Below The Line https://www.belowtheline.ie High Performance Leadership Training, Executive Coaching & Team Development Fri, 02 Oct 2020 09:00:24 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://www.belowtheline.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cropped-logo-32x32.png Below The Line https://www.belowtheline.ie 32 32 Building Your Mental DNA https://www.belowtheline.ie/building-your-mental-dna Fri, 02 Oct 2020 08:59:28 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=107032 Over the past 15 years, through life experience, education, professional training and working with people, I’ve realised that our mind is arguably one of our most important and precious resources. The human mind is vast and wide. The mind is not the same as the brain. Our brain is physical, our mind is not. When…

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Over the past 15 years, through life experience, education, professional training and working with people, I’ve realised that our mind is arguably one of our most important and precious resources. The human mind is vast and wide. The mind is not the same as the brain. Our brain is physical, our mind is not. When I think of the mind, I consider various aspects to it such as:

How we perceive the world and what’s going on around us. The various internal narratives or stories we carry with us. Our current beliefs. How these beliefs impact our internal narrative, emotional state and our behaviours. Our conscious and subconscious mind. Our energetic state and frequency. How alive our soul is.

It’s also worth considering the manifestations of our state of mind. How our mind has a major role in important aspects of our lives such as:

How we experience and navigate these uncertain times. Our response to adversity. How we show up and carry ourselves personally and professionally. The quality of the relationships we have in life. Our sense of self-worth. Our overall health and wellbeing. The choices we make in any given moment and what we give attention to. How we handle moments of pressure and times of change. Our relationship with stress and uncertainty. How we navigate fear. Our financial wellbeing. Our physical health and fitness. Our levels of resilience

So if we accept that our state of mind has a significant impact on how we experience life, how we behave and ultimately plays a major role in the outcomes we get in life, then that brings me to a very simple question – what do you do each day to look after, grow and evolve your mind? 

This is important at the best of times but in our current environment, being as mentally strong, dynamic and resilient as we can, is critical to how we experience and navigate the times and the circumstances we are in.

Building your “Mental DNA” is a very simple way to strengthen, grow and evolve your mind. DNA stands for Daily Non-negotiable Activities. These are simple daily practices and rituals that we can do throughout our week to nourish, strengthen and evolve our minds. The list of practices, tools and techniques are vast in what might fall into your DNA practice. 

Things like outdoor exercise, meditation, reading, spending quality time with family (maybe not friends at the moment), cold showers, visualisation, priming, journaling, grounding with the earth and breathing techniques are all practices that come into my own DNA throughout any given week. I don’t obviously do all of these in one day (I’d be at this all day if I did :). What I do is simply pick certain daily non negotiable activities that I will do on the various days of the week and they are not the same every day. In this time of great uncertainty, I would highly recommend you make time to write out what you would like your mental daily non-negotiable activities to look like and then consider how will you incorporate these in your life. 

I’m not a robot so I’m not suggesting that every day I manage to get mine in – I don’t. That said, over the past 6 months I have been as consistent as I have ever been with my own DNA’s (average 5 to 6 days each week). My attitude as somebody who is self employed with a young child (and another on the way) is that I need my mind to be at its absolute best right now so I’m making this a priority in how I live. Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years about putting these rituals into practice and really living them.

Planning

Arguably the most important element to habitualising your DNA practice. Plan out where in the day you will slot in your daily non-negotiable activities. Put these into your calendar, block out this time. Treat this as a meeting with yourself. Most work meetings and family activities go into our diaries. We are consciously aware of them and surprise surprise – they actually happen! Your mental DNA should be no different if you want to make them a habit. It’s worth mentioning that part of your planning might include speaking to work colleagues and / or your boss about this. For example let’s say that part of your DNA’s will be a 30 minute run or walk before lunch. You might want to explain your logic and planning to work colleagues so that they know (and will see in your diary) that you will not be available at this time on the days you are doing this. This can mitigate the need to stand up for your DNA’s which brings me to my next point.

Stand Up

Be prepared to stand up for your DNA when you are challenged by other demands and requests for your time. These challenges will absolutely come. 

