Last week I attended my first Wake Up Project ‘Mindful Leadership Forum’, Conference called A New Era of Leadership, in Sydney.
There was an impressive line-up of speakers, but the one I was most excited to hear from was Dr Heidi Hanna, because I have been following her work for some time.
Her presentation was called Brain Boss: Simple Strategies to Boost Focus, creativity and resilience.
She is creatively linking the topic of stress with some of the latest neuro-science research and providing some easy to apply innovative approaches to self-care. So much of her presentation linked to many of my coaching and workshop contents, in particular Engagement Is Key Team Workshop.
Below is a summary of 6 reflections I had as a result of participating in her session at the conference, which I thought others may find of interest:
1. Know your brain
Awareness is key, so getting to know the three key parts of the brain that respond when we are stressed is really important. Because it provides valuable information about how we as humans are programmed. As emotionally driven creatures, we constantly scan our world to see if we feel safe.
2. Recharge to bring the brain back online
It is important to consider that we need to identify times in the day when we can recharge, rather than just keep going. When we get smarter at knowing when our batteries are getting low we can consciously recharge and maximise our focus, energy and productivity, as well as improve our overall wellbeing.
3. You see the world through how you FEEL
Energy rhythms are constantly moving within and around us. As leaders, we need to constantly be aware that stress and calm are contagious. To reduce stress, we need to be mindful to minimise multitasking, considering what energy we need to bring into situations and run mindful meetings that give people time to switch off, i.e. take a break between meetings and stick to pre-agreed timelines.
4. Stress Signature
Everyone is different, we all react and respond to stress in different ways. It is helpful to become familiar with your particular stress signature, what are your triggers, how do you respond and what magic ingredients helps you to build resilience. Getting teams to do this work individually and as a group, could significantly improve their levels of engagement and wellbeing.
5. Negativity Exposure
We need to make conscious choices about what negativity we expose ourselves to. When we watch just three minutes of negative news, our stress levels increase. Being mindful of our exposure provides us with the power of choice and increases our ability to reduce a accumulation of subliminal stress.
6. Changing our framework around time
Time has to be one of the top stress triggers for most of us. If we allow it, our worlds are governed by time scarcity and we experience an on-going race against time. Yet we have a choice about reframing our meaning around time. By this I mean we can alter our internal beliefs and conversations and behaviours around time. Questioning the framework from which we relate to time, is an important start.
Managing our energy is fast becoming a topic of interest for many organisations and for good reason. We are living in times when our world feels as if it is moving faster and many of us feel as if we are running to keep up. The work of people like Dr Heidi Hanna are shaping new and exciting ways of reclaiming our ability to develop a healthier relationship with our stress and energy.
For more information about Dr Heidi Hanna’s work, check out her website here. Dr Heidi Hanna is a New York bestselling author and Director of the American Institute of Stress.
We would love to hear your feedback and or gain your insights into how you manage your energy as a leader and the ways in which you support and lead your team to be the best version of themselves. Please connect with us if this is an area of interest to you.
I am incorporating some of Dr Heidi Hanna's research into my content and coaching. Let me know if I can assist you with raising this important issue within your organisation and services.