Mindfulness in 2017

Mindfulness in 2017 – By Gail Cameron (MD of the Image Excellence Group)

Human knowledge is doubling every 13 months; this explosion of information brings challenges and obstacles of its own for everyone. With the latest technology and global trends, we have become connected and defined by what we do in a 24 hour day, influencing our ability to concentrate, be decisive, act assertively and manage time and stress effectively.

The fast-paced, stressful, deadline-driven world can be detrimental for individuals, relationships and organisations.

Gail will discuss Mindfulness as a technique to overcome these challenges in 2017

Make Everyday Powerful

When it comes to first impressions we know very well that it is our instinct to judge someone by the way that they look. That is why when we have a job interview, or are meeting potential clients, we put our best foot forward and dress in the most professional way possible. But then we find ourselves slipping as we get comfortable in our work environment. We stop putting in as much effort, dressing more casually and not wearing make-up anymore.

What we don’t know is, that though we have created a good first impression that can be undone as time goes on and you don’t portray yourself in best light. Dressing professionally at work should be regarded as a professional strategy, where you aim to match the expectations of your clients and command the respect of your colleagues.

Not only does power dressing to work every day create a positive reaction from those around you, but dressing well also affects the way you feel and your self-confidence. According to Professor Abraham M. Rutchick in his study, “The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing”: “putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world.” These changes in how we see the world and ourselves actually encourage us to perform to the standards which we are portraying.

So why limit your greatness to that initial meeting? Make that conscious effort to show others what you are capable of and fulfil your true potential.

Contact the IE Group to help strategically manage the image you put out and develop yourself from the inside out.

 

Zandile Khulu

Image Consultant

Refresh your work wardrobe in 2017

Refresh your work wardrobe in 2017

Your first impression when meeting someone is golden. In this society, as much as we try to avoid it, people automatically judge you on your appearance, whether you’re in line for a prospective job or meeting new people socially.

You have the power to influence the way in which people view you by presenting yourself in an optimal way to maximise your impact when meeting others. Taking control of your visual impact can enable you to project your desired personal brand – and create strong Personal Impact Power.

The simplest way to magnify your personal impact power in the work place is to have these key wardrobe essentials, which should be tailored to your individual style:

  1. Black is always elegant. It is the most complete colour in the whole world, made of all the colours in the palette.” – Ricardo Tisci

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A classic black suit is the most versatile item of clothing to own. It can be paired with a variety of shirts and blouses to either dress it up or down.

  1. Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe

 

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A pair of comfortable, gorgeous shoes – be it heels or flats – pulls an outfit together effortlessly.

  1. It’s downright undignified how many blazers I’ve bought over the years. And will continue to buy. They immediately give shape and add authority. With the perfect blazer, anything is possible.” – Rashida Jones

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Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when it comes to your blazers. Wearing a bold colour or trendy design will add that personal touch to your look.

 

  1. I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” – Michael Kors

 

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Add that finishing touch to your outfit with a stylish handbag, or go the extra mile with a vibrant accessory such as a scarf or broach as a light touch to portray your personality.

Let 2017 be the year where you take control of the impression that you leave with others and portray your personal brand to your best ability. Contact us to book a complimentary assessment with a specialist coach to enhance your personal image and ensure a successful impact power in the workplace.

Zandile Khulu

www.iegroup.co.za I info@iegroup.co.za I 011 781 1444

Exercise is a form of medicine

With 150 minutes of physical activity per week, you can take charge of your health

Is exercise a form of medicine? Yes, it is. Exercise is now being used as a form of treatment to help slow, stop and prevent the onset of chronic illness. A minimum 150 mins of moderate activity per week is all it takes to better one’s health and lower mortality rate. Some benefits of physical activity as taken from www.exerciseismedicine.org include:

  • Reduces mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by 50%
  • Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular and cancer-specific mortality in adults
  • Reduces levels of anxiety and depression

Chronic disease is affecting people at a younger and younger age. Childhood obesity is rife and more and more children are being diagnosed as insulin-resistant or diabetic. If left untreated; these can eventually develop into cardiovascular disease.  This can be prevented with 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

It is time to take charge of your health.

Your body is stronger than you think it is

What is HIIT-High Intensity Interval Training? Short bursts of high intensity exercise will allow you to burn a large amount of calories in a short amount of time. You will increase muscle tone and drop body fat whilst improving your overall fitness.  Make sure that you push yourself – your body is stronger than you think it is; at the same time always listen to your body and ensure that your technique is correct to avoid injury.