For example, you might be about to finish up work for the day and get your run or walk in before having your family time in the evening when you see an e-mail hit your inbox. In this moment, you have a choice to address the e-mail or stand up for your mental DNA and go running. This is where your internal narrative can kick in. The e-mail might be relatively “urgent” and might require 30 minutes of your time to address the issue. 

Your narrative might be “I need to respond to this now and I’m not really in the mood to go for a run anyway”. So you reply to the e-mail and skip your run. In this case, you have not taken a stand for your DNA. A different internal narrative might instead be “I can make time tomorrow morning to deal with this, I don’t really feel like going for a run now but I know I’ll feel great when I do it so I’m heading out for my run”. You have stood up for your DNA here. 

Own Your Time

My wife and I are both self-employed and we have a 16 month old son. Over the course of the initial lockdown period with no childcare, one of us would work in the morning while the other would spend time with Noah and then we would swap in the afternoon. We varied this each day as needed. While on one hand this was a great to spend so much quality time with our little fella, it was also challenging at times. I made a conscious choice early on that I would allocate time to my own DNA during my half of the day when I was working. Now that we have childcare again, I feel like I have so much more time on my hands and it’s easier to incorporate my daily non-negotiable activities into my day. 

I believe it’s very important that we each take personal ownership for how we spend our time. That we own our time, take responsibility for it and be very intentional about how we use our time. How we use our time reflects our degree of intentionality which in turn is a manifestation of our level of consciousness.   

Meaning

One of the key influencers of successful behaviour change is meaning. So how meaningful is a certain desirable behaviour? How important is it to me that I put my mental daily non-negotiable practices into play? In other words, what’s my “why”? This is a question only each of us can answer for ourselves. I think it’s something many people overlook when trying to initiate new habits and behaviours. Perhaps consider what’s the potential impact for you if you can enhance your mental strength and resilience by putting consistent mental DNA’s in place? It might be that you will feel less anxious and this impacts how you are with your family. It may influence how you perform at work and of course it will likely impact your mood, happiness levels and overall level of wellbeing. 

Support Scaffolding

Behavioural support scaffolding is something many people overlook when trying to initiate new practices. What I mean here is what are the resources and supports you can put in place around you, to stack the odds in your favour of actually implementing a desired new behaviour or routine. A simple example of support scaffolding is an accountability buddy. So let’s say part of your desired DNA is writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day. You might ask your partner to be your accountability buddy. This might mean that at the end of each day, he or she asks you what are the 3 things you are grateful for today. This could be taken a step further if he or she also decides to it and you both share each day what you are grateful for in your lives.

I’ve often heard people say that their health and family are what’s most important to them. These are the words they say and I’ve no doubt they mean them. However their words may not be backed up by their actions ie – they devote very little real effort to their health or real quality present time with their family. Often this can happen over time due to a lack of conscious awareness and behavioural intention. Building your own mental DNA and cultivating these rituals over time is a statement of behavioural intent. It doesn’t mean that you will all of a sudden become a robot and never miss a day. What it will do is bring a heightened sense of awareness to how powerful your mind can be if you choose to train it. Our state of mind is instrumental in the quality of how we experience life. Today many of us (myself included) could do with our minds being as strong, dynamic and resilient as possible. Please do make and invest quality time to look after your mind. My personal experience as well as from working with people, has shown me over and over again that it is arguably the single best investment you will ever make!  

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What Pressing Pause Means to Members of the Below the Line Community https://www.belowtheline.ie/what-pressing-pause-means-to-members-of-the-below-the-line-community Fri, 28 Aug 2020 11:03:09 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1894 Every two weeks on a Friday afternoon we host a video call for anyone in our community that can make it where we invite them to pull up a virtual chair and Press Pause for 90 mins or so. It is a simple and unvarnished affair – we hold a space for people to come…

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Every two weeks on a Friday afternoon we host a video call for anyone in our community that can make it where we invite them to pull up a virtual chair and Press Pause for 90 mins or so. It is a simple and unvarnished affair – we hold a space for people to come together to check in and share with others where they are at right now, what’s coming up for them and what are the ways they are finding to thrive and contribute as best they can.

