Practice B.E.I.N.G. to Achieve Workplace Prosperity and Safety

Practice B.E.I.N.G. to Achieve Workplace Prosperity and Safety

Prosperity and safety in the workplace are necessary for best performance outcomes. Prosperity breathes comfort that survival is possible for driving competitive advantages and teamwork capabilities. It reduces presenteeism. Safe practices reduce absences and turnover. Productivity results from workplaces filled with attitudes of prosperity and safety. Employees instinctually seek feeling safe but stretching outside of comfortable practices may compromise quality of life. Experiences of prosperity through novel practices offers the ability to be vulnerable towards what appears as ambiguous. The anonymous quote, "If you're comfortable in life then you're not maturing," is true. Maturing performance standards results in employee discomfort. A workplace may reduce discomfort with B.E.I.N.G strategies resulting in employee's boldly existing in necessary growth. B.E.I.N.G. Boldly Existing in Necessary Growth is an acronym to set up the ability to successfully manage the potential stress of improving performance. Boldly Occupational Justice is the rights, responsibilities, and liberties that enable us to commit to occupations (activities) for health and quality of life needs. When overwhelmed, underwhelmed,...
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What to Do With That Busy Mind That Disrupts Performance

What to Do With That Busy Mind That Disrupts Performance

Awareness determines how time is spent. Behaviors are a reflection of brain activity. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman researched this phenomenon and summarized that  "even in the absence of time pressure, maintaining a coherent train of thought requires discipline." How does the brain get disciplined? Changing a busy brain with rampant, scattered thoughts towards attending to immediate surroundings, internal cues, and relational patterns is effortful work. Awareness improves intellectual behaviors. In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman continues, "People who are cognitively busy are also more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations." Each of these indicate an inner-dialogue that excludes a mature sense of automatic behaviors and the act of regulating them. Awareness of natural and built environment factors, as well as body capacities within are additional sense factors suppressed by cognitive busyness. "Memorizing and repeating digits loosens the hold of System 2 (awareness) on behavior, but of course cognitive load is not the only cause of weakened...
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Sharpening Abilities and Skills

Sharpening Abilities and Skills

Stories of heroism often begins with a disadvantaged person who appears to be approaching an unthinkable or uncontrollable situation.  The characters in those stories typically overcome the obstacles to achieving that thing they are seeking. What is one situation you feel is a disadvantage? Change is inevitable. So, let the air out of your tires to move under that bridge that appears as an obstacle to getting to the other side. Use your number one strength to overcome the following obstacles: You have arthritis in your fingers, knees, and neck. A natural disaster destroyed everything you own. The person you trust the most confessed they abused a child. Questions to Ask: How did your ability prevail in each these scenarios? What motivates you to move forward through what appears as a disadvantage? What current resources are most likely underutilized for the ability to overcome a...
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Being Tolerable When the Unexpected Keeps Occurring

Being Tolerable When the Unexpected Keeps Occurring

Tolerance is more frequently used as a stepping stone for social issues. It initiates a conversation about change. Awareness of differences, integration, and celebration of these differences are all aspects of being tolerable. It can be a bad email, or a peer with an opposing viewpoint. Sometimes an extra task to support a sick colleague is the case. Often these are examples of being tolerable. But does it end there? Performing day-in-day-out tasks are often part of a day's plan. There was time for forethought and scheduling around and for these tasks. Adding tolerating nuances will use extra energy originally reserved for what was planned. An added deadline might be the final straw to emotionally snapping. Questions to Ask: What does tolerance look like in your workplace? What appears to repeatedly and unexpectedly interfere with planned work? How does this effect the energy reserved for planned work? Being tolerable of not controlling or having power over...
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Performance Growth Once Boredom Is Detected

Performance Growth Once Boredom Is Detected

Boredom is an experience many people avoid. This clinician researched "doing, being and boredom" in 1,500 young subjects. His summary: they were bored 42% of the time with only 10% of their time being spent doing 'productive' work. The difference appeared to be how the recipients used their time: passive leisure self-care education, and labor force. In the Lego Movie the characters created an activity because they became bored in their relationships. Angry Dad hated his son's creativity. It interred with Dad's idea of play. At the end of the movie Dad identified his idea of being playful was a still scene of perfection. The son's idea of play was doing play. Once Dad understood the difference between their play perspectives his compassion moved them from a relationship that idolized boredom to one that appreciated doing and being creative play. Creativity engages doing play and being open to learning, caring, and alternative work behaviors. Questions to Ask:  ...
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How Much Caffeine is Too Much?

How Much Caffeine is Too Much?

