Monday, July 6, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Rosie Tomkins, author of ‘N-stinctive’

In stressful times with much uncertainty to contend with, it is no surprise that some of us are losing the feeling of excitement and passion for our businesses. However, there is good news even in these difficult times; you can reconnect with the passion that led you into your business, and in the process create a new balance in your life.

Picnic f0134315
Image: Pickit

About 12 months ago, I worked with a CEO whose company was extremely successful. The focus for the session was ‘communication’, a very challenging problem in most organizations and in life generally. I particularly wanted this client to ‘feel’ leadership rather than ‘think’ strategically.

We met at my farm where we are lucky enough to have space to play with ideas outside in nature. I wanted to engage him with ‘out of the box’ thinking, thus I obtained his permission to work without the sense of sight or language. In other words, to blindfold my client and work without speech; purely by touch. I proceeded to lead him outside using different techniques. Firstly, I was collaborative and supportive, giving him my arm and guiding him with care. Secondly, I gave him the end of a rope to hold and quickened my pace and distance, taking him out of his comfort zone. Thirdly, I went behind him and pushed him gently into the unknown. This carried on until I had exhausted all the different leadership styles that I knew. What he didn’t know was that he was moving towards a horse. Finally, I took him into the outdoor arena and placed his hands on the withers of one of my horses.

What happened next was extraordinary and will stay with him, and with me, forever.

As he felt the strong warm coat of a living thing he spontaneously buried his head in the horse’s side, and he wept. His sense of relief was palpable. The strength and sheer presence of the horse standing strong and patient by his side was immensely poignant. Another living creature had his back and somehow the horse understood that the man simply needed to be in contact with him and needed support. My thoroughbred horse kept completely still. The client was able to let go of his own power for a minute and simply be. To take a breath, feel the moment and gain the insight that it gave him without words, without sight, simply feeling the animal connection and shared understanding.

I asked him whether he was happy to share this powerful moment. Without hesitation, he agreed.

I was born in the high mountains of Pakistan where nature in all its glory is on your doorstep. Connection with all living things had been part of the culture. How far away all that seems now. I had forgotten that deep connection and how much I long for that in my life again.

He had voiced the core issue that brought him to the farm. Loss of connection with nature.

I knew something was unfulfilled in my life. I now know that the way I am living has to change dramatically. I had all the trappings of success, but no idea why I felt this emptiness inside.

Later he told me the most liberating aspect of this experience.

I re-evaluated the way I conducted my business and brought in a senior manager who now runs the day-to-day operation. This has freed me up to connect with nature and I have found this to be a wonderful bedrock of ideas. I am now positioned to utilize my natural creativity and have someone else handle the daily process for me. Our company has gone from strength to strength.

Why is this anecdote significant? It’s time to look at different approaches.

Edward Osborne Wilson, the naturalist said,

Humans depend on nature for more than food. We have an evolutionary need to connect with the natural world for cognitive, mental, emotional, spiritual development, growth, meaning, and fulfillment. Without contact with the natural world we become impoverished.

Here are my eight suggestions for allowing nature to ground us right now and going forward:

1. Connect with natural phenomena

Watch a sunrise or sunset, either on your own or with the other members of your household. The ‘dawn of the day’ and the ‘end of the day’ are perfect times to reflect on the beauty of nature.

2. Connect digitally

Add a beautifully scenic screensaver to your computer. Change your ‘Zoom’ background to something aesthetically natural. Sometimes these small changes to our regular working lives can reignite our enjoyment of the outside world.

3. Connect in your kitchen

Simply add some potted plants to the windowsill. There’s something very rewarding about planting seeds and seeing new life grow, taking responsibility for cultivating something organic and beautiful. Science tells us that plants ‘bring happiness’ to a room. Choose some pretty pots and get growing.

4. Connect in your local area

Walk in the park and count the different types of animals you see, trot up the highest hill in your neighborhood and take in the vastness of the sky, stroll through the woods and smell the under-forest. There’s an incredibly emotive experience to the feeling that you’re a small part of something bigger.

5. Connect with adventure

Swim in your local ‘open water lake’. Embrace the brisk water and the rewarding feeling of being physically connected to nature. The cold water soon feels warmer, enjoyable, invigorating.

6. Connect with your reading

Find an engaging book that describes and visualizes nature. “Rewilding Yourself” by Simon Barnes is particularly good.

7. Connect with a documentary

Who doesn’t enjoy a David Attenborough documentary? These documentaries are a fantastic way to remind ourselves that there is a world of beauty out there.

8. Connect with philanthropy

Subscribe to an intuitive, reputable, and beautiful wildlife magazine. I find the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to be exceptionally good.

9. Connect with fun

Support your sanctuary or wildlife reserve. When COVID restrictions are lifted, go spend the day with your family, surrounded by the world’s most beloved creatures. For an extra sense of connectivity, ‘Adopt an Animal’ to harness the support of the natural world.

