Category: Ballueder Partners

How you can shift your mindset to win!

As I am sitting here just watching Eliud Kipchoge breaking the 2 hour barrier for running a marathon, I am looking back at history and what mankind can achieve when they put their mind to it. It is amazing, isn’t it. When are we landing on Mars?

It is also what gets me up in the morning. The drive to help people achieve the goals they want. Coaching, advising, helping others. That’s my passion.

What is it I am doing? I advice executives and boards on their company, personal life and coach them to change teams, staff and themselves to be better and more productive. That is what I do. For Q4 I still have 3 individual or about 2 company places available. Now is the time to reach out and hatch plans for 2020. The results I have seen with clients so far are amazing. Get in touch on www.ballueder.com.

I also teach mindfulness, meditation and help companies to embrace a better way of working. It’s change management, mindset change. Just like breaking a 2 hour barrier on the marathon. That’s something I have been passionate about for many years, being able to work flexible, take breaks, and bring life and fun back to work. After all we spend most of our time there, don’t we.

This week I edited a podcast which makes me think. My former manager Andy and I had a chat about his life. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour after collapsing in the office in 2016. I remember that day very vividly, and 3 years on, two operations and a virus infection later, he speaks to me about life, and what it means to be successful. The episode goes live later in the year, yet you can just imagine how is outlook on life and death, his goals and objectives, have changed. A fascinating conversation, and I am grateful for him sharing his experience so openly.

I am grateful for being healthy, for being fit. Andy thought he was. And as we close the podcast he is saying that what he worries most about, are the others, and the changes like climate change, bring with them. I guess he is more than right. We, as humans, have managed to drive this planet against the wall. We will be spending lots of the money we made in the first place from destroying the planet, trying to rescue it. Will we survive?

I suppose we will, in one way or another. That’s the nature of our species. That’s where we continuously push boundaries. Humans are fighters. It is a mindset thing! We might be smaller in numbers, maybe living under a dome, under the sea or on another planet. Who knows. Some of us will be alive to witness it, some might not. But we will survive.

From a mindfulness perspective, the here and now is what we should experience and focus on. Only here and now can we influence our life, what we eat, what we do, how we keep fit and how we save the environment. The massive action towards our goals has to be taken now. And here.

Don’t put things off!

Take your action today. Let’s have a chat how I can help you with your mindset, your goals and objectives and how we can break your barrier!

What is your agenda 2020? How can Coaching help you?

For those of us that have been around for a while, you might remember the EU member states agreeing on the agenda 2020, looking at principles, priorities and approaches for their youth policy strategy. Now, with the year coming to an end, you should think about what your agenda is for 2020, and how coaching might benefit your strategy.

Agenda 2020

I have been involved in personal development since the early naughties, gaining a Master Practitioner in NLP in 2003 and subsequently dismissing EQ (Emotional Intelligence) as a fad in 2004 during my MBA thesis. I thought both approaches were common sense, being aware of yourself, striving for being better and having a growth mindset. Always giving your best and defining your goals, reviewing them and making plans. This, as I know now, looking back at 15 years working in a corporate career and with technology start ups, isn’t the case. People don’t apply common sense, not every manager is emotional aware, and yes, I have seen printers and fax machines being thrown through the office. It is time to understand what the workplace really needs!

Hence, after coaching teams, executives and advising businesses and boards on strategic positioning and outcomes for over 10 years, I now want to dedicate 100% of my time doing just that. That’s my agenda 2020. Being there to help leaders to achieve more, increase the ROI by developing executives in their career, leadership qualities and helping them to improve the output of their teams.

With the rise of mental health awareness, we are more mindful and aware of both emotions and our mental state. Therefore ‘Emotional Awareness’ starts with you. Whilst you might never be able to 100% control yourself, there are ways to do so most of the time. It all starts with self awareness and spreads out to awareness of others, teams, managers and subordinates. You will soon find that EQ gives you a choice of how to react to situations and how to approach the next steps in your life – whether that is your career or your personal goals.

In the last few years, the term mindfulness comes up more often. Originated somewhere amongst Buddhist meditation, Emotional Intelligence and Yoga, the principles of mindfulness help in the workplace. Science proves that the use of meditation changes your brain in a way that you are more logical thinking, make better decisions and have less of an emotional response. In my opinion, the theories of EQ and Mindfulness are merging to something I like to call the ‘New Mindfulness’.

We are living in times where there is information overload. We don’t get to spend enough time with our families, the work-life or life-life balance is missing, and we are out of sync with ourselves. On the back of that we see an increase in mental health problems, and stress related illnesses. However, there is a cure: new mindfulness can combat all that and more, making you better at deciding what to think.

