Being your best is something all employees will want to be, but how can we go about achieving that?
For Tougher Minds, the answer is a relatively simple one.
“You need to give people an insight into their brain and how it works so that they can develop a deeper understanding,” says Dr Jon Finn.
The performance coach and sport psychologist is spearheading Tougher Minds in the region and is staging an event this month to encourage helpful change in the workplace to make both companies and their staff better performers.
He says that forming better habits is crucial to developing a more agile and creative mind.
Dr Finn said: “We can explain that side of ourselves ina pretty compelling way.
“We talk about the Ape Brain, trying to make quite complex things simple but accurate,.
“One idea that most people can connect with is what we might call spending less time thinking unhelpful thoughts. If you consider the time in a day that people might spend focusing on things which don't contribute to business objectives, it almost equates to a second job.
“It is about teaching people about how to counter that response. When you experience unhelpful thoughts like this, the fight or flight response kicks in. It's about teaching people how to counteract that.
“We are also teaching what we call Reverse Activation which includes regulating breathing to reverse unhelpful neurobiological processes that are going on.
"We teach them how to refocus their attention. If you keep doing that throughout the day you are going to claw back more time and get more stuff done that is helpful for yourself and the business.”
Something as simple as writing a troubling issue down has a huge utility Dr Finn said.
“When it is just in your mind it is very hard to win the argument.
"The part of your brain that is paying attention to unhelpful things is very powerful and therefore it is more difficult to resolve it. By writing it down you are empowering the helpful part of your brain so you can categorise the arguments and reframe some of the thoughts, in order to evaluate them.
"Then you will see there is no point paying attention to anything that is unhelpful. It often surprises people how this technique helps them make sense of challenging situations.“
Dr Finn recently returned from America and during his time there he was approached by a client he had previously worked with. The client explained the Tougher Minds programme had totally changed his life for the better.
He said: “This is a guy who had been engaged in a lot of unhelpful behaviour, a lot of bad habits, and had been seeking therapy and support for about 10 years.
“The compelling things about our programme is that it gave him simple and practical things to do every day that allowed him to build better habits. One small step at a time he built some momentum and noticed a big development in his health.
“There was no magic there, he had been practising the ideas.
“We started on diet, sleep and exercising. He developed it with his colleagues to make it all part of his day-to-day life.”
Something as simple as getting a good night’s sleep has a huge benefit Dr Finn said.
“If the brain isn't working properly, and if we don’t sleep well eat well and exercise properly, the part of the brain hippocampus gets damaged and that is the only part of our brain that develops new brain cells.
“If we are going to develop ourselves we need new brain cells. If we are going to think flexibility around challenges, we need new brain cells.
“Our grandparents slept one hour more on average than we do. That’s an extra night’s sleep per week.
“In our plan it is the first thing we pay attention to everyday.
If we want people to be well and be their best than sleep is absolutely essential. “
Tougher Minds started in sport psychology, moved into education and is now working in the world of business.
Its work has seen them establish footholds in the City of London, USA and Europe and is now up and running in Leeds.
At a free event in Leeds, Dr Finn will run through what his company has to offer businesses in the region.
‘How to develop powerful teams - the surprising truth’ will be held in The Parkinson Suite at The Yorkshire Post building on Thursday, June 21, at 6.15pm. Tickets are free but places are limited.
To book yours, click here www.eventbrite.co.uk.
To find out more about Tougher Minds visit their website at www.tougherminds.co.uk