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Resilience training Banner

The only real question that most L&D professionals want answering when I tell them about Resilience training is this: what difference does the resilience training make? 

Besides being fun and interesting, and perhaps ticking a few well-being related boxes, what will it actually do for their team and for their organisation?

On a very basic level, the difference that resilience training makes is that it: 

  1. Brings awareness to the multiple components that contribute to resilience.
  2. Upskills and motivates the team to develop these resilience factors.

Some of the aspects that resilience training can explore are:

  • Setting goals that hold personal and organisational value.
  • Enabling the process of goal attainment with a ‘Growth Mindset’.
  • Having acute awareness of personal strengths and the strengths of others in the team, and levering that awareness to produce better results.
  • Understanding and managing the emotions of self and others.
  • Accepting and navigating change.
  • Seeing things in a ‘joined-up’ way.
  • Communicating skillfully.
  • Using applied creativity to solve problems.
  • Building connections and strengthening relationships with others.

order provigil australia is as much about personal development as it is about building professional skills. Our training equips people to deal more effectively with challenging circumstances and to achieve more. 

And I’m not just talking about work, but this is also about personal lives. 

Which I think is a real important point to make, as we all know how what’s going in one sphere of our life inevitably impacts on the other. 

We arrive at work each morning as whole people, bringing the energy and emotions of the whole of the rest of our lives with us, and when we go home, work stress tends to follow us home. 

Any career worth having, and any life worth living is naturally going to be full of changes and challenges.

Work life and personal life puts us to the test, and we’re sometimes going to be pushed really hard – right to the very edge of what we feel we can manage. 

When navigated with confidence and skill, such challenges are the plant-food, the stuff-of-life, the raw material that accelerates growth. Growth of people and organisations. And these challenges are what makes life meaningful.

But… having to continually confront challenges when under-equipped and uncertain in our ability to break through can take its toll. It can diminish our ability to succeed over time.

Resilience training makes a difference. It enables us to:

  • Develop ‘meta-awareness’ i.e. the ability to think about what we are thinking, and notice how our organisation functions.
  • Choose the stories we tell ourselves (and others).
  • Exercise behavioural choice and strengthen our ability to respond to, rather than react to difficult situations.

By equipping people with strategies like these, resilience training makes a difference to organisational and personal success because it prevents challenges from becoming toxic and allows us to continually use adversity as rocket fuel.

What difference might resilience training make to your organisation?

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Forest Leadership Training Banner

It’s early days, but we’re happy to report that our buy provigil online overnight is proving to be a bit of a hit with those who’ve attended!

And as we roll out our Forest Leadership training programmes, we’re listening closely to feedback about what people are taking away from the experience. 

One theme that keeps coming up is the impact this approach is having on relationships. Some have described the impact on their relationships with co-workers in the team as ‘grounding’ and a few have mentioned a calming effect it’s been having on their internal communications. Here’s what one participant had to say:

“I feel like when I am talking with the others now and we’re making decisions, it’s feeling a bit slower, in a good way… just more considered maybe.” – Beccy, delegate from  G.C.W

Forest Leadership Training

We’re not exactly sure of why bringing nature in to act almost as a ‘co-trainer’ on these forest leadership development training sessions has this effect. 

Perhaps it has something to do with reductions in levels of cortisol that delegates experience, as we know from the research into the phytoncide chemicals that trees give off inevitably reduce the levels of stress-hormones we have within our bodies. 

When we feel less stressed, it stands to reason that we may become less defensive and better at listening to others. 

Another reason may be that because the Forest Leadership training somehow strengthens our awareness of being a part of a greater whole, not just in terms of how we relate to the ‘more than human world’, i.e. nature, but also in terms of our feeling of belonging and value among our colleagues, and within our wider organisations.

It could even be that when we spend time away from our ‘discursive minds’.

By that I mean stepping away from processing our thinking just through the medium of language, other more intuitive senses are able to step up and develop, enhancing our ability to read the complexities and subtleties of people and situations, and respond to them with more sensitivity and skill.

Whatever the reason, or reasons, trying to work out theories to explain why this Forest Leadership training approach works is almost as fun as bringing teams out into nature and watching them experience its effects first hand!

We’ll just keep combing over the feedback and sharing our musings as we learn!

If you’re interested in taking your team out to experience some buy provigil modafinil online (and all its benefits), or would just like to know a bit more about it, give us a call on the office line: 0117 9427856 or drop us an email:

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Welldeing at Work Banner

Let’s play devil’s advocate… Why should an employer be concerned with the wellbeing of their workforce? Wellbeing at work has become such a hot topic but is it just a fad to play lip service to? Should employers just stick with focusing on the real priorities like keeping a business viable through choppy times, and making sure everyone gets paid?

After all, the people get employed and get paid for their working hours. If the employer’s fulfilling their end of the deal and sticking to the relevant health and safety legislation, then what an employee does with the rest of their time, including how they chose to deal with their personal lives and take care of themselves (or not as the case may be), is their own look out. 

There’s a line between personal and professional life for a reason, after all. 

Though this take on things is logical in its own way, (and I suspect is what a lot of employers really feel about the whole ‘wellbeing at work’ phenomenon), it does overlook an important fact. 

The fact is, that purchase provigil

Mounting evidence suggests that the following will all get a significant boost if wellbeing at work is attended to:

  • Quality of products 
  • Quality of services
  • Productivity
  • Profitability

But how does an employer attend to something as complicated as supporting the wellbeing of a group of individuals, all wildly different in character, while at the same time maintaining organisational professionalism and boundaries and remaining focused on the organisation’s mission?

Well, in answering this question, a bit of reverse brainstorming can come in handy. 

If you want to undermine a person’s wellbeing at work, or in any area of their life in fact, a sure fire way to do it, regardless of their personality, is to take away their feelings of agency and control. 

When a working environment reduces a person to being a passive cog, mechanistically fulfilling a predetermined, narrow role, then over time, they are very likely to emotionally disengage from their role. Mood and energy will then decline, and as a result, their communication, motivation and ultimately their productivity will nose dive too. 

Conversely, by promoting a sense of autonomy within an employee’s role, even in tiny ways, like determining the layout of the office or what office plants to have, and seizing every reasonable opportunity to allow team members to use their own initiative and influence decisions, a positive chain reaction occurs that will lead to improved workplace performance.

So whether you want to promote wellbeing at work out of the goodness of your heart or for the benefit of cold hard business outcomes,  why not begin by being vigilant to ways that you could empower your team to become the creative and active agents of the organisation’s success.

Agents who get to influence the route that’s taken towards that success, rather than just act as foot soldiers on a predefined route.

If you want to hear more about the resilience training we offer, start by watching our one minute video purchase provigil online, it will give you a preview of what our Resilience training explores. Any questions? You can click here to purchase provigil generic.

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Why invest in resilience training banner

Investing in resilience training is has a double whammy effect: you invest in the wellbeing of your team, and in the success of your organisation at the same time.

But how does building resilience in the team lead to a more prosperous business? 

To answer this, we have to first understand what resilience actually means.

Resilience is “a dynamic process encompassing positive adaptation within the context of significant adversity” (Luthar et al, 2000)

Resilience is about three things in essence: flexibility, change and learning in conditions that are not entirely of our choosing nor completely within our control. 

Organisations operate against a backdrop of adversity. That adverse context is life itself, with all its competition, unpredictability, gains and losses.

When an organisation invests in resilience training, it is investing in the teams’ capacity to:

  • Manage stress, i.e. avoid avoidable stress and mitigate against the rest.
  • Self reflect and adapt behaviours in response to the insights that reflection offers.
  • Invest in relationships by building awareness of the strengths and needs of ourselves and others. 
  • Gain leverage of strengths and attend to needs, with skill and minimal conflict.
  • Understand and be flexible with the narratives we create (or ‘stories’ we tell) about the situations we experience.
  • Take intentional action that is exploratory in nature.

By investing in resilience training, an organisation opens up its teams’ awareness to the vast resource for creativity, problem-solving, individual and group achievement and enjoyment that every member holds. 

The research based insights, practical strategies and the motivation to actively experiment with the learning that resilience training provides sets in motion a culture change. Change that will strengthen and grow your organisation from the core, outwards.

So perhaps the question, ‘Why invest in resilience training?’ is best answered with another question: Do you think you can afford not to?

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The Pareto Principle

If you want to know how to grow personal resilience and achieve more at work, you need to know about the ‘Pareto principle’ AKA the 80/20 rule. 

It’s more of an observation that a rule actually. 

The observation is this: a lot of things in life and in nature don’t get distributed evenly. It applies to wealth, to power, to rainfall… and to work.

In many situations, 80% of the effects (or outputs) come from just 20% of the causes (or inputs). In other words, some of the things you do at work will be contributing more to your success and achievement than others. Each hour of work is not created equal in terms of the results they get. 

Have you ever thought about when you are most productive at work? 

In the sea of all the stuff that has to get done, how can we know what’s an important use of our time?

What Matters Matters

The answer lies in the bigger picture. Ask yourself:

  • What are your own professional goals? 
  • Where do you want to be in five years? 
  • What are the goals of your organisation?
  • What’s the five year plan there? 
  • And, crucially, why do the organisational goals matter to you? (They ought to somehow, otherwise it might be worth considering a job change!)

Where your personal objectives and your organisation’s objectives align; that is where you’ll find what’s important.

Knowing what’s important is important, because then you know what’s not important. 

Here’s a question: If something is not important, does it need to be perfect and detailed and in depth? 

Arguably not. It simply needs to be good enough. You need to spend just enough time on it to ‘get it over the net’ and then turn your attention right back to the important stuff.

Focus Pocus

Being resilient, energy-filled and able to get more done at work comes down to a question of focus. 