As our enforced period of lockdown and reduced freedom continues finding time and space to unplug, reflect and review is ever more important and one of the subtle challenges associated with Press Pause is that you only miss it once you haven’t been for a week or two or even a few months but when you do plug back in and reconnect it’s so refreshing and powerful that it jolts you back into remembering the importance and the simplicity in coming into a space that is less about being talked at and taught to and much more about bearing witness to the brilliance of human beings connecting, sharing and being vulnerable in a way that demonstrates the very best of us.

I could go on and describe Press Pause in more detail but instead I’ll give you a flavour of what some of our regular participants have to say about it. I think you’ll agree that we have something unique and special on our hands and that if you’re willing to show up with an open hear and an open mind you’ll find huge reward in dialling in and being part of the conversation whether you’re talking or simply tuning into listen.

I have been dialling into the Press Pause sessions for the past few months and I have found them to be a great safe, enjoyable space to listen, reflect and be open with each other. It is almost sacred. I didn’t know anyone before I joined and felt completely welcome”,

Anna

It’s hard to put into words what joining the Press Pause Sessions meant to me over the past few months. Some days I wasn’t sure in advance why I was joining the session; my logical brain was looking for a reason! However once I had joined a session I felt I had found my tribe, we were all grappling with various issues and it was essentially a true dialog with no agenda, everyone who brought up an issue or a problem felt supported and validated. I felt that I could bring my true self warts and all with no mask on and I would be supported no matter what”,

Bernardine

“Press Pause has provided a lifeline to switch off and connect with a unique bunch of professionals who are willing to drop the personas and speak openly about their challenges or wins. When Covid -19 struck and finding a network was important, the draw card to calling in on a Friday evening was the sheer authentic nature of the conversations”,

Theresa

Find out a little bit more about Press Pause which is part of our broader new offering ‘You First’ https://www.belowtheline.ie/you-first

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As If I Needed Reminding: What 12 weeks of “Pressing Pause” on Friday Afternoons Has Taught Me… https://www.belowtheline.ie/as-if-i-needed-reminding-what-12-weeks-of-pressing-pause-on-friday-afternoons-has-taught-me Wed, 24 Jun 2020 14:43:12 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1662 For the past 12 weeks since the introduction of the lockdown in Ireland, we in Below the Line have been hosting a regular Friday “Virtual Press Pause Session” for our clients, colleagues and friends as an opportunity for them to dial in and dial down from the frantic pace of work and home life and…

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For the past 12 weeks since the introduction of the lockdown in Ireland, we in Below the Line have been hosting a regular Friday “Virtual Press Pause Session” for our clients, colleagues and friends as an opportunity for them to dial in and dial down from the frantic pace of work and home life and give them some space to reflect, review and recharge. We keep it deliberately simple – set up a zoom call, send an invite and when we’ve all dialled in, start a conversation that will go wherever it is meant to go but what has emerged from these calls – people, many of whom are strangers to each other sharing their personal experiences, excavating their own stories, and articulating where they currently find themselves in the middle of this health crisis has been nothing short of amazing, inspiring and energising. Reflecting on this I am reminded that while on the one hand it is incredible, on the other it isn’t all that surprising. As human beings, we’re wired for this type of interaction, conversation and discussion, it feeds our soul to do it and gives us energy which helps us on our way through the days and weeks that seem to be stretching into one long blur right now. Among some of the key insights I have taken from this process over the past 2 months are that:

  • If you create the right conditions people will go into and speak from their heart space and they will go there quicker and more easily than you think.
  • It will become a ritual that they will want to be part of and to which they will return on a regular basis.
  • They will use it as a resource from which they take all sorts of other sources of support, energy and inspiration including recommendations on books, podcasts, and practices, etc.
  • They will use the experience to shape how they show up and lead in lots of others areas of their lives and business

We’re not machines, we’re human beings and everything we do is driven and led by “e-motions” i.e. energy in motion and we need to recognise this more than ever. Right now, when the lines between work and home life have never been more fluid and where the natural rhythms of our days have been up-ended, not creating some space to connect with these “below the line” emotions and experiences does not serve us well.

