I Learned about Leading From: That Video Conference

video conferenceI worked for an absolutely charming but rather disorganised boss for 2 years in a multinational office where I was his de facto chief of staff (although that was not in my job description or job title).  He appeared one day asking me to set up a video conference with a partner organisation which was in another country and different time zone.  He also declared that two others from our team should also be present at the VTC.  This was in the days before desktop VTC and Skype were commonplace and such a meeting involved considerable preparation and some expense.

Over the next two weeks, all three of us asked him what was the purpose of the meeting, what was the agenda and what did we need to do in preparation?  We had just asked 3 very busy people at the other end to attend but we couldn’t really articulate why we needed them to be present.  The answer that we received was “It’s about time we had one to catch up” and we could get no further direction.  We explained patiently that we were in regular contact with them, that all of our obligations in both directions were being met and that at our level, there was no need for the VTC to take place.  He persisted and it was duly arranged.

blameWhen the time came, it was a deeply unsatisfactory event.  My boss was late, I had to offer apologies on his behalf and endure the open and obvious annoyance that was being directed at us by 3 senior staff members in our partner organisation.  Once he had arrived, it was clear that there was little of substance to be discussed and we had done little more than just disrupt their already full working day for limited, if any, reward.  This realisation dawned on my boss and later that afternoon he asked me to check a letter that he had written to his opposite number on the other end of the VTC in which he attempted to identify some action points and outcomes and then apologised for the limited value and the disruption stating “that he had been rather let down by his staff who had failed to adequately prepare him or themselves for this meeting.”!  That was the day that he lost us, the same staff who regularly worked late, had their days and even weekends disrupted to cover for his poor organisational skills and who endured the annoyance of others when he was late or had the wrong presentation with him.  I still liked him because he was a nice man but I was deeply hurt by the way in which he failed to take responsibility for his own actions and blamed me and the other team members.

I learned that day that leading is about accountability and loyalty.  Don’t blame others when you fail and even if they have performed poorly, coach them, don’t blame them. Loyalty is a two-way street and you will get it back in spades if you selflessly show it to your team.

I don’t remember who he was quoting, but in “Winning”, Sir Clive Woodward declared:

“When things are going well look out of the window at those who are doing it, when things are going badly, look in the mirror.”

For me, that statement summed up a very worthwhile leadership behaviour pretty well and it is one that I have used to guide me.  Do you look in the mirror when things are going badly?  I do, after all, iT’S Leadership.

Author: Tim Sandiford


the greatest showmanThis weekend I went to the cinema to watch “The Greatest Showman” as so many had told be what an entertaining film it was.  I have to say I was quite surprised as I was not expecting the musical and dance spectacular it turned out to be!!  …and it was an entertaining viewing with many a valuable lesson in humanity.

As you probably know, I am a great fan of lyrics.  I often see them as modern-day poetry and so often with a valuable message within.  In one of the tracks in the film I was reminded of how we can all get carried away with our pursuit of “better things”.  It is all too easy for us to get caught on the treadmill of “bettering ourselves” through promotions and pay rises to attain more: get a bigger house, nicer car, better holidays etc. etc., but what happens in reality?  How often does the pursuit of these things take us further away from what actually makes us happy and what was the original inspiration for our “betterment journey”?

In the song “From Now On” in the film, the words are:

I drank champagne with kings and queens
The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for

In your life, who is it all for?  Do you know?  Do you ever think about it?

I have nothing against hard work nor the pursuit of better and greater things…those who know me well will acknowledge this!  But, my word of caution, to myself and to all is…never forget why you are doing this and who it is for, for once we do, we lose our soul, our authenticity and we are simply on the treadmill for the sake of being on the treadmill, like so many others.

My challenge – Take time to know yourself and your intent.  When the treadmill stops, what would you love others to be saying about you?

After all, iTS Leadership!

Author: Antony Tinker

I Learned about Leading from: That Rock Star

Patriot Warrior 2017

Tactical Engagement Simulation Exercise (TESEX)

In 2006, I was lucky enough to take a battlegroup to train in Canada.  It was a month-long field exercise and we were to spend about 12 days involved in a Tactical Engagement Simulation Exercise (or TESEX).  This is a live training event using lasers to simulate weapons effects and allows participants to play out their plans and practice their tactics, techniques and procedures in an adversarial setting.  Think of the biggest game of LaserQuest that you can imagine and you won’t be far off the mark!

