By Jan De Jonge

Silver and gold; find the mindset that will make you excel

Whether in sport or in the world of work, why do some people do OK, some feel they have failed and some others – a much smaller number of people – excel and become hugely successful?

Many high-performing sports people end up being hauled in by commercial companies to help them boost motivation levels and productivity, change the organisational culture and improve sales. It’s no surprise: high-performing sports people have characteristics, behaviours, habits, and mindsets that undeniably helped them achieve their targets and success.

What mindset helps these people do well, and win? Having a certain state of mind is fundamental in reaching your full potential and finding the true limits of that potential – often referred to as a ‘Growth Mindset’: people with such a mindset overcome adversity repeatedly – they are resilient, somehow finding the strength to accept hardship, without surrendering. Such a mindset points to a combination of welcoming challenges, embracing criticism and failure, a keenness to always learn, and being inspired by the achievements of others.

What else is needed?

Research shows that a small number of ‘winning attitudes’ emerge time and time again: ambition, optimism, and seeing (or even: creating!) opportunities.

We’re all different; each person who has success has a unique combination of attitudes that drive their top performance. Some people are driven by external circumstances, triggering them to push themselves to high levels of achievement, whilst not losing sight of the end goal. They also don’t give up and intensely dislike losing. They keep their eye on the ball, they remain super-focused: achievers plan for success and failure with unfailing focus and discipline.

We recently interviewed young English athlete Jack Schofield – in his early twenties, with bright ambition and a very grown-up mindset that gets him places – geographically speaking, for sure, and in terms of sports achievements, whether that is qualifying for KONA, Age Group Ironman Champion or medalling at Long Distance World Champion events.

 

 Click here to watch the interview with Jack. 

 

Not long after I interviewed him, Jack won Age-Group Silver at the most anticipated race of the whole multisport festival, the 2017 Penticton ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships.

In sports and in any organisation that has tough targets to reach, performance is a numbers game: what specific target has been set for yourself and the team? Do you go for Gold? Happy to at least be participating? Target X, but by when? How often do you succumb to temptation? How frequently do you check your ‘To-Do’ list and cross off the tasks you have accomplished? To start with: what is your goal? And, why is it?

For some, these questions often take a life time to find real answers to.

Setting a Target: Participating, or Silver – or Gold?

My Gold target might well be your Silver. In other words: some of our goals exist by way of comparison to other people’s accomplishments. But even that may not be quite right for you: your Gold may be improving on your own previous ‘Silver’, regardless of how you compare to the next person.

There are no 100%-guarantees that if you create a certain mindset, you will excel. But here’s the thing: if you manage to shape your mindset, you increase your chances of excelling at whatever it is that you have set your eyes on, by converting that mindset into action – not just in sport or in work.

But first: go on – set your mind.

 

(Read Jack’s blog post here to find out how I met Jack – and to see his Very Sporty Profile on the web.)

With thanks to Jack Schofield and Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath, UK.

By Jan De Jonge

Youth; not wasted on the young after all.

Today I gave a presentation on development and employability to a large group of Year 12 students, who are nearing the end of their A-level studies, at the Clarendon Academy in Trowbridge – the county town of Wiltshire, in England.

I felt I had to write this brief post to reflect on my experiences of today’s presentation to these youngsters. And this, more specifically, was prompted by one of the young students coming to me at the end of the presentation;  he walked up to me, extended his hand to give me a handshake by way of thanking me, and he just looked at me and said, somewhat quietly: “Amazing!”.

This one single and seemingly little word of feedback just made my day.

To be able to have a listening audience of some 60 or 70 students, whose world is their oyster and who have all that life of their  individual working careers in front of them, in a more connected world, was just very exciting and satisfying. I spoke about the field of business psychology and how this relates to the students  in the audience and how they might work on their employability, becoming well-rounded individuals who are ready to face their next step.

The last point I need to make here is that from the way these students interacted with me, and the way they listened to what I had to say, what I tried to convey, I felt that they really took on board my key messages and understood how they might use the ideas I ( hopefully) gave them.

The Head of 6th Form summed the message up well to the students, at the close, in three points for students as a ‘take-away’:

1) Love ([I add:] or at least ‘Like’) yourself,

2) Invest in yourself ([I add:] and give to others), and

3) Sell yourself (but not your soul..).

These students seemed to agree and understand what is was trying to get across. They were all ears..! Which brings me back to the title of this small post.  I came away thinking – perhaps naively, that, on balance, all seems well with the world – certainly the world of Wiltshire and The Clarendon Academy, if we go by these students.

….Youth; it is not wasted on the young.

 

 

By Jan De Jonge

Compassionate Leadership

Why might Compassionate Leadership work?

