Stress is inevitable – how you respond to it is not

2 years ago 0 0 873

Stress is inevitable, but can it enhance performance or does it always harm us? Stress is reported as one of the significant ‘modern diseases’. People are reporting feeling so ’stressed’ from their work and private lives that it making them physically and psychologically ill. When you consider performance, stress plays a massive role in dragging people out of their peak performance states into less resourceful ones. Stress is almost contagious, with people being influenced by stress that others experience to become stressed themselves. Have we created a world where stress is inevitable, and we are all just victims of our circumstance – or is there more to stress, and can we do more than just manage it? What is stress? Stress is the body’s response to being forced to operate outside its comfort zone. When we are in our comfort zone, we have the belief and expectation that we can

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Understanding the ‘Trumpnado’ – the social psychology of Donald Trump

2 years ago 1 0 1002

After it started as seemingly a bit of a joke, Donald Trump has catapulted into front-runner status for the Republican nomination for President in the United States. His extreme actions and language are completely at odds with the traditional political playbook. However, it seems to be working. Whilst it may seem completely illogical, there are compelling social psychology reasons why his approach is working – and there is a dangerous historical precedent. Where did the supporters come from? Donald Trump has drawn a large and passionate supporter base. Whilst Ted Cruz and Mark Rubio have fashioned messages to speak to a conservative mindset, Trump has spoken across classic voter categories. His supporter base was probably not even aware that they were Trump supporters, but his campaign has activated them. First to get on board were more extreme elements, but over time his activation has reached deeper and deeper into the

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12 steps to tactful communication

2 years ago 0 4379

“What we have here is a failure to communicate” –Cool Hand Luke. (Paul Newman) How often is performance derailed by a failure to communicate? We lead and work through others, collaborate and seek to influence beliefs and behaviours. These all take quality communication to achieve. However, communication is perhaps the greatest single opportunity for increased efficiency and effectiveness in any business, organisation or system. It simply does not work well enough, often enough – because although we are taught to talk, we are rarely truly taught to communicate. Communication, at its heart, is about ‘transmitting’ a message of some kind to one or more recipients, in such a way that the message they understand is equivalent to the message that was transmitted. This transmission requires pre-processing by the communicator (translation) and post-processing by the receiver (reception and decoding). The transmission is conducted through a medium using known symbols (language, hand

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Beyond logic to effective communication

2 years ago 0 0 697

Have you ever noticed that sometimes- even when there is no logical reason for it- your staff or your customers simply won’t take actions that are clearly in their best interests? They have made their minds up about what is happening before you have had a chance to explain it, or they agree with what you propose, but just don’t seem capable of taking action. Regardless of the best intentions, our brains have a ‘fast’ decision circuit that leaps to conclusions before we can logically process information. If we don’t help our customers or staff to make the right ‘leaps’ and conclusions, their cognitive processing will often make a decision to avoid change, and therefore to not take the action which would be in their benefit. Beneath all of the logical processing that occurs in our minds runs a much deeper, almost primitive evaluation system. It is this system which

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How your behaviour is shaped by what happens in Paris

3 years ago 0 0 580

The terrible incident in Paris, where a coordinated attack led to significant loss of life and injury, has been extensively reported and commented upon.  Whether you like it or not, it’s effects reach right around the world, and unconsciously impact many people’s behaviours and decision making.  Here’s how it is probably making an impact on you, whether you want it to or not. The risk / control equation: People are notoriously bad at assessing risk.  More than anything, a person’s perception of control modifies how much ‘risk’ they perceive.  For example, an Australian was 5 times more likely to die in a car accident, than a Parisian was to die in the recent terrorist incident.  However, we all have a ‘competency bias’ and believe that when we have control ( as we often believe when we are driving) our perception of risk is reduced.  A terrorist attack is designed to

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The social psychology of booing Adam Goodes

3 years ago 0 0 1281

Instead of looking at behaviourism and its application in the workforce, this week I would like to focus on a broader social issue – the booing of Adam Goodes and its impacts. [For international readers, Adam Goodes is an indigenous Australian who is a highly decorated player in the Australian Football League and has previously been named ‘Australian of the Year’] Over the past month or so, Adam Goodes has been the subject to ever-increasing ‘booing’, each time he gets involved in the AFL match that his team, the Sydney Swans, are playing. My first real exposure to it came on Friday night, when Hawthorn were playing Sydney in a televised match and the response of the crowd whenever Adam Goodes was near the ball became louder and louder throughout the match. Since then it has significantly escalated. It has been often discussed in the media, with all sorts of

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Creating creativity- overcoming the corporate blocks to innovation

3 years ago 0 0 1205

In a two part series, Phil Owens explores the concept of creativity in organisations.  In part one, Phil looks at what makes innovation and creativity difficult, and in part two proposes some new ways to approach creativity to make it a core part of your differentiation and success strategy. Creating creativity:  Part 1 – what gets in the way? Why do organisations struggle with creativity? How often do you attend meetings that have lofty ambitions to reach agreement, but simply fail?  How many ‘innovation’ or ‘creativity’ sessions have you been a part of, only to walk out with the same ideas that always seem to come up? Creativity is such a vital asset for business.  Peter Murphy, design instructor in Melbourne points out “Apple is a classic example – they put design at the centre of their business rather than the periphery.   As you build an organisational culture around creativity,

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Neuropsychology of a killing

4 years ago 0 0 733

In the United States a man stood on a street corner, breaking the law.  He was selling cigarettes. He had a large physical stature.  And he was African American. The police arrived, and shortly thereafter Mr Garner, the father of 6, was dead. Mr Garner did not pull a gun. He did not attack with a knife.  Yet, he was killed. After the events in Ferguson, the tragedy of this circumstance is magnified. Leaving aside a series of very important issues (race, inequality, justice in society, etc, etc), there are some critical issues that need to be discussed. For example, what must be happening for police officers so that killing this person was the best, or only, option?  Why is 30 times more dangerous to be a person of colour approached by an Anglo-descendant police officer than if you are white? Regardless of claims of inherent ‘racist’ attitudes on behalf

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Business Development Excellence

4 years ago 0 0 1022

How do you, and your organisation, approach business development?  That is, how do you work to grow your business? Are you a ‘shotgun marketer’?  Spray your marketing efforts in a wide arc hoping to ‘wing’ a few customers and bring them to ground? Or are you a replay marketer?  Do what you have always done? Or maybe a ‘shiny things’ marketer?  Are you the type that was the first on Facebook, Twitter and any other ‘shiny new’ marketing idea? Business Development is something that is a necessity in any business.  Whether you are a local pizza shop selling to the neighbourhood, or a major corporate selling around the globe, the way that you think about business development will have a massive impact on the success of your business. Working with many organisations across a spectrum of industries on business development, it has become clear that there are lots of areas

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Deciding to play a bigger game

4 years ago 0 0 635

When do you take the step to play your ‘bigger game’? – You know, the one free of the fears and habits that hold you back from what is really possible.   For most people, it is a realisation that the current way you are doing things is not enough any more.  Something drives us to see that things have to change if we are going to get a different- better- outcome. Because they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Whilst as we keep doing what we have always done, we will only get what we have always gotten. The realisation that its time to play a new game often emerges because something happens- either something in you changes, or something external to you changes- and you realise that you are not in the bigger game any more. Perhaps it

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