Just before the exercise started, I explained to all of the team leaders what it was I wanted us to achieve, how we were to approach the exercise, and what particular characteristics and behaviours we should seek to develop in ourselves and our own teams. This was particularly important to me because we were due to deploy on operations within 4 months of this exercise ending. Amongst the things I listed were; mission focus, operating with clarity in chaotic situations, risk awareness, avoiding risk aversion, and having the determination to overcome obstacles, setbacks and challenges.  I then announced rather lightheartedly that we would declare the individual within the battlegroup who had best demonstrated the characteristics that we sought to be the “Battlegroup ‘Rock Star’”.  There was no long and involved nomination process, just a short verbal brief of who in their team deserved to recognition and why and we decided there and then.

We fought five mock battles and after each battle duly identified the member of the battlegroup who had displayed such determination, indomitable spirit, initiative and commitment.  Their name was announced to the leadership team with an instruction to inform their teams after each of the After Action Reviews and we then moved onto the next battle.  I thought nothing more of it.

Rock starOne of the recipients was a very popular and likeable soldier nicknamed Bagpuss, who had just kept on going and going in the face of all sorts of obstacles and was absolutely physically spent at the end of that particular mock battle.  Some five days later, at the end of the whole exercise, the Regimental Sergeant Major told me; “Bagpuss and his mates are absolutely over the moon that he was named as the Rock Star.”  We decided there and then to make more of the award than we had originally intended and got certificates made for each of the five, had them framed and then got the 650 men and women of the battlegroup on parade and presented the awards in front of them.

I learned again, that day, the importance of recognition, reward and rituals.  Naming a ‘Rock Star’ started out as a bit of fun but it soon became clear that it was a great vehicle through which we could celebrate and encourage the behaviours that we wanted to see. It allowed me to set the tone for the future and the parade gave me an opportunity to reinforce that message before we went on operations. It was a powerful source of motivation and a way to say thank you, and the recipients looked as if they felt 10 feet tall. It worked because their performance had truly earned it and our recognition was authentic and genuine.

In “Leading”, Sir Alex Ferguson stated that the two most powerful words in his armoury were “Well done”.  The Rock Star was exactly that, a public and genuine demonstrable “Well done”.  From then on, I always promoted people in front of their peers, ensured that all successes were celebrated and celebrated publicly and it became a ritual.

How much time do you spend identifying and then celebrating your ‘Rock Star’s’? Enough?

After all, iT’S Leadership!!

Author: Tim Sandiford

STOP…right now…and read this!

“Stop right now thank you very much,
I need somebody with a human touch,
Hey you always on the run,
Gotta slow it down baby, gotta have some fun”


BritYes…I’ve started the year with a blog that starts with Spice Girl lyrics! Maybe it’s because I had Spice Girls on my mind recently as someone you know went to a NYE party dressed as one (you know…that Union Jack dress!!??)…they weren’t the only one though!!

But more seriously, in my new year reading there has been a constant theme about the modern disease of running to achieve everything and do everything on our task lists and increasing our possessions and getting all the things we want and didn’t get at Christmas!!!  It can be exhausting! So many looking to define themselves by what they have or what they do, or simply just lost on the daily “treadmill of life”.  There’s no judgement here, we ALL do it and have done it!

One of the books I’ve been reading shared an account from a youngish American lawyer…a wife, mother of two young kids, home-keeper and main bread winner in the house, who found herself constantly chasing her tail to get EVERYTHING done, and never seeming to get further than half way through the infinite task list! (Do you know that feeling?)

Anyway, on one trip she boarded a flight and her mind was buzzing with all the things she had to do for her day ahead and other things she needed to delegate to others.  Then, when the plane got to the start of the runway it stopped.  She stopped.  Everything became still for a moment.  She suddenly had a realisation: “even the plane stops before it takes off!” and she started to laugh.

Business concept with pair running on hamster wheelThe point of course is, if we want to really FLY, for our careers and our personal journeys to “take off”, then we have to get off the treadmill of daily life and stop, get clarity of what exactly we want to do and why, and then get on with that with total presence and to a certain extent “bloody minded focus” (although this is no excuse for inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour nor a disregard for teamwork!  We are talking about getting on with it with total presence and the focus and energy that it brings.) There’s simply no better time of year to do this (and then make it a regular thing!)