Acknowledging and honouring where we are at as human beings is really important and in my opinion it’s from this source that the answers and solutions to how we pivot ourselves out of the predicament we find ourselves in lie and I feel humbled, privileged and extremely lucky to have been getting a potent and inspiring dose of this every week for the past two months. I thank my colleagues in Below the Line and every single person who has been a part of these sessions for helping to make them so special, helpful and supportive. You’re all amazing!

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Creating a new routine https://www.belowtheline.ie/creating-a-new-routine Thu, 26 Mar 2020 16:23:18 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1411 The post Creating a new routine appeared first on Below The Line.

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Transitioning to working from home can be a challenge for some. The trick to settling into it is creating a new routine that works for you. Creating a daily routine is a mix of figuring out what you need to get done, and when it needs to be done.

Creating a schedule for your daily tasks and activities that you’re able to stick to will help you to develop good habits and not fall into unproductive, mindless habits.

When creating a new routine, including all the elements that make up your day, including meals, exercise, social time, hobbies, make a list of everything that you need to get done daily for both work and home. This is not a to-do list but more of a brain dump to get everything out of your head.

 

Structure

Structure your day in a way that works for you. If you are an early bird or a night owl, build a structure that will work for you. If you are an early bird, you’re most effective before lunchtime, and you are a night owl you are more creative in the evening.

Before working from home, mornings have been about getting ready and getting out the door. Start your morning with tasks that set your day up for success; whether it’s feeding and walking the pets, exercising, meditation or cleaning up the kitchen.

Use Midday for tasks that don’t require a lot of concentration; answering emails, setting up appointments or running errands. Ensure you have a healthy nutritious lunch and try to get some fresh air.

Evenings can be used for planning for the next day. Set out your work tasks for the next day. Cook your dinner, clean the house. Choose one room every day and give it clean it for 15 minutes.

Your new structure doesn’t have to be rigid. There will be days where you need to go to get groceries or your family need more attention. Use your most productive times for your most important work outputs. Your least productive times can be more fluid.

Test your new routine and make sure it is a good fit for you. Try it out for a week, see how it feels, and if you need to change it, then do. Make adjustments as you go until finding a routine that works well for you.

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How to go about starting your day the healthy way https://www.belowtheline.ie/how-to-go-about-starting-your-day-the-healthy-way Fri, 06 Mar 2020 17:57:24 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1303 The post How to go about starting your day the healthy way appeared first on Below The Line.

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Having a morning routine is a really important way to wake up and greet your new day. It can automatically reduce stress, as it eliminates that morning “rush”, which inevitably leads to a ‘grab and go breakfast’ and sends out a chaotic signal into your energetic field, almost like your chasing a wild horse for the day, yet you never catch the horse!

Having a morning ritual gives you structure, creates a sense of self-care and self-nourishment, and brings calmness and balance into your life.

The energy you wake up in, the emotions you feel, and the mental thoughts you meet the day with, have great power and potential to dictate how your day will run. You either attack your day with vengeance and anger or you greet your day with openness and gratitude.

Creating a peaceful morning ritual aids in creating a peaceful day, which in turn results in a more peaceful life.

 

Below are some useful tips, tools & ideas that you can try to begin to incorporate into your own morning routine.

I have divided them into 3 main sections;

Physical wellness,

Emotional wellness

Mental wellness

 

Try out new rituals and routines, experiment, use your body as a lab and find out what feels good for YOU. We are all unique

and different and beautifully designed that way. Listen to YOUR body and honour its needs.

 

Rituals & routines for Physical Wellness

Begin by setting your alarm 20 – 30 mins earlier than what you normally would. After a few days of rising a little earlier, your body will adapt, and you will no longer feel alien to this “godforsaken new, crazy time”! You will begin to wake with ease naturally.

