With every team that we work with, we lead a discussion where we ask them to build their Performance Mindset, one attribute at a time. The lists vary slightly but common elements, or red threads, always come through. These include:
_to be aware
_to be focused
_to be solution-oriented
_to be resilient
_to be adaptive
_to be present
_to be confident
_to be creative
_to be calm
_to be immune to distractions
_to be empathetic
One of the most exciting findings in the latest scientific research is what is going on in the brain when we have achieved a state of “being”. Research supports that this state of a High Performance Mindset is associated with a space in time when the mind is actually quiet.
As it turns out, the clear and uncluttered mind happens by creating space to NOT do; a space, which is associated with BEING in the present moment. This makes sense since creativity is about taking things we already know, and then connecting them in ways we never thought of. Imagine a chessboard. In order to make your next move, you need an open space to move towards. In the absence of this space, you may find yourself in checkmate.
Think about a time when you were busy, running from meeting to meeting, and your brain was full of problems it had to solve. At that moment were you more present, more creative, more immune to distractions (focused), and more empathetic to those around you? I would guess that you weren’t.
One of the greatest rewards of working with Tignum clients is sharing their “aha” moments, and the biggest “aha” moments I have witnessed have been when a client finally links the skill of Recovery to creating their Performance Mindset. I would be lying if I didn’t say that occasionally there is some initial resistance to this fact, but that is what makes those “aha” moments even more powerful.
I purposefully use the word skill here because we can all learn how to quiet our mind in order to achieve and sustain a High Performance Mindset. We can all use Recovery techniques like breathing, movement, laughter, and meditation to consciously affect the activities within our brain.
At Tignum, we love when cutting edge neuroscience comes together with ancient wisdom. Even more, we love when hard-hitting executives create a competitive advantage by purposefully using Recovery strategies to create Sustainable High Performance.
Of course, nothing proves the point better than you doing your own neuroscience experiment. Before your next meeting, take just two minutes and synchronize your breathing with a deep 4-count inhale, a 2-count pause, a long 8- count exhale, and another 2-count pause. While you focus on your breathing, imagine that during each inhalation all your thoughts are pushed out of your mind, your mind settles and becomes quiet, and with each exhalation new open space is created in your mind.
Now see how this short Recovery break affects your High Performance Mindset and let me know what you think.
By Susanne Lurger
Tignum High Performance Recovery Partner