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Posts from the ‘Resources’ Category

Books on mindfulness and compassion

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Mindfulness
by Williams Penman
MINDFULNESS reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that can be incorporated into daily life to help break the cycle of unhappiness, stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion and promote genuine joie de vivre. It's the kind of happiness that ...
Lovingkindness
by Sharon Salzberg
Explains how the Buddhist path can help individuals discover the inner joy within themselves, and shares simple Buddhist teachings and suggestions for meditation.
The Little Mindfulness Workbook
by Gary Hennessy
A practical, jargon-free workbook for you to put mindfulness strategies into practice and improve your life. Explore the key principles of mindfulness to reduce stress and be more effective and efficient, generally improving your well-being.
Love 2.0
by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
We all know love matters, but in this groundbreaking book positive emotions expert Barbara Fredrickson shows us how much. Even more than happiness and optimism, love holds the key to improving our mental and physical health as well as lengthening ...
Buddha's Brain
by Rick Hanson
Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Gandhi, and the Buddha all had brains built essentially like anyone else's, yet they were able to harness their thoughts and shape their patterns of thinking in ways that changed history. With new breakthroughs in modern ...

mindfulness MBSR course reported participant benefits

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I have been tracking informally over the year participants feedback at the end of the course as to how they feel different as a result of taking the course…While not hugely scientific it is useful to hear what past participants have said. All feedback was collected anonymously as a tick box questionnaire !

100% of people feel more aware

92% of people feel more in touch with themselves

84% felt less anxious

81% felt less stressed

76% of people felt better about themselves and

75% felt more contented

other stats included 66% of people reporting feeling less hijacked by negative moods, 64% appreciate life more and 66% felt their relationships had improved with others

So what are you waiting for? Next course starts 21st April 2017 ! Taster session 10th March 2017. Find out more here

 

Mindtrip September Reflections on burnout and compassion

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mindtrip September reflections on burnout and compassion

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mindtrip reflections of ideas, thoughts, hints and tips and book recommendations focused around building a flourishing work environment.

With the first days of Autumn, we come to a time of nights getting longer, mists and a sense of letting go and releasing things that have been a burden. In this Reflections I want to focus on burnout, why it happens and what we can do to build greater balance in our lives and explore the concept of compassion and particularly self compassion as a mediator to the stresses and strains of our increasingly ‘always on’ world. This Reflections is based on the work of Paul Gilbert (http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/index.htm) and Kristin Neff (http://www.self-compassion.org) .

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Positive Emotions: Love

July 2nd, 2013

Heather Johnston

Barbara Fredrickson’s latest book is called love 2.0 It builds on her first book-Positivity, picking up on the strengths of positive emotions in enhancing our wellbeing and focusing specifically on the emotion of Love as a key to improving our mental and physical health. However the twist is that she looks at what she calls this supreme emotion from a scientific perspective, stating that positive emotions and particularly love can set off upward spirals in you life that lift you up and make you a better version of yourself.

She sees love as tiny ‘micro moments of connection’ over a shared positive emotion. This can be between strangers and is not just focused at grand romantic gestures. For love to thrive though, people need to feel safe. The second pre-condition is a true sensory and timely connection, good eye contact and people to be both physically and emotionally present- social networking and texting doesn’t have the same impact!

So how do we start to develop further our loving emotions and micro moments of connections for our and others benefit> Take a look at the tools and meditations on Barbara’s site and hear more about Barbara and her work in this short video.

 

 

 

 

Books on Positivity and developing Resilience

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In my coaching with individuals and supporting Leaders and Managers within Organisations the topic of resilience, positivity and ‘can-do’ attitude generally comes up. The following are books that talk about concepts, tools and perspectives that are at the heart of my coaching with both individuals and organisations. Each book interlinks with the others and focuses on the relationship between how we see the world and our emotional and behavioural reaction to it.

To help us in developing our resilience, through coaching, it is useful to explore the links between our thoughts, actions and emotions when people are resilient and when they are not.