– Lemon Water:

Upon rising drink a pint-size glass of warm water with lemon. Let this be the first thing that enters your body on rising, and avoid if possible, eating anything for 30 mins after. This kick starts your system for the day. It flushes out toxins that may have been sitting in the GI tract overnight; it aids the digestive process and stimulates the liver to start its detoxifying work. It’s great for the bowels and also fantastic for your skin.

– Movement:

Moving your body is a super way to wake up your system and shake off any tiredness, tension or stress that may be residing in your body. Find something that works best for you. Walking, running, yoga, swimming, attending a gym class or cycling.

Generating movement in the morning releases endorphins and helps boosts your happy hormones, clearing the head from overwhelming noise, and creating focus and clarity for the day ahead.

– Healthy Breakfast

Beginning your day with a breakfast that SUITS you. If of course, breakfast does suit you. The myth that you HAVE to eat breakfast is like telling someone they have to go to bed at 9 pm. We are all different; our bodies are unique, our GIT tracts react differently accordingly. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry. Honour your bodies needs by tuning into it and listening to its signals. There is wisdom and information in every sensation and signal that our body sends us.

Choose foods that are right for you, not what’s has been recommended by a strict diet plan, or what you may have seen on somebody’s Instagram page – find what suits your body. Experiment with different foods, smoothies and juices and see how your body reacts. Add in superfoods, more green veggies, more fruits. Keep adding in the good stuff, and eventually, this will crowd out the cravings for the processed foods. Giving yourself that extra few minutes in the morning enables you to make that smoothie, to prepare your lunch or simply just allow yourself to sit and enjoy your food. Be mindful and present as you eat, and savour the ritual that breakfast is. You’re breaking the fast from the night before. Enjoy it. Try playing some nice music or lighting a candle. Make your morning an enjoyable precious experience.

 

Rituals & routines for Emotional Wellness

– Meditation, silence or Prayer

Meditation helps to burn away the ego’s frantic voice of fear.

When we meditate, we emit different brain waves. We receive information at a much deeper level than we do during normal waking consciousness. When we build it into our daily lives, we emanate vibes. Although invisible, they carry energy.

When we tune into our higher self during meditation, we begin to emit authentic vibes. We begin to reconnect back to our self, to our essence.

When we give ourselves the time and space to stop, be still and listen, we can start to hear all the noise we create in our minds.

It helps us become aware of our thoughts, and enables us to choose which ones we give more energy to wisely. Energy flows where our thoughts go.

As a result, we can begin to see our world differently. It becomes a kinder, more accepting place where we choose to see love instead of anger and peace instead of war.

– Breathing:

Breathwork or pranayama can reduce stress and anxiety, calm the nervous system, create focus and clarity, and recharge your system (mind and body) for the day ahead.

All you need is a pair of healthy lungs, your breath and 10 minutes or less.

 

Sit in an upright position, spine long and straight and begin to Inhale to count of 4, hold…. pause…. then exhale for the count of 4, hold…. pause…. And repeat.

Doing this gentle breathing exercise helps to activate the Parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers the body to rest and digest, calming and grounding the body for the day ahead. The beauty of breathing is that it can be done anywhere and anytime. The car, the shower, the office desk.

Stop, breathe and reconnect.

– Gratitude;

Keeping a gratitude journal is possibly one of the most powerful and immensely rewarding things you can do.

Gratitude is a beautifully empowering force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health.

Jot down 3 things each morning you are grateful for. Think about them in your mind and then feel those blessing in your heart.

It is in the fullness of heart that shifts us from limitation and fear of expansion and love. The deeper our appreciation, the more we feel love in our lives. By cultivating a morning ritual of being grateful, we send out a vibration of love into our world, which can allow our life to flow in harmony with the creative power of the universe.

Rituals & routines for Mental Wellbeing

– Morning Pages

The secret to a productive day is a very simple practice. Every morning, take a pen and three blank pages and write down whatever you feel needs to be released. This practice is called “Morning Pages,” which acts as a mind dump to get rid of clutter from the brain. It’s simply a conscious stream of writing from mind to pen, and pen to paper.

