Save your team, your business, and save yourself. Here are six steps that help in managing the nuances of working with others, groups and yourself. Does it work? Try it and find out. Practising ACT is a choice and a way of working and living with more meaning and purpose. Adapted from the original Third Wave ACT works of Steve Hayes Harris 1986.
Be Present. Means just that. Be psychologically present: focus on and connect with whatever is happening right here, right now. Tomorrow may never come. Drink coffee without thinking. Just try it. Just enjoy the coffee, the smell, the texture, every sip without the bullshifting that goes on between the thoughts like email, the next meeting and the next report etc.
Step back. Defuse the situation. It means learning to step back or detach from unhelpful thoughts and worries. I also do it with people as well. Instead of getting caught up in your thoughts, or pushed around by them or others, or struggling to get rid of them, just let them come and go - as if they were just cars driving past outside your house. The idea is to step back from and you and your thinking, so you can respond effectively - instead of getting tangled up or lost inside your thinking. The key is rather than reacting to colleagues, suppliers or customers just respond. It doesn't mean you don’t deal with issues, you do, and assertively. Just respond and defuse reactions.
Acceptance. Remember S#*t happens. Well yes it does and this means you need to make room for annoying, worrying, irritating and frustrating thoughts and feelings. The key is in the song “Let it Be.” Let go of the struggle with people and your own irritating thoughts. Imagine giving your head being a big makeover, a big clean out. Is now a light, airy office space with simplicity, calmness and clarity, give it breathing space. Detangle, without getting caught up in yourself, others and the business. The more open space you create the more you open up, and the moe room you make to move the team or your business decisions. Business is an emotional roller-coaster ride, strap yourself in, hang on, and accept it you will survive. "Remember S#*t happens, the flies just differ"
Get voyeuristic. That’s it, have a real good look at yourself first. Observe yourself. This is the part of you that is responsible for self-awareness and attention on what you're doing. If you are busy checking on other staff all the time you may be missing something in your own performance. Micromanagers our experts at this, they are so busy watching, controlling, managing others they lose sight of their own inadequacies making everyone’s life a misery. The key is to look at yourself, what thoughts or slogans are on the billboards of your mind? What do you look like to others? What are you doing, how are you doing it?
Dual Minds. In business we have busy busy minds. The mind is made up of two parts: the thinking self - i.e. the part that is always thinking; the part that is responsible for all your thoughts, beliefs, judgments, ideas, strategies etc. And then there's the observing self - the part of your mind that is able to be aware of whatever you are thinking or feeling or doing at any moment. Without it, you couldn't develop those mindfulness skills. The key is to notice what you’re thinking about yourself, colleagues, suppliers, business decisions, customers etc. by noticing you can focus your attention on you intention. Wherever your mind is there you are….
Values. We all place importance on the value of things, products and relationships. What about the real stuff that you most care about in life and your business, for me they are the same. They run deep and are fundamentally core to your meaning and purpose, it’s why we do what we do. It’s what you stand for, it’s what matters ultimately in the big picture of one existence. What will people most say they valued about you when you’re long gone?
Commitment. It’s like a business contract. Commitment is important in any good workplace or customer relationship, and most important for business growth and sustainability. It requires committed action. It means letting people go, letting people in, conducting business ethically, responsibly and without greed and deception. It means “you” Commit to action which is guided by your values - doing what matters - even if it's difficult or uncomfortable. Confront people if you have to, just ensure the intention is clear and not harmful. Although you may not be in power to let go of people easily workplace, let them go mentally, “Your fired” they still exist, they just have no place in your headroom.
Facilitating Acceptance and Commitment Thinking
- improves workplace morale
- improves workplace and team performance
- improves communication
- reduces customer and staff complaints
- reduces conflict
Join in on the ACT. Contact us to facilitate your ACT session today, not tomorrow!
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