Try a HIIT Workout at home

There are 5 exercises. For each exercise do 45 seconds work and rest for 15 seconds. Repeat for 3 rounds. Try to only rest for 30 seconds between rounds.

  • Jumping squats (Stand with feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Drop your bum down into a squat position as if you are going to sit into a chair. Squeeze your gluteal muscles and jump up and off the ground. Be sure to land softly.)
  • Mountain climbers (Go into a plank position. One at a time, drive your knees up to your chest as if you were running)
  • Push ups (Start in a plank position. Keep your body core tight and lower your body toward the ground by only bending the elbows, lift yourself back up again.)
  • Side lunges (Stand with feet hip distance apart. Take a big step sideways with the left leg. Bend the left knee and lower into a lunge. Keep right leg straight. Squeeze left gluteal muscle and quadriceps muscle to push you back up to standing position. Repeat on the right side.)
  • Plank reaches (Start in a plank position. One arm at a time, reach out in front of you.)

Remember to stretch after your workouts to keep muscles flexible.

The IE Group offers specialised training as part of our personal and professional development programmes.

Work together with our Body and Lifestyle Coach to achieve your personal fitness and health goals for 2017.

Contact www.iegroup.co.za / 011 781 1444 to book a complimentary assessment.

Top 10 Job Skills in 2020

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE will be one of the top 10 job skills in 2020.

In his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2016), Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, describes the world’s new opportunities and challenges presented by digital and technological progress and the exponential speed at which this is evolving.

General Manager for Microsoft in Brazil, Paula Bellizia describes it thus in her LinkedIn post of September 2016: “… this new revolution is marked by the merger of technologies that is blurring the limits across the physical, biological and digital worlds, imposing challenges to all kinds of businesses and opening unprecedented innovation opportunities.

Schwab shows us that each revolution was triggered by one great innovation. The microchip, for instance, gave rise to the third revolution. Today, cloud is the force behind the fourth one.”

This, Fourth Industrial Revolution is having a profound impact not only across all spheres of our lives, but very specifically in terms of jobs, labour and the world of work beyond 2020. Many of our current jobs and perhaps even, industries may become obsolete or change on a fundamental level due to cognitive computing and progress in Artificial Intelligence. We are at a unique point in human history with “disruptive innovation” at its zenith.

Disruptive innovation was first recognised and the term coined by Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen in his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997). Officially, disruptive innovation “creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances.” (Wikipedia) In a nutshell, think the internet in the 20th century and Uber and Netflix in the 21st.

Many companies focus on “sustaining innovation”, which improves existing services and products, however this can literally catch them with their “pants down”. In the contemporary world of 2017 agility and flexibility is key to company survival and growth. Developing the work and people skills necessary for this forms a critical component.

According to Lars Boom, Account Executive at LinkedIn based in Dublin, Ireland: “Five years from now, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed.” In his LinkedIn post of 30 August 2016 he makes a comparison between the Top 10 Skills in 2015 and those projected to be the Top 10 in 2020:

Top 10 2015

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Coordinating with others
  3. People management
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Negotiation
  6. Quality control
  7. Service orientation
  8. Judgement and decision making
  9. Active listening
  10. Creativity

Top 10 2020

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgement and decision making
  8. Service Orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility”

If one analyses these skills carefully – the future of work is in our truly “human skills” – fundamental to our brain’s capacity to think creatively – beyond mere intelligence. Consider this: “A survey done by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society shows people expect artificial intelligence machines to be part of a company’s board of directors by 2026.” (Bloom, 2016)

Executives, directors, managers, coordinators, white collar and blue workers need to reflect on their current skills base and consider how to make themselves relevant and marketable into the next few decades.

Growing and developing an organisation and individuals’ Top Skills for 2020 and beyond requires investment in training and coaching programmes that will facilitate assessment of current skills, and championing and engaging in short, medium and long-term plans to develop and optimise these skills in the work force. This is not about ticking off a checklist but about deep, sustainable progress and change. Human behavioural change requires awareness, intensive reflection, action and conscious choices to build new habits, attitudes and a willingness to engage in a life-long learning journey. Companies, government and individuals should move on committing to this now.