Our working environment will inevitably consist of some employees who have their own self-interests at heart and those who consider altruism as their guiding principle. The same may well apply to those who lead these employees.

The role of any leader, including a ‘compassionate leader’ is, surely, to create an environment where all individuals can, and will, flourish, thus increasing productivity and reducing, for instance, absence.

Research suggests that when leaders show compassionate leadership, the team responds in such a way that they in turn ‘ape’ that behaviour and productivity increases, diminishing stress in individuals – all helping achieve company goals.

Evidence shows that altruism in leadership creates environments that facilitates problem-solving and generates cohesive, supportive cultures. A self-sacrificing leader ( – yes, within reason!) will make employees feel more loyal and committed, those employees will become more helpful and friendly to colleagues, accelerating that behaviour throughout the establishment.

We use a model called the Primary Colours Model of Leadership that helps organisations and their leaders to gain a better insight into the above ingredients in leadership.

To what extent are our leaders altruistic? Is it overplayed? Are our leaders’ personalities, their inclinations and preferences, conducive to aligning their staff to the company goals and to one another?

We have applied this model successfully with many organisations from the private and public sector, in many types of service and industry. Read more about this model and the Primary Colours Leadership tool by clicking on the link below:

 The Primary Colours Leadership Model and Report

Are you curious to know how you score as a leader? Would you like to know how much appetite you have for being a leader, and how you tend to operate in a leadership role? Are you focused on results or on people – or both? How charismatic are you? How persuasive are you?

Contact us to get answers to these questions and to develop yourself as a leader – and improve your organisation’s success, too.

By Jan De Jonge

If it’s ‘all about the people’, then…

Successful businesses weather storms of uncertainty and innovate through adversity with positivism, belief, resourcefulness and resilience.

Choosing a new member of staff, especially for ambitious SMEs, is exciting and daunting at the same time. Done badly it is not only costly, but stressful too.

Read the remainder of this “Expert Opinion” article in the online weekly magazine, Business Biscuit:

…by clicking right here.

 

By Jan De Jonge

Emotional Intelligence; the Link between Business Success and Psychology

Jan de Jonge, our MD and member of the CIPD will share some professional insights and experiences about the psychology of business, assessment and the link between success in business and psychology – relevant for those who work in the fascinating world of HR.

On Tuesday evening the 17th of May, in Andover, Hampshire,  at the White Hart Hotel, Jan will discuss Emotional Intelligence, how this relates to Leadership and effective performance, touching on such topics as Personality, Unconscious Bias and Well-being, and how this can be assessed – and even developed! And not just in leaders..

A highly-frequent speaker, Jan will deliver an interactive, enlightening and engaging talk, with some interesting insights and advice for you to take away. Don’t miss it.

Free to CIPD and non-members, enjoy some buffet food and warm drinks, network with fellow HR people and others, but please book – via this easy webpage: Book here

For some more info, in a colourful format, just click here: Event May 17th

To quickly book your place (it takes less than half a minute), don’t forget to go to this easy webpage: Book here

 

By Jan De Jonge

Talking Psychology at Breakfast – in this Beautiful Wiltshire Barn

Breakfast @ The Barn launched in October 2015 with a fantastic 73 people attending the first event!

Open to all businesses, this is a must attend event for anyone looking to meet potential new clients and business contacts in a relaxed and informal setting.

With no annual membership fees, it is a pay as you go event held once every other month at Wellington Barn near Calne, which is easily accessible from Chippenham, Devizes, Swindon, Marlborough, Melksham, Trowbridge and surrounding towns.

Guests can expect a delicious cooked breakfast, an engaging speaker and the opportunity to meet a variety of local businesses.

At People Business Psychology Ltd we are excited to month be sponsoring this event, set in a most beautiful rural venue, with a stunning views  – and a very a tasty breakfast indeed.

Our Jan will be giving some insights into how he and his team of associate psychologists help businesses increase their competitive advantage by developing their people, talking about the psychology of business, assessing and developing teams and motivating and engaging staff.

  • What makes organisations effective?
  • Why are some people engaged at work?
  • What is personality?
  • Can it be changed?
  • What is the Return on Investing in people?

We look forward to seeing you there! Make sure to book via Eventbrite; the link is below.

WHEN:  Tuesday, 2 February 2016 from 07:30 to 09:30 (GMT) – Add to Calendar

WHERE:  Wellington Barn – Calstone Calne, Wiltshire SN11 8PY GB – View Map

Booking Link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/breakfast-the-barn-networking-event-tickets-20614763312

Silver and gold; find the mindset that will make you excel
Compassionate Leadership
If it’s ‘all about the people’, then…
Emotional Intelligence; the Link between Business Success and Psychology
Talking Psychology at Breakfast – in this Beautiful Wiltshire Barn