Author: Volker Ballueder

Mindfulness @Work

I recently put my first proposal for an 8 week mindfulness workshop together. What I learned by doing this, is that a lot of mindfulness is ‘meditation’. But is it? Actually it is not, it is a good mix of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and Meditation. Also, listening to a recent EQ (Emotional Intelligence) webinar, I realised that one of the core messages (see also last week’s post on here) is about being in the moment, being present. So the lines of EQ and mindfulness are a bit blurred in some areas. So what does mindfulness at work mean for me? First of all, I would define mindfulness as being kind and curious, paying attention to the here and now, the present moment. If we want to translate that to the workplace, we are looking at being present, being in the moment, and not disturbed by other means. An example could be to not be on your phone or laptop during a meeting, but paying attention to the presenter/speaker, and listen actively. Ask questions, be engaged and don’t get distracted by another email in your inbox or another whats app message. Pay full attention to what’s happening. How does that translate

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Social, Conversational & Emotional Intelligence

Social Intelligence is a term that goes in line with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for me. Ever since I wrote my MBA thesis over 15 years ago, I have been involved in EQ. At that time I wasn’t sure about the concept but I am now! Social Intelligence is about the ability to form successful relationships and navigate social environments. And, strong relationships improve your immune system, and reduce stress and health problems like depression. The relationships to others are key, and that’s where I found Emotional Intelligence comes in, and that’s why I like coaching and teaching people about it. For me it is about awareness, self management, social awareness, e.g. social intelligence and relationship management. Within social awareness we look at empathy and organisational awareness. How do I fit in, and how can I feel for others? How does that drive me forward, seeing myself more as a coach, influencer or team player? How does that align with the corporate goals and values? Conversational Intelligence is something I came across through one of my podcast guests for season 3. It is defined as how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain

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Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome

This is another term I wanted to write about: Imposter Syndrome. How do you define it? How did you first came across it? The Imposter Syndrome is something I see frequently as an executive coach; it is defined as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments. They are afraid that they might be exposed as a ‘fraud’, despite them actually being very competent in what they are doing. It is a denial of their competence. Are you actually good enough to do that role? It could happen that individuals attribute their success to luck, or a result of deceiving others of thinking they are more intelligent than they think they are. It is about being worthwhile and self aware (emotional intelligent). This can lead to anxiety, depression and stress. Things that we can solve with some coaching, but also combine it with mindfulness training. It is definitely something I come across in my work as an executive and productivity coach. Often it is caused by family expectations, potentially over protective parents; others are more around being a perfectionist or excessive self monitoring. More often than not it is the story in your head, it is about your

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Intrinsic Motivation

We just discussed the hedonic approach, and intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation – what drives you on? You know, or should know, that your thoughts determine your action. And your brain determines your thoughts. What that means is, that you decide how you are motivated. I loved the following picture which I stole from this blog (hope that’s ok). When we grow up and cannot differentiate what motivates us (external/internal), or might be less self-aware (not having a lot of emotional intelligence/EQ), it might be all about ‘being like someone else’. I often mention the Kardashians as an example in my podcast on success. People seem to like what they do and how they set standards of what life looks like. However, they are rich, live an interesting life and might be in a complete different life cycle than yourself. Is that what you want to be, or aiming for? You can of course aspire to what they do, however the motivation of what you want to be, who you want to be, is down to you, and should be based on your values. That for me is intrinsic motivation. Would you agree? Hence for my coachees, it is so important

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Human Needs – High Performance Basics

10 years ago I wrote about Anthony Robbins’ six human needs. You can see, I have been involved in personal development for a long time. Now that I more actively opened my executive and productivity coaching practise in Brighton, London and internationally, I am revisiting some of the theories to keep them fresh in my mind. Human needs are fundamentals. Basics to achieve high performance. A base for productivity. Why? Simple really. In my opinion the basics have to be met in order to build on it. Like the foundations of a house. If the foundations of a house are not done properly, the rest of the house will be wobbly, potentially falling over. When working with my clients, I spend the first session or two discussing the fundamentals: What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? How do you think I can help you? How do you define success? How do you define failure? Where can we go together? Where can we end up on your journey? What would be a good outcome? Basics. Understanding their motivation. Looking at human needs is helpful. Is the coachee motivated by security or insecurity (adventure)? Do they feel significant, connected/loved?