Source
by Joseph Jaworski
As he did in his classic Synchronicity, Joseph Jaworski once again takes us on a mind-expanding journey, this time to the very heart of creativity and deep knowing. Institutions of all sorts are facing profound change today, with complexity ...
Life Coaching
by Michael Neenan
The way we think profoundly influences the way we feel, so learning to think differently can enable us to feel and act differently. Derived from the methods of cognitive behaviour therapy, this book shows how to tackle self-defeating thinking and ...
Mindset
by Carol S. Dweck
The updated edition of the book that has changed millions of lives with its insights into the growth mindset. After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking ...
Positivity
by Barbara Fredrickson
World renowned researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson gives you the lab-tested tools necessary to create a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life through a process she calls "the upward spiral." You’ll discover: •What positivity is, and why it ...
Conquer Your Stress
by Cary L. Cooper
The authors of this text assert that conquering work stress is actually no different from acquiring any other management skill: it just needs understanding and practice.
Curious?
by Todd Kashdan, PhD
“Curious? is one of those rare books that can make you rethink how you see the world.” —Arianna Huffington “This is the perfect book to read when you are having second thoughts about challenging yourself to explore that next step in life ...
The Resilience Factor
by Karen Reivich
A look at the role of resilience in promoting a happy and healthy life introduces seven proven techniques for developing the capacity for coping with the challenges and setbacks of life, from self-criticism and negative self-images to crises ...
Authentic Happiness
by Martin Seligman
'A practical map for a flourishing life' (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence) In this groundbreaking, heart-lifting and deeply useful book, Martin Seligman, internationally esteemed psychologist and the father of Positive Psychology ...
Flourish
by Martin E. P. Seligman
Explains the four pillars of well-being--meaning and purpose, positive emotions, relationships, and accomplishment--placing emphasis on meaning and purpose as the most important for achieving a life of fulfillment.
Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment ...

 

Books that inform my approach to Coaching

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Great Books that focus on some of the techniques that inform my coaching.

Click on any of the links to be taken to my public google bookshelf which will tell you a bit more about the book, any reviews and where to buy or find electronically:

Positivity
by Barbara Fredrickson
One of the leading members of the positive psychology movement draws on cutting-edge research and lab-tested tools to explain: • Why positivity is more important than happiness • How it relieves depression, broadens minds, and builds lives • How ...
Happiness by Design
by Paul Dolan
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Few books change one's life; in 48 hours this has improved mine' Jenni Russell, Sunday Times How can we make it easier to be happy? Using the latest cutting-edge research, Professor Paul Dolan reveals that wellbeing ...
Positive Psychology Coaching
by Robert Biswas-Diener
Positive psychology moves psychology from a medical model toward a strengths model to help clients shore up their strengths and thereby lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Positive Psychology Coaching: Putting the Science of Happiness to Work ...
Happiness
by P. Richard G. Layard
Draws on a range of scientific research in such fields as psychology, sociology, and applied economics in a study that seeks to define happiness while identifying its causes and the means that are available to everyday individuals to pursue and ...
The Strengths Book
by Alex Linley
Realise your strengths and you'll be realising the best of you. Do you want to be confident, successful, and sustainably happy? Do you want to achieve your goals and enjoy beter realtionships? Leading strengths experts provide the evidence that ...
Life Coaching
by Michael Neenan
The way we think profoundly influences the way we feel, so learning to think differently can enable us to feel and act differently. Derived from the methods of cognitive behaviour therapy, this book shows how to tackle self-defeating thinking and ...
Source
by Joseph Jaworski
As he did in his classic Synchronicity, Joseph Jaworski once again takes us on a mind-expanding journey, this time to the very heart of creativity and deep knowing. Institutions of all sorts are facing profound change today, with complexity ...
Mindset
by Carol S. Dweck
The updated edition of the book that has changed millions of lives with its insights into the growth mindset. After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking ...
Life Choices, Life Changes
by Dina Glouberman
Everything we create in life begins as an image in the mind, whether it's a passionate affair or a new business venture. But the power of images goes well beyond illustrating the 'germ of an idea'; used in its full capacity, it has the potential ...
Authentic Happiness
by Martin Seligman
'A practical map for a flourishing life' (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence) In this groundbreaking, heart-lifting and deeply useful book, Martin Seligman, internationally esteemed psychologist and the father of Positive Psychology ...

Career Book Recommendations

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Great Books that I have read around helping clients with career moves and choices. Some of the books focus on understanding your strengths and talents, others about mindset and others around process. Let me know what you think.

Click on any of the links to be taken to my public google bookshelf which will tell you a bit more about the book, any reviews and where to buy or find electronically:

How to Find Fulfilling Work
by Roman Krznaric
The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age and this inspirational book reveals how one might make it a reality. It explores the competing claims we face for money and status while doing something meaningful and in ...
It's Your Life - What Are You Going to Do with It?
by Anthony Grant
This revised edition of Coach Yourself is for anyone who wants to lead a more purposeful, more successful life. Packed full of scientifically tested psychological tips and techniques, this highly practical book will show you how to become your ...
The Pathfinder
by Nicholas Lore
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A Life at Work
by Thomas Moore
A guide to finding meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction in one's professional life helps readers to overcome the obstacles and challenges that keep them from finding purpose in their chosen career.
Getting Unstuck
by Timothy Butler
You will experience psychological impasse many times in your life. During these times, you have the sensation that you’re stuck or paralyzed. You’re convinced that something must change, whether in your work or personal life. Though this feeling ...
The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People, Third Edition
by Carol Eikleberry
You don't have to stifle your creative impulses to pay the bills. For anyone who's ever been told, "Don't quit your day job," career counselor Carol Eikleberry is here to say, "Pursue your dreams!" Now in its third edition, her inspiring guide ...
If Not Now, When?
by Camilla Arnold
Practical and expert advice for anyone wanting to change careers.
Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment ...

