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YOUR FINAL ASSESSMENT IN THE 4 PART SERIES

This is the final part of our 4 part series. Changing Monday drag to a Friday high requires harmony of body, mind, emotions and spirit.

In the previous blog we focused on the emotions, and this week we work on the spirit. We continue to use the analogy of the Formula 1 race car.  The car (signifying body) driver (signifying mind) and gas (signifying emotions) are needed to win a race. However, that race car wouldn’t exist if it had not have been for the initial inspiration of spirit that built it and pulled the team and driver together. As that spirit is to the race, so is your inner spirit, driven by inspiration. It is needed to move you towards your calling, to propel you past fear and other challenges, and to inspire you to show up day after day when the going gets rough.

With inspiration of spirit, people can scale heights unknown. They can do things that others can only dream of, and help others to succeed beyond expectations. When you feel inspired, what  once seemed risky is now a path that you feel compelled to take.  Inspiration of spirit allows you to gather courage and continue doing the right things even in the face of adversity.
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Answer the following with a Yes or No. See how much inspiration you operate on.

  • I honor my values and beliefs, allowing them to be the foundation of my life’s pursuits
  • I keep my primary aim/purpose in life in focus in my daily routine, at work, home & play
  • I spend enough time in my career doing what I am good at
  • I enjoy my work most of the time and it satisfies my purpose in life
  • I experience alignment in what I know is important to me and my actions
  • I experience alignment of my values and behaviors
  • I make decisions based on my purpose and vision
  • I have the drive and inspiration to move beyond challenges
  • I invest time to make a difference to others and add value to their lives

I encourage you to spend more time on this week’s self-assessment than the other three that we covered.  You can survive with a regular body, mind and emotions.  BUT, you need the power of inspiration of spirit to go beyond confidence – to achieve success beyond your imagination – to experience peace and joy beyond your desires.

Remember, you may have the car, driver and gas, but you need the SPIRIT to rise in times of adversity, celebrate successes and cherish the moments and achieve success BEYOND IMAGINATION.

Actions that you can start taking today:
Review your answers.  Keep on taking the actions where you have answered yes. If you marked with ‘NO’ on any point, give it the attention that it needs. Add one action every two weeks. If you take all actions, over next few months, your energy levels will go up several levels.

BUILD EMOTIONAL HEALTH WITH THIS SELF ASSESSMENT

Continuing our 4 part series, we look again at how changing Monday drag to a Friday high requires harmony of body, mind, emotions and spirit.  Last week’s self assessment was for the mind.  This week we will focus on the emotions. Like Formula 1® race car and the driver need gas to win the race, you need balanced emotions to succeed in real life. People tend to seek things that generate good emotions and tend to avoid things that generate negative emotions.

Answer the following with a Yes or No and see the grade of gas (type of emotions) that your car is running on:

  • I plan and prioritize to adjust to shifting timelines                
  • I spend quality time with friends and family
  • I spend quality time with myself
  • I enjoy ‘me’ and ‘social’ time
  • I create time for my hobbies
  • I celebrate my accomplishments
  • I am grateful, even for the little things
  • I am mindful to stay calm during stressful times
  • I stay aware of my thoughts and do not dwell on negativity
  • I say no to a sedentary lifestyle (proven to contribute to depression)

Remember, you can the have best car and a great driver, but if you do not have quality gas (emotions), you will doubt yourself, jeopardize relationships and ultimately happiness and success in life.

Actions that you can start taking today:
Review your answers.  Keep on taking the actions where you have answered yes. Any that you marked with ‘NO’ need attention. Add one action every two weeks. If you take all actions, over next few months, your energy levels will go up several levels.

ASSESSMENT TOOL WITH FORMULA

Focus on the mind

Changing Monday drag to a Friday high requires a formula mix, consisting of the harmony of body, mind, emotions and spirit. As the Formula 1® race car needs a competent, focused driver to win the race, you need a calm and focused mind to succeed in your life. Use the following self-assessment to see if you are on the right track.

Answer the following with a Yes or No and see how good your driver (mind) is?
·  I can focus on one task in a given time
·  I check my email at specified times only
·  I spend time on social media at specified times only
·  I recognize the difference between result oriented and frivolous activities
·  I know the difference between response and reaction
·  I concentrate on activities that provide value and results
·  I allocate a couple of hours for urgent and demanding tasks every day
·  I recharge or relax through activities like listening to music, meditation, hiking
·  I create time for creative thinking and strategizing
·  I take vacations from technology on a regular basis

Remember, you may have the best car, but if you are not focused, your chances of a happy, healthy and prosperous life decrease tremendously!

Actions that you can start taking today:
Review your answers.  Repeat the steps where you have answered yes. Any that you marked with ‘NO’ needs attention. Add one action every two weeks. If you take all steps, over next few months, your energy levels will go up several levels.

CHANGING MONDAY DRAG TO FRIDAY HIGH

Changing Monday drag to a Friday high requires harmony of body, emotions, mind and spirit. The Ghandhi quote: It is not hard work that kills a man, but irregularity or lack of a system.harmony dictates your ability to work efficiently and energetically. We are going to explore all the four aspects in upcoming weeks. Today’s focus is on the body.

Using the analogy of a car, each one needs regular maintenance and upkeep to run efficiently and smoothly. Similarly, the body needs daily maintenance for optimal performance.

Answer the following with a Yes or No and see how good the maintenance is.

  • I sleep seven to eight hours on a regular basis
  • I eat a filling and nutritious breakfast
  • I eat small meals throughout the day.
  • I have lunch/breaks with my colleagues or friends
  • I exercise at least three times a week.
  • I include cardio and strength training in my workout.
  • I take frequent breaks throughout the day to recharge
  • I focus on couple of tasks only at a given time

Remember, you can change your car, but you only have one body that can be maintained.
Actions that you can start taking today:
Review your answers. Keep on taking the actions where you have answered yes. Any that you marked with ‘NO’ need attention. Add one action every two weeks. If you take all actions, over next few months, your energy levels will go up several levels.

 

Neuroscience Based Leadership: How to overcome the human resistance to change

Leadership - Overcome Human Resistance to ChangeEffective leadership at all levels is critical for success, however, the human resistance to change can be quite complex. While leadership and management changes have been greatly challenged over the years, neuroscientific findings have helped shed some light on the underlying effectiveness of leadership and change management practices as they relate to planning and implementing operative leadership programs.

Leaders are needed to motivate people of all ages and at all levels. Regardless if it’s a manger leading a coworker, a teacher leading a student or a life coach leading a family, everyone requires effective leadership. For years, successful leaders have recognized that engagement is one of the best predictors to success when it comes to positive change.

Research has uncovered some interesting scientific findings that are shown to better help people understand and “get on board” with what it takes to inspire others to become actively invested and involved in personal learning. Improved learning outcomes for children, adolescents and families greatly enhance human elements such as problem solving, collaboration with others, decision making, facilitating change and emotional regulation. It can also help promote resiliency when new changes arise, as well as influence innovation and creative thinking.

Although change is uncomfortable for a lot of people, Neuro-leaders who are aware of unique challenges of involving people and change, are the best-suited type of leaders for developing new solutions to long-standing problems. This is because they are willing to take the necessary risks and collectively think in a different format due to their understanding of what drives human behavior and motivation.

In more traditional coaching, neuroscientific findings reveal that most of what people implement as ways of changing have actually resulted in counter productiveness, in that people – children, adolescents, adults, coaches, teachers, counselors, families – ended up with the opposite result of what they needed to improve their outcome. Take for example a parent who relies on threats to motivate their teenager or a manager who uses intimidation to influence coworkers. In both situations, these older or perhaps more traditional methods of leadership are shown to be extremely ineffective because the people involved will become disengaged.

On the other hand, using neuroscience leadership methods by people in trusted places of authority and influence have shown the most favorable outcomes. Treating people fairly, providing them with options, promoting their creativity and insight and giving them opportunities to make decisions results in more resourceful thinking and thus, positive change.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://www.cmhconference.com/index.php/agenda/2014-agenda?id=45

http://www.cmhnetwork.org/media-center/morning-zen/the-neuroscience-of-leadership-in-systems-of-care

 

Can Neuroscience Make You a Better Leader?

Neuroscience Studies Identify Leadership QualitiesOver the past few decades, advancements in neuroscience have been used to hone in on the functioning of perfectly healthy individuals. A field of study typically used in brain trauma and disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Neuroscience studies are now being used to identify individual leadership qualities.

Information systems professor Pierre Balthazard from W. P. Carey School of Business, explains that during research, “We are looking at the positive psychology aspect of neuroscience. This is similar to what the clinicians and therapists have been doing but in a different direction. We take the God-given talent of an individual, and we tweak it or optimize it for certain functions.”

The field of cognitive neuroscience, an area of study that aims to understand social, neural and cognitive human interactions, has grown widely over the past decade. Both fields of organizational neuroscience and leadership neuroscience are interdisciplinary fields that involve psychology, information systems, and management science and are areas that are gaining worldwide academic acceptance.

These new areas of study are providing a useful supplement, not a replacement, to a more traditional methods of leadership development approaches. Results from this type of research are being used to develop better leaders by honing in on specialized skills and improving on other areas where leaders are weak. Balthazard says, “To me, these are weaknesses that are not necessarily abnormal or clinical but are leadership characteristics that could be improved upon. If individuals can improve these areas, then their leadership would certainly improve, and I would venture a guess that the organization as a whole would benefit.”

While some view this method of neuroscience as being new and unorthodox, the fact is the practice of psychometric testing has been around for many years. One of the most commonly known (and accepted) versions of psychometric testing are personality tests. The same form of personality testing that is used by corporations, grade schools and universities, employers, day camps, travel companies and even online dating sites.

While every organization that uses personality tests does so in order to connect or correctly match people to a school, a team, a job position, a company, or a life partner, neuroscience leadership can also be used as a way to improve leadership abilities and in turn, connect or match people with their strong points.

When combined with what we already know about personalities, Balthazard explains, “What we do is just a more efficient and effective way of doing what the brain does naturally. When you read a textbook, you are creating new neural pathways. What we’re doing does not change the person. We are making the brain more in tune with what it needs to be in order to learn a new thing more efficiently.”

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (PCC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international business relationship and leadership coach,  speaker and author, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their personal, professional and financial goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership, and excellence in leadership coaching. NAPW has also recognized her as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is the founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be kind to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1997

The Mind Body Connection: Learning how emotions affect your health

Emotions - Mind / Body ConnectionMany people have never given thought to the idea that happiness is determined more by state of mind than external events. It’s not necessarily about what happens, but is instead about how it’s dealt with it. Many people don’t realize that this mind/body connection is directly related to their emotions and their well being.

People with good emotional health feel good about themselves. They enjoy healthy relationships, are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and have learned healthy ways to deal with the normal stresses of life. Events such as a divorce, a job loss, having children leave home, financial problems and death and illnesses can leave people feeling strong sensations of stress, sadness or anxiety.

On the other hand, even good events can have an impact that results in a disruption of their emotional health. Having a new baby, getting a job promotion, moving to a new home or city, or getting married can be just as stressful as life’s negative events.

 

What is a mind / body connection?

When the body physically reacts to emotional events, this is called the mind/body connection. It is common for life-sized events to cause the body react to the way people respond to their feelings, thoughts and actions. Some common mind/body reactions include stomach ulcers and high blood pressure, however, the list of health-related emotional reactions is much longer.

People suffering poor emotional health, meaning people who become easily stressed, angered, saddened, anxious or generally upset during difficult times, tend to have weakened immune systems. This weakened immune system makes it easier to get sick, catch colds and even infections. Furthermore, when people feel tired, stressed or anxious, they are less likely to take care of themselves. This is generally a time when it becomes more difficult to exercise, eat healthy or take prescription medication and instead, leads people to abuse other means of dealing with their off-kilter emotional balance.  Unbalanced

How to create emotional balance

It’s possible to improve emotional health by first recognizing these emotions and understanding them. Emotionally unbalanced people need to set time aside to sort through the cause of their sadness, anxiety or stresses, beginning the forward step to managing their emotional health. Other tips for emotional improvement include:

Let it out: It’s important to express feelings and not keep them bottled up inside. Keeping things pent up often leads to even more emotional imbalances.

Aim for a balanced life: When dealing with negative issues try to focus on positive events instead. This is not to say ignore negative feelings, but instead, try not to obsess about problems. Focusing on the positive things is a way to help bring inner happiness and peace when dealing with undesirable problems.

Calm yourself: This could be an ideal time to start exercising, beginning yoga classes or other forms of meditation.

Good emotional health means taking care of yourself. It means ensuring healthy eating, regular exercise, enough sleep and implementing a regular routine, which will go a long way to relieving pent-up tensions.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/emotional-wellbeing/mental-health/mind-body-connection-how-your-emotions-affect-your-health.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1456909/

 

 

Does Employee Well Being Predict Employee Performance?

Employee PErformanceHave you ever given thought to the idea that perhaps you could (or would) do better if you felt better? Many people have given thought to this concept, and for good reason. As America’s job demands increase, employees continue to feel the burden of keeping up, often without any incentive or rewards for their extra effort. The result of this effort overload has been poor employee performance.

It’s been noted that lower levels of employee well being are responsible for about 33 percent of unsatisfactory business performances. These higher demands and lower performances have left many companies wondering how to get these two key elements aligned. One common solution is to improve employee well being.

Over the past few decades, numerous studies show that employee well being is directly related to employee performance. As a matter of fact, improving employee well being has shown an average return of business benefits on a 3:1 ratio, not only for general workers, but also for those at the top.

Extensive evidence shows that employees with higher levels of well being are more energetic, focused and positive. They are also more resilient and resourceful in how they work, thus producing significant performance gains. Not only that, employees with higher levels of well being have much lower levels of absence, illnesses, workplace accidents and disputes and conflicts with coworkers. Some evidence even shows that employee well being is more strongly correlated with performance than with job satisfaction.

Companies that implement even modest improvements of 10 percent in employee productivity gain an equivalent of 23 more working days a year instead of the current average of seven days of absenteeism. PwCalso conducted a major research project that showed for every $1 spent on employee well being, the company gained about $3 in cost saving performance gains.

For everyone, whether you’re a company or a worker, it may be worth noting that the largest untapped source of increased performance and competitive advantages may just well be in employee well being.

 


Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://media.gallup.com/DOCUMENTS/whitePaper–Well-BeingInTheWorkplace.pdf

http://www.wellbeingwizard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=415&Itemid=196

Career Stress and Well Being: Are they interrelated?

Stressed: Career Stress and Well BeingA recent Gallup report announced that 70 percent of Americans are either disengaged or miserable in their workplace. As the North American job industry remains governed by uncertainty its employees remain highly stressed … which explains Gallup’s findings.

Employees find themselves in work overload with stagnant salaries, increasing bills and a lack of career advancement. While 70 percent of America’s employees are unhappy with their workplace, 65 percent admit their jobs are a significant source of stress, one third of which, are chronically stressed.

This coincides with numerous studies that have repeatedly found that job stress — as in occupational pressures and fears — is the major source of stress for American adults; a level of pressure that continues to escalate progressively. This level of job stress has been linked with increased rates of hypertension, heart attacks and other health disorders.

A NIOSH Report shows that three quarters of workers believe that today’s employees have more on-the-job stress than the generation of workers before them. As a matter of fact, job stress is associated with health complaints more frequently than family or financial problems. A startling finding revealed that 42 percent of America’s stressed workers admit they are in the dark when it comes to dealing with the stress, in that they need help learning how to manage their workplace pressures.

Occupational tensions are also affecting the mental capacities of many workers. According to the American Institute of Stress, 25 percent of employees say they have felt like shouting or screaming at a coworker, while 14 percent admit they wanted to strike a fellow coworker. Another 10 percent say they are aware of violence or an assault that has occurred in the workplace and that 18 of workers fell victim to some type of threat or verbal abuse over the last 12 months.

Workplace stress has become a significant concern as more than 62 percent of workers experience neck pain; 44 percent have stressed-out eyes; 38 percent deal with aching hands; 34 percent experience insomnia due workplace stress. More than 12 percent of employees call in sick because of job pressures while overall, more than half of workers say they often spend 12 or more hours completing work-related duties and skip lunch because of job demands.

When considering a new career, it’s important to choose an employer that offers employee programs such as stress management, work-life initiatives, career advancement programs, telecommunicating and flexibility, all of which are proven to contribute to the wellbeing of workers. Remember that career success is not only defined by the metrics of power and money, but also — and perhaps even more importantly — by employee happiness and performance.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

Workplace Stress

http://www.worklifenation.com/2013/10/how-well-being-work-stress-and-workplace-culture-carries-weight-in-career/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/12/30/7-reasons-stress-well-being-made-noise-at-work-in-2013/

Linking Emotional Intelligence, Neuroscience and Leadership

While emotional intelligence has been linked to neuroscience, it has also been linked to leadership abilities. Numerous research studies continue to connect high employee engagement and positive emotions to high performance in the workplace. This, researchers feel, is due to emotional intelligence, or, as it’s also known, emotional control.

Emotional self-awareness is a learned skill. It’s a skill that involves being able to understand your own emotions and then apply this understanding to outside situations, normally situations that involve people. Instead of lashing out or becoming angry with coworkers, for example, successful leaders have learned how to control their emotions by utilizing effective communication.

The level of communication used to keep a stressful situation under control is a skill that has been detected by the study of neuroscience. Viewing neuroscience as a form of positive psychology is another way understand how these three concepts are related. Leaders who practice positive psychology express themselves in more controlled, calm manners. Instead of allowing themselves to become negative, they have the ability, the learned ability, to take the reins and gain control, thus preventing a potentially explosive situation from becoming an internal riot.

Possessing such skills can make anyone a valuable leader. People who are able to display this level of learned emotional intelligence often find themselves in a position of management. Instead of multi-tasking and ignoring the needs of coworkers, they possess the organizational skills required to effectively make time for their employees. These people have the ability to make others feel equal and heard. They know how to reduce stress and calm employee fears.

When people experience fear, they immediately experience a heightened threat response. This response activates an area of the brain that kick-starts the stress response and in turn, has a large — usually negative — effect on a person’s entire system. However, people with neuroleadership skills have the ability to prevent such circumstances, or at the very least, extinguish emotionally charged situations simply by opening a line of communication.

All of these areas of emotions, brain function and intelligence have been repeatedly found to be interconnected by neuroscience studies. Leaders who understand both neuroscience and emotional intelligence can be an extremely effective and powerful tool for successfully managing engagement.

 


 

Author: Divya Parekh (ACC, CPC, LL, MS) is an international career leadership coach, Head Career Coach at International Coach Academy, and CEO of The DP Group. She assists executives, professionals, coaches and students plan, develop and achieve their career and leadership goals. She has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who as ‘VIP of the Year’ for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in leadership coaching. She has also been recognized by NAPW as a ‘VIP Woman of the 2014 Year’ for outstanding leadership and commitment in coaching. She is founder of the 1/1/1 Leader Project. The project prides itself on being simple. Set a goal. Work towards achieving it. Give someone a smile. Be nice to another person. Make the world a little bit nicer. It’s free so get started today!

Article References:

http://neurocapability.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/linking-emotional-intelligence-to-neuroscience/