So, 21 years since the Spice Girls released their song, maybe read it now with a new insight and listen deeply to what message it gives.  Do you want a greater human connection with those you live with and work with?  Do you want more fun?  More success?  Then you know what you’ve got to do…

Stop right now, thank you very much,
I need somebody with a human touch.
Hey you! always on the run,
Gotta slow it down baby, gotta have some fun

Have fun!  Always:-)


Author: Antony Tinker

From average to exceptional – time out, luxury or necessity?

My daughter goes to a school in North Wales, quite a way from where we live and a week ago I decided that rather than just go to see the teachers and pick her up and come straight home again, which is a 9-hour round trip, I would take an north walesextra day and take some time out. I had been very busy, running hard in my business, delivering value for my clients and it had been a particularly tricky time for my family as my daughters had both transitioned into the next phase at school and I felt I needed to take a break to unwind, re-energise and re-connect with myself and my why.

There is something about the air in Wales that I love and also something about the sea and the sea air which brings an inner peace to me and helps me to re-charge my batteries and re-connect with myself.

Before I went on my trip though, I felt really guilty about taking time out, and on the surface, it looked like I couldn’t afford to take the time, as I was so busy working in my business and delivering great programmes for my clients and also my younger daughter had been quite ill and had ended up in hospital for a couple of days, so taking even more time out seemed like a luxury I couldn’t afford. My inner wisdom, however, knew that if I was going to be able to continue to stay ahead, deliver exceptional programmes for my clients and build my business to the next level and achieve my purpose, I would need to challenge my conventional thinking and change the status quo and maybe change a few things in order to operate at a new level, in other words an upgrade!

relaxing-officeOn the surface however, there was no evidence that I needed to change a anything, as nothing was “broken” that needed “fixing” however my inner wisdom knew that it was a good idea and all I needed to do was to trust myself and go with the flow and not over think my way out of it (which I can often do!).  Anyway, my thinking went like this – in the worst-case scenario, I would simply take the time out and catch up on some sleep and feel better afterwards, that alone wouldn’t be a bad outcome and in the best-case scenario I would re-energise, see some amazing countryside, re-connect with my “why” and get a few pointers to help me move forward with more purpose.

The scary thing was that I didn’t really know what I needed to do to achieve the best case scenario, however I decided to take a bit of my own medicine and give myself one thing to do for the 2 days that I often give to my clients to do as an exercise, that was to ask myself “I’d love it if….” the key is when given this task, not to over think it, to let go of it and simply to have it your mind and to trust that something will come, as and when you are ready.

"We must never be too busy to talk time to sharpen the saw" - Stephen Covey

“We must never be too busy to take time to sharpen the saw” – Stephen Covey

The outcome was that I had a fabulous time on my own, appreciating the dramatic scenery of North Wales, discovering a great walk which took me up a large very steep hill, which once I got to the top, I had an amazing view of the coastline and the surrounding countryside for miles around.  The thing I realised was that if I had stayed down at the bottom of the hill, there was no way I would have been able to appreciate the view and all the amazing things I was able to see from the top, so it really was worth the effort making the steep climb to the top, even when it got a bit slippery in the mud.  I realised that the hill was a metaphor for my trip, how often am I deep in the detail (the content), running fast, with no time to check in and to look up and see where I am going and acknowledge my achievements so far and appreciate the journey and appreciate the amazing surroundings that I live in, As Stephen Covey would say, how often are we “too busy sawing” with no time to “sharpen the saw’.

To be honest, I enjoyed my time so much that I had forgotten about the task I had set myself on my journey up! Anyway, what transpired was that on my first night home from my trip, I woke up at 3am, mind buzzing so much, that I had to write my thoughts down before I went back to sleep, and all my answers to “I’d love it if…”  came flooding out. In fact, what happened is that it took me back to my “why” which is about making a difference, and it gave me a deeper connection to this why at a whole new level, I also had some ideas for how to get started with the next part of my journey to achieving it.

 ~Author: Lucy Czakan

Rubbish! – “Leave” it alone!

rubbish-in-headHave you ever considered the amount of litter we collect on a daily basis?

Not the litter you put in the bin, but the stuff you collect in your head, every single day.  How often do you empty your waste bin on your laptop?  …and what about the one in your head?!?!