Wellbeing at Work Survey for both Individuals, Teams and Organisations

January 15th, 2013

Heather Johnston

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Update: This survey has now been phased out. I do have a number of other surveys I use please do contact me to find out more.

At the end of last year, to further develop my services to sustain wellbeing within organisations in these current tough times, I attended a Masterclass with Nic Marks on a new Wellbeing at Work survey. Nic is known for his great work on wellbeing and developing the happy planet index

The survey is available to individuals and small teams (up to 5) and for a small cost of £6 per head (plus VAT) an organisation/team can survey its staff and gets results broken down by their own chosen demographics. Larger organisations will be able to take advantage of lowering marginal costs per user if they choose to survey the whole organisation. Small organisations can for the first time have a state of the art staff survey at an exceptionally reasonable cost.

The survey is based on a dynamic model of wellbeing developed with leading experts and is uniquely grounded in the latest psychological findings around wellbeing and happiness. Each question has been carefully selected to reflect what the evidence says impacts well-being at work and has been tested with thousands of respondents.

The wellbeing survey results give a more complete picture of employees’ experience than standard engagement surveys as it includes engagement and stress but also employees’ positive emotional experiences. For Chief Executives, Directors and HR departments the results can be compared between teams or by other demographics and the results act as a “mirror” reflecting back what is happening within the organisation and help people to have insights on how work could be happier.

What I like about the survey is that it provides instant individual as well as organisational results for real-time feedback, provides a simple interface presenting results in traffic light colours and has National benchmarks automatically built into the questions, providing individuals, teams and organisations with an anchor point to understand and compare scores. The survey can also be repeated over time to measure any change. To find out more have a look at the survey website

If you are interested in taking a temperature check of your organisation or team and are committed to some follow up action I believe this is a great tool to open up some very important discussions around sustaining and improving happiness at work. As research shows happier employees are more productive, healthier and creative and are more loyal and provide better customer service to clients. A win-win!

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more!

 

Being good enough

May 18th, 2012

Heather Johnston

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It takes huge courage to admit to either yourself or others that we are struggling or feeling vulnerable… Particularly if you are a leader. It could be that we haven’t met the goals we set ourselves or our team/organisation and are judging ourselves, that we have been made redundant or haven’t got the job we want and think we are a failure or that we didn’t get the performance rating or promotion that others have. Outside of work it could come in many forms around perceived societal measures of success or juggling home and work life.

Core to these feelings of vulnerability are a sense of shame, a feeling that you are ‘bad’ in some way.  By its very nature shame drives you to hide and self judge and creates a sense that you are not good enough. It gets further compounded, if you are a Leader, with a sense of needing to be seen to be perfect and in control. Many leaders suffer from a sense of feeling an imposter or that they will be found out as not being good enough…

I invite you to reconsider whether in fact the mental self talk that you are telling yourself is in fact helping or hindering you? Could you actually be good enough already? Recognising that imperfection is being human? That presenting an image of infallibility causes challenges for those that work for you and can drive a culture of pretension and in-authenticity?

To be vulnerable in front of others is in fact to be courageous, and you might want to consider to some that

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. ” Brene Brown

To see more of what Brene has to say, a researcher specialising in vulnerability and shame, I highly recommend having a look at her TED talk of  a couple of years ago and her more recent talk this year.

By being authentic, taking risks, being vulnerable and daring to do it anyway you may well find that others are on that journey too! And, if you are leader of others telling your story, warts and all can help a more authentic and courageous, creative, resilient culture to develop.

The power of vulnerability

Listening to shame

Employee engagement versus employee wellbeing

May 11th, 2012

Heather Johnston

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Central to my positive psychology approach to Organisational Development and Coaching, is looking at whether an individual is flourishing in their work and their wider life. By focusing on helping an individual explore their strengths and helping align these with their work there can be a win/win in terms of an individual’s happiness and wellbeing as well as an increase in individual and organisational productivity.

An interesting article, written by Dr Bridget Juniper and promoted by Action for Happiness, about the downfalls of traditional productivity orientated employee engagement measurement, argues the case for employee wellbeing becoming more central in workplace productivity measures and quotes

…the top 10 drivers of employee engagement, identified by Towers Watson – ISR, show that, of 75 possible areas, the one that was rated the most important was the extent to which employees believed that their senior management had a sincere interest in their wellbeing.

The research goes on to ask employees whether or not they think their senior management actually exhibit this behaviour, with only 39% believing this to be the case. By contrast, the second driver relates to employee development, which is more often associated with conventional engagement measures.

In these times of uncertainty and strain, even more consideration needs to be given to employee wellbeing both for the benefit of the individual but also for organisations and society as a whole. By creating leadership strategies and working practices that help to enhance wellbeing, we will be helping all of us to remain resourceful, happy, healthy and productive.