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IT’S A FUNNY OLD WORLD

In this column, we provoke fresh thinking and round up some of the weird, wonderful, quirky, surprising – and shocking – stories out there   Four-day week brings benefits Introducing a four-day working week is saving UK business millions, along with improving productivity and environmental performance, according to research from Henley Business School. Its ‘Four Better or Four Worse?’ white paper says half of UK businesses surveyed say they have enabled a four-day working week for some or all of their staff. They report improvements in employee satisfaction, reductions in employee absenteeism, and savings of almost £92 billion (around 2% of […]

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TROUBLESHOOTER: TAKE TIME TO COOL OFF

An executive needs his team to ‘switch off’ after work, to reduce stress and thus increase productivity. Could virtual coaching help in this busy organisation? The issue John, a CEO at an engineering firm, wants to understand how virtual coaching could help him and his workforce develop a greater sense of well-being by improving personal effectiveness and productivity. In coaching, John explains that his team is capable and successful but his concern is that his people have an ‘always on’ mentality. They aren’t switching off during evenings and weekends. John says his team spends much of the day huddled in rooms […]

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IT’S A FUNNY OLD WORLD

In this column, we provoke fresh thinking and round up some of the weird, wonderful, quirky, surprising – and shocking – stories out there   Give up your cake – and have it anyway There’s now a way to get something for yourself that someone else wants, yet still come across as generous, suggests research. Say, for example, you’ve spotted what seems to be the best seat, but there’s someone else around who’ll probably want it too. Instead of offering up that best seat, or grabbing it yourself, say something like, “Go ahead, choose your seat.” Eight studies reveal that […]

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REFLECTIONS: MY MARKERS IN THE SAND

Organisations that buy coaching to support staff well-being, may find the culture is hostile to its success. How can coaches work with that tension? By Lindsay Wittenberg More and more of my clients are showing up stressed (to the point of being signed off work), pressured to a degree that leaves some of them feeling ground down rather than fulfilled (albeit that they’re performing well) or feeling their positions are precarious, dependent sometimes on the whim of a line manager who’s also stressed, pressured or ground down. Organisations that buy coaching to build the well-being of their workforces can, knowingly […]

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HBS TESTS STRESS IN TOP ROWERS

Coaches and mentors fostering resilience in clients will soon benefit from wisdom gleaned from a record-breaking rowing team. Henley Business School has partnered with British team Heads Together and Row, who in December 2018 will take on the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a world famous rowing race from the Canary Islands to Antigua. As well as supporting the crew of three men and one woman, Henley will work with the team on a research project focusing on developing individual and team resilience over time, with Henley researchers following their training, tracking performance and resilience markers and documenting performance during […]

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News: C@W conference roundup. Survey: mindfulness helps clients’ self-awareness

Mindfulness boosts resilience, health and wellbeing, and helps us be more creative and able to embrace change and uncertainty, said Liz Hall. Practising mindfulness helps us develop our attentional control, become more attuned to others, regulate our emotions, generate positive emotions and reframe/reappraise positively. It decreases cortisol, helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the autonomic nervous system, boosts the immune system, and improves a range of medical and psychological conditions, she said, sharing conclusions from a literature review, and interviews with around 50 coaches, coaching clients, neuroscientists and mindfulness experts. Mindfulness also helps us embrace change and uncertainty, and […]

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The gift of giving

How do you reward high performing staff when bonuses are not an option? Music charity Youth Music and coaching and organisational development group Cocomotion, found a way, says Griff Griffiths, Alison Whybrow and Teresa Meek When HR consultant, Teresa Meek, was HR manager at children’s music charity Youth Music, she found herself at an impasse. She had a group of high performing staff, but lacked options to reward them for their efforts. It had crossed her mind that personal development coaching might be something the staff would value, but her initial searches for a supplier had been discouraging: costs were […]

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Welcome to the August 2012 issue of the newsletter

Welcome to the August 2012 issue of the newsletter Mental toughness is a significant factor in performance and wellbeing. Apparently most of us have it, but we don’t know how to use it, say Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk, who have written a book on this theme. In this issue of the newsletter, we feature the first of a two-part series on how to coach for mental toughness- see Highlights. The second part, in the September issue, will focus on attentional control. We’ve set a date for our next coaching conference: 2 July, in London. Our last two conferences sold […]

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RESEARCH ROUNDUP

Easy decision? Think again People often assume difficult decisions are more important than easy ones, according to research published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The paper looked at why people tend to take so long choosing everyday items, such as sandwiches. The researchers from the universities of Florida and Pennsylvania, said that we confuse the array of options and excess of information with decision importance. And it’s more likely to occur when selections seem unimportant to begin with, because consumers expect them to be simple. Pressure is bad for memory Our memories can be negatively affected by repeated stress, […]

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Michael Chaskalson: ‘Mindfulness is fundamental mental hygiene’

More than 200 people flocked to the UK’s first ‘Mindfulness at Work’ conference in Cambridge on 10 February. Speakers included Gladeana McMahon on mindfulness-based cognitive coaching, Margaret Chapman on emotional intelligence, Graham Lee on mindfulness and leadership, Professor Mark Williams from the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness and Michael Chaskalson on the growth of mindfulness. Chaskalson said that when he first started out, there were only 60 scientific papers on mindfulness; now there are 30-40 coming out each month. He noted that mindfulness can enhance simple levels of rationality, capacity for focus and attention, can elevate people’s personal presence, build their […]

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