Category: Home feature

Rethink resilience and flourish in difficult times

There is a popular concept used to describe resilience – bouncing back. There are lots of resources out there that will teach you how to cope after a setback and “bounce back”. This approach can certainly work for life’s minor ups and downs – like recently when I crashed my car. Fortunately, I was not injured but the car was a write off and I felt quite shaken up. I felt low for a few days but once my coping skills kicked in, I bounced back. When it comes to life’s bigger challenges, however, I find the concept of bouncing

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It’s so true that you can’t stop the waves

You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf! Jon Kabat-Zinn famously said this when he was talking about the process of learning to be with our emotions in mindfulness practice. The ever-present nature of our feelings and emotions means that if you’re making any progress at all towards becoming self-aware, emotional awareness will be a big part of that process.  In fact, feelings are so important in mindfulness they are one of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (body, feelings, thoughts, reality).  Learning how to ride the waves of your own emotions is the first step in developing

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Reflective dialogue for transformational learning

I was excited by the idea of double-loop learning when I first read about it. Developed by Chris Argyris in the late 70s, it became a leadership classic in 1991 when the Harvard Business Review published Argyris’s article, Teaching smart people how to learn. Argyris’ describes the astonishing blind spots that some smart people have, with their tendency to become extremely defensive when their performance is under scrutiny. Smart people are so used to being successful, they miss the opportunity to learn the basic resilience skills that the rest of us are learning every time we fail. This makes them

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What is mindfulness and what is its significance for leaders?

Mindfulness is a journey, not a destination. If you’ve looked into mindfulness at all, and tried to put it into practice in your life, then your journey is already underway. Like most journeys, the benefits will be greater if you approach mindfulness as an ongoing process of discovery and exploration. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people give up on mindfulness when their journey has barely begun. If you find meditation difficult, you might conclude that mindfulness is not for you. But it’s important to understand that mindfulness is not just meditation. Mindfulness involves so much more than meditation, as

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What does emotional intelligence look like in a leader?

As a leader, no doubt you want to inspire others and have an impact on your organisation, community, or field of expertise. Perhaps you already do. But if this is still an aspiration, or work in progress, emotional intelligence is a set of skills you can learn that will help take you from unaware to aware, and make you a more mindful leader who really has an impact in the world.  Emotional intelligence tells us a lot about the “how” of mindful leadership. It’s a practical way to find and work at your growing edge so you can navigate the

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Awareness is revolutionary

Have you ever wondered why awareness makes such a difference? How and why does it bring about such complete and dramatic change to the way we lead and relate to others? Like me, you’ve probably had one of those truly awful experiences where you lost your cool in an important work meeting, or ruined a special, romantic dinner, all because you just couldn’t stop yourself from reacting to something. If only you could take back those dreadful words that just slipped out of your mouth! So how can you improve your awareness so that next time you will be to

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