Leaving home this morning, I’m conscious I am not home again until Friday evening as I drag my suitcase full of my weeks clothes behind me as I walk to the station.  About halfway down the hill I become conscious of a type of hissing, scraping sound and wonder what it can be.  I look around me as it seems to be getting louder and louder and then I notice a huge pile of leaves being swept along by the bottom of my case.  Of course, I lift my case up and let the leaves stay where they are…..an operation I choose to repeat a few times down the hill…..

…but this got me smiling and laughing!  What a great analogy for what happens to us every day of our lives!  We drag our “life” along like a suitcase and without conscious thought, collect loads of “dead leaves” which bundle together and gradually start to become noisy and eventually impede our performance and progression!  There’s definitely a physical resistance created and yet the “noise” these things make in our head can grow and grow and make it impossible for the clarity of our natural innate wisdom to be heard.

autumnYet, on realising this, the great thing is, all we have to do is “lift the case and let them be” and the system self-corrects.  We don’t need to take time analysing them all, repacking them, putting them in a bin…they are natural and just like the leaves will blow away, disintegrate naturally and in doing so provide much nutrients for future growth.

I love this time of year!  The colours a wonderful reflection of natures circle of continuous growth.

Why not stop for a minute today, look around you and appreciate such physical and metaphysical beauty.

Above all…have fun, always.

~Author: Antony Tinker

Why don’t we celebrate honest conversations?

honest conversation5I have recently changed careers and one of my new responsibilities has been to conduct a series of telephone explorations with a wide variety of team members from a variety of companies.  These conversations have revolved around what is going well and what not so well in their teams and business areas.  I have been impressed with everybody’s openness and honesty with me during those calls.  It has always been borne of a desire to improve – to improve relationships, to improve energy management, to improve output, to be more efficient and so on.  Nobody has been honest and open with me because they want to take a pop at somebody or because they want to gain an advantage over a colleague, yet almost without fail, each conversation has finished with the interviewee apologising for their openness and saying, “I’m sorry if I have appeared overly negative.”

Those closing statements made me look back at my last job, where I was an internal consultant with a clear and explicit brief to be prepared to speak truth unto power.  I realise now that when out and about, I was regularly acting as an Agony Aunt, hearing the honest conversation that those I was talking to wanted to have with their bosses.  The same has applied here.

So, what is it that stops us from doing so?  Fear!  Fear of being seen as negative, fear of not being seen as on-board with the newest shiny idea; fear of being perceived as closed to progress and new ideas, fear of being seen as the one who stifles the energy and most of all, fear of the consequence of that perception (promotion, opportunity, reward, security and on it goes).  In short, fear that our boss will see us through a negative lens and that nothing will change so there is no point in taking the risk.

So, why do leaders get irritated by open and honest comment?  Because they are busy, because they have external pressures being brought to bear, because they believe that they have too little time to deal with things as they would wish, because deadlines are looming, because it will create more work when they thought the project was over and because they too have concerns about how they will be perceived and judged.

I know and believe this because I too have been there but this is a list of excuses and reasons, there is only one cause – our leadership.  We, as leaders have allowed the fears to grow and dominate our minds and the minds of those we are meant to be leading.  Young officers in the Army are taught that leadership is about doing the right thing on a difficult day when no-one is watching.  Often that right thing is creating an environment where people can speak, listening to them without Business Meeting In Busy Office Foyer Areajudgement, acknowledging their comments and observations and being prepared to do the right thing no matter what the pain.  It’s worth it in the long run because improvement is always at the root of an honest conversation but it won’t happen without your leadership.  How about committing to it today?

If you’d like us to help your leaders develop further, then contact the iTS Leadership team today.

Author: Tim Sandiford

Pink balls and floodlights – how small changes to traditions produce winning results

cricket bat and ballWhen it comes to sporting traditions, few can rival the sound of (red) leather on willow on a bright English summer’s afternoon.  Idyllic. Iconic.  Cricket at its best…or is it?

It’s certainly a tradition that has stood the test – no pun intended – of time, albeit the sun has not always played its part as wholeheartedly as one might wish.

But over the years, crowds have started to dwindle and some have come to question the five-day format of the sport and whether it can keep pulling in the spectators who are themselves leading increasingly fast-paced lives, rarely able or willing to devote precious time away from the workplace or family to watch their team grind out the runs out in the middle, playing it safe and frequently resulting in a lacklustre draw. ‘At least we didn’t lose,’ fans, commentators and players chorus.

No, but nor did the game make any significant strides forward in maintaining its appeal and, critically, winning round a new generation of followers.