There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. They simply are about anything and everything that crosses your mind, and they are for your eyes only. Do not over-think Morning Pages, just put three pages of anything on the page, and then do three more pages the next day, and so on.

This ritual helps to reduce the feelings of being overwhelmed or panicked. They provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and synchronise the day at hand.

It sets you up for a calmer, clearer and more productive day.

– Visualisation

The daily practice of visualising your dreams as already complete has huge power to rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals and ambitions.

On waking – take a few brief moments to visualise how you want your day to go. Visualise how you look, how you walk, how you feel. Visualise yourself smiling, laughing or singing. By visualising what you want, and focusing on what you have as opposed to what you don’t have – you will greatly dictate how your day will run. By developing a morning ritual of visualising a healthy and happy image, you will begin to create a happy and healthy life.

– Self-talk:

What is the story you tell yourself? What are the first thoughts that cross your mind in the morning?

“Oh, no, not the alarm?” “I wish I had 10 more minutes in bed.”

“Oh, crap, it’s raining!”

“Oh, no the traffic is going to be crazy today, it’s a total disaster, I’m going to be so late!”

Sound familiar?

 

The stories we tell ourselves, the thoughts we think and the pictures we create in our minds are the biggest dictators of the life we lead.

You create your own reality by the thoughts you think and the words you say. Choose your words carefully. Consciously say something nice to yourself or a loved one first thing in the morning. Remember, energy flows where your thoughts go.

Changing your story will change your day. Changing your days will change your life.

Each morning brings about a new day. A day in which you have never ever lived before. Each and every day has infinite possibilities and opportunities. Miracles are waiting to be unfolded if we just allow ourselves to see the beauty and the wonder both in ourselves and all around us.

Creating a morning ritual brings you into the present moment, the present day, which is all we ever have.

This “present” day is the greatest gift of all.

Embrace it …. the healthy way.

 

Love, light and blessings,

Miriam 💕

 

Written b Miriam Kerins, Integrated Health and Wellness coach, Pharmacist and Yoga teacher

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Using emotional intelligence to be a high-performance leader https://www.belowtheline.ie/using-emotional-intelligence-to-be-a-high-performance-leader Fri, 07 Feb 2020 14:02:34 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1111 The post Using emotional intelligence to be a high-performance leader appeared first on Below The Line.

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Emotional intelligence, EQ is a soft skill that employees need to possess to thrive in a team or workplace.  But what exactly is EQ and how does it impact your role as a leader?

Emotional intelligence refers to how you perceive, understand and manage feelings and emotions. And it breaks down in five core components; self-awareness, self-regulation, intrinsic motivation, empathy and social skills.

 

EQ as a Leader

Whether you manage a small team or a whole organisation, as a leader you use emotional intelligence every day. You may not see your team every day, but you are their example of EQ. Leaders need to be aware of how their communication style and behaviours can impact those around them and how it sets the tone for team members to communicate and behave with each other.

 

Leading meetings

While leading a meeting, you need to be constantly reading the body language and facial cues of the room. As the leader you will need to maintain focus of everyone in the room or controlling more assertive employees in the meeting. You need to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to be heard and contribute, particularly the introverted attendees.

 

Attending the meeting

It is not just the leader’s job to ensure that everyone is heard. As an attendee you will also need to tap into your EQ. You may notice a shy employee who has been highly engaged throughout the entire meeting but hasn’t spoken yet. You may find a soft way of introducing that person into the conversation. You might just ask “what do you think?”. And it may be the invitation that the employee needs.

 

Performance review or feedback

People with high emotional intelligence understand what they are good at and what they need help with. They also understand and welcome feedback and criticism and they don’t focus on the negative. They look at it as a learning opportunity and they use it to better themselves.

 

The Below the Line High Performance Leadership is an open programme for up to 10 participants from a variety of backgrounds and sectors that offers a unique experience to engage in an action learning process with contributors from the world of business, high performance sport and adventure.

The High-Performance Leadership Programme will introduce you to thinking from the worlds of business, elite sport and adventure that will help you to tap into your own resources and strengthen your ability to lead yourself and those around you.

