Land “Twice” in Meeting

Land “Twice” in Meeting

This week, when I arrive in a meeting, I take a short moment to truly land – with my full attention.

Having back-to-back meetings, we may sometimes be physically present but mentally elsewhere. Bringing attention to the sensations of “Here & Now” supports presence. Hence, meetings being more constructive and usually shorter! 

What if I was truly present during my next meeting?

Disconnect to Reconnect

Disconnect to Reconnect

This week, I take every day moments to disconnect from the virtual world to reconnect with people or nature around.  

While technology offers us speed and flexibility, it also brings along a high risk of missing the opportunity of the real world around. Disconnecting from the virtual world, I give the present moment my full attention.

When will you be fully present today?

Safetyism, Snowballs and Fragile Youth

Safetyism, Snowballs and Fragile Youth

By 

Book Review: Coddling of the American Mind, Lukianoff and Haidt, 2018

We parent, teach and support. We want the best for young people. What we are seeing is a collapse of mental well-being. At the same time, events of intimidation, violence and witch hunts increase.

Lukianoff and Haidt take us on an evidence-based and carefully considered journey through modern parenting, teenage mental illness and education. They describe how we are losing the pursuit of truth and growth. Society is being pulled apart by partisan politics and intolerance. Young people are not coping well with this.

Most importantly, the authors detail what we can do to improve this situation. What they describe is American but the signs are global. The solutions are practical and immediately applicable in families, schools, universities and societies.

The book is excellent.  Three ideas:

Safetyism

Overprotective society, parenting and education is depriving young people of growth. They are missing the opportunity to engage skilfully with truth, diversity, risk assessment, empathy and situation agility (the authors use Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)). The i-Generation, born after 1995, suffers rapidly increasing rates of anxiety, self-harm and depression. They are poorly prepared for the challenges of work, relationships and politics.

The authors recommend using safety for physical risk only. They encourage us to help our youth take risks through free play, debate, conflict resolution and respect for truth. Social media must be limited – particularly for young women.

Snowballs

A school demands that student never touch snow because it may produce a dangerous snowball. Similarly, we have invited and expanded the concept of threat to include diverse views, free speech, “micro-aggressions” and “avoiding triggers”. Thus universities have, since 2013, experienced an alarming increase in mental illness and campus violence. Research from left-leaning perspectives is all that remains. Moderate views have been silenced. Social media helps us name and shame those who voice disquieting views. If that does not work, students increasingly resort to violence. All because someone touched the snow.

Fragility

Young people are complex adaptive systems. Genes create a rough template upon which the challenges of life – most specifically play and direct social interaction – work. We must play and practice to develop our neural wiring and the skills required to thrive. Jean Twenge shows that teen development is now delayed by three years. They are physically safe but mentally vulnerable.

The authors recommend that we rethink and look for proven wisdom. Treat our youth as antifragile. They have specific suggestions for parents, junior and senior school and universities. Much is based on teaching young people to own and master their emotional and cognitive responses. “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.”

Bravo!

Disconnect to reconnect

Disconnect to reconnect

This week, I take every day moments to disconnect from the virtual world to reconnect with people or nature around.  

While technology offers us speed and flexibility, it also brings along a high risk of missing the opportunity of the real world around. Disconnecting from the virtual world, I give the present moment my full attention.

When will you be fully present today?

The Disciplines of Excellence

The Disciplines of Excellence

By 

A study of 21,000 highlights the keys to success

Amidst the exuberance of opinion, ask a good question and then see what the data says before drawing conclusions. Blessed with an abundance of data from our Resilience Diagnostic we asked: what is the difference between the top ten percent and the lowest ten percent?

This proved to be a fruitful question.

There is a jaw-dropping difference in what matters to the top decile as compared to the bottom decile.  It was not exactly what we expected. Well, if you want to understand what is good for you, the answers are clearly visible in the results.

In brief, we took 21,200 assessments and grouped people by resilience ratio. This is the overall score from 60 resilience factors ranked on the Resilience Diagnostic. Our logic is that the resilience ratio captures the multiple different pathways or styles that lead to flourishing (optimal resilience).

Then we looked for the key asset factors that distinguish those top performers from those struggling. In other words:

 

What are the key disciplines of excellence?

In the table below you can quickly identify what really matters. The columns show the percentage of scores in the very often and nearly always category for the top, middle and bottom decile (10%) from the resilience ratio.

Key success factors

 

Disciplines of excellence

Pretty clear, isn’t it?

The high scores for top performers underpins that these are practices they simply don’t negotiate. Excellence is based on consistent execution of these key factors.

They cluster; first cognitive – focus, optimism, presence, decisiveness. Second, spirit – purpose, fulfilment, values alignment and third, maintenance – vitality, bounce, sleep and perhaps assertiveness.

Interestingly, fitness and nutrition did not make it.

 

What excellence avoids

Then we look at the risk (or liability) factors that vary most widely between the three deciles. It is clear what the highest performers take great care to avoid. These disciplines of excellence define what to counter in your life.

Resilience poison

 

What blocks resilience

The first cluster is energy mastery – counter fatigue, overload, apathy and sloth. The second is equanimity – counter worry, self criticism, chronic symptoms, self doubt and hypervigilance. We believe the ability to down-regulate intensity has become a critical discipline.

Again, top performers simply do not indulge in the topics of complaint. One consideration I am left with. Never forget to be humble. Don’t doubt yourself but do check the consequences of your decisions and actions.

Rather than preach, we invite you to explore the data and consider how you rank your disciplines of excellence.

Our 2018 Global Resilience Report is due shortly. In the meantime, we will put up a few key conclusions that we believe might be of interest.  For those interested in the full report, please leave your details with contact@resiliencei.com.