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What if all of your sales team performed like the top 5%?

The other day I had the conversation with a sales leader about coaching their team in productivity, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and general performance. This discussion came on the back of an executive leadership coaching discussion I had with the management team. In this case they just went through a big transformation of the company. The challenge was not very uncommon: the executive team and team leaders are either not trained in coaching their teams, or too busy. Time is a huge challenge for most of them. Transitions, mergers, acquisitions and general restructures affect the time they have to spend with their teams, and this ultimately has a negative impact on performance. Most team performances goes up, if the team lead spends regular time and carry out 1:1 with their teams. This way they identify blockers they can resolve, and help them on their journey, motivate them to do better. This is what I have found in my 15 years in sales and client services life. When I asked the question, what if all of your sales team performed like the top 5%, the eyes of the sales leader lit up. Imagine, she said, not only would we add 20% more

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Hedonic Well-being – What is it?

In a recent podcast recording my guest spoke about hedonic well-being. Since I didn’t know too much about it, I thought I research it and clarify it in a post for anyone who is interested. It seems that well being has been derived from two general perspectives, extrinsic and intrinsic. One is the hedonic, more extrinsic, approach. This approach focuses on happiness and pleasure attainment, pain avoidance. So moving towards pleasure and happiness, moving away from pain. That makes a lot of sense to me, and would probably make sense to most people. However, there is a eudaemonic or eudaimonic, a more intrinsic approach, too. This is about self-realisation and well-being is defined by the degree to which a person is fully functioning. Positive Psychology has a great article summarising what eudaemonic well-being means. It first was mentioned by Aristotle who thought that true happiness is found by leading a virtuous life and doing what is worth doing; realising human potential is the ultimate human goal. Stoics play a role here, who stressed the value of self-discipline, others argue that happiness is pursued through prudence. For me, most of the time, happiness comes down to your own definition. Similar to

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Life is happening in the fast lane!

Yes, you might be surprised to find another update from me in quick succession. But life is happening so quickly, I want to make sure people know what I am up to. Also, I discovered my love for writing again! It’s not long until the summer holidays, and a well deserved break. Some of you might be thinking that I took some time off since leaving my last project, but far from it. I have been very very busy. I took some new headshots, or should say my wife did. Hope you like them. Here is another favourite of mine, in the garden with my Buddha 🙂 Actually, when you are working on projects, you know when those come to an end. Sometimes you hope they get extended or last longer, and sometimes you are glad they don’t. So what have I done in the last few weeks? I have been busy doing what I wanted to do for the past 20 years: It is easy in a way to set up a coaching business, as all you need to do is “to coach” 🙂 However, the key of being a good coach, is to position yourself and get references.

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Personal Update – June 2019

Hi folks, I haven’t posted for a while, but want to continue with my blog on a quarterly basis to give people updates what I am up to. Hence, this is my quarterly update for you 🙂 After leaving my latest project 4 weeks ago, I have now concluded to work for myself. For the past 3 years, and those following me know that, I have gone through redundancies due to acquisitions in the industry and worked on projects. I enjoy being involved in those projects, and quite frankly believe that I am born to work on consulting projects, helping others to achieve their goals. It lead to me deciding that the best way forward is for me to focus on this kind of work moving forward. At the same time, I have been contemplating for many years to become a full time business and executive coach, mentor and trusted advisor. Whilst this is straight forward, given my qualifications and validation through years of experience in this field and my business experience, this area is a lot bigger in terms of positioning compared to digital marketing. I am on a fact finding mission, in terms of where I will focus

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Spring 2019 Blurb – Happy Easter

Hello friends, I hope you still remember me, and I am allowed to count you as my friends. It has been a while since my last post. No, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. As a matter of fact, I am still writing regularly, I finished the first draft of my book on success, on the back of my podcast, and have drafted a few blog posts. However, I haven’t published any in a while, as you are aware 🙂 Why is that? I find a new peace and reflection in not having such a public life. Of course, I am nowhere close to being famous or feel like I am walking down a red carpet, however whenever I put something in the public domain, I am conscious that people are reading it. This has never been a problem, and still isn’t, but I am currently not keen on sharing too much, unless you ask of course 😉 My focus has shifted from ‘one to many’ towards more ‘one to one’. It allows for deeper relationships I find, so I caught up with a few people over the last few months. And it is good. If we are also

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