When used correctly, focus is magic.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee 

To achieve the level of focus that you need to spend more time on what’s important, (i.e. what gets the most valuable results) there are two basic ingredients required: 

  1. Energy 
  2. Minimal distractions. 

And if we are going to really understand how to grow personal resilience and achieve more at work, we need to know how to generate both of those ingredients, in abundance. 

Let’s start with energy…

Stop and Achieve More

Working yourself into an ever lower energy-state will only ensure you achieve less at work, not more. And it will certainly wear away your resilience. 

When your energy is very low, you actually accomplish more by resting than you do pushing yourself up the hill with ever decreasing reserves. By resting you are equipping yourself to do a better job of things once you get going again.

Promoting your resilience by having enough rest and relaxation and, importantly, enough fun scheduled in, is an absolute must if you are serious about achieving more at work. 

There’s no better time to take action than now. Go and look at the coming two weeks in your calendar – is there much time set aside for some proper fun and r&r in there? If there isn’t, you must do something about that, however small.

He’s a Lumberjack and he’s ok.

Ok. Now for a little story about lumberjacks. Stay with me! I promise it has relevance. 

So two lumberjacks have a job to do: they need to clear a big stretch of woodland in two days. On the first day, lumberjack number one rolls up his sleeves and gets straight down to it with his axe, using all of his brute force to fell tree after tree after tree. 

Meanwhile lumberjack number two has got hold of a piece of flint and he’s just sitting there, on a tree stump, sharpening his axe the whole day long. ‘What a slacker,’ thinks lumberjack number one when, completely knackered at the end of the day, he notices where he has felled fifty trees, lumberjack number two has felled zero. 

Onwards to day two. Lumberjack number one who’s worn out by his initial exertions manages to fell only thirty trees, with great effort and difficulty. Lumberjack number two, however, absolutely slays it. He chops down two hundred trees, barely breaking a sweat.  

Lever strengths

Why have I told you this story? Because another thing that’s really energising is doing stuff you are well equipped to do and stuff you’re good at. 

Before beginning a piece of work, ask yourself: 

  • What resources and skills would help me get this task done? 
  • What are the elements of the task that I have a natural aptitude for? 

Where is your axe at its sharpest, so to speak? 

We all have a different set of inborn strengths, and when we’re working from them it barely feels like work at all. You can always spot when something is a strength when you just can’t understand why other people don’t find it as easy as you do. 

To invoke the Paretto principle in a slightly different way, it’s often one or two small elements of an overall task that will drain most of your energy away. These are often the elements that demand that you work against your natural strengths. 

So for example, if one of your natural strengths is that you’re a decisive, swift, action-oriented person, the chances are that you find it more difficult to get your head into the real fine detail of a situation. And yet it may be that detail is what a certain element of a task requires. 

So what do you do? Spend a difficult 90 minutes trying to granulate some data, or ask the person your know who loves to granulate data – because it’s one of their strengths – if they could help you out with that part? It will probably take them ten minutes, they’ll enjoy doing it, and they’ll do a better job of it than you. 

Sounds like a good idea.

When you’re thinking about how to extract energy from strengths, think in terms of not just your own strengths but the strengths of those around you, because you never know when they might come in handy.

Pity the Busy Fool

All the energy in the world isn’t going to help us if it’s not well-directed though. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of being a ‘busy fool’, rushing around splashing your energy all over the place but still getting very little important stuff done. 

To truly up our focus we also have to understand what’s interrupting our attention, so we can know how to minimise those distractions. 

Taken separately, little things like fielding questions from a colleague, or checking if there’s anything new in your inbox don’t appear to matter much, or compromise your success. But they do. 

Over time, death by one thousand tiny interruptions really takes its toll if you are serious about becoming more resilient and achieving more at work.

Hard borders

If you are working at a task but your mind keeps wanting to wander, it’s likely that you haven’t been building in enough hard borders between work and rest.  

So many of us stay at our laptops or on our phones during break time, or stay sitting in the same position in the same place, and although technically we are not still working. Doing this makes the work/rest border fuzzy and diminishes the restorative power of the break. 

Have more breaks and be stricter with what you do with them because the fact is that working with extreme focus in a shorter burst of time will always achieve more than slogging away at something in a half arsed manner for days on end. 

Have a hard border between work and rest. 

Egg Timers

Experiment with single tasking with the help of a timer – set yourself sixty minutes solely to finish off a report for example, and nothing else. If the phone rings don’t answer it. If someone needs to ask you something they have to come back later. 

Be strict with that 60 minutes and then when the bell rings, be strict with yourself and stop. If it’s not finished, schedule in the next sixty minutes and then let it go. Get up. Leave the room. Rest.

Not Now Bernard

When we are out talking to people about the challenges they have around time management, the number one thing that comes up in conversation again and again is being interrupted by other people. Whether it’s a chatty colleague, or someone who needs a quick answer or bit of advice about a work task, a lot of us struggle with saying words to the effect of: “No, not now. I’m busy.” 

Whether that’s because some of us are high in personality trait agreeableness and don’t want to offend others or to have them perceive us as unhelpful is another article altogether. 

There’s really only one way to overcome this inability to say no. And it begins by admitting that it is not actually an inability, it is an unwillingness. And a great remedy for this unwillingness would be to revisit the bigger picture and remind yourself of why your time is valuable and why it is counting on you for protection from frequent interruptions. 

Saying (with a smile), “I’m busy right now but I’ll be free at 3 if you still need me,” isn’t rude. It’s powerful. At least it isn’t any ruder than assuming it is okay to interrupt someone anytime when they are clearly working.  

Also, nine times out of ten, if made to wait, the interruptor will go ahead and figure out the answer by themselves and didn’t really need to interrupt you in the first place.

Lab rat hell

We interrupt ourselves more than even the most annoying interruptor does by checking our inbox in the same way we would scratch an itch.

It’s an addictive compulsion that’s wired into our neural circuitry by a process that goes by the catchy name of random interval reinforcement schedule conditioning. According to behavioural psychology, this is the most powerful way that a habit is formed. 

For example if you had situations where:

  1. Every time a lab rate pressed a lever he would get food
  2. Every other time the rat pressed the lever he would get food
  3. Sometimes when he pressed the lever he would get food and it would be totally random and unpredictable

It would be the third situation that would elicit the most compulsive lever pressing activity from the rat. A random interval reinforcement schedule. And this is what emails do to us. 

We never know when there will be something interesting or important waiting for us in the inbox so we can not resist going back to check it again and again and again. 

A similar argument could be made about the addictive quality that some people seem to experience in shall we say, ‘volatile’ romantic relationships. You never know when it will be awful and you never know when it will be nice so you can’t resist going back for more to keep on checking.

Anyhow, knowledge is power and you can use this scientific insight to get yourself out of lab rat email hell. Schedule in email checking time two or three times a day for example and then:

  • Deactivate notifications
  • Make it harder – don’t keep your login info stored on the device
  • Log out of your account

In fact, why not do that right now? Because it’s only through micro-actions, by making these small practical changes, one at a time, that lead us to building more resilience and achieving more at work.

Make the change. Go on! 

Thank you for reading, may personal resilience be yours. We all want to achieve more at work, it’s just a case of actioning small changes like these. 

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Every employee has to deal with work-related stress. On top of workplace stressors, employees also have challenges in their personal lives they have to cope with too. To help your staff with their stress and to boost productivity, you can offer them resilience training.

What is resilience training? 

Resilience is what helps a person recover after experiencing stress, tragedy, trauma or adversity. Being more resilient will help you to maintain better mental and physical health overall when facing challenges throughout life. If you don’t have a high level of resilience, you’re much more likely to feel overwhelmed by stress and dwell on issues. You also won’t have a good ability to cope with stress, depression or anxiety as someone with a high level of resilience would.

Resilience training can help employees focus their attention on the more positive areas of their lives. This helps to decrease negative thoughts as well. The training focuses on cognitive, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual resilience. Training in resilience within these areas will help enhance the quality of work your employees put out for your business and decrease workplace stress.

How does resilience training help? 

Resilience training helps employees bounce back from tough times a lot faster. Here are four reasons why this kind of training can benefit your organisation. 

1. It protects against mental health issues

There are so many lost hours within an organisation due to absence and unproductive workers. These conditions aren’t preventable, but training your staff to have a more resilient mindset can help to protect them from developing mental health conditions, therefore decreasing the amount of time an employee has to be absent from work.

2. Resilience training helps people cope with workplace stress

The demands and stresses placed on an organisation will always be there, but what you can change is how your employees react to it so they become more productive in your business.

3. Your staff will be much more emotionally stable

This is key to wellbeing and being able to perform well at work. It also helps people react more rationally in stressful situations, therefore keeping positive workplace relationships intact which in turn will be reflected in the increased productivity of your business.

4. Challenges and setbacks become more manageable

Undergoing resilience training helps people to overcome obstacles easily. Plus they will have much more tenacity for problem solving, helping them complete difficult company projects.

Overall resilience training can be a huge help to an employee’s mental health and wellbeing. An employee who is healthy is much more likely to do great work for a business and increase their profits, which is why resilience training should be seriously considered for any workplace.

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Many strong leadership qualities have been recognised throughout human history. The characteristics of the person in charge correlate to their capacity to accomplish their objectives and determine how much their followers look up to them. You can take advantage of history to use what has been learnt from others to develop your own leadership strengths. Here are the most important traits of any leader.

leadership qualities


A great leader has a vision and can see a future where it comes to pass. They have an exciting idea of where things are going and are excellent at planning strategically. This is what separates them from managers – clarity of vision turns the individual into something truly special. A manager gets the job done, but great leaders connect with their employees’ emotions.


A good leader has courage that enables them to take risks to achieve their goals. There is no certainty in life, so every commitment includes an element of risk. One cannot be a great leader without courage.


