It would have been Wimbledon fortnight starting today, I've taken a look at how this year's tournament season will differ, the global and local impact of the pandemic on sporting competitions, the health benefits of tennis for all and what the 'new normal' future of tennis might look like.
For now we'll just have to relive the best of time's gone by!
Read more from the York Press article here.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a leadership decision that lacked empathy or compassion? Have you as a leader ever made such a decision?
This article explores why leaders must guard against making decisions solely from their analytical neuro-network, neglecting their emotional intelligence.
Leaders should use their analytical network AN (task-positive) and emphatic network EN (default-mode) equally to make clear, objective and practical decisions - yes they need to be analytical, but they also need to relate to other’s feelings and emotional states. Decision makers should have a clear perspective and be open to what others hear, see and feel.
Unfortunately, our analytical and emphatic networks actually suppress each other, when one is activated the other is deactivated. Decision makers therefore have to constantly switch from one network to the other. We can however, improve this ability through deliberate practice.
The process starts with the self-awareness of what your preferred mode of operating is. Then you have to practice the less preferred mode until you are competent in that particular neuro-network. Finally, take measures to improve the ability of switching between networks until this occurs seamlessly.
We need more ‘Humbition’ – humility in the service of ambition – this is what HR professionals at IBM observed years ago, as an effective sustainable mindset for successful leaders in a changing world.
Why are talented, intelligent leaders overlooked in favour of over-confident, arrogant leaders who can convince the decision makers that they are the best option for a specific leadership role? Frustratingly, you don’t have to search long or hard, even at the very top of society to find these examples.
Habits of truly confident leaders are surprisingly not what we always associate with talking big. Often, they listen more than they speak, celebrate other people’s successes and are not attention seeking, but willing to learn from experts.
As this article explains, humble leaders inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in organisations. They are effective leaders who do not pretend to have all the answers in a world that is all too complicated, rather they get their best ideas from the right people.
Leaders can feel a sense of hopelessness when under severe pressure. The tips shared in this insightful article may help.
1. Pause and think, you often have more time than you realise. It reminds me of a Viktor Frankl quote “between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
2. Take a step back and reflect on the situation. But beware: these situations can lead to cognitive tunnelling and decision inertia (the opposite of rushing), with a narrow focus relevant data could be missed.
3. When every option appears terrible pick the best of those available. The consequences of delaying decisions can be even worse.
4. Project a calm and decisive persona because negative emotions can be contagious.
5. Leaders should encourage input from the team’s expertise; a culture of psychological safety will bring good ideas to the table. Communication needs to be short, sharp and clear.
6. Focus on the goal rather than the decision making. Team members on the ground should be empowered to form part of the decision making process because they possess first-hand information. Plans, drills and guidelines are important but adaptability will be crucial.
It is International Coaching Week, an opportunity to celebrate and share what personal coaching can offer. For the duration of this week, I am providing a half an hour or 45 minute introductory coaching session, free of charge.
These are just some of the difficulties coaching can help with. If you would like to find out more about how I can work with you and support your needs please visit www.mariusbarnard.com
I currently have 4 slots available, so if you're interested please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
We often focus only on winning or getting to the top of the league table in sport, but what else can playing sport teach us? Can sport teach us to build confidence, to combat setbacks or to develop our leadership skills?
In 2013, 821 global leaders – 328 of which were female, took part in a study lead by Ernst and Young, which explored how women build leadership skills through sport and how it helps to forge their business careers.
The study identified that teamwork, building confidence and dealing with setbacks were the principal lessons that female leaders learnt from sport, which helped not only to support their business careers but excel in their chosen path. Of the female leaders interviewed, 94% of CEO’s played sport and 52% played sport at University level.
It is apparent that sport and the lessons which it teaches, can be harnessed within the working world – evidenced by the 76% of female leaders interviewed, who agreed that adopting sporting behaviours and techniques in the corporate environment is an effective way of improving performance.
Clearly dealing with mistakes, obstacles, setbacks and challenges are part and parcel of competing. But how exactly do you build confidence and self-belief?
People with high levels of confidence consciously know and reflect on what they have already achieved. Visualising and recording past performances is a good exercise for anchoring these moments in the ‘memory bank’.
The champions of confidence will often emphasise their good moments with a slightly optimistic filter. These optimistic memories will then become a part of their narrative, the stories they tell themselves and believe others tell about them.
In 2019, I conducted surveys with 65 tennis players and 48 employees (legal and accountancy). This research uncovered that more than 90% of those people who rated as confident, were able to learn and move on from their mistakes. 28 of the 32 people who rated lower on confidence, were not able to move on from mistakes.
Confident people extract the valuable lessons learnt from their bad moments and then delete their failures from memory swiftly. Primarily focusing on their strengths and expecting to reach their goals with optimism. People with confidence trust their own skill and ability to accomplish the task, they don’t strive for perfection but set attainable goals and record these achievements as they progress.
Self-confident people are characteristically willing to take risks, make a stand and face up to consequences. They are generally good listeners and speak with certainty. Those who are characterised as self-confident celebrate other’s successes, are not afraid to ask for help from experts and are careful to judge others.