Sound familiar in your business life? Sticking with traditional ways of doing things, not taking any chances by employing some new strategies and tactics, playing by the rules of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t’ fix it’?

You’re not alone. Tried and tested is probably the most typical method of doing business, rarely failing but never taking you to the top of your league either.

So what would happen if you dared to be different, tried dipping your toe in the water of a new way of working, took a winning formula, thought outside the box and just tweaked it around the edges?

We all know the old adage, failing to plan is planning to fail, and to make such sweeping changes to a business model you really need to take those around you with you. It’s what leaders do, and a big part of conveying that message is in the choice of words we use to deliver it.

Pink ballWhen the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that England was to host its first day-night Test Match earlier this month between England the West Indies, they realised it was a chance to capitalise on a new market, engaging with a totally new crowd of spectators. But they also recognised the need to take die-hard fans of the traditional game with them and there’s no mistaking the selling power of the message in their press release announcing the new format and the small but oh so significant change of red ball to pink, required as the traditional red leather is hard to distinguish under the glare of the floodlights introduced for the new playing schedule which ensures bad light will never stop play – an age old problem of cricket in England’s temperamental summer weather. 

You can sense the power of positivity in the words they’ve chosen and the key messages around excitement, innovation and opportunity whilst retaining and building on the link with tradition:

“Bringing day/night Test cricket to England is an innovative and very exciting development for the game, and we’re thrilled that Edgbaston will be the first venue to host a match played in this format.”

“We will be working very closely with our delivery partners and key stakeholders on our planning and operations to ensure that this first ever day/night Investec Test Match is a huge success.”

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club

“It’s a great opportunity to attract more fans to the game and see how staging Test cricket in the afternoon and evening fits with working patterns and modern lifestyles, whilst maintaining the deep tradition of Test match cricket.”

“We think it can help attract different fans and families to Test cricket and the innovation will certainly put the five-day game under the spotlight. Our partners can also see the clear opportunity and have been supportive as we build towards this big occasion.”

ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison

Interestingly, more than 98% of tickets sold out and a few weeks before the match, more than 40% of tickets had been purchased by first-time buyers, suggesting the idea of work-friendly hours had won over a new legion of fans.

The fact that England went on to thrash their opponents can only have helped garner support for the new format, pink balls and all!

Tradition has its place in all walks of life, personal, sporting and business, but it counts for little if those in charge aren’t prepared to innovate and take bold, but well-considered, decisions.

Leaders need to demonstrate a variety of qualities to develop and deliver those decisions as there is often a danger they will not be well-received initially. Relevant skills include listening to those around them, engaging with peers and stakeholders, being brave, communicating their decisions positively with those tasked with implementing them, exhibiting and maintaining appropriate energy levels – in themselves and their teams – to secure the best chance of success, and providing direction for colleagues and, ultimately, their organisation. 

Yes, it’s a lot of ball juggling, but effective leaders do this very successfully and steer organisations through changes in direction or the introduction of necessary new business models to keep them at the top of their game.

If you’d like us to help your leaders develop further on their journey, then contact the iTS Leadership team today.

Author: Jayne George

Saving our best for when?

celebrations_fluteschannel no 5I had the poignant task of clearing out my parents’ home a while ago. Amongst many memories unearthed, I came across the most special crystal champagne and wine glasses along with other stunning matching glassware. Also I found the large unopened bottle of Channel No.5 I’d given my mum as a birthday present to make her feel special every time she wore it.

I’d never seen the crystal glassware used in all the time I’d lived there or when I visited and assume that they were a wedding present – so possibly unused in over 60 years.

I’m sure that both the glassware and perfume were deemed ‘too good’ for everyday use and were being kept for special occasions – ‘for best’. Rather like the front rooms of my grandparents’ homes, which held untold mystery to my cousins and myself as small children, as the door was always closed and we weren’t allowed to enter. When, eventually, the door did open for important visitors and special occasions, the best room unveiled its hidden gems of beautiful furniture, ornaments and vases filled with fresh flowers cut from the garden. It was dressed for best and performed well in making visitors feel welcome and important.

doorlightIt struck me as sad that ‘special enough’ times hadn’t happened as the crystal glassware and Channel No.5 remained unused. Or times and events weren’t perceived as being special enough. My cousins and I were in awe of the visitors who were welcomed into the best room as, clearly, they were deemed as being important and couldn’t have failed to feel treated as such. I’m sure their treatment would have affected how they behaved and felt about my grandparents. And I’m sure my grandparents would have been treated with the same respect and indulgence when returning visits.

