It’s been a challenging few years and it’s time to help your team to move from anxiety, stress, low mood and burnout into high performance, resilience, courage and wellbeing through the tools of The Mind Strength Method. The Mind Strength Method is a practical toolkit developed through my work as a high performance and leadership coach with CEOs and Executives and my work as founder of The Anxiety Clinic. It is four simple steps built on neuroscience to help your team be set for success.
The Mind Strength Method starts with building awareness around your team’s fight or flight driven thoughts, feelings and actions. What are the worry stories that are taking hold, the feelings of stress and the unhelpful behaviours that get in the way of peak performance? Worry is our struggle with uncertainty. Help your team to notice and get some distance from the worry stories that are taking place. Recognise worry as a futile mental process and help the team to move to problem-solving and action planning around what’s in their control. Accepting the situation you are in and all the unknowns and challenges will enable you to reengage the rational mind. There is always uncertainty to deal with, not least the uncertainty of the pandemic, so it’s important to accept the situation for what it is, let go of the struggle with uncertainty and focus on empowered effort around what you can control.
Help your team to recognise the unhelpful actions that every person might do from time to time when feeling stressed or anxious. These behaviours tend to cluster around fight behaviours such as attacking, defending, gossiping, or undermining each other, flight behaviours such as avoiding, procrastinating or being passive, or a need for certainty and control, such as excessive reassurance-seeking, people-pleasing or overchecking. You can only change what you are aware of in the first place so building awareness around the things that get in the way of mental health, wellbeing and success is key.
The next step involves helping your team to realign to the business mission, purpose, organisational values, strategic goals and strategic actions. This is the why which forms the foundation for moving forward, it motivates the team and reignites the energy to act. It becomes much easier to stand up to worry and fear when you have clarity of an alternative pathway. In business and life, high performance is achieved when there is alignment around the pull towards a desired or strategic values-aligned direction rather than the push away from fear of something bad happening.
Part of the strategic planning process involves validating the experiences of the team, celebrating wins and reflecting on lessons learned. Some powerful questions are, “What can we learn from this?” and, “How can we do things even better next time?”
Be clear on your organisational values. Make them specific to your business and team. Lead by example and champion behaviours that demonstrate alignment to values.
Finally, ensure that the team is embracing wellbeing strategies. There is a strong connection between the body and the mind. By nurturing your physical wellbeing with powerful mood boosters such as exercise and movement, eating regular, balanced meals, staying hydrated, connecting with family and friends and engaging in extra-curricular interests, your team will mitigate against burnout and open up a more strategic and creative mind. When you embrace strategies to protect against stress, anxiety, low mood and burnout from taking hold, your team is going to be engaging from a mindset of collaboration, connection and engagement, facilitating synergy, creativity and high performing action.
Now you have some tools to take you out of fight or flight mode whenever you need it and not only prevent burnout but help your team to build a high performing, thriving mindset.