All company executives agree that their company must have integrity. The core of integrity is honesty, and all good leaders tell the truth to every person in every situation. This is the fundamental quality of trust that is necessary for success.


Being humble gets results. A good leader can contain their ego to be realistic about challenges. They can listen and learn, and admit that they don’t have all the answers.


Great leaders know how to plan strategically. They have the ability to look forward and anticipate where industries and markets are going. Only a leader with foresight can be ahead of the curve.


Leaders keep their attention on their company and their situation. They focus on results, whether they are achieved by themselves or others in the team, and they focus on the strengths of everyone involved. Keeping everyone focused is vital to the success of an enterprise.

These are some of the most important traits that separate a good leader from a bad one. Some will have a greater propensity than others for these traits, but they can all be acquired and learned to some degree. Above all, a good leader is committed to continuous self-improvement, so get to work developing your leadership skills to be the best you can be.

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If you go down to the woods today… (and spend two hours there)…. you’re sure of a a big surprise. Why are we reciting Teddy Bear’s Picnic?

Because of some research with big implications that we just don’t think is known about widely enough.

In March, lucky Light Box staff were in Japan interviewing medical researchers and forerunners in a field known as ‘Forest Medicine.’

One of the many interesting things that we learnt was what ‘phytoncides’ do to humans. These are the plant chemicals that trees release into the air to protect themselves from bacteria, insects and fungi. They also act as signals that communicate with other tress.

Within these phytoncides are ‘terpenes’; nice smelling things with names like D-limonene (smells lemony), Alpha and Beta-pinene (smells piney) and Camphene (smells like turpentine).

It turns out that these chemicals in woodland air, if inhaled for just a couple of hours, affect human health, both physical and mental and cause:

  • Increased NK cells and activity (Natural Killer cells are white blood cells that attack viruses and cancers).
  • Increased activity of anti cancer proteins
  • Decreased stress hormones
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased negative emotion
  • Elevation of mood
  • Increased parasympathetic nervous system activity (causing states of relaxation)

The effects are both powerful and long lasting – NK cell levels and activity remain elevated a whole month after a single visit to the woods, and research from the Department of Psychiatry at Japan’s Mie University shows D-limonene to be more effective than anti depressants.


So next time you visit some woods, while you breathe in that air, remember to really enjoy it and imagine all those terpenes getting drawn down into your lungs, like a big dose of nature’s nebuliser.

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It’s no controversy that UK employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace and follow health and safety legislation to the letter, but this consensus hasn’t yet extended to psychological safety at work, despite the recent massive upswing in discussion of workplace wellbeing.

I would argue that the majority of employers still don’t take wellbeing in the workplace all that seriously.

Why is that?

Where traditional conceptions of health and safety are well understood, there’s something about the concept of workplace wellbeing that still strikes many as wooly and vague.

Some industries, particularly male dominated ones, demonstrate a certain amount of discomfort with engaging with the emotional aspect of employees’ lives, as it is perceived to be out of place in their particular line of work and existing work culture.

Another problem is that there is a whole swathe of employers who ‘get it’  – who understand that the wellbeing of their workforce matters – but they just don’t know where to start… so inaction follows.

Whenever I’m working with businesses who not only ‘get it’ but are also living the importance of workplace wellbeing, the difference is palpable. There’s a pride and a buzz and a feeling of belonging.

Things that get championed in workplaces like this:

  • flexible working
  • staff social engagement
  • preventative training
  • timely support &
  • coaching culture…

…have been shown time and again have a transformative effect on employee experience.

Having a management culture that is comfortable to share experiences and curate conversations about mental health is another critical element in creating a culture where wellbeing at work matters.

For the skeptics who feel that the personal and the professional should be kept separate, or that wellbeing at work in some way undermines professionalism and could even inhibit productivity, all they need to do is take a look at provigil drug buy online.

Current research strongly indicates that attending to buy provigil europeacross the board:  performance, productivity, innovation, loyalty, brand reputation, retention and attendance all gain.

There’s nothing touchy-feely about that, is there?

None of us know what the future of the workplace will look like. The world is changing at a dizzying speed.

Whatever changes are to come, one fact will remain: happy people are more motivated than unhappy people. They are more adaptable to change.

Stronger employees make for a stronger business, always.

That’s why recognising wellbeing at work matters and why it is vital for any organisation that wants to succeed.

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When I’m connecting to people on LinkedIn and I tell them what I do, the first question people usually ask me is ‘What is Resilience training?’. I’ve noticed that every time I answer that question, I answer it in a slightly different way. Not because I don’t know what I am talking about(!) but because Resilience training could just as easily be called Life training; it encompasses such a lot.

All is Flux


From the moment a person (or an organisation) is born, the only thing we can count on is change. Greek philosopher Heraclitus got it right when he observed “Everything changes and nothing stands still”.

Learning, growing, navigating choppy waters and dealing with outright catastrophes are just a few of the things we have to look forward to as we make our merry way.

One of the things about change that makes it so delightful is that very often:

  1. It springs forth at the time we least want it
  2. It comes in a form we least expect it
  3. It comes from a direction we least suspected it would come from.

In other words change, aka life, can be a bit of a bugger and our mission is to meet it on its own terms, as equipped as we can be to survive and succeed.

How Long is Resilience Training?


When it comes to the length of your resilience training, what’s important is that it’s tailored to suit your budget, the learning needs we’ve identified together during our initial conversations and of course your preferred delivery method.

Lunch and Learn series can be ideal for teams who can’t be released from front line duties and whole or half day sessions can provide a more immersive experience. Residentials provide the depth and space that take your organisations enquiry into how to build Resilience to the next level.

Executive coaching for Resilience provides a flexible engagement option for those in senior management roles with little time to spare, who’d like to develop resilience in the context of their leadership practice.

Where can Resilience Training be held?


Any training can usually be delivered on or offsite. Trainers are often available to travel, nationwide, if not internationally.

The Resilience training that we deliver is very flexible in terms of location. We have delivered in hotels, conference rooms, office canteens and even woods!

You might want to watch out for hidden costs like the trainer’s travel and accommodation. Some companies like to include that in their pricing, and some do not.

We like to keep things fully transparent and include VAT and any applicable expenses on all our quotes for training.

Why Get Resilience Training Now?

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More and more companies are starting to see the value of resilience type training. They are making the connection between the wellbeing of the team member and the wellbeing of the company, be it big or small.

We are excited to see this kind of training become more and more mainstream. We believe it is a key to organisational success.

Resilience and wellbeing are interrelated themes, that applies as much to people as they do to organisations. They both focus on strengthening capacity to thrive despite change and on building knowledge and internal resources to enable this.

In the last 18 months we’ve experienced a steep uptick in demand for Resilience training across a tonne of different sectors; engineering, regulatory bodies, education, housing, and retail companies are all now on our books. The companies vary from pioneering micro-companies to global retail chains such as Specsavers. We love hearing our clients feed back the benefits that Resilience training is bringing to their teams.

What are the Benefits of Resilience Training?


Research undertaken by Shawn Achor with KMPG has shown that by fostering social connections, optimism and an enhanced understanding of stress, every measure of organisational success (productivity, sales, career progression, the list goes on…) is boosted. Put simply, Resilience training translates into competitive advantage.

These impacts are powerful but they are not quick fix silver bullets. At the heart of resilience training is the understanding that culture change and habit formation are needed to embed resilience deep within a company.

Resilience training makes companies grow. We are excited to be part of this movement which is affecting businesses worldwide. It really is a shift in the right direction.

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Resilience Training

Recent years have seen an increase in the emphasis on workplace wellbeing, but resilience is essential in the cultivation of wellness. It is becoming clear that organisations that nurture staff resilience through resilience training gain a competitive advantage when times are challenging.


There are several key factors that makeup wellbeing, including happiness, functioning well and resilience. Not all mental health problems can be prevented, but if companies build strategies to foster mental resilience into their leadership training courses and other staff development programmes, the mental health of employees can be safeguarded as well as possible.

Serious consequences

There is a diverse range of consequences that come from work-related stress which can impact on the wellbeing of the individual, which can then cause issues for businesses like poor performance and high staff turnover. There are those who believe the value of wellbeing is ambiguous, but the facts prove that employees thrive when their leadership and management nurtures the psychological resilience to remain well in the workplace.

Research suggests that as many as 3 out of every 5 employees will experience mental health issues every year due to work. Close to a third of the current workforce has received a formal diagnosis of a mental health issue, yet there are still many workplaces that lack the necessary facilities to support employee wellbeing.

Nip it in the bud

Enduring high-stress levels increases the likelihood of burnout in individuals – a state that includes low self-esteem, emotional fatigue and apathy towards their work. Negative mental health impacts on employee wellbeing and can also directly impact a company’s bottom line. To offset these kinds of issues, employers are advised to provide resilience training to ensure staff can maintain a happy, stable and focused state of mind in the workplace.

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Story so far

In Part 1 of What All Stress Management Courses should tell you, we looked at the paradox of stress: how it can be such a vital ingredient to a fulfilled life but at the same time a source of so much pain.

We explored the physical mechanics of stress and started to think about how tuning in to the symptoms of stress in our lives can signpost to towards positive change. Here, in part 2 of What All Stress Management Courses Should Teach You, we are going to turn the spotlight on why stress is differently felt by different people, some of the sources of stress that can get out of hand, what we can do makes things better, not worse, including tangible actions to take.

Magnifier - Light Box Leadership

Horses For Courses

We each of us have a different relationship with stress. When it comes to handling stress we are not all born equal, according to recent genetic research. The FKBP5 gene gets activated by cortisol (that stress hormone we talked about in Part 1) and some of us carry a particular variant of that gene that amps up the effects of cortisol, putting us at higher risk of experiencing mental illness following intense or long-lasting exposure to stress. Add to that the impact that challenging early life experiences can have on our capacity to deal with stress later on.