I recently published my already best selling book Principles for Success, which amongst the principles list mindfulness and EQ. This is based on my podcast, where I interview high performers, CEO and executive coaches, leadership experts, and successful people about what they do differently and how they became successful. My compulsory question is ‘how do you define success’, and the answers are very subjective. But this is the same if I asked you, how your agenda 2020 is looking like?

What is on your agenda for next year? What are your plans, goals and objectives? Which actions are you taking to achieve those? Who holds you accountable for it?

In order to implement mindfulness in organisations, to drive EQ adoption and change the culture in your company, we need to talk about coaching. From the top down, executive coaching, team coaching and goal as well as value alignment. This is not a quick fix but a fundamental company change. And if you prefer, call it leadership skill training, or strategic board advisory, as that is where it starts. But it is worth it. Change Management. The benefits of engagement from your teams are well worth the time and effort you put in.

I often get asked why or if coaching helps. And you can do the google search yourself, but the general consensus is what I see with my clients. The outside in perspective, being able to be a sounding board, and listening deep into what is going on under the surface. A coach asks the right questions and distils the information needed to bring on change. A coach challenges you, and makes you do the work, holding you accountable for your goals, strategy and objectives. We are here to support you on your way, having those difficult discussions that result in you performing better, whether that is at work or at home, your life.

How about gaining back the work-life balance and getting your career back on track? Increasing your self esteem, and gain the confidence that propels you towards your goals. Identify your strengths, so you can play towards them. Build a team that compliments each other, so you can delegate more, and trust them more too. We are here to maximise your potential and bring your team to the next level.

If you are interested in finding out more or would like a no obligation chat, please contact me on volker@ballueder.com

All the best for 2020 and beyond!

Back to School

This week is back to school. If not a lot earlier, most people return to work this week. Particularly in the UK, with people enjoying splendid weather over the bank holiday weekend (just over a week ago), some took the additional week off. Why not.

I have been on it since early August, working on content for my blog, my LinkedIn Videos and launch of my executive and productivity coaching business. I have been lucky to see a trend that companies are interested in mindfulness trainings and how they can create a culture within an organisation that looks after their employees. As I continue with a top end training course later in the year, I started teaching meditation and mindfulness, incorporating emotional intelligence (EQ), working towards productivity. It all seems to come together.

This week is back to school for the kids too. That means childcare is sorted for most of the day, and life returns to some kind of routine. It also means that you see less of your children. Unfortunately, that’s how life is.

Those who follow me closely know that I currently split my time between a part-time job and launching my own business. That is splitting my time between security and flexibility. It is hard work, but I have a great team I am working with at my contract and enjoy both challenges. Best of both worlds really.

Also, this week we are back to my podcasts. On Thursday I launch season 3 of my podcast Stories of Success. It has been so much fun, that after 40 episodes I continue to interview high achievers and personal development people who give us their opinion on success. I have a few really interesting episodes recorded already, so make sure you tune in on any of your favourite outlets (including Spotify!)

As of next week, I am launching my 2nd book, Principles for Success. I will share more info about the book in the forthcoming weeks and give you a taster of what it is all about. It is an exciting journey to write a book and you will find out more on an article I wrote over on LinkedIn.

Despite my busy schedule I still have a couple of coaching slots available for Q4. So don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know if you are interested. Or, if you are part of a business, let me come in and I share my thoughts on how to create a more productive workplace.

Here is to Q4!

Productivity Book Promotion #BeBetter

As an executive and productivity coach, it isn’t very uncommon to have a book published on productivity. This was my first ever book and my next book on Success Principles will be published later this year.

Given we are all back after a long summer, a great long bank holiday weekend, it might just be the right time to kick-start your productivity habits.

I have developed a 7 pillar framework which looks at

– Defining what success actually means
– Looking at your values and purpose
– Defining the here and now and status quo
– What do you want to achieve?
– Define your stepping stones.
– Plan your actions, as a plan is no good without actions
– #BeBetter

There is a lot more in the book, about trusted systems, healthy bodies, and spirits; it covers habits and routines, productivity tools and more.

Let me know if you like the ideas or want to have a chat about the book or how this could be applied to your executives and teams.

Best thing. The book is FREE to download from AMAZON this week! Promotion is on until Thursday.

d:pulse – the new digital must-attend event in Europe!

You have to admit that flying to Zurich to a conference from London, staying over night, has to be a good conference, right? A conference that adds value to a coach and consultant. So when my friends, Frank and Christian, invited me to join them in Zurich for d:pulse, I was on fire. They have built dmexco, brought the industry together a few times, and just understand the concept of good conferencing, adding value and getting the right people on board.