Surprisingly, self-confidence has a bigger, more than twice, the impact on performance levels than the influence of anxiety. In an extensive meta-analysis research project, Woodman and Hardy (2003) found self-confidence positively influenced performance in a whole range of national level sports by 24 percentage points versus the limiting influence of anxiety by -10 percentage points. This is yet another reason to support focusing on your strengths, because it can deliver bigger gains than trying to improve your weaknesses.
The following is a shortlist of the beneficial lessons people can adopt from the sporting arena to the business world.
Through sport we can learn how to:
Managing Mental Health and Technostress: Now is not the time to start judging your efforts against tough performance benchmarks
Speaking to colleagues across a range of professions, on how they are coping with working from home, has highlighted key areas and the importance of managing stress. Having recently completed a ‘Managing Mental Health and Stress’ course, I explored a whole range of causes, prevention strategies, practical solutions and case studies of stress. The section on Technostress has taken on particular significance, with so many people including myself, required to work from home.
We are bombarded with all possible causes of stress at present, including financial pressure to managing families in a confined space – our own health and wellbeing is at stake. Technostress is characterised by technical complexity, work overload, role ambiguity, invasion of privacy, the pace of change, job insecurity, work-home boundaries and often low reward for maximum effort. The Effort-Reward Imbalance Model seems to be flipped upside down.
Be aware of the early warning signs of wellbeing taking a dive: withdrawal, apathy, irritability, mood swings, blame culture thinking, lack of motivation and commitment. Changing behaviours and thought patterns at this stage is critical. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of the primary interventions such as job redesign, ergonomic improvements, role clarification, role rotation, participation in implementing technologies to combat stress – we had to swiftly adapt into these arrangements without an alternative.
Therefore, we can look towards secondary prevention tools such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) training and Present Moment Awareness, also known as Mindfulness training. I began using these training methods and visualisation techniques as a young touring professional on the ATP Tour – crucial not only for performance enhancement, but also for managing the daily stresses, uncertainty and pressure of having to win tennis matches to secure an income. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a third option, a more sustained process, advisably undertaken with the guidance of a professionally trained therapist.
Implementing these techniques in combination with the normal healthy habits of balanced diet, taking regular breaks, exercising, good rest and sleep can help to combat our current state of technostress and other work-life related pressures.
It's crucial to remember – now is not the time to start judging our efforts against tough performance benchmarks. We have to give ourselves an emotional break, be more non-judgmental, filter the amount of information we digest, as well as being conscious of the information type we absorb in this climate.
Thank you for the opportunity to deliver the Showcase at PSA Yorkshire last Saturday. It was great to hear your insightful and positive feedback, as well as listen to the variety of talented speakers at the event.
In summary, the aim of the Clear Links Model Theory, is to build sustained self-belief to enable us to deliver consciously controlled, confident future performances.
This is achieved through self-awareness and controlling our perceptions, our beneficial memories and creating personal narratives in areas of strength. The final component of this virtuous circle, is to align our beliefs to the level of our aspiration.
The repetition of similar experiences become habitual and these can be positively or negatively oriented, defining us as people - we become the person of our habits.
We become the performer who is a pessimist or optimist; the performer who is anxious or relaxed and confident; the performer who is the victim of events or who is in control; the performer who reacts to adversity with anger or with strategy.
My hope is that all of us can use this model to build our self-belief as speakers, players and business people. Well done to Steve Judge and his colleagues for a very insightful, entertaining and humorous event.
How to create a cycle of confident future performances, under pressure, through self- awareness?
Can you control your perception of events and the way your memories represent your earlier experiences?
This lay the foundation of our fixed beliefs about ourselves and what we think others believe about us (our narratives).
These stories are crucial in shaping our self-belief, beliefs in general and ultimately if we are able to perform at the level we aspire to, especially under pressure.
Thank you to Frances Houghton MBE, Big Ian Donaghy and David Sammel for some wonderful and inspiring insights at ‘Unlock Your Personal Best’ on Friday. Also thanks to the thirty delegates who played their part with some intriguing questions. We hope to arrange another event in the not so distant future.
Unlock Your Personal Best Tickets now available for "Unlock Your Personal Best" talk and networking event, with motivational speakers who will enhance personal and team performance, through exploration of the tools elite performers harness to succeed.
Listen to 6x ATP Tour, Inc. Champion, Coach and Speaker Marius Barnard, 5x Olympian and 4x World Champion Frances Houghton MBE, motivational Keynote Speaker, Author and Performer Big Ian Donaghy as well as Team Bath’s Head Coach and bestselling Locker Room Power Author, David Sammel.
The speakers will explore themes such as performance under pressure, resilience, effective teamwork, leadership, changing perspectives and goal setting. Providing individuals, teams and businesses with transferable skills across a range of expertise.
When: Fri 17th Jan, 9:00am-12:30pm
Where: Hilton Hotel, York
For more info and to purchase tickets follow: https://lnkd.in/g4PCTsH
£10 from every ticket purchase will be donated to OSCAR’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity.