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Sports psychology - ensure success in business

"Sports psychology is now rated as the most important prerequisite to medalling. It is a change that has taken place over the last five years," (Ian Maynard, professor of sports psychology and director of the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University, 2006).

We now take sports psychology for granted, it is no surprise to us that our supreme athletes spend time and money on cultivating the performance of their brains as well as their bodies. Perhaps one could even liken the syndrome of sport psychology to that of the contribution of NASA. How many items do we now use in everyday life that NASA invented for the extremes of space exploration? Camera phones, CAT scans and LEDs are amongst the hundreds of spin-offs that we now take for granted in everyday life. 

Perhaps then as managers in modern organisations we will start to use the success of sports psychology to improve performance in business?

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How to develop others - smile a little more?

I am writing this blog from Norway, according to World Happiness Report 2018 the second most happy country in the world. My son lives north of the arctic circle, and this family visit is an education in itself, it's hard to conceive of how a place so cold could be so happy!

The U.K. comes into 19th place in the 156 countries listed with a very slight decrease in happiness score from 2008 to 2015. Factors in the calculations include wealth, life expectancy, social support & freedom of choice. The most developed countries tend to score higher in happiness, which got me to thinking that if there is a link between a country's development status and its happiness level, is there a link also between happiness at work and people's personal development?

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Ensure success in your career

Failure is one of those things we rarely discuss. The main areas where discussion about failure is a relaxed and easy affair is in I.T. or engineering. It is acceptable to discuss a ‘failed module’ in a programme suite or a ‘failed element’ in an engineering solution. In the main though, the word 'failure' tends to be skirted around, certainly as far as human behaviour is concerned. We tend to want to be positive and talk about performance and experience rather than use the word ‘failure’.

Whilst we should be sensitive to people’s motivations and always value people’s efforts, sometimes thinking about the possibility of failure is a healthy process. We can focus us on things we need to avoid jeopardising our own success. Perhaps the best place to start to work on our personal impact and to ensure success, is to consider how failure can even happen to dedicated and talented people.

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Better management - time to think

Like many of you, I have attended or run training events for all levels from basic level staff through to executives. Many have gone really well, many could have been improved, but all raise one key question for us as managers in our organisations.

The question is, what are people really paid to do?

I regularly ask the following question when running training events … “Do you have enough time to think?” The response is usually overwhelmingly in the negative. Many say they think on the train, or in the evenings or, god forbid, throughout the night! But do we have enough time available to think at work? The answer is usually ‘No’.

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How to develop others

I have always been a useless gardener. I don’t know why, but plants generally recoil in my presence. My horticulturally talented friend seems to exude warmth and confidence and the plants just grow naturally. She also does not intervene that much. When I intervene it’s usually cutting or trimming the wrong thing at the wrong time and the plant just sulks in protest. I have decided to stick at mowing the lawn.

I suppose if I learned the art of appropriate intervention like my friend, I would do much better. People development is much the same. Plants want to grow, and usually so do people. What I have learned over the years in industry is that the art of developing others is to enhance the desire to grow, rather than to intervene constantly with shears and clippers at the ready. When the desire is right, growth happens naturally.

"You don’t lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership."  –Dwight Eisenhower

So how do we enhance the desire?  How do we get others to own their sense of personal development?

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