It made me realise that special occasions aren’t as rare as my parents had thought.

Isn’t every day, every occasion, every meeting and every interaction special? Aren’t all our family, friends, colleagues and customers special? Aren’t we ourselves special?

If we treated ourselves and everyone we interact with, as highly valued, how would that change how we feel about ourselves and how we would make others feel if we get out and use our best crystal glassware and perfume? How would that feeling affect how others and we behave towards each other? What difference would that make to our performance as leaders of our lives and businesses?

bigstock-Business-woman-with-hand-exten-43264675-1It’s easy to let complacency be the norm and let ourselves believe that we’ll make more effort tomorrow for that important meeting. Why not make today and all its interactions be the most important and the people we meet be indulged with our full attention and our ‘best’ behaviour towards them?

I urge us all to spray on our Channel No.5 and raise our crystal glassware to making each and every day our best yet!

If you’d like to know more about getting the best out of yourself and your team, please do get in touch.

Author: Sandra Whitehead

The Lost Art of Conversation

On finally surfacing from an intense few months of work, I have at last transitioned from “doing” to “being” mode, and it occurred to me how little time is afforded to real, meaningful conversations, instead filling our lives with goals, tasks and general busyness.

I feel nostalgic for times past where the long days of summer involved hours of deep conversation, fuelled by the freedom of an unknowing, inquisitive mind.  Of course, in these moments of recollection, I may have donned my rose-tinted spectacles, but it seems to me that real conversation is an increasingly lost art.  We live in a world where communication is supposedly easier than ever.  We are available 24/7 and expect the same of others, we share the details of our lives via multiple social media platforms and often pride ourselves in how many ‘contacts’ or ‘friends’ we have. In fact, we seem to be constantly communicating and yet have less conversation.

conversationIt is a paradox that technology connects us instantly to multiple worlds whilst simultaneously killing real conversation.  The sight of screen-fixed faces leaves me with a sense that technology somehow results in an experience of everyone being lonely together.

The quality of relationships seems to be deteriorating, both within our professional and personal lives.   Organisational demands necessitate a goal focused mindset, with the juggling of multiple priorities and expectations at any one time.  Budgets are stretched and organisational structures lean.   The thought of taking time to have a conversation that doesn’t involve reviewing the latest sales targets or budget revisions but instead is a deeper, more personal exchange seems something aspirational, even a little fantastical.

The price we pay for remaining in this “doing” mode for most, if not all, of the time is the squeezing out of more meaningful connections, resulting in transactional relationships at home and at work.  We have lost the art of how to really converse.

Professor Turkle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes this as psychological lockjaw.  Whilst many organisations speak passionately about employee wellbeing and invest heavily in enhancing communication skills, with time being such a scarce resource, it feels increasingly difficult to experience a real meeting of minds.  A true conversation is more than just the words, it is what goes on between the participants, in the eyes and the body.  Conversation is deeply personal, it requires a vulnerability that may be hard to show and is mutual, listening to others and being heard.

lonelyAs a coach and psychotherapist, I am often struck by the sense of loneliness and isolation that people experience in their lives.  Despite family and friends and busy professional lives, this real, deep connection is so often absent.   Social connection is a fundamental part of the human operating system, our brains and bodies are designed to function optimally in contact with others, not in isolation.  Our well-being suffers when our need for social connection is not met and before long we can find ourselves dwelling in a defensive state, perceiving the world to be threatening.  From this position, it is a tall order to retain the open and curious mind that enables a deeper connection.

As Cacioppo and Patrick found in their research, when we feel connected we are less stressed, our physical systems work more effectively and we send positive social signals which in turn enables us to receive more positive social signals, ultimately enabling a greater sense of well-being.  It seems the increasing lack of real conversation results in a missed opportunity for greater discovery about ourselves and about others and leaves a world of creativity untapped.

group-conversationSo, I for one am looking forward to rekindling the halcyon days of summer, filled with social connection and long, deep, honest conversations.  Whilst the demands of your daily life may make it seem like just another thing to add to your ‘to-do’ list, I invite you to seize any opportunity over this holiday period to give a little of yourself and welcome the same from others.

If you would like to explore how you may develop the art of conversation, either for you personally or for your business, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

 ~Author: Jill Threadgold