And there are sex differences too. Stress hormones and sex hormones interact with one another. For example, female brains have been observed to respond to stress by increasing the number of connections between the brain’s control centre, the prefrontal cortex, and its emotional centre, the amygdala. Not so in male brains, however, where its links between other areas of the brain are observed to become less functional.

These structural differences on the impact of stress on male and female brains could account for why too much stress tends to manifest in men as anti-social behaviour, for example, substance abuse, whereas in women it tends to lead to a higher incidence of depression.

All of this builds up quite a complicated picture of what stress is for each individual. And whatever our sex, early life experience or genetic pre-disposition happens to be, our ability to manage stress it is not a constant; how it affects us, how we cope with it can change over time.

Horse - Light Box Leadership

So what do we do then, when that overwhelmed, uptight feeling has been hanging around us for too long, and instead of the space and simplicity that we crave, we feel like we’re being snowed under by life and work’s complexity and relentless demands?

What then?

Standing in the way of control

Whatever action we take a good starting point is to recognise this one simple fact: some things are within our control and other things are not. This idea was bandied about by the Stoic philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome and it still rings very true. The serenity prayer used in AA meetings encapsulates this thinking perfectly:

“…Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

And when you think about it, in this huge, unpredictable and wildly complicated world, the amount that is in under our control is actually tiny. But it is there, and tiny though it may be, this arena of control is where we create our lives, so we may as well pay it some serious attention.

Statue - Light Box Leadership

What is within the tiny area of our control then? Well, for starters:

  • Our breathing
  • Our thinking
  • Our behavioural response
  • How well we take care of our health
  • How we communicate

So within this tiny area of control are are actually some pretty big levers and no matter how stressful a position we find ourselves in there will always be actions – often very small ones – that we could take that will a) improves things / make them more bearable or b) worsen them and make them more like hell.

The question becomes then when confronted by stress which path do we choose? And the invitation is to remember that there are ways of breathing, thinking, behaving, attending to our health and communicating that can either make things better or make things worse.

Within that, there is a nearly infinite variety of actions to take or not to take. In the spirit of doing what every good stress management course should do, i.e. give people tangible actions to try out, let’s close this two-part series with a surprising practical tool.

Hot drinks and how we think

Jean Paul Satre once said ‘Hell is other people.’ And whether it’s a colleague, a boss, a child or a partner, relationships can at times be a significant source of stress. Stress in a relationship can sometimes build up to such a degree that it can swamp us with negative emotion.

Silently holding the feelings of being overburdened or under-appreciated, or not sufficiently supported can heighten stress levels within a relationship.  These feelings proliferate often because we do not voice them for fear of sparking a conflict, creating a catch 22 where our fear of further stress inhibits our ability to tackle stress in the here and now. But to confront an issue need not be confrontational. To confront things is not an inevitable step towards conflict.

A cup of coffee - Light Box Leadership

Choosing the time, choosing the place.  Being guided by curiosity rather than judgement. Framing the issue as a ‘we’ problem rather than a ‘you versus me’ one, are all ways to confront stress with another without inflaming it.

Having conversations this way tends to give you both a better understanding one another’s perspective better and a clearer idea of what you can both then do to improve things: a ‘we’ problem gives rise to a ‘we’ solution.

People are also usually surprised to discover that the other person had no idea how they felt and that it is often a case of they didn’t know rather than they didn’t care. So have that conversation, and when you have it be sure to deploy the hidden powers of the humble hot drink. Research from the University of Colorado Boulder shows that holding a hot drink lessens our tendency to make negative judgements about another person because, by some quirk of biological fate, the insula part of our brain where judgements about others are formed is the same part where we process temperature.

Never was there a better reason to put the kettle on.

In Sum

Every Stress Management Course should leave us with a better understanding of what stress is and, importantly, our own unique relationship with stress.  Because stress is not experienced in the same way by everyone, different approaches to tackling stress will work differently for different people too.

Whoever we are, the universal key to unlocking our ability to manage stress is being clear about what is in our control and what is not, and then knowing the tangible actions we can take to act on that knowledge.

Compass - Light box leadership

Research gives us a wealth of examples of how we can make stressful situations better and not worse and we need to know what they are.

Knowledge is power, and a stress management course should leave a person feeling like next time they find stress levels ratcheting up at work and in life, that they know exactly what is happening, what to do, and which path to head down.

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Swan legs and Fidget Spinners

Stress Management courses can be a mixed bag. I’ve heard horror stories of trainers handing out fidget spinners, telling delegates that when they are feeling overwhelmed they should just to think ‘Swan Legs’ (from what I can gather that means pretend outwardly that things are going smoothly and are under control, while under the surface you must paddle away like mad to try to meet all the demands placed on you) and even extolling the virtues of scented candles as an efficient means of overcoming stress. Maybe these measures work for some, but all too often people leave stress management courses none the wiser on how they can actually reduce the day to day stress that they are experiencing in their lives.

In my experience a good stress management course will deliver three things:

Fidget Spinners

  • Help you know your enemy i.e. understand what stress actually is, physiologically.
  • Enable you to quickly identify the causes of stress in your own life.
  • Give you simple, practical actions you can start taking immediately to bring your levels of stress down.

In this article, Part 1 of this 2-part series on What Every Good Stress Management Course Should Teach You buy provigil in mexico , we’ll explore the nature of stress so we’re in a better position to tackle it. In the second instalment, we’ll look some of its common causes and more importantly, the practical ways we can manage them.

When Good Turns Bad

Paradoxically, stress is actually a good thing. And to understand why that is, all we need to think about is how lobsters grow. Bear with me, I promise this will start to make sense. Lobsters are actually soft, mushy animals contained within a rigid shell that does not expand. So how can a lobster grow? Well as they grow, their shell starts to feel very confining, the lobster feels squeezed by the shell. As it keeps growing, the pressure increases until the discomfort is unbearable.

So the lobster then goes and finds a rock to hide under to stay safe from predators, sheds its old shell and produces a new one. And eventually, as it continues to grow, that shell will become uncomfortable and so back under the rock the lobster goes to repeat the process. The stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it feels uncomfortable.

The same applies to us: looking for a stress-free life is not healthy.  Without reaching beyond the zone of what’s comfortable in terms of how much we sometimes take on or taking on things we are not yet good at, we tend to stagnate and weaken and this can allow a sense meaninglessness to creep into our lives.

So times of stress are often times that are also signals for growth, and if we use adversity properly we can grow through adversity. (If you like this analogy, take a look at buy provigil in uk talking about lobster growth.)


And yet stress has its shadow side, and that is the side we more commonly associate it with. The side that adversely affects our health, be it physically or mentally: raised blood pressure, heart disease, increased risk of diabetes, panic attacks, depression.  Although a stress-free life is not healthy, neither are any of these things. So what gives? Is it simply a case of can’t live with it, can’t live without it? Is stress just another one of life’s strange little tricks that can not be resolved? To answer these questions, we first have to take a look at what stress actually is, physiologically speaking.

Hats on Kidneys

If you were able to see your own kidneys you would notice that they are wearing hats. Why am I telling you this? Because these hats, or the adrenal glands to be exact, play the starring role in our everyday experiences of stress. But before we get further into the physical mechanics, let’s get our definition of stress straight.

A basic definition that suits psychologists and engineers alike is that stress is an immediate response to external pressure. That’s why it is often called the stress response because it is always responding to something outside ourselves.  So back to the hats. Say something happens in our external environment. Like our Satnav lies to us, making us late for an important meeting. Or we have several deadlines looming all at once and none of the tasks are anywhere near finished. Or a boss gives us some seriously unconstructive criticism about some work we’ve just done. Whatever form the external pressure takes, it starts a chain reaction going in our body – kicking in the fight or flight response we hear so much about.


First of all, our hypothalamus, a gland no bigger than an almond that lies buried deep within our brain, sparks up and sends out the bat signal to our adrenal glands. Most immediately, these glands (or hats) release adrenaline and noradrenaline. In an instant, this speeds up our heart, our breathing, releases a rush of energy in the form of glucose from our liver, and pumps immune cells from our spleen and bone-marrow into our blood. When you get startled or jump off a high diving board that very quick, physical jolt you feel shooting through your body is that first adrenal gland release. The noradrenaline has a similar effect, plus it makes us more mentally alert. The result of all this is that we are primed and ready to take rapid action. Fight or flight.

About half an hour or so after the original alarm was set off by the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands then release a third substance, a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol affects our cellular function and metabolism and it binds to our neurons, altering the way we think and perceive things at that moment. The cortisol gives us immediate energy, controls our blood pressure and like the adrenaline, primes our body to be ready to act in the face of danger.

These three chemicals combine to drastically alter our mental and physical state so we can deal with the stressor. So they have their purpose, but it’s when they start working overtime, we run into problems.

Always On

Stress stops being our friend when it becomes chronic. That is to say, our stress response is kicking in so often that we don’t have adequate time to come down from it and regain our physical and mental state of calm and equilibrium. As I mentioned before we need a certain amount of stress to be able to grow and feel engaged and fulfilled by our lives. And the old saying, attributed to miserablist philosopher and world’s best moustache record holder, Nietzsche:

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger,”

certainly comes to mind. Like exercise, stress often doesn’t feel nice at the time, but it builds our stamina and strength, two things that none of us is going to get very far in life without. If that stress is ever present though, instead of strengthening us, it makes us weaker.

moustache record holder, Nietzsche

For a start, stress can compromise our health. It hikes our blood pressure, makes our blood sticky and heightens our risk of heart disease. Some studies suggest it increases the risk of cancer too.

In terms of mental illness, stress is one of the major causal factors of depression, a nasty and debilitating condition you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. And then there are panic attacks. If this is starting to sound scary, it needn’t be.

