hitting the right target to deliver effortless change

ThImage result for archery target cliparte mist has cleared and I can see everything more simply and with much greater clarity.  As an Organisation Development specialist for more than 20 years, I have been concerned with how effectively (or not) organisations and teams are equipping their people to do a good job – we have carried out employee surveys, customer surveys, re-designed structures, written role profiles, designed policies and procedures, reviewed internal communications, launched visions and values, developed leaders, and so on!  Each of these activities had been focused on delivering better results by in some way changing people’s behaviours but has usually fallen short of the mark or just not been sustainable.  Is this your experience too of organisational change programmes?

I now see that we were focusing on the wrong target.  And I now know there are only two questions that we need to be asking to improve performance; firstly, how are we defining success? And secondly what is getting in the way of us achieving that success (why are we not behaving in that way currently)?  What makes it so simple, is that there is only one answer to the question ‘what is getting in the way of success’ and that is ‘clarity of mind’ and the understanding that the mind works inside-out.   With a clear mind we intuitively already know what we need to do to achieve success, we know how to be creative, how to connect with others, and how to listen to our wisdom.  It is the interference in our minds (unhelpful and insecure thinking) that gets in the way, every time.  It can look as though we have any number of problems, such as low morale, poor quality, poor customer service, absenteeism, accidents, and high labour turnover, which we then try to address by designing and adopting new systems and processes.  This way usually takes lots of effort and investment.

From this point of innocent misunderstanding, it can look as though a change in structure, or a different way of training people, or a different mechanism for motivating them, will drive a desired change in their behaviours.  But this would mean that outside circumstances directly impact our experience and we now know this isn’t the case.  The only thing that affects our behaviour is how we feel about a situation and the only thing that affects how we feel is what we think about it.  Our thinking completely creates our experience of reality which means that it’s unique to us as individuals.  It may seem on the face of it that things have suddenly got much more complicated, but they haven’t!  When you and the people in your organisation see how the mind works from the inside-out, rather than the other way around the only ‘target’ is to reduce interference (insecure thinking) thereby increasing the person’s natural potential, and the great news is that potential is infinite.

Performance = Potential – Interference

An inside-out understanding is the right target for effort-‘less’ change – doing less for more results.  The insecure, ‘sticky’ thinking that acts as interference and clouds our potential drops away once you see how it works.

We run ‘open’ programmes, one to one intensives and in-company workshops to help you and your team to understand the true nature of how our minds works.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.

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What If You Already Are The Person You Aspire To Be?

An inspirational leader, teacher and coach; a faithful, compassionate friend, spouse and family member; someone at ease with themselves, full of love and understanding for everyone – isn’t that what most of us aspire to be?

What if what gets in the way of us feeling this way all the time is based on a simple misunderstanding of how our minds work in the moment?  There will be times when we glimpse these feelings for ourselves and there will be times they seem a million miles away!

What if most training and self-help information available today is perpetuating this misunderstanding by encouraging us to strive for change using tools which are not fit for purpose (except for a few)?  It seems frustrating that much of the body of knowledge on the topic of self-improvement is pointing in the right direction but that the path to achievement is littered with obstacles of our own making.  An easy assumption to make is that we are on a journey of self-discovery, the duration and effort of which is in some way linked to our starting point.  I heard a friend recently say “I’ve always been miserable for as long as I can remember, I’m a half empty sort of a person so it’s bound to be difficult to change.”   What if this was nothing more than a simple misunderstanding, reinforced over years?

Ten years ago on a coaching diploma course I took part in a 360 feedback process, asking friends and family to give me feedback on how they saw me.  As part of the process we were encouraged to say what we aspired to be – at the time I remember being amazed at the similarity between how people saw me and what I aspired to be.  Despite hearing this, I still couldn’t accept it, at the time.  I continued to get in my own way for all those years, thinking I still needed to be on the journey, searching for the ‘right’ tools to enable me to become the person I wanted to be.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t too hard, overall it’s been an enjoyable journey but none the less there have been times when it’s felt like I was making it harder than it needed to be – questioning myself and my abilities, dwelling on problems, and occasionally feeling overwhelmed.

So what changed?  Life now feels much simpler, I’m no longer searching for something that I can’t define, I feel as though ‘I am’ (and I don’t feel a need to define what comes next in that phrase – this insight has come to me in this form as I write this).  I am no longer caught up in that simple misunderstanding of how our minds work.  I now see that my moment to moment experience is being created by my own thoughts, and the energy that is the creative power behind those thoughts is also coming from within me.  I see that we truly exist in an inside-out reality and the simple misunderstanding has been believing that it was outside-in.  An outside-in way of being, drives us to compare ourselves to others, “he’s a better leader, a better teacher, a better friend, than I am, therefore I need to ….”  No you don’t!  You already are perfect, you have just got in your own way of knowing that you are.  I came across a quote recently “with the absence of fear, only love remains.” 

The change for me has come from an understanding of The Three Principles, as first shared by Sydney Banks in the early 1970’s, and so eloquently shared now by Michael Neill, Ken Manning and Robin Charbit, Jamie Smart and so many others.  It’s not a set of tools, there are no models or concepts, nothing to intellectually grapple with, just a sense of knowing the source of our own psychology. 

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Increase Focus and Resilience to Drive Up Performance in Your Organisation

The speed with which we can bring about significant change in our lives is truly awesome.  A client who came to see me recently because he was off work with anxiety and depression and simply wanted to be able to get on with life again, was amazed at how quickly he felt better.  Ahead of working together he scored 3 out of 10 for focus, suggesting that he was easily distracted, six weeks later he scored 9; his confidence went from 3 to 8, as did his energy and resilience levels.  He is back at work, fully functioning and contributing to business performance.  His most recent feedback was that he was now feeling better than he had before sinking into the depression.  How?  He was prepared to listen, to be open-minded and to consider that his thinking was the only thing that had taken him somewhere unhelpful!  

