Are you stressed?
One ancient antidote to stress that’s now gaining mainstream recognition is mindfulness.
So what does it mean to be mindful?
Here’s a straightforward introductory exercise that you can add to your day, and that takes no time:
- Choose a habit – something you do on your own every day, like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or drinking morning coffee
- Pay close attention to what’s happening while you do it
- Be fully aware of how it feels, smells, sounds, tastes and so on
- If your mind wanders, notice where it went to, and guide it back gently to the present moment
Reducing stress lowers the likelihood of burnout, stroke, heart attack and depression.
Isn’t it worth including some no-time-a-day activity in your life to avoid these and other health risks? And it will increase your happiness too!
The word ’empathy’ is becoming more common, while empathy itself seems to be on the wane. But do you really understand what empathy is? If you don’t, how can you notice if you’re losing your empathic abilities?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, empathy is:
the power of mentally identifying oneself with (and so fully comprehending) a person or object of contemplation
Empathy is very different to sympathy.
(watch this short video)
It’s the ability to:
- Take the perspective of another person
- Stay out of judgement
- Recognise emotion in others and communicate it
Empathy is a basic human capability that we can develop.
Empathy can also be lost.
Here are a few ways you can keep your empathy muscle in trim:
- Do something for someone unexpectedly — without expectation of reward or recognition
- Express appreciation as often as you can
- Check-in on how you listen — give others your full attention
- Notice how you relate to others — and whether you judge or ‘box’ them
Empathy is great for everyone in your life — and it’s great for you! Not only does empathy improve your wellbeing, but it also makes you a better communicator, negotiator, networker, and more.
‘If there is one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view’. Henry Ford
Empathy is a win-win.
Make sure you don’t lose yours.
The effect of a soft skills deficit is going to have a big impact on us all before long, and this will be of particular concern to parents. Unfortunately, our education system is seriously stuck in the past…
‘In the past, education was about imparting knowledge. Today, it is about providing students with the tools to navigate an increasingly uncertain, volatile world.’ Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, OECD
A serious bias towards short-term teaching to the test persists throughout the education system in the UK. This approach doesn’t give young people the soft skills they need to succeed now – the skills that employers are crying out for.
‘We will do the next generation a grave disservice if we fail to create an education for all that meets the needs of the 21st century workplace.’ Kirstie Donnelly, UK Managing Director of City & Guilds
According to research by Development Economics Ltd, strong soft skills can boost an individual’s lifetime earnings by up to 15%, but in a Backing Soft Skills Report by McDonald’s, it was estimated that more than half a million UK workers will soon be held back by soft skills deficits.
And it’s not only in the workplace that soft skills are determinants of success – they are crucial for personal happiness, particularly in times of rapid change.
Since 2000 we have been delivering innovative training and educational projects, using our award-winning, in-house methodology BBM®, based on five barriers that limit access to our soft skills, and have a dramatic, negative impact on performance.
You can read more about our methodology here: https://www.barrierbreakersfoundation.org/how/bbm/