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Posts from the ‘Video’ Category

How to boost your creativity

heather rachel johnston


Join me for my 12 day creativity challenge hack. Each day find in your inbox a short 5 minute video of the 12 hacks that help me be creative that you can apply to your life and work



How change happens- latest thoughts from behavioural science

purple dot_behavioural change and transitions

Cass Sunstein brought the concept of a nudge to the world and is a key thought leader in behavioural economics which is ‘a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behaviour to explain economic decision-making’. Working in the area of change i am fascinated between the crossover of economics (my first degree) into applied psychology (my profession) and vice versa to inform behavioural change. 

I’ve been doing a deep dive into some of the recent presentations from the 2019 behavioural exchange conference hosted by the Behavioural Insights Team who are a leader in applying behavioural insights for the benefit of people and communities…I found the presentation by Cass Sunstein thought provoking and made me reflect around how we go about organisational development, change and business transformation.  Read more

Boost your emotional wellbeing for better psychological health

happiness and wellbeing red dot

Your emotions count!

“If you experience a healthy dose of positivity and you can sustain it, it can also empower and energize you to deal with adversity in a more constructive way. In that sense, resilience and a positive outlook are highly intertwined. If we cultivate our ability to sustain positivity, we are simultaneously cultivating our ability to bounce back from negativity.”

-Pelin Kesebir ( Centre for Healthy minds)

Latest research from the centre of healthy minds run by Richard Davidson  builds on his fascinating book the emotional life of your brain. In the book he talks about the links between our emotions (our affect) and our wellbeing. Much of mainstream mindfulness focuses more towards the focus element of mindfulness and our ability to manage our attention. What  I love about Richie Davidson’s work is that it focuses on our emotions too and  importantly the study of what sustains psychological wellbeing rather than purely focusing on disorders and when things go wrong. 

Read more

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.





Being good enough

May 18th, 2012

Heather Johnston

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

Introversion and Leadership

April 13th, 2012

Heather Johnston

This is a topic close to my heart and also that of Susan Cain who has just been in the UK doing a book tour of her new book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. As a coach, I coach a large number of clients who are Introverts in the increasingly more Extroverted world of work. The book talks about what Introverts can bring to the party, how introverts can help themselves and how they and Extroverts can capitalise on their strengths.

To find out more about what she has to say have a look at the following TED talk:

or have a listen to an audience interactive talk a few weeks ago at the RSA Susan Cain at the RSA

or have a look at the book which just launched in the UK.