So there I was, and admittedly, not knowing who Sven Hannawald was, he started the conference talking about burn-out, life-life balance and taking breaks. I thought I was on a personal development conference for a moment, as the multi Olympia winner talked about his struggle with mental health, performance and not being able to take a break. He spoke to what I preach, and that at a digital conference. It reiterated my point about the industry having to come closer together to not overwork people and look after each other. Besides us being a billion dollar industry, we are still a close knit team, and we have to work together to make it a sustainable industry not only from a money perspective, but from a people perspective too.

Throughout the day it was nice to see that brands like Lufthansa or Deutsche Bank embracing new technologies, Discovery mentioning how TV is changing, and I saw attempts to take the execution of technology in-house. Companies start trying things, but also admit that they don’t have the specialists in house. Technology is still a grey area for some, or at least they understand it strategically but not from an execution or operational point of view. No surprise to find a lot of consulting friends in the audience, seeing opportunity to help bigger brands on their journey.

Emotional bonding with brands is key. Whilst Deutsche admitted that in their presentation, a millennial social media company, Visual Statements, showcases emotions and how this impacts social media campaigns. All around data analysis, they test concepts on social which then inform them which products should be produced for brick and mortar stores. Throughout every presentation was a trail of data, data analysis and how they can inform decisions.

Emotions were of course also mentioned by Unruly who have looked at different meanings of gestures and how certain advertising resonates with different countries for many years (see picture). Again, their data plus the ability to change the ads according to audience, deliver a real difference.

I enjoyed the conference. New and old mingled, GenZ, Millennials and people like me ;-), the industry seems to rejuvenate itself, looking at new topics, being more experimental. All captured by the organisers in a fantastic event in Zurich. What is not to like?

And of course, Sir Martin was there. He was relaxed, talked about the industry and about how things will de-consolidate. He also made the point about content that is data driven and digital being the way forward. Take it from a man who knows, and one sentence will stick in my mind. He said, given the US media industry is 20 trillion dollars vs. 3 trillion in the UK, an hour in the US would make him 7 times more effective. I like his thinking!

In case you attended the event, let me know what you think. If you didn’t, make sure you head over to the d:pulse website and register for the next event. This is a conference that will be the must-attend event in years to come.

Thanks!

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.

Apple Watch

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 or transform into productivity coaching and meditation? It is about being self aware (EQ) and being able to notice that you are stressed, or overwhelmed. Being able to then focus on your breathing or go for a walk; or to meditate, take some time off. And to be aware of others too.

So Mindfulness at the workplace translates into awareness and techniques to tackle mental discomfort in a way to make work a happier place.

Feel free to reach out to Ballueder Partners in order to find out more, or how we can cooperate to bring mindfulness and EQ to your workplace! Because that’s part of our executive and productivity coaching programme.

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 for trust, partnership and mutual success. What this means to me is, that you look at a subset of EQ, finding out how conversations can trigger greater and stronger social relationships and make those stronger, making you more productive and therefore more successful. It is about cooperation and team communication, making them stronger.

This can go very much in line with strengths coaching where you identify people’s unrealised and realised strengths, in order to activate hidden potential.

That’s what Ballueder Partners works on, and how we make you stronger as a team or an executive. Contact us today for a no obligation chat!

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?

Imposter Syndrome as featured in the New York Times

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 thoughts. Was my promotion justified?

We can help with that. The thoughts, that’s all it is, and coaching helps with that. Just having someone to talk to, as a sounding board, giving you some guidance on mindfulness, will help you succeed, and overcome the imposter syndrome. Your performance will improve, no doubt!

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 to identify their values and goals. One of the first things I establish coaching with my executive and teams. Based on that we want to work on what motivates you. Particularly, working as an executive and productivity coach, I am interested in how your values align to your goals, your career, and then, how you can make things better for you, more productive essentially.

And if you haven’t heard of strengths coaching, then we should talk. Let’s have a chat and see how that can help you or your team to find some hidden potential!

Let me know if that’s something worth chatting about.

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? How can we move them to a more growth and contribution state? Self Actualisation based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Is that the desired outcome?

Coaching is all about identifying needs, and being able to direct the client, offering tools, objective views and working with the client to alter stages. Asking a lot of questions. Listening actively. I found that my NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) background helps a lot for the change work. Modelling successful behaviour and teach it. Strengths coaching for individual and teams helps to identify unrealised strengths. Building and working to realise them and move productivity and performance up a notch.

Whichever tool I use, it is about the desired outcome, starting with the basis for a high performance in the future.

Want to find out more? Contact us today!