Yesterday I was reminded of the importance of looking after our mental fitness so that we are ready to deal with the stresses and challenges we regularly face in work. A friend facilitated a 3 day off-site for senior business leaders in Singapore this week. The feedback from the participants was excellent. The client said it was a ‘huge success’. The organisation really likes this facilitator’s style. They trust her, they fly her all over the world, they pay her very well. What’s not to like about this scenario?
You would imagine the facilitator and her client have a good positive relationship except that is not her experience at all. If it were not for the consistent positive feedback from workshop participants, along with repeat bookings, she would think her client does not rate her at all.
The client is very abrupt in his communications, picks holes in everything, never praises or thanks, and constantly tries to control the outcome of the workshops, interrupting the flow and generally interfering in something he has asked and paid someone else to do. Of course if we were to get under the skin of their working ‘relationship’ we would probably discover all sorts of things to do poor ‘contracting’ and unrealistic expectations, different communication preferences, fears that belong to past experiences, and old unhelpful patterns of behavior being triggered and repeating themselves, but frankly most of us are not equipped to even start having these kind of conversations at work.
If it were not for the resilience, self-awareness and essentially good mental fitness of this facilitator I think the consequences of her client’s behavior could be very damaging to her confidence and work. Sound familiar at all?
Perhaps it says something about what we are prepared to tolerate by way of ‘organizational behaviour’, but in our business we are experiencing a big demand for expert advice, training and strategies on building resilience and ‘mental fitness’ for staff at all levels in organisations.
Neil O’Brien, one of our top speakers on Mental Fitness has worked with individuals, sports people and organisations for over 25 years helping them improve their mental fitness and overall performance. Here are some of my favorite tips I have picked up from working with him over the years:
1. Simplicity is better than motivation at changing behaviour
2. Discipline is a necessary ingredient to good mental fitness
3. Practice makes ‘nearly’ perfect
4. Effective habits are less exhausting and consistently more successful
5. Panic is the New Comfort – The rate of change in life and work demands that we leave our comfort zones more than ever before
6. When you know what you are, you know what to do