What if you could find a way to support everyone in your organisation to be more effective; to build stronger connections, to access fresh thinking and to gain greater clarity?  Wouldn’t we then be building organisations based on well-being, passion and resilience?  Healthy, emotionally strong people = healthy, strong teams / organisations.  And the great news is that the understanding required to support you in achieving this dream is available to anyone prepared to listen.  The challenge is letting go of that which gets in our way – our intellect, our judgements, our beliefs, our own egos.  The prize is limitless. 

This understanding impacts teams powerfully just as much as individuals.  Imagine having the freedom during a strategic away-day or a team building event, to talk openly, explore fresh new opportunities and really hear what your colleagues are excited about.  The normal shackles of treading carefully around egos and sensitivities is simply of no consequence.  

What do we do?  Simply put we share an understanding of how our minds work; the nature of thought and the power of consciousness.  You can liberate your thinking, achieve peace of mind and transform your performance by realising these fundamental psychological principles.  The real beauty is that this understanding is completely accessible to everybody, irrespective of any apparent limitations.  It’s actually something we already know deep inside but have temporarily forgotten as the drama and complexity of life has taken over.      

If you are interested in exploring more about this understanding of how the mind works or you just want some fresh insights for yourself, we are running an open workshop in Weymouth 30th March – 1st April at the wonderful Belfield House. 

Contact us NOW on 07774 649549 or via caroline@powerfulperformance.co.uk 

Or call us to arrange an initial conversation.  We will be running further workshops in the future so do get in touch.

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Leadership Development – A New Perspective

Is your organisation challenging its leadership and management development strategy enough?  The organisational landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, but is leadership and management development keeping pace?  And if it is why then are a growing number of people in the workplace suffering from poor mental and physical health, costing millions and untold lost opportunity?

Our thinking creates our experience of the world – reality is an inside job!  Evidence supports the placebo effect; if we think we may be taking a pill that will make us feel better we feel better.  Our thinking tells us whether to feel pain or pleasure, whether to feel stressed or calm, whether to see a problem or an opportunity.  Such is the power of thought; when we believe our thoughts to be true we feel and react to whatever our minds believe in the moment.

What is the impact of this on your organisation?

If we are unaware that our thinking is an illusion, it’s easy to get stuck in a thinking cycle where small things build up into bigger and bigger problems.  Our energy is sapped, our relationships suffer and our ‘bounceability’ (resilience) is severely curtailed – think Tigger without his bounce.  A useful analogy is the snow globe, shake it and you lose sight of the scene behind a mass of ‘snowflakes’.  A busy mind lacks the capacity to function with wisdom and clarity, caught up in its own thinking storm.

To remain competitive in today’s global, fast paced marketplace, leaders need to encourage their employees to be more creative, to go beyond looking for solutions to today’s problems and to connect more effectively with colleagues and customers, in short to minimise the interference caused by busy minds and cluttered thinking.    

How different would your business be if people were readily able to access a calm and clear mind – a higher quality of mind? 

What are you doing to improve quality of mind across the leadership in your business, or indeed your own quality of mind?

This is the ‘new perspective’ highlighted in the title of this piece.  Sharing a deeper knowledge of how our minds work – this understanding points to the source of creative power that we all have flowing through us and which is accessible at any moment, if only we realised it!  We can liberate our thinking, achieve peace of mind and transform our performance by realising the very nature of how our minds work.      

If you are interested in exploring how this understanding could be integrated as part of your leadership development strategy, or you just want some fresh insights for yourself, Liz Scott and I are running an open workshop in Weymouth 30th March – 1st April at the wonderful Belfield House in Weymouth.  Contact me Caroline Brewer on 07774 649549 or via caroline@powerfulperformance.co.uk

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How Can SMEs Harness the Power of Employee Engagement?

Evidence supports what we instinctively know; employees who are truly committed to their organisation are more productive.  Employee engagement is now directly linked to increased economic, social and environmental performance.

Some of the language of employee engagement might seem inaccessible to SMEs; alignment, advocacy, discretionary effort!  Put simply the question is how can you get employees to personally connect to business success?  Disengaged employees turn up to work (but not always!) and do the minimum to survive; they may even be doing harm.  The majority of employees do an acceptable job; they may want to do better but are hampered by systems and processes which get in way or they may be missing a piece of vital information which slows them down.  Only a small percentage of people (about 1 in 5) really connect to their company’s success and regularly go beyond expectation.

So what can you do?  It is possible to follow a simple set of steps and to integrate employee engagement into normal practice, ‘what we do around here’. The first step is to create a clear picture of what you want the future to look like, presented in such a way that everyone (your employees, customers and suppliers) wants to help you to achieve it.

The next step is to find out what is happening now.  If you wanted to get a better performance from your car you wouldn’t expect to get it by just trying a different fuel.  You would take your car for a service, replace worn out parts, clean or re-calibrate others to ensure a smoother flow through the engine.  When it then comes to adding the high performance fuel you might expect to get a 10 times better performance.  So finding out which parts of your organisation need attention before making an additional investment in something new is really important.

The third step is about behaving as though you have already achieved your goal, consistency between the message and what you are doing is really important.  The next step is about tracking the right performance measures, finding quick wins and celebrating movement towards your desired goal.  And the final step is about continuity and making it increasingly meaningful for individuals, so that they can really begin to engage with the success of your business.

At Powerful Performance Partnership we work in partnership with you to support you every step of the way. We analyse, coach, design practical solutions and support you to inspire and engage your employees to achieve higher performance.

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