We don’t arrive at the extreme end of stress overnight, and there are so many great ways to prevent stress from building up to the point where it makes life unworkable and compromises our health. Every good stress management course should have people coming away with a toolbox of tactics to deal with things upstream before they become a big problem.

A useful way of understanding how good stress goes bad is by thinking of the way that a system operating at full capacity for too long might at first appear to be super productive, but if it’s never switched off it will soon overheat and break down. How productive is something that’s broken? Not very.

Find the Fire Exit

It’s a common experience for our stress levels to get so high or be so prolonged that they start to undermine our lives and make us feel like we’re drowning.

If you’ve felt recently that you would like the world to stop so you can just get off, then you are in good company: in the UK, 3 out of 4 people have been so overwhelmed by stress that they have felt unable to cope at least once in the past year.

But what can we do when we notice that:

  • nothing feels like fun anymore
  • we can’t switch off and relax
  • we feel low
  • we feel lonely
  • little things seem to annoy us so much more than usual
  • our appetite suffers
  • our sleep’s out of whack

Fire Exit Sign

What then?

Well, the good news is that when we start to notice these signs in our lives, they are actually doing us a favour. All these symptoms point us in the direction of necessary change.

They point us in a direction that will take us back to growth and to better health, if we are alert to them that is, and know how to respond.

In Sum

Stress is not only inevitable, but it is also a part of life that we need and rely on almost as much as food and air. Without it, we don’t feel fully alive. Nothing much of value is ever created in this world without some friction, without some push. Raising a family is hard, getting qualified is hard, if they weren’t they’d have no reward within them.

We only have to look at the lives of some ‘lucky’ people who have been inoculated from stress by being born into great wealth, to see how often the absence of stress and striving translates to an absence of meaning and an absence of joy. The more the stress-free hedonist tries to escape this meaninglessness through distractions and addictions, the more meaningless their life becomes. Sounds heavy I know, but it’s true.

Yet there is a dark side to stress that has to be understood if we are to be the master of it and not its slave. When stress dominates, we suffer. Our health takes a hit. We stop creating so much value and stop enjoying our lives.

Many stress management courses jump straight into offering us off the peg solutions to stress without helping us understand more deeply what and why it is.

To build that understanding we need to take a step back, and look at it in the round. Why does it affect some people more than others? Why does it snowball the way it does? And how can we prevent it from getting out of hand in the first place? The mark of a good stress management course is that we come away not only full of motivation and ideas about the changes we want to make, but also a desire to share what we have learned with others, building better friendships, communities, and workplaces.

Here in Part 1 of this 2-part blog series, we’ve looked at the physical chain reaction that causes a healthy stress response and answered the question of why, at times, something as good and necessary as stress can turn bad. And finally, we’ve looked at some symptoms of chronic stress in people’s lives and framed them less as problems, more as signposts toward change.

But what change?

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Successful People

Have you ever wondered how successful people constantly come up with great ideas that change the landscape of the industry? If you think they are impossible to achieve as an ordinary person, you are wrong. Neil Blumenthal, founder of the innovative company, Warby Parker says that innovation is not a rare skill that is limited to a specific class of people. Rather, it is an ability that is present in all of us. If you want to find out the ways on how you can become more innovative in your daily work life, here are some tips that you can adopt.

Believe in your ideas

Some of us have great ideas that don’t come into fruition because we are afraid that it would not work. However, your ideas, no matter how crazy it is, may be the key to realise revolutionary advancements. Do not shut down your thoughts easily and do not limit yourself based on your age or experience. Believe in your vision and turn them into reality.

Never stop learning

To sustain your creativity and passion, you have to keep on learning. Honing new skills and broadening your knowledge can help you become more productive and innovative. Consider joining communities that are related to your field, attending conferences and taking buy provigil online ireland. These can help you accomplish more things and develop your career in the long run.

Surround yourself with inspiration

Acknowledge that you can’t do things alone. Surround yourself with people who you can share your ideas with. Collaborating with other people allows you to have diverse opinions, which is beneficial in creating great, innovative ideas. Such encounters can give you a better chance at succeeding in your chosen endeavour.

Pursue your passion

Highly innovative people feel compelled to follow their passions. They get hyped by challenging activities. They are not necessarily the most talented among the group but because of their consistent attitude and persistence, they succeed in achieving their goals.

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Our team is led by highly experienced and proficient trainers, who deliver profound, impactful learning in an energised and engaging way.

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Leadership Strategies That Will Bring Out the Best in Your Employees

The best and most talented employees will not always show up on your doorstep; more often than not, they are developed and nurtured by leaders with a keen eye for potential and who did not hesitate to believe in them.

Start with these effective leadership strategies you can do to bring out the best in your employees.

Lead by example

You may not notice it at first but you have a powerful influence on your team as a leader. This influence, however, is a double-edged sword. Instead of telling them what to do, you can show them how it is done and lead them by example. On the other hand, this also requires you to be more mindful of your actions and to, as they say, practice what you preach.

Invest in their continuous learning and training

In 2018, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos have announced that the company will pay up to £9,500 for their employees to study certificate and associate degrees in high-demand industries, such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, medical lab technologies and nursing, and machine tool technologies. By doing this, you are able to build a promising workforce that is competent, confident, and a valuable asset to your organisation.

Allow room for mistakes and improvement

Setting the bar high too high can have a lot of negative consequences and can make your employees feel defeated at all times whenever they don’t measure up to your expectations. Acknowledge the possibility of mistakes, be understanding of them, and use them as opportunities for improvement. Instead of fearing failure, your employees will be empowered and more confident to take charge, take risks, and explore new strategies that will work for the advantage of your organisation.

Give them the freedom and flexibility

Compliance is the best thing that you can get when you control, or worse, dictate on your employees about the things that they should and shouldn’t do. On the other hand, allowing them to freely express their creativity and providing a flexible environment can unleash their creativity and reveal unrealised passions and potentials.

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Communication Training | Light Box Leadership

As professionals grow in their careers, they usually become aware that every business or management skill is useless if one cannot communicate well with co-workers and clients. At some point, everyone should consider putting their best effort in maximising their true potential by improving their communication skill set. Whether you got promoted or join a new company, you will have to decide whether to remain stagnant or progressive.

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One of the benefits of having good communication skills training is that the process itself will help you become more aware of certain areas that you can still develop, and perhaps more importantly, the skills which you have already mastered. This may seem unproductive to you, but you will find that improvement doesn’t only require knowing what you lack, but also harnessing what you can still develop. Being part of a workshop or seminar can help clarify the situation in several ways.

Better relationships

Having problems socialising with your peers? Well, good news! Taking part in a seminar on communication skills often results in improved relationships. For instance, when an individual’s manager has a stern and serious way of communicating with other employees, misunderstandings may arise; however, exploring these differences allows for creative solutions like choosing to start a discussion with a quick overview of key points so that both people are on the same page immediately. While better work relationships are a major motivator for workplace training programs, one of the things that will eventually improve is your interaction with immediate family members.

Improving your communication skills through seminars and training will not only create a positive impact on your career as a professional but also on how you communicate with everyone in general.

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Leadership Banner Image

Knowing how to motivate each person on a team can be a challenging endeavour. Most assume that money is the biggest motivating factor in workplace motivation, and while undoubtedly it is a pretty good motivator, it’s not the best.

At the root of human motivation is emotion, with positive emotions being the source of high-performance motivational energy. A great leader understands not only how to trigger that motivation, but also how to keep it consistent even after obstacles and drawbacks in team plans and projects. As a leader, you’re in control of key environmental factors in the workplace, so it’s important to know how to optimise these factors for both you and your team:

Put the people first.

Great leaders view their employees as individuals rather than as a collective workforce, establishing trust and investing time into employer-employee relationships. Provide the resources and work environment your team needs to work comfortably, and most importantly: treat your employees like adults. Entrust them with the company values, vision, and mission without resorting to micro-managing.

Encourage positive organisation culture.

Energise your team by resolving to bring passion and positive energy to the workplace. Reward employees with tools for growth, such as free e-books from Amazon, for example, or an offer to sponsor classes. Let your team know that with you, they can grow not just as professionals, but as individuals too.

Be a good communicator and a good listener.

Transparency between you and your employees is an absolute must. Transparency goes both ways: be an effective communicator, but also encourage your employees to speak out, emphasising your ability to listen. Schedule periodic one-on-one meetings to discuss performance, and ways both you and your team member can grow together in the workplace.

Nurture life outside of work.

The key to a well-oiled workplace: the concept of work-life balance. Prevent burn-out and fatigue in your employees by pushing for annual leaves, after-work hangouts, and mental health breaks.

Invest in Resilience Training

Resilience is the hallmark of both successful people and successful companies and is marked by the ability to bounce back from hardship and continue to perform well despite the struggle. Absolutely nothing is more powerful than a group of positively motivated, highly-resilient employees, so invest in buy provigil nz seminars and proper coping mechanisms to get your team in tip-top shape.

buy brand name provigil online was formed in 2010 with the simple mission to help improve lives by sharing the knowledge and skills needed to achieve excellence. With a team of experienced professionals, we continue to provide the highest quality, evidence-based training for individuals, leaders and teams in order to help them create superb distinction within their organisation. Got any questions? buy brand name provigil on 0117 9427856 to speak with one of our friendly experts today.

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Time Management Skills

Do you always feel like you’re running out of time? Maybe you should manage your time more effectively. Effective time management helps you achieve your goals and gain focus and control in your life—here are some tips to help you:

Make a list.

Create a to-do list for the day’s task to keep you on track and organised. Keep them in one place and somewhere you can always see. It may be your planner or your phone—what’s important is that you can always see it and you will not forget about anything.

Prioritise tasks.

