Resilience in a changing world

Life has changed a lot in the last few decades – far more than the pace of evolution helps us to adapt. Neuroscientist, Daniel Levitin suggests that we now have to cope with 5 times more information every day than we did in the 1980s. Ever look at Don from the TV series, Mad Men sleeping on the sofa after a large Scotch and wondered how he hadn’t been sacked? Other sources indicate that our efficiency has improved so drastically that now we could all take Friday off and be just as productive as the 1950s and 1960s. Of course, with increased efficiency comes increased pressure. Resilience has become a hot topic and psychologists are rising to the challenge to help businesses and their employees to cope with the rising levels of stress and absenteeism. So how do we do this? The recent conference hosted by the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology showcased a number of ways psychologists are targeting employees’ stress and designing interventions to help. From mindfulness practice to positive psychology techniques to make change happen while keeping stress down and maintaining resilience. There were tips to manage your email pressure to addressing harassment complaints aimed at stressed-out managers. It was encouraging to see positive approaches bringing effective results to business, allowing us to show our human side, whilst also keeping the productivity and profits in good health. Kade is giving organisations an opportunity to see how some positive psychology techniques can influence your own team’s well-being and resilience while also raising money for charity. Our “From the heart” campaign is designed to do just that this February – giving some positive words and encouragement to team members to develop team-relations and give people a happy glow! You can sign up here to take part. We’re also doing a short piece of research to look at how people feel before and after taking part. It’s anonymous and you can tell us if you’d like to take part through the link. Once you have given out your feedback and collected donations, you can donate on our Just-giving page. We’d love to hear from you on Twitter to find out about your experiences, and do tag us @KadeConsultancy. There is some more information on the sign-up and just-giving pages, or you can check out our previous blog here. Julie is an Occupational Psychologist with experience of working with organisations and individuals around the globe to effectively meet their unique challenges.

From the heart: Show your colleagues some love using positive psychology!

Are you interested in increasing the well-being of your staff using a proven positive psychology technique? How about in giving money to a worthwhile charity’s campaign which could save lives? We have just the thing for you! “From the Heart” is a campaign to raise money for charity in February 2016 which can also benefit staff well-being and team relationships. It is simple and fun to do – everyone who wants to join in puts their name in a hat. On the allotted day – we’re choosing 15th February – everyone picks out a name, and writes them a piece of positive feedback, “from the heart” to raise that person’s well-being and positive emotion. Make it sing if you can – say something that you would like to hear yourself and would make you feel good. It’s like a Secret Santa, only your present is free and you can have a wonderful impact on that person. Taking part involves a donation of at least £1 and the money goes to charity. Here at Kade we are recommending the money is sent to the Mending Broken Hearts Campaign – research which is carried out at universities such as the University of Leeds and University of York. This project has the potential to save many lives through helping the heart regenerate. You can find out more about this exciting project here. The “To the Heart” campaign is an exercise in positive psychology, which aims to help people flourish. Many of these techniques are used to enhance emotional resilience and have contributed to lowering sickness absence and improving engagement in learning and work. Participating as a team can improve relationships and help everyone work together more effectively. When I’ve described this to people, one of the questions I have had is, “What if I get someone I don’t like?” For me, this is an opportunity to change the way you see that person. If they are not performing at their best in their role, is confidence their issue? If so, searching for the good in them can help them to build on their strengths and who knows, perhaps you will see some improvement? So if they are always late and poor at organisation, perhaps think about their flexibility. Will they do things at the last minute? Do they get upset when you change the plans? If they are not very task-focussed, think about their people-skills. Can they put people at ease? Do they know how to keep a conversation going? Regardless of whether their skills are entirely appropriate to their role, this positive psychology technique can help to make that person feel better about themselves, promote their self-esteem and identify opportunities for  you to help them use those skills to improve areas where they need development. This kind of activity is not new, for example it has been used on occasion in schools before, and the children held on to their positive messages, and they thought about these long after. When I tried this before, I kept my messages and they gave me a feeling of warmth each time. So why don’t we share this more often with our colleagues? Happiness is contagious…so after showing your love for your partner on Valentine’s Day, show a little love for your colleagues this coming February. Julie is an Occupational Psychologist with experience of working with organisations and individuals around the globe to effectively meet their unique challenges.