All For One – Train the Brain to be a Better You

The new science of neuroplasticity has now proven that the brain can change, and it does so by the way we think. This means you can change your mind (thinking ways) to change your brain (neurobiology).

Team members are expected to work well together. To be cohesive. To resolve their own ‘communication’ problems. Bringing in a facilitator is almost the last and final straw. Let me make a comment about that right now. Personal development is an ongoing and forever affair. It’s not something we do as a one off event. So why does a corporate culture (not all, of course) provide team development opportunities in response to a crisis, or only occasionally? I am not speaking about team events here – companies engage in lots of those and team events have a valuable place in providing a social opportunity to get to know each other outside of work issues.

brain training

Back to your trainable brain!

We all know that there’s no ‘i’ in team, but is it really possible to have one without the other? You may not be able to engage a team development facilitator but you can follow these 6 tips on how to build a spirit of collaboration in the workplace by developing a holistic you.

What can you do differently that will improve your relationship with others? And in doing so, you get to grow you, meaning that you are able to transform into an emotionally and mentally strong individual, making yourself an invaluable asset to your team. When we feel good as individuals, we transfer good energy to others around us, making us likeable and approachable. In turn, this makes for a strong and collaborative team.

Change your Mind & Train the Brain

Let’s face it. Most jobs are stressful to some degree. And everyone has good and bad moments outside of work that affect our moods throughout the day. But the trick is to not let those moods overtake us. We need to train our brain, the same way that we train and work out any other muscle.

Your train your brain session consists of 5 simple exercises and 1 great video resource – some are ways that show you how to put the brakes on your emotions (a very necessary and handy tool to have at times) and others are about practicing a new way of thinking.

Here we go.

1. When you are speaking with your team members, remove the word ‘you’ from your dialogue unless it’s followed by a compliment. Using the word ‘you’ followed by said, did, aren’t, etc comes across as judgmental and to your coworker, their ability to listen to whatever comes after the word ‘you’ is coloured emotionally.

2. This is a way to put on the emotional brakes. Wear an elastic band and each time you feel your emotions rising, tweak the band on your wrist. I suggest you wear a thick rubber band. What this action does is to remind you that you are about to react, and the person who is about to react is not truly you. It will allow you to take a breath because of the physical pain of tweaking the elastic band.

3. Go on a short walk and/or listen to your favourite feel-good song at least once a working day. Make it a mindful walk. Feel your feet in your shoes moving and touching the ground. Move your focus slowly from your feet in your shoes, to your knees, etc, all the way up to the crown of your head. Connecting your mind with your body reconnects you – mentally and physically.

4. Grab a pen and write it out when someone or something is bothering you in the workplace. This is a classical journaling exercise. Write it all out. Long hand preferably and then throw the writing away. Alternatively, you can send yourself an email with your journal writing. Sometimes seeing what you wrote a day later will give you insight and clarity about yourself without the emotions that caused the writing in the first place.

5. Suggest a team development session if you feel the energy and mood at the workplace has been low for some time. This is a great way to get everyone in the right headspace when they may otherwise feel stuck. It makes for a great bonding session as it refreshes everyone’s mood and outlook, all at the same time!

6. Watch this TedX Talk on the brain – very cool!

By doing these simple and infallible things, you are in fact training your brain to be proactive in incredibly stressful situations. Rather than reacting irrationally at work, ruining your and everyone else’s mood, you are being the bigger person and in the long run, benefiting your position in the workplace. This means a happier, more enthusiastic team! Collaborate and feel good doing it!

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