Now that you have a to-do list, you should now sort your tasks according to their importance and duration. You can classify them into four:

  • Urgent and important
  • Not urgent but important
  • Urgent but not important
  • Neither urgent nor important

The key to this is to fill your to-do list with urgent and important tasks. You should concentrate on not urgent but important tasks before they become both.


If your desk is cluttered, chances are your mind can be cluttered, too. You could misplace and forget important documents or not finish your daily tasks. Keep your desk organised and neat—throw out broken pens, replace old stationery or use desk storage compartments.

Take a break.

Effective buy provigil online with paypal means balance—you have the time to do your tasks effectively and you also have the time to rest or take a break. Go away from your desk for at least 30 minutes, do exercise or take a walk. You’ll go back to your desk refreshed and focused.

Manage emails.

You might not notice it but answering emails can take up the majority of your time and away from more important tasks. To curb that, practise the four D’s:

  • Delete: less important emails
  • Do: urgent emails or things that can be done quickly
  • Delegate: if the email can be done by someone else better
  • Defer: set aside time for emails that need longer time and attention

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Leadership Development Program | Light Box UK

Companies that invest in human capital by providing their employees with the resources to develop their leadership skills perform better than companies who leave it all up to chance. Moreover, these industries tend to be more appealing to prospective talents who are looking for career growth as well as being more motivational for existing teams. Even if employee retention and turnover are nonexistent issues, developing lower-level employees equips the organisation with a more capable and progressing workforce.

Investing in a leadership development program also establishes a strong culture that will continuously provide influence through the generations to come. Here, we have listed more reasons why your organisation needs to enrol in a leadership training program:

Develops comradeship amongst your
organisation’s future leaders

Forming and establishing a strong sense of teamwork and common ground within the leadership team tends to be quite hard for companies who typically import new leaders instead of honing and promoting their own. A huge benefit of investing in a leadership development program is the opportunity to let your future leaders start working together and build a level of comfort and trust with each other even before they are officially appointed with individual leadership roles. Your company can use this benefit to have a significant competitive advantage compared with other organisations.

Increases your organisation’s agility

A leadership development program can help your company’s aspiring leaders to be mentally prepared when meeting a variety of tests and unexpected changes. Effective leadership does not only apply to the day-to-day business operations but is also critically needed especially during risky situations such as corporate restructuring, workforce reductions, drastic change, political upheaval, accidents and personal tragedy.

Improves your company’s bottom-line

Apart from obtaining the power of having a leadership team that understands and trusts each other as well as providing your company with the ability to easily navigate through critical situations, investing in human capital via a leadership development program also drives new lines of revenue, reduces your organisation’s costs and improves customer satisfaction.
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Smile emoticon for Happy Work place Blog

I think a secret belief that too many leaders still harbour is ‘Who cares if employees are happy or not? That’s their own business. What matters is how well they’re doing their job.’ And this mind set is perhaps an understandable one, given the very private sphere that mental health traditionally inhabits.

You could make the moral argument to employers that as buy provigil paypal, and buy provigil pills, organisations have an ethical duty to mitigate that and look after employees mental wellbeing, but frankly the economic argument speaks a lot louder.

An expanding body of research suggests however that psychological wellbeing has a direct impact not only on how well a person does their job, but also whether they stick at their job and consequently the business’s bottom line.

Soaring levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and presenteeism – i.e. when people turn up but are under-productive and do the bare minimum to get by – costs UK employers anything between buy provigil prescription every single year.

And investing in staff wellbeing is not just a question of mitigating against negative effects. It actively boosts profit because positive emotions improve performance. Studies show that the productivity of happy employees is cheap provigil prescription. It is no coincidence that Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ stock prices rose an average of 14% per year from 1998-2005, compared to 6% for the overall market.

There are multiple approaches to creating the conditions of a happy workplace and the right approach will end up being as unique as your organisation and the people who make it up. As a broad rule of thumb though, workplace happiness correlates with operating on an appreciation model rather than a blame one and recognising individuals’ strengths and fostering growth from that foundation. And although changes to workplace culture need to be modelled from the top, they need to be authored collaboratively, beginning with asking employees the simple question:

“How could this workplace be made better for you?”

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How To Influence Others

There’s no debating that positional power is useful because with status comes power. If someone has the authority to promote you, give you a raise or restructure you out of your job, it is likely that you are going to be responsive to their needs. The law of the jungle doesn’t feel very fair but it is probably here to stay.

Positional power does have its limits though. For one, as a leader, you only have that power for as long as you’re in the post. And positional power can often be a block to the valuable creative and critical contribution of the wider team. Leaders often sacrifice excellence for expedience and control by not being open enough to the ideas and influence of those whom they lead. Another shortcoming of positional power is that it doesn’t always allow us to influence people beyond the confines of our own organisation.

Personal power is a counterbalance for the shortcomings of positional power and because it is available to everyone and lacks the coercive element that positional power carries, personal power is better understood as influence. There are three key, interrelated things that determine how much personal power we wield. Our relationships, our communication ability and our expertise.

Above all else, it is the quality of our relationships that determines our personal power. Not just our relationships with the colleagues who work most closely to us on a day to day basis, but our relationships with people across departments and locations, and with people above us and beneath us in the organisational hierarchy.

To maximise personal power in your workplace, build a broad relationship base there. Spend time getting to know people whose paths you might not naturally cross. In particular, find out their values and who they are as individuals. What is their communication style and what are their drivers and motivations for work? If you know what they hope to be doing in five year’s time, you’ve done a good job of getting to know them.

To build these kinds of relationships takes some investment. For one it takes time – your most valuable resource – and secondly it requires you to break out of the comfortable social cliques that naturally form around us and spend time with people whom you might feel less of a natural affinity with. But as an investment it gives a big pay off in terms of your influence, not only because it builds trust and respect, but also because it gives you expertise. This broad relationship base will give you unrivalled insight into your organisation, its challenges and its strengths, as played out by the people in it.

An important aspect of relationship building is also getting to know influential people before you need them, and the best way to do this is to network. A good tip for networking is to start where you are. Look to the people you already know who could introduce you to influential people i.e. people with with positional power, personal power or both. Be strategic about it. Who do people go to for guidance? Who seems to make things happen in your organisation or sector? And just as importantly, ask who habitually creates obstacles to new ideas and resists change? You can find all this out through the informal chats you have with people while you are building your broader relationship base.

Also worth noting is that certain people are like gatekeepers to a whole load of other people and wider networks. If you spot someone who is super-connected and networked in this way, make relationship building with them a priority. Check social media to read up on what’s on their radar, have a coffee, go for lunch, ask for their input. Asking for others’ input and taking a collaborative approach is vital as people are more likely to back ideas they have already contributed to.

Worth a mention here also is that shyness is the enemy of this sort of relationship building. Most of us secretly feel we could use more social confidence and falter when it comes to making an approach. A nice trick to help overcome this sort of apprehension is to do a brainstorm of what would make you dislike a person who approached you, and modelling the reverse of the qualities you come up with.

Being well networked goes a long way in upping your personal power but it’s not enough by itself. You also need to be credible. No point getting to know one hundred and fourteen people across and between organisations if all one hundred and fourteen of those people think that you are an idiot. To have influence you have to spend time listening keenly to other people to draw on what they know. Talk to experts, test assumptions. Do your homework. Engage with critical thought. If there are prevailing beliefs in your sector, or entrenched processes, gently scrutinise them. Ask why?

Just as importantly, ask others to play devil’s advocate and pick at the corners of the ideas that you bring, to help you to refine your own perspectives. You can then anticipate objections and be ready to counter them. If you can get other people thinking and demonstrate that you are a thinker, then you’re bringing something valuable to the table that will be taken seriously by others.

However extensive your expertise is though, it will be impotent if you don’t know how to communicate it well. Knowing how to adjust your communication style and pitch to your audience isn’t really that hard if you brush up on your presentation skills and take the time to learn where the person you seek to influence’s priorities lie. And rightly or wrongly, it is the emotional arguments that win the day. Not as in shout and cry at the people you seek to persuade, but make them care. You win the emotional argument by knowing what people care about and presenting that thing as being at stake. If you don’t know what someone cares about, then you have more listening to do. This is why you shouldn’t try to exert influence prematurely, always do the groundwork first so you can pitch it right.

And demonstrate how much you care, too. People are unlikely to buy into something if you don’t appear to be100% bought in to it yourself. If you make proposals in a lukewarm way, you’ll get a lukewarm response – at best. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you keep the ‘why’ alive for yourself, that energy and sincerity will come across and get a positive response.

Regardless of your role at work, there’s power and influence just waiting to be grasped by you. So do a little audit of your personal power and before you leave this blog behind, write down the name of three people you could go for a coffee with either in or beyond your organisation. These people could be anyone you don’t yet know or know well, people who could give you some useful advice, share their own perspectives or experience about something or simply reveal to you a little more about who they are. Then email the first one today.

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We’ve all heard that stress is a killer, but did we know that stress is also our friend?

Stress can affect our workplace performance for better and worse. Making the distinction between good stress and bad stress isn’t always straight forward though.

The dictionary definition of stress is ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.’ A complete absence or demanding circumstances, of challenge, in our work lives tends to produce a state of stagnation because without a certain level of pressure, motivation drops through the floor and performance inevitably suffers.

Competitive athletes illustrate this relationship between stress and peak performance well. Doing what they do is not easy but it’s the very fact that they exert themselves in the face of demanding training schedules that allows them to excel. But they walk a fine line between enough of the right kind of pressure, the pressure that keeps challenging them to grow, and the sort of pressure that injures them, inhibiting their ability to compete altogether. One of the keys to staying on this fine line for athletes is their protective habits. Without the right protective habits to support the intensity of their training, like sports massage, optimal nutrition and stretching, instead of being a catalyst for achievement, the stress will become damaging.

