sUCCESS STORY #1:
François gains self-belief and transforms his life
François, a young banker in one of the world’s leading global banks, was extremely clever but often overwhelmed by a lack of social confidence, underestimating his abilities and status in the
world. He was particularly conscious of how uncomfortable he felt working predominantly with colleagues who had MBAs from the top business schools. While he had perfectly good credentials,
his education was different. He had been promoted internally and fast- tracked through the global bank without the traditional MBA. He noticed how the colleagues with MBAs seemed to ‘own the room’ and conducted calls with ease and confidence. In addition, François’ father, a brilliant scientist, had thought he was doing his son a service by constantly objecting to and critiquing his ideas about life but, instead, had unwittingly contributed to his underlying vulnerability and sense of inferiority as a result.
During the first two months of coaching, François adopted the following morning routine, practised at home: centering his body, centering his voice using a 1–10 counting exercise, and conducting articulation exercises. Then, on his commute, he practised paced breathing, created and addressed his Map of Tension (MOT) and focus practice, moving his attention to his brain and body to prepare for the demands of the day. He artfully integrated strength and flexibility techniques, taking charge of his confidence and adaptability. He began to feel different. He noticed that he was laughing and joking more with team members and was becoming bolder in talking with bosses and gaining their support. If negative thoughts or worry started to take over, François became a regular user of the ‘Bounce Positive’ technique. He learned to handle negative events using the ‘Letting Go’ technique, leaving him free to perform at his best. Having felt isolated from time to time and being highly analytical and hard-working, networking and socialising had been last on his list of priorities. So, François also worked hard on socialising more and diarIsing time with colleagues and mentors to become better connected all around. He practised visualising the future (‘Seeing the Long Game’), to help him create a strategy he could put into action. François knew he wanted to have a partner and a family, but with the long hours and commitment that the banking industry demands, he had to plan and dedicate time to socialising in order to make this a reality.
One year later, François still works to ensure his home and social life are not swallowed up by long hours, but has a partner now, has been promoted twice and has executed two of the most successful deals in his department.
sUCCESS STORY #2:
TANIA TAKES CHARGE AT WORK AND HOME
Tania, a senior executive, was working very long hours, using her weekends to catch up, and had no boundaries whatsoever between work and home. An energetic member of the senior team, she was fully involved in corporate projects, board activities and other processes critical to the business. Her and her partner’s elderly parents would visit every year and stay with them for months. While these family visits were important to Tania and her partner, for Tania, this put enormous pressure on family life. They were living in a small house, there was no place for her to just be alone, and her relationship with her partner was also suffering.
Taking her unique situation into account, we identified separate priorities and techniques for work and for home. For work, these were:
1. Better resourcing – she used ‘Seeing the Long Game’ and Muscle- Firming and Milestones to envision and map out how she would do this. She integrated Posture, Paced Breathing, Centering, and Vocal Strength into her working life and used them to take charge of her situation. It took eight months to influence the CEO and recruit new team members to create a committed and thriving department.
2. Placing boundaries around her time, working smarter not harder, and pushing back on impossible deadlines – Tania used energy-saving techniques and stopped thinking "me, everything, always" and started to get clarity. She worked hard to obtain interim help and to delegate more; she prioritised the actions she needed to take to realise her strategic goals and the goals of her department and organisation as a whole; and she selected the key tasks that would move the big work forwards and got on with those.
At home, Tania asked her siblings to share the responsibility for looking after her parents. ‘Relationshift’ and Chemistry of Optimism techniques, especially ‘Bounce Positive’, were applied daily as she tackled entrenched relationships. She invested time and money in moving to a house with an office, her own space where she could close the door and work peacefully from home one day a week. She and her partner also committed to carving out more family time. Realising that their values and purpose as parents were being compromised, they reviewed their Chemistry of Motivation and Appreciation, and committed to being home with their daughters for a family meal at 7pm every day. This created a fantastic new boundary that made everyone in the family happier, and helped them to feel that they were behaving with more integrity as parents.
Two years later, Tania took promotion and moved to a board position in a larger organisation with a bigger team, fully prepared to sustain her high performance, influence for resources, put boundaries around her time and get those around her performing at their highest and living at their happiest, too.
"All of these techniques have enabled me to manage pressure in the work environment and have improved my sleep and my personal and family life – all with techniques that don’t require much time or effort."
"Putting these principles into practise has transformed my way of working and living."