The IE Group makes use of the Reuven Bar-On EQ-i assessment tool, which provides data on the following composite scales and sub-scales:

Self-perception

  • Self-regard
  • Self-actualisation
  • Emotional Self-awareness

Self-expression

  • Emotional Expression
  • Assertiveness
  • Independence

Interpersonal

  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Empathy
  • Social Responsibility

Decision-making

  • Problem Solving
  • Reality Testing
  • Impulse Control

Stress Management

  • Flexibility
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Optimism

Well-being Indicator

Our specialist psychologists and coaches work with individual coachees to develop specific aspects of Emotional Intelligence. Therefore coaching also focuses on other aspects of the Top 10 Skills for 2020 including:

  • Critical thinking
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Service Orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

To work with our coaches on developing optimal Emotional Intelligence, contact www.iegroup.co.za to begin your journey.

Mindfulness Matters – Why?

Mindfulness Matters – Why?

By Gail Cameron, Founder and Managing Director of IE Group

(https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/knowledge-doubling-every-12-david-russell)

Buckminster Fuller, an American futurist, created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM the expansion of the ‘internet of things’ will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.” – David Russell Schilling, Writer, Researcher IndustryTap.com, L.I.O.N. (18 December 2014)

This explosion of knowledge brings challenges and obstacles of its own for everyone on a daily basis. With the latest technology and global trends, business never stops. We have become connected and defined by what we do in a 24-7-365 day cycle. This influences our ability to concentrate, be decisive, act assertively, perceive objectively and manage time and stress effectively. Ambiguity and uncertainty can undermine our performance and no amount of technical expertise will save the bottom line. The fast-paced, stressful, deadline-driven world can be detrimental for individuals, relationships, and organisations. The technique that is proving more and more to overcome these challenges is Mindfulness.

And no one understood better what the implication of having this knowledge could mean, than Buckminister Fuller. At the age of 32, drunk, bankrupt with a wife and a small baby to support, he came across and understood the implications of how our thoughts, feelings and intentions create our reality. We are powerful energetic broadcasters capable of radiating energetic frequencies from fear, grief, powerlessness and despair (at the bottom of the energetic frequency) right up to the top of the energetic realm where love, appreciation, knowledge, empathy lies. The higher the vibrational frequency, the more magnetically attractive it will be. Thus, when we are languishing at the bottom of the vibrational spectrum – feeling powerless, despair and anger – we will attract more of that reality. By allowing only positive emotions and thoughts to manifest in his life, Fuller, by the time he passed away in 1983 had become an architect, an inventor, an author, a leader. He had written 28 books, received 44 honour degrees and had registered 25 US patents.

With an understanding of mindfulness we can ALL use our energy to become the most fantastic, the most joyful wondrous, beautiful humans being we can possibly be!

Let’s begin an awareness of mindfulness by reading an extract from the beautiful words of the writer Anna Quindlen when she spoke at a university graduation in the US:

“I’m a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work…

“You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same qualification: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk or in a car or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart and your soul.

“People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter’s night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve received your test results and they’re not so good.

“Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my friends and them to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut-out. But I call them on the phone and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

“I would be rotten, at best mediocre, at my job if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

“So here’s what I wanted to tell you today:

‘Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

‘Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous.

‘And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. All of you want to do well…

‘But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted… the color of our kid’s eyes, the way a melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live. I learned to live many years ago…

‘I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today, this hour, this minute, this second is all we have. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this:

‘Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.’”

So how does one become more mindful?

It does start with you. You are the departure point. Because at the heart of consciousness creation lies self-value. So if you do not value yourself, appreciate your own importance, without ego. Unable to truly appreciate who you are, you will not achieve your dreams, nor will you be able to help others, because quite simply you cannot pour from an empty cup. The greatest dysfunctionality I’ve seen in the last 30 years in coaching stems from a lack of self-regard. Believing that we are not worthy to live a magnificent life.

So let’s do a short exercise to help you connect with your conscious awareness and access your own inner wisdom – to begin appreciating who you are. (Meditation: Source Sandra Ann Taylor)

(You can record this exercise on any recording device of your choice and play it back to yourself at home.)

Close your eyes and move into that inner sacred space

There’s nowhere else to be right now

Any noises you hear, observe them and allow them to move into the background deepening your level of relaxation.

Take in a deep breath of peace and breathe out anxiety, just relax, letting go of all thoughts, all constrictions, just feel yourself melting into your chair.

Now take a look at your life. Notice any negative emotions and also the secondary emotions that you may feel. So you may be feeling anxious about work and the secondary emotion may be fear or sadness. Nod when you become aware of these negative emotions

Now that you’re aware, we’re going on a journey to convert these negative emotions into blessings.

I would like you to take a deep look at your ideal self – who you are deep down at your very core, at your very essence – who you know you could be. Notice how your life could be different? Now imagine having a conversation with your ideal self where your ideal self wants to give you advice or wisdom to help you move forward with your life. To tell you how you can change or how you can relate to the issues that are troubling you. Listen quietly for the answer, taking your time. Allow this wisdom to filter into your mind and when you have received the message, nod.

Now breathe in your ideal self – the ideal self that moves with confidence and hope – want you to breathe in this image – draw it into yourself as if you are joining your current self to this ideal self seamlessly – melting into one, see yourself as if it is already you. Now expand your energy to include your super conscious mind, the mind that contains your high authentic self and invite your subconscious mind to fill your whole being with this energy.

Notice how you are feeling. Notice what is coming across the landscape of your mind, notice what is transpiring in your heart. Notice how this feeling can lead to changes in how you act and the choices you make every day – in this one and precious life.

Now allow this beautiful energy to cascade through all the cells in the body, bringing with it, the confidence, the knowingness of your potential and what you are required to do.

Sit quietly with your eyes closed, taking a moment to rest

Bring your awareness back into your body

And when you are ready, slowly and gently open your eyes.

Write down any messages that you received that will help guide you on your journey to living a more mindful life.

 

For further assistance in becoming more introspective and excavating a deeper understanding of Mindfulness, contact Keshny  or Gail at www.iegroup.co.za or at 011 781 1444.

 

Assertiveness in the workplace: An EQ Competency

Standing up for yourself is very important, the degree to which it’s done is equally important. A bit too much can be perceived as being aggressive. So what is assertiveness? It is the ability to express one’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs without violating the rights of others. It is of course the ideal, if we could all communicate assertively we would be able to say exactly what we feel and not offend or disrespect others in the process. However, that is not always possible because we are not naturally assertive. The way we are brought up plays an imperative role in the way we express ourselves. On the one hand for instance, person A may be raised in a more collective culture where the needs of the group are more important than those of the individual. Person A is encouraged to be humble and put others first. People from such backgrounds may find it hard to express their feelings, especially if they feel that these are not shared or common. On the other hand, if person B is from a more individualistic culture, the needs of the self are more important and expressing oneself is encouraged.

There is no wrong or right here. However, when it comes to the language used and the behaviours displayed by each one, person A might appear somewhat passive and person B somewhat aggressive. These are of course not the only possibilities; life experiences and different responses received may reinforce some behaviours and discontinue others. The good news though is that assertiveness, like other behaviours, can be learnt. Language is an essential starting point because words carry so much meaning, moreover different individuals interpret what is being said in different ways. What is not being said or nonverbal communication is equally as important and can drastically change the meaning of spoken words.

There are numerous techniques that can be utilised to enhance assertiveness and with time, like any learnt behaviour these can become ingrained in our communication practices. The benefits of being assertive are many and include among them the ability to build honest interpersonal relationships with co-workers, family and friends; recognising and understanding one’s own feelings; creating win-win situations and gaining self-confidence; and the added bonus of actually getting want you want more often or reaching mutually beneficial compromises.

For more tips on Assertiveness and the IE Group modules, contact us for a complimentary assessment with one of our executive coaches.

Puleng Rathebe, Executive Coach at the IE Group

info@iegroup.co.za

 

Further reading/references

Michel, F. 2008. Assert yourself! Centre for Clinical Interventions.

Mayo Clinic. 2014. Stress Management. Healthy Lifestyle.

I Meditate Africa: Join us for a Guided Meditation

I Meditate Africa: Join us for a Guided Meditation

Together, let’s celebrate Africa Month

The IE Group, founders of The African Wellness Centre are hosting a special event in honour of Africa Month, where our guests will experience a guided meditation session facilitated by a dynamic and inspirational teacher.

Date: 24th May 2016

Time: 14:30 – 15:30

Place: IE Group Office, 159 Oak Avenue, Ferndale, Randburg

I Meditate Africa is a campaign promoting peace in Africa, encouraging the use of Meditation- Mindfulness or Quiet Time as a mainstream peace building block for the continent.

Five Hundred studies from over 200 universities in 33 countries scientifically validate both the beneficial effects of meditation, and how individual and group meditation can improve the quality of life for every one.

In tackling the challenges facing Africa today, from issues around violence, crime, to unrest, the benefits of meditation can be introduced into our personal and professional lives.

Light refreshments will be served.

To book your seats please RSVP to kiley@iegroup.co.za I 011 781 1444