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Continuous Improvement can improve your team’s culture https://www.belowtheline.ie/continuous-improvement-team-culture Thu, 30 Jan 2020 14:51:17 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1104 The post Continuous Improvement can improve your team’s culture appeared first on Below The Line.

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When it comes to your team’s performance, how often are you putting out the same fires?

How often do the same problems occur?

 

Often we are so busy putting out fires, that we forget to look at how to improve our processes, performance and team dynamics. There is so much going on day to day in organisations that it can be exhausting for managers and team members alike. Going through the motions means the team is performing adequately to get by.

High-performance teams, however, are committed to continuous improvement. Continuous improvement defines how they approach performance management, learning and innovation. They’re looking at how to be more productive every day in every task so that they are getting better at what they do and require less effort to do it.

 

Continuous improvement can improve team culture

Have you ever felt that every week at work blends into the next? An endless cycle of the same thing. Continuous improvement breathes new life into work and brings relief to the monotony of simple tasks.

As you strive for improvement, things change. You might work smarter; you might invest in more sophisticated tools or software which allows you and your team to develop new skills. And this can motivate team members who want to progress and broaden their career prospects.

Teams that are focused on improvement have a culture where people can speak up, share ideas and feel supported. As team members share ideas and see them being implemented; it will boost confidence and morale. And more ideas will come, more improvements will come. As ideas flow in, engagement, enthusiasm and more will improve. And now your team is performing at its peak.

 

 

The Below the Line High Performance Leadership is an open programme for up to 10 participants from a variety of backgrounds and sectors that offers a unique experience to engage in an action learning process with contributors from the world of business, high performance sport and adventure.

The High Performance Leadership Programme will introduce you to thinking from the worlds of business, elite sport and adventure that will help you to tap into your own resources and strengthen your ability to lead yourself and those around you.

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High-performance communication skills https://www.belowtheline.ie/high-performance-communication-skills Fri, 24 Jan 2020 15:31:01 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1095 The post High-performance communication skills appeared first on Below The Line.

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Communication and teamwork are two of the most important soft skills an employee can have. Soft skills like communication and teamwork are necessary for maximising team performance and a more effective working relationship. Improving your communication skills can greatly improve your team’s performance.

The way communicate is complex. Miscommunication arises from these complexities. Tone, language, body language, word choice, and silence can impact how communication is interpreted. Communication becomes an issue for team performance when subtle forms of communication are misinterpreted, which can lead to conflict or stress.

High performance team focus on open, authentic and clear communication. Clarity and conciseness is key. As with all skills, improving your communication skills can boost both productivity and employee wellbeing.

 

Communication skills

Develop your communication skills

This includes active listening, self-awareness of communication style and acknowledgement of personal barriers (including inherent attitudes, values and beliefs).

 

Learn to ask questions

The more questions you ask, the more information your brain has to draw from, mitigating chances of miscommunication. Asking questions is also a good way to not only clarify information but also to practice active listening.

 

Check your understanding

Use your questioning skills to ‘check in’ with others’ before making assumptions about their behaviour. This is particularly important where virtual communication is used as the non-verbal cues are limited.

 

Create engaging conversations

When team members need to partake in the discussion, rather being told to do something, the team members will be enabled to refine and retain information.

 

Practice self-reflection

Understanding not only your own communication style but also other’s communication styles will minimise miscommunication. Take time to particularly understand your non-verbal reactive cues and how they might be interpreted by others.

 

Developing a high-performance team takes work, and the best way to start crafting the best team you can is to get them engaged with one another. Check out our High-Performance Leadership Programme to ignite your team momentum.

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Building a high-performance culture https://www.belowtheline.ie/building-a-high-performance-culture Thu, 16 Jan 2020 17:51:21 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1087 The post Building a high-performance culture appeared first on Below The Line.

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Creating high-performance teams is a challenge. High performing teams don’t just happen; it takes a lot of hard work, trust and culture for a high-performance team to emerge.