We can draw a lesson from athletes and apply it to stress in the workplace. Bringing awareness to the habits that support (or under support) our lives, and them making incremental changes over time to address any weak spots we’ve noticed pays off hugely in terms of increasing our capacity to manage stress. It’s vital to take this approach because if work stress gets the better of us over a long enough period of time, our ability to do our work well suffers and worse, there can be a high price to pay in terms of both physical and mental heath.

The health risk of stress is a very real one. When our body continuously releases the stress hormone cortisol, these provigil to buy. Our immune system gets suppressed, blood pressure and blood sugar increases, we become more susceptible to heart disease, cancers, anxiety and depression – a common feature of depression is heightened levels of cortisol in the blood. Cortisol has also been shown to damage and kill cells in the part of our brain responsible for memory and evidence suggests chronic stress causes prematurely ages the brain.

On the flip side, it is these same stress hormones that make stress, at the right levels and handled well, a performance enhancer. For example, norepinephrine, another stress hormone, makes us more responsive by keeping us in an aware and focused state. And although on the one hand prolonged stress has been observed to kill off brain cells in the hippocampus, provigil to buy online research suggests that shorter bursts of stress, in the form of challenging tasks, actually doubled the proliferation of brain cells in the hippocampus, and in fact improves memory function rather than depletes it.

So what can we draw from this contradictory account of how stress affects us? Well it all comes down to walking that fine line between the sort of stress we can manage and grow with and the stress that debilitates us. And to reiterate, critical to walking that line are the protective factors we build in to our daily lives. Cultivating habits that promote positive emotion, engagement, good relationships, a sense of meaning and attainment will all build our resilience over time.

In the context of work there is however one notable factor that is not directly in our control. That is the support we receive from our leadership. In terms of this support, having leaders who place buy provigil uk online capacity is flagged up by multiple studies as a major determinant of avoiding negative stress in the workplace. Skill training around time management and prioritisation of course go a long way in helping to resolve this, but ultimately, knowing how indirectly control this, to buy provigil us and promote leadership’s awareness of front line reality and what sustainable output looks like is the only way to tackle this issue at its root.

Ultimately, whether we are going to crumble under pressure or flourish in the face of stress at work comes down to both our own protective habits and equally the responsiveness of leadership.

It’s a two-way deal.

If you are fulfilling your side of the bargain and investing in your own resilience, but the level of challenge is unrelenting, unrealistic and you are not receiving the skills training and support that you need from above, it is time to question whether any job is worth risking your health for.

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It’s widely recognised across industries that buy cephalon provigil online With game-changing technologies constantly shifting the ground beneath us, being creative and having the ability to roll out responsive new products and services is vital. A common question that this shift poses is ‘are innovation and creativity the same thing?’ And the answer is yes but no.

They are closely related. Innovation can not happen without creativity as creativity is a major part of the innovation process. Creativity can happen without innovation though. Creative ideas, expressions, perspectives and acts don’t ultimately need to produce any new tangibles. Whereas innovation does.

To be creative all you really need is your imagination which can draw on your all internally held experiences to come up with new connections and perspectives. To innovate successfully though, you first need info from your current external environment. You need input. Observations, data, facts about your industry, customers, resources and so on. And the quality and breadth of the data that goes in will directly impact of the quality of your outputs at the end of the innovation process, so this stage is definitely not to be rushed or skipped past.

After that can you buy provigil online has been done, innovation then does require you to get creative and let the imaginative, reflective, playful side of your brain have free reign. This is where creativity and innovation intersect and at this stage of the process, they are arguably the same thing.

But when your brainstorms are over and you’ve got your short list of new services and products that you think would be worth developing, it’s time to leave creativity behind and get your lab-coat on. The next step in the innovation process is about business can i buy provigil onlineation. Methodically testing your assumptions and checking that the idea does deliver the outputs that you need it to. And you do all this experimenting at a low-risk level where you can afford to fail.

Only once you have completed this experimental stage will you know which ideas to fully resource and roll-out. And for the roll out to succeed, you want to have organisational and process-led thinking (as opposed to creative thinking) at the fore. This ensures that you’ll be executing your innovation as efficiently and effectively as possible.

So returning to the question of ‘are innovation and creativity the same thing?’ I’d sum up that innovation is an inherently creative process, but one that needs us to extend ourselves beyond creative thinking if it is to succeed. If you want to build up the innovative muscle of your organisation a good approach is draw on the strengths of the whole team, not just the lateral thinking abilities of the most creative members. By levering everyone’s different abilities into the various stages of innovation, you’ll succeed in building a strong innovation capacity into your business.

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Communication Style

Working relationships at their best are productive, co-operative and even joyful. Frequently though, despite our best intentions, they can be frustrating sources of conflict and misunderstanding.

Here are 4 ways that communication affects our relationships at work for better or worse, depending on the awareness and skills we bring.

1. Communication Style

Some colleagues and clients are easier to talk to than others. When communication seems effortless with another person the chances are it’s because we share a similar communication style with them.

We’ve all got a communication style comfort zone that we automatically operate from. There are 4 broad styles, buy original provigil online.

Knowing which style you have and learning how to talk in the style of another person with them will close the distance between you, minimising frustration, misunderstanding and distrust.

2. Active listening

Have you ever worked with someone who talks a lot about what’s going on with them but rarely checks in to see how you’re doing? Contrast the quality of that sort of working relationship with one where your colleague does take an interest in your challenges and achievements. Which relationship grows you and motivates you more? The answer is obvious.

When someone takes the time to listen to us, to give us the space to finish our sentences and then safe place to buy provigil online that delve deeper into what we have just said, we feel valued by them. And it’s the working relationships in which the participants feel mutually valued that are the most productive ones.

Play a game next time you speak to a colleague. Try to avoid using the word ‘I’ and give your self 5 points for every ‘How, what and why’ question you ask them in response to what they’re saying. Invite them to play the same game next time they talk to you.

3. Inflammatory language

When the workplace is a source of stress, 9 times out of 10 it’s not the work that is the problem, it’s certain people that we work with. When we experience conflict with colleagues, a big determinant of that conflict is our own inability to see the role that we ourselves are playing in keeping the conflict alive. We are often so focused on the failures of the other person and how they are making things difficult that we overlook the only half of the equation that we have any real control over; our own actions. Specifically, the language we chose to use.

Practising Non-Violent Communication weans us off the habit of using ‘inflammatory language’ – language the carries implicit judgment or blame. It helps us to give people objective feedback aimed at a behavioural level rather than identify level, rather bombarding them with our emotionally loaded opinions of what they should and shouldn’t have done. And importantly, it enables us to take responsibility for our own emotional reaction to the situation rather than making it all about them.

When we feel under attack we get defensive. Listening stops, progress stops and conflicts don’t get resolved. Non Violent Communication takes the ‘attack’ out of our language use and builds foundations for more understanding and respectful relationships with even the most challenging colleagues.

4. Assertiveness

It’s nice to be nice and most us like to be liked. This can sometimes backfire and negatively impact on our relationships at work though. Our desire to be seen as agreeable often causes us to agree to taking things on that we don’t actually have the time or headspace to do. If we’re in the habit of doing this, it runs the risk of storing up resentment in our work relationships. We resent others for asking too much of us and the they resent us for letting them down when we commit to more obligations than we can properly fulfil. So learn to skilfully say no. Here’s how:

i) Start with their name. where to buy provigil online usa so we tend to listen really carefully to whatever is said next.

ii) Acknowledge their request. This shows that you have really listened to what they have asked of you and signals respect.

iii) ‘I’m going to say no.’ This is simultaneously assertive and emotionally considerate use of language; you are linguistically ‘softening the blow’ of the no by structuring it this way.

iv) Give one good single reason why. Less is more here. More than one reason will start to sound like excuses.

v) Offer an alternative, if possible. This sends the message that you are supportive, and the support  has to be on terms that also suit you.

 Practice this technique to build and maintain healthy, authentic and boundaried workplace relationships.

Whatever the communication skills are that we want to develop, the key is to take ourselves out of auto-pilot and into an awareness of the  big shifts we can achieve in our work relationships with small changes to how we talk and listen.

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The Harvard Business Review article:  “buy modafinil online south africa” got a lot of attention because I think it struck a chord with so many people. We all know that a bit like many team meetings, networking events can be a colossal waste of time.

Attending networking event after networking event and having very little to show for it is a classic ‘Busy Fool’ manoeuvre that we should all watch out to avoid.

Why do we so often fall in to this ineffectual networking trap? I think there’s two main reasons: one reason is the short-term, illusory sense of achievement it gives us. That gratifying sense of ticking a task of the list but failing to question the task’s actual value. In other words, we mistake activity for output. The second reason is we simply lack the skills to make the networking event worth our while.

Successful networking is about growing relationships with people worth knowing and fortunately there are some straight forward strategies that can help us to do just that. Here are six to consider:

1. Do your homework

If you can, check who else is going and decide who in particular you’d like to meet. Once you have set your sights on a few people, do a bit of internet stalking – check their LinkedIn and Twitter feed to see what connections and common interests you have, and what’s on their mind. Knowing where the common ground lies will make having a good conversation a lot easier. It also makes us more likeable. where to buy provigil in south africa in some way, so discovering and focusing our attention on commonalities is a great strategy.

2.  Pretend you’re a detective

Every hear the expression ‘Interesting people are interested people.’? You already know everything there is to know about yourself, so don’t waste your valuable networking time talking about Numero Uno if you can help it. You’ll learn nothing and impress no-one. Do have a short, powerful introduction about what you do (NB Under 15 seconds, and not just your job title but something memorable about what your work actually involves / achieves). Beyond that though, focus on learning about others rather than talking about yourself. Demonstrate your interest in others by actively listening to them, using open-ended follow up questions (i.e. what, why, how questions). buy modafinil in ireland and being likeable lies at the heart of being an excellent networker who gets good connections and leads wherever they go.

