Mindfulness at the V&A is back! We’re beyond excited to continue our mindfulness partnership with the fab V&A Museum in London. We’ll be running our mindfulness classes in the serene atmosphere of the museum at night.
What is Compassion at Work and Why Does it Matter?
It almost seems an anathema to talk about compassion and business in the same breath. At first glance, they seem unlikely bedfellows in all but a few health or care related professions where compassion is firmly on the agenda. But step outside of healthcare and if compassion is considered at all, it is to be regarded as something that is ‘pink and fluffy’, nice to aim for, an add on, relegated to the bottom of an extremely long list, languishing far behind profit and productivity. Or worse still, a positive liability in a corporate cut throat world. The old adage of “Nice guys (and girls) finish last” still holds true in some organisational cultures. But is there a business case for compassion at work?
Mindfulness? Pah. You don’t have time to sit around doing nothing. Or maybe you’ve read the research and you’re sold on the idea of mindfulness but you just can’t find the time. You’re not alone, this is something that we hear frequently at Positive Change Guru. So what can you do to make mindfulness part of your day? We’ve put together six painless but powerful practices to kick start your Mindfulness journey. We show you how to start where you are, adding mindfulness into your day with just a few minor tweaks.
The fourth in our series of live blogs from New York. Today we take a look at what we can learn from psychopaths about empathy.
The empathy switch. Usually associated with the Lectur-like ability to glide effortlessly from charm to callousness in the blink of an eye. The domain of criminals and those that your mother told you to stay away from, how could we possibly have anything to learn from the playground of psychopaths?
The first in our series of July blogs live from New York examines the latest US research and takes a deep dive into the work we’re doing here with our clients. Here we look at the impact of being overqualified for your role.
If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re overqualified for your current role or felt that you just weren’t stretching yourself it may be causing you more than irritation. Are you just too big for your boots or is there more to it than that? New research from Florida Atlantic University has uncovered the ‘Big fish in a small pool’ syndrome. Being over qualified may be causing you psychological strain.
Deep learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning, what’s the difference? All three terms are increasingly used in business, sometimes (albeit incorrectly) interchangeably. Business, technology and the effective use of data are big news with an explosion of interest in all things AI over the past few years. So how can you cover the basics and have an intelligent conversation about it? We give you the skinny.
If you arrived at work this morning, feeling good, shared a few words or a joke with colleagues then you’re probably in an organisation with a positive work culture. If your answer is ‘Yes’ feel the love and sit this article out. If you walked through the door and the toxicity was palpable, sticking to the floor, your shoes, eventually enveloping you, then that negative workplace culture may be damaging more than your day.
Part of us knows already that this isn’t the right way to live. You don’t need to examine the science to know that sort of workplace produces a huge downer on your day, that sometimes it dominoes into the rest of your life, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and out of control. You muster all of your energy (and civility) for work, returning home with a huge vitality deficit, which slowly but surely infects both your personal time and your personal relationships.
But it could be worse than you think. I first noticed this phenomenon whilst working with a range of organisations over a period of years. From FTSE 200 to small charitable bodies, there was one thing that they all had in common. When the leader was all stick and no carrot the results were high levels of absenteeism, stressed out teams, demotivation and eventually a rapid staff turnover. Even more surprising at the time, this behaviour went unchecked and unchallenged leaving employees disclosing how undervalued, overstretched and frankly, ill they felt as a result. It was visible, easily recognisable. Leaders at the top had created a culture so toxic it was visible to everyone but themselves. Good businesses go bad, crack teams weaken or adopt bad practice by osmosis, emulating their leader’s despotic characteristics and eventually good people jump ship. It got me wondering. If negative cultures and dysfunctional leadership result in increased levels of absenteeism, what is the long term impact on our health?
Research in organisational psychology consistently demonstrates that a toxic environment characterised by hierarchical structures, narcissistic leaders, backbiting and gossip not only demotivates employees, reducing productivity, it also harms their health. Authoritarian leaders lack the self awareness necessary to recognise the hidden costs of such practices. Anna Nyberg’s research at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute highlighted a link between leadership behaviours and employee heart health. If your boss encourages a stressful practices in the false belief that a cut throat environment will increase productivity, it may just be damaging your health.
If you walk into work everyday feeling unsupported, dreading the next round of persecution or the pitting of team members against each other it could be time for a rethink. Sarah Pressman’s research from the University of California produced worrying data. Whereas the probability of early death is increased by 20% if you are obese, 30% for excessive drinkers, 50% higher for smokers it is increased an astounding 70% for those with poor social relationships. We do the same things, day in, day out, telling ourselves that we need to pay the bills, kidding ourselves that things aren’t bad, it’s ok really, when inside we know that we are in the wrong working environment. If your workplace is toxic it may just be reducing your life expectancy and that’s food for thought.
If you find yourself in a toxic workplace culture (or even inadvertently leading one) contact us to find out how you can adopt a more positive and productive approach at email@example.com Like to find out how you can embed growth mindset or mindfulness into what you do? Check out our forthcoming events and course brochure. Looking for something more bespoke? We’d love to talk to you about getting the most out of your team by using positive psychology, contact us to find out more.
Mindfulness has been identified as an increasingly critical skill required to navigate the corporate world. But how do you create a mindful workplace?
Taking a holistic approach to your wellbeing strategy is never simple. Even when your wellbeing strategy is established, growing the health of your staff and remaining proactive is crucial. As Prof. Cary Cooper states, “A workforce that is well works well.” Creating a culture of wellbeing takes time, commitment and constant innovation. The old one size fits all approach to wellbeing is now obsolete. One of the most new and innovative ways to support staff wellbeing is writing. Long since recognised in the US as a workplace intervention, it is slowly gaining popularity in the UK.
However much you love what you do, if your job involves working with people, you’ll understand the concept of emotional labour. Perhaps you’re a figurehead and it’s important to build rapport and maintain your cool even in difficult circumstances that would send the rest of us running? Maybe your role involves managing other people’s emotions and it’s not always pretty? Or if you’re the first point of contact for a business, it’s possible you’ll be on the receiving end of frustration, disappointment and rancour.
Are you able to answer ‘Yes’ to the following questions;