 

A high-performance culture is a set of behaviours and norms that lead to an organisation achieving superior results. Company culture is how and why things get done in an organisation. There is a link between organisational culture and high performance, innovation and growth.

You are looking at the team’s natural energy and creativity, its overall behavioural dynamics, and how that adds to task performance and decision making. If you have a team with a negative culture, it will impact the social health of the team. Measuring the social health and team dynamics will identify how to improve the culture and create a better working environment for the whole team.

 

To make cultural tangible and real, we use analytics to find critical behaviours that must adapt to deliver on your key projects, strategies and goals. Every organisation is different, but there are eight performance dynamics that every business unit, department and organisation share.

 

We regularly see examples of organisations, business units and teams that are not fully maximising the talents, skills and abilities of their people. It’s so common that many of our clients are at a point where they’re willing to accept that this is the way things are.

 

Using the Growth PitStop methodology allows people in teams to engage in a process known as ‘cognitive reframing’. It enables them to begin challenging that idea at both a personal and team level. It also has a way of analysing the potential savings to be realised by cutting unnecessary internal meetings and other forms of collaboration waste.

 

Developing a high-performance team takes work, and the best way to start crafting the best team you can is to get them engaged with one another. Check out our High-Performance Leadership Programme to ignite your team momentum.

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How to be a better leader in 2020 https://www.belowtheline.ie/how-to-be-a-better-leader-in-2020 Thu, 09 Jan 2020 20:01:05 +0000 https://www.belowtheline.ie/?p=1081 The post How to be a better leader in 2020 appeared first on Below The Line.

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Have you taken some time to reflect on 2019 and look at how you can level up in 2020? As leaders, we’re constantly balancing many responsibilities, and it can be easy for us to become overwhelmed or burned out. And it can be harder and harder to get the motivation back and maintain stable performance.

We see it time and time again with our clients.

 

So here are our top ways to improve your leadership skills in 2020

Physical Health

It’s so easy to make excuses when it comes to your physical health. There wasn’t enough time to get lunch, to exercise, to get a break or to meditate. When you neglect your physical health, you are compounding the problem, your energy levels and overall health suffer. And this can impact how you feel mentally too.
Create a daily routine that incorporates some exercise, healthy eating, breaks and meditation and your body and mind will love you for it. When we feel better, we can perform better.

 

Retrain your habits

We all have destructive or self-sabotaging habits. Some of us are aware of the impacts of these habits, and others aren’t. Start by noticing patterns in your daily or weekly routines. And without judgement, start at looking at how you might change that habit. Maybe through visualisation, being mindful or just making a conscious effort to change the habit one day at a time.

 

Mindset

Starting each day with the right mindset will set you up for success. Think about how you want to show up as a leader each day. Do you want to come in high energy, feeling fresh and ready to take on the day? Mindset is a choice; you can be the decisive, inspirational leader or you can let negativity take over. Whenever you feel like you are feeling low energy, take a break, take time off or find somewhere quiet to breathe or meditate so you can reset and realign.

 

Time management

There are only 24 hours in a day, and you only have so much energy to spend. As a leader, you need to play your time effectively. And you need to remove unnecessary activities from your day. Planning your day for work and home will help you prioritise or delegate tasks; either way, it frees you up to do what you do best.

 

Tap into your Passion

We all need a passion. Without passion, we’re just going through the motions. Passion means that you’re doing what you love. As a leader, focus on the parts of your role that you are passionate about, and how you can bring that passion to others each day. There’s always going to be tasks that don’t inspire you but taping to that passion will create energy and enthusiasm that will get you through the more mundane tasks and help you achieve your goals.

 

Goals and Action plans

You can read endless blogs and books on goals and action plans. Ultimately, you want to set up goals that will get you to your long-term vision by setting up short term targets. Break down the big picture into more achievable actions so that you can create a plan that will help you achieve them.

 

Get support

We’re not islands. We need support. Having supportive relationships, whether it’s at home, a mentor or supporters who act as sounding boards, will help you get to your goal quicker. Other people can provide insights and advice, or they can give you a new direction that you never thought of. Develop a support system in both your personal and professional life.

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