Hot coffee is one of my favorite ways to start the day.  I love the routine of it, the smells that fill the kitchen and the way milk twirls, turns about until mixed. But the longer lasting reaction is a little more complicated.  I have begun to notice that the effects of coffee, i.e. flying through the fastest workday feeling, also comes with some side effects.  After a few sips, I begin to lose touch with my body and ultimately with where my personal sensory needs are at. Benefits of Self-Regulating: Increasing your focus to what requires your attention To further take care of yourself and your present needs To be able to engage in meaningful life activities Ability to deal with difficult situations that arise Know yourself better. Prevent. I typically become easily overstimulated by noise and too much visual information at once.  If I am able to realize this, then I can easily take a break at my desk with the door closed, or go for...
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Respond to Anger with Kindness

Respond to Anger with Kindness

We are unique! Our behaviors respond in different ways. At work leaders may tell you to respond to anger with kindness.  Effective communication is often interpreted as kindness. Put down the mental shot gun of using feelings about the subject, current mood, and impressions to achieve this (Kahneman 2011). Begin with understanding one's true nature. We respond with harmony or discord. Understanding one's personality and temperament helps develop healthy relationships. It enhances goal achievement. It enables you to respond to anger with kindness! If knowing one's true nature sounds like a winning solution to you, below is personality and temperament descriptives. Personality A collective of an individual's attitudes, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, social roles and other individual traits that are innate, predisposed and endure over a long period of time. We recharge one of two ways: as an extrovert or an introvert. Extroverts What: they gain their energy by being with other people, find it exhausting to be alone, need people to help them think through their problems,...
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Core Values

Core Values

Occupational therapy continues to climb the top job ratings each year. Why? O.T.'s are educated and skilled to facilitate people in the engagement of meaningful activities. Naturally, through daily repetition, they apply to their personal life what they do in their career. Occupational therapy practitioners are educated on the physiological and psychological impact of stress. Low stress and high outcome visibility was the natural course in my professional journey. Our profession is grounded in the values of altruism, equality, freedom, justice, dignity, truth, and prudence. Further explanation is found in the Core Values and Attitudes of Occupational Therapy Practice (AOTA, 1993): "Altruism is the individual’s ability to place the needs of others before their own. Equality refers to the desire to promote fairness in interactions with others. The concept of freedom and personal choice is paramount in a profession in which the desires of the client must guide our interventions. Occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and researchers relate in a fair and impartial manner to individuals with whom they...
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One of These Three Stress Responses Will Empower You To Boost Performance

One of These Three Stress Responses Will Empower You To Boost Performance

While sitting at your desk, working in the kitchen...in every task and environment your senses are bombarded. All information comes to us through sensory input. An average of 2,000 bits of information per second enters our brain (Willis 2009). Although, everyone processes through this information differently. Our senses first sift through all of it before it even reaches our awareness.  Neurologically our body organizes then attempts to adjust its reaction to an impulse. Modulation provides a behavior that safely adapts to the stress of change with less risks on health. Everyone responds to stress differently. Knowing how your senses respond may empower you to boost performance: Some of us are hypersensitive or sensory over-responders, in which we react to sensations faster and stronger than those with normal response levels (Reynolds and Jane 2007).  These aren't willful, but automatic and unconscious physiological responses to sensation. Questions to ask: Is high activity the preferred daily pace? Is there impulsiveness in behaviors? Are there...
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Overcome Floundering With These Seven Sleep Basics

Overcome Floundering With These Seven Sleep Basics

The American Occupational Therapy Association dedicated an entire issue to sleep.  Rightfully so, it usually takes up a third of our day, if you're lucky.  Within the article, it is cited that 10-15% of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia and 5% suffer from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Those statistics are alarming - there are a lot of sleep-deprived people driving, working and attempting to function in everyday life.  Certainly good habits around sleep are important but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sleep Basics Make sure the bedroom is a restful place.  Have inviting comfortable linens, a heavy blanket, your favorite pillows. Avoid stimulants or exercising 2 hours before bed.  But do be sure to include exercise daily to help establish an appropriate sleep rhythm. Establish a consistent nighttime routine and make sure the bedroom is only for sleep and intimate moments (that translates as... no TV, no iPhone!) This last week, I had my...
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How Trauma May Damage Life Without Help

How Trauma May Damage Life Without Help

One part of learning is through sharing stories about life experiences. Working in healthcare is equivalent to reading biographies or short stories. Every day listening included individuals, young and old, sharing their joy and pain through story-telling. A recent story included the life course up to the moment of witnessing a first body tremor.  It was horrific, sad...a consistent visceral response through the end. This individual openly confessed to neglecting signs through their life that eventually led to neurological impact. Trauma occurred but the course that was chosen was one of neglecting the healthier path. To add to the tremors were movement, visual and digestive issues.   The American Psychological Association sites trauma as an emotional response to a terrible event - an accident, rape or natural disaster. Merriam Webster's definition includes physical, psychic or behavioral, and emotional events. The website helpguide.org summarizes: Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable in...
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