3. Ask not what this person can do for you. 

A common mentality to networking is ‘What’s in it for me?’ and there are a two main reasons why this can be problematic. First of all, it can be difficult to tell whether or not a person will be useful to know on first meeting them. Opportunities usually emerge further down the line when you have built up a bit of a relationship and some trust, and not on the day that you meet. Second of all, the ‘What’s in it for me?’ mind-set is so unappealing that when we detect it in others – and we can usually sniff it a mile off – there’s a good chance it will alienate us and make us wary of them, rather than form the foundation of a productive connection. So the antidote is to flip the thinking on its head and ask ‘What’s in it for them?’ Ask yourself why getting to know and staying in touch with you will be beneficial to the other person? What information, contacts or encouragement do you bring? Work this part of the equation out and the the ‘What’s in it for you’ side will take care of itself.

4. Lever body language

Numerous scientific studies all say the same thing about this: your body language speaks loud and clear and leaves a lasting impression on others whether you are aware of it or not. So always begin with a buy modafinil online ireland, remember to where to buy provigil ireland and keep good eye contact, and to absolutely maximize your likeability factor, be sure to buy modafinil online uk

5. Have fun

A recent buy modafinil online uk paypal shows the majority of people feel uncomfortable while networking. To get good at it you have to find a way of making it enjoyable. The obvious answer to many, but not really the best approach, is to down plenty of Dutch courage if there happens to booze to hand. I mean what could possibly go wrong? A safer strategy is to ‘Gamify’ it. Make a points system, for example 5 points for every handshake. 10 for every LinkedIn connection afterwards, 25 for every enjoyable conversation you have. You can even think of some obscure and amusing vocabulary that you get points for skilfully slipping into conversations. The possibilities are endless. Then if you go in with a target in mind, say to score over 200 points by the end of the event, you will find yourself fully engaged. It’s even a funny conversational gambit – telling others at the event what you’re up to, about your ‘game’.

6. Keep in touch

Afterwards take a few notes on the professional interests of the people you meet and any personal information relevant for rapport building – for example if they’re going sailing in the Greek Islands that summer, jot that down. Anything in particular you bonded over at the event, write that down too. Then follow people up within 3 days to say ‘Great to have met you, let’s stay in touch’ and after that remember to share interesting, funny or useful stuff with them at least 2 or 3 times a year, with a friendly message checking in with them. And schedule these contacts, or else they won’t happen. With a rapidly growing network you’ll probably need a reminder system to keep it ticking over.

So back to the question this blog began with: are networking events worth it? Simple answer is yes, if you are any good at networking. The good news is, anyone can learn to be.

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Take a look at this photo.

What is interesting about the photo is that it is not actually a photo. It is an acrylic painting with a realism that beggars belief: Big Self Portrait by Chuck Close.

What is also interesting about the painting is his artistic method and what it has to teach us about achieving excellence in our own professional or personal life.

Using a photograph as a guide, he adopted a technique employed in a lot of Renaissance artwork. He placed a numbered and lettered grid over the photo – thousands of pixel-like squares – to recreate the picture one square at a time. When you are looking at his Big Self Portrait all you are actually looking at is a precise mosaic of simple black, white and grey squares.

How does this apply to to us, and to excellence?

Big, magnificent, shimmering excellence, if you look closely at it, is nothing more that a carefully arranged mosaic of precise, simple actions. And by precise, I mean actions that are taken with intention, with a clear final goal in sight. Chuck Close’s intention was to perfectly replicate his photographic image, and this determined which exact paint shade he chose to use to fill in his very first square with, out of an array of possible shades that he could have applied. Then he chose which shade to use for the next square, and the next one and the next. Applying choice informed by intention to every single one.

So the science of the art of excellence is sublime in its simplicity. There’s just three parts to it.

1) Being extremely clear on your goal. What will excellence look like once you’ve achieved it?

2) Treating your time more like the way Chuck Close treats a canvas, i.e. like a precious resource out of which there is the potential to create something excellent.

3) Focussing on the very, many, very small choices for action that every day presents, and applying more intention to actions you choose, always with the end goal in mind.

For example when I am on a roll, I somehow manage to drag myself to the gym down the road and run 5k every weekday morning. I do it because I know I’m happier and work better that way and I feel pleased with myself when I do this. But! After thinking how I could take more of a ‘Chuck Close’ approach to excellence, I realised that the 45 minutes I spend running, is actually still in some ways an empty square I could be doing something with. So now instead of suffering the cheesy gym workout music they pump out, or even listening to my own tunes, I put in my earphones, harness the wonder of YouTube and learn a huge amount of useful stuff that I can apply to my work goals during that time on the treadmill.

45 minutes per weekday morning multiplied by 52 weeks is 195 hours of learning every year. That’s a third of a postgraduate certificate. It sets myself at a considerable advantage against the theoretical me who inhabits the parallel universe where I am still not making that particular intentional choice.

And the real beauty of it is that it is such a tiny adjustment, such an imperceptible choice that has been exercised that it doesn’t feel like any effort or work.

Getting better, inching towards excellence is, it turns out, as simple as 1,2,3.

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With World Mental Health Day putting workplace wellbeing in its crosshairs this year, it is worth asking  what workplace wellbeing actually is, as an agenda, as a practice and as an outcome that impacts on individual people’s lives.

Since our work at Light Box began back in 2009, the wave of public interest in wellbeing and mental health has consistently gathered pace. It’s now hard to open a Sunday supplement or newspaper and not stumble across another mental-health story.

The appetite to discuss wellbeing is now huge, along with the surge of initiatives to help people and organisations promote it.

It’s unarguably a sign of progress that some of the stigma that surrounds mental-health has fallen away as a consequence of this upswing in interest, and yet the sceptic in me is uncomfortably aware of how the wellbeing agenda is vulnerable to being hijacked and distorted, and worryingly, how it can be used to eclipse some hard realities that need to be examined.

Played out in the workplace, the wellbeing agenda can go one of two ways.

I’ve heard some great stories about staff teams being treated to wellbeing and resilience training, only to be handed their redundancy notices a few weeks later. Applied cynically, perfunctory wellbeing measures taken in the workplace can be a way of sending staff the message: ‘Can’t cope with unreasonably big workloads / long hours / low pay / scant annual leave? Hmmm, maybe you should be working a bit harder on your well-being, then.’

Done well though, workplace wellbeing can be the basis of thoughtful action for change – not least a change in organisational culture, led from the top. It can be the opportunity for increased self-awareness, assertiveness, improved relationships and yes, self care.

If you get it right, a focus on workplace wellbeing can ensure that the workplace is a source of camaraderie and a place that’s free of blame culture. That it’s a place where each person is allowed to be vulnerable in some way and is called upon to use their particular strengths to create shared value. When the workplace presents an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to something and be thanked for your contribution, then it becomes a haven of security and a source of positive identity in an unpredictable and often difficult world.

In the UK, 11.7 million work days were lost this past year alone due to stress, depression or anxiety related sick leave, and studies consistently show that people are at their most creative and productive on the job when they are feeling happy. The science and statistics speak for themselves: workplace wellbeing is too important to get wrong.

Perhaps a good first step for any organisation with a genuine interest in this, is an honest, inclusive conversation about what works for people’s wellbeing in the workplace, and what works against it.

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two waysWhen we are working well, it feels wonderful. Energy flows along, things get done, tasks get tackled one by one. There’s few things better than that feeling you get when the day draws to a close, that you’ve been productive and moved things on in one way or another.

When we are not working well, it feels very different. There can be a tinge of panic. And a masochism. It can feel like swimming against a current. Whatever we have done well, in the days or weeks before, it often seems like it is not enough, or worse, not relevant. It is as if all the productive, positive action that has gone before dissolves and has no bearing, and we are pushing the gas pedal down hard on an empty tank of fuel.

We might identify this second way of working as the necessary drive to keep going that all success depends on. A healthy no pain, no gain mentality.

But it is not. It’s an impatience, and ultimately it fuels discouragement and demotivation. This way of working quietly erodes our confidence in our abilities to solve problems as they arise and do well. And when confidence is lowered, we don’t approach opportunities in the same way, we don’t act in a bold, creative manner. Instead, we shrink back and don’t do so well. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. A trap.

It’s so easy to get sucked into the vortex of this second way of working, and stay unwittingly trapped inside it all day until it spits you out at home time feeling pessimistic, stressed and useless. When this happens it feels so draining, and it so greatly undermines any gains that the first way of working accrues, that it is crucial to watch out for this psychological tendency more and to take its menace more seriously.

Perhaps next time you spot it taking over, consider going on strike against yourself for half an hour, have a walk and some self-talk reminding yourself that working hard is meant to feel good, not bad.

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Minds have a tendency to drift into the future, and the influence that the future tends to have on our mind-set is mixed. On the one hand it can give rise to hope. On the other hand it can bring on apprehension, even fear.

Whatever its effects, the main thing  to remember about the future is that it is a mythical place. i.e. it does not exist.

And it never will.

If you are dreaming of how next year things could be better – how the summer you have could be more fun than the one just gone, how your earnings could go up, how you could support my family and close friends in bigger, more elaborate ways, when you are preoccupying myself with what’s next – you are loosing sight of what’s now.

And what’s now is the one and only thing you will ever have any influence over. Whether it is your relationships, how you treat myself or your approach to work. It ‘s about the micro choices, the actions and inactions. Is there good music on in the morning when you get ready for work, or is there not? Do you hurry from meeting to meetings ignoring your surroundings or do you not? Do you text a friend on their first day of a new job or do you not? The more you turn your gaze away from the future, the more you will see the kaleidoscope of choices to be made in the now.

Each one tiny. Each one important.

When you look after the now the future looks after itself. 

Here’s a James Joyce quote to leave you with that says it all in just a line:

“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.” 

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