10. Why is it so important to stay connected to nature?

The human spirit can be restored by nature. If we ignore it and continue to believe that manmade solutions can replace our connection to wildlife, we are seriously mistaken.

I often say to clients – We are not in nature, we are nature. One of the wonderful things about nature is that it connects us to the here and now. It makes us savor the present moment instead of always focusing on the goals of tomorrow. In the presence of nature, we feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, something endless, something out of our control. Use this to reconnect to your passion or your business and simultaneously establish a new balance in your life overall.


Rosie Tomkins
      
Rosie Tomkins is founder of the Natural Capital Consultancy and author of ‘N-stinctive’, an inspirational book that introduces an alternative to traditional leadership training by unlocking the power of the natural world to provide strength and confidence to people who are shouldering huge responsibility.

Rosie’s clients include the GB Olympic hockey and England rugby teams, the NHS, and multi-national companies in the airline, engineering, and pharmaceutical industries.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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Monday, June 8, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Rosie Tomkins, author of ‘N-stinctive’

Humankind has benefited immensely from technology but as we move towards an ease in the COVID-19 lockdown constraints in some parts of the world we need to ask ourselves: is our modern way of operating what we really want? Will the long-term effect on our way of living be a positive one?

The decisions we make will have a long-lasting effect – particularly on our younger generation and the leaders of tomorrow.

Penguins
Image: Pickit

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Monday, June 1, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Sarah Lewis, C.Psychol., Appreciating Change

Around the world, countries are still in lockdown. In the UK, the process of reducing restrictions is starting. However, this cannot be regarded as a return to normal. Businesses need to think of the changing situation as moving forward into a new normal. Handling this, with the continuing reality of Covid-19, will require resilience and adaptability from business owners.

Resilience Pickit
Image: Pickit

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Monday, May 11, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Chantal Cooke, Panpathic Communications

When Covid-19 struck there were many things for businesses to think about. For the last few weeks, most have been fire-fighting: making provision for team members working from home; analyzing the various forms of government help and evaluating how best it can be applied in our particular businesses; projecting the immediate and the longer-term financial impacts. Simultaneously, we’ve had to make changes at home: deciding how best to look out for vulnerable relatives and friends; learning what two meters look like; unexpectedly having to take on educating our children and entertaining them — all day long.

The world is different. But not unrecognizably so. The future we thought we were heading for is different too. But it is more likely to be one with fully stocked pasta shelves than Hunger Games. So, when we get back to normal or become accustomed to a close-as-we-can-get-to-normal interim period, you and your business need to be fit-for-purpose. And you will need to make sure your customers know it.

PR Press
Image: Pixabay

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Thursday, May 7, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Sarah Lewis, C.Psychol., Appreciating Change

In business, we have to keep managing in the face of the threat posed by Covid-19. As lockdown continues, many of us, both business owners and employees, are feeling much more anxious than usual. It’s easy for this to become a downward cycle of worry, lethargy, and depression. The threat is real, and we can’t make it go away. What we can do is boost our resilience, finding ways to keep our spirits up.

Two principles are particularly useful. First, managing anxiety takes mental strength and energy, if we don’t actively recharge, we will become depleted. Secondly, the state of our morale affects the state of our immune system (At this point I have to say this doesn’t mean that anyone who becomes ill wasn’t positive enough!). So, if we pro-actively attend to our morale, we are also pro-actively attending to our health.

8 Tips for Keeping Up Morale
Image: Pickit

Let’s look at some ideas you can share in your business and encourage everyone to implement:

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Monday, May 4, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Rosie Tomkins, author of ‘N-stinctive’

What was our first reaction to the news of the Covid-19 pandemic?

A wave of disbelief, that disrupted our normal working patterns significantly and maybe irretrievably.

This, unwanted shunt of nature has caused heartbreak and isolation to many. The energy we all feel right now is sadness, anxiety, despair, uncertainty, and lack of control. Lockdown with our families does not replace the energy of our work teams and our colleagues and we can feel as if we have been caged.

So how do we find some uplift or precious sustenance, for our new journey ahead?

Natural Intelligence
Image: Scopio

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Thursday, April 30, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Amanda Hamilton, CEO of National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP)

These are, indeed, unprecedented times! It’s important, therefore, to know where you stand contractually and what legal implications there may be if you cannot provide services to others or they cannot provide services to you that are contractually bound to be fulfilled. As with all contracts, they have to be legally enforceable agreements.

Contracts
Image: StockUnlimited

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Thursday, April 23, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Craig Bulow, Corporate Away Days

As we adjust to the realities of this Covid-19 virus, it is unsurprising that many people are feeling high levels of anxiety.  Because of this, it’s vitally important that business owners consider how the situation is affecting the mental wellbeing of their staff as they get used to a new way of working and living.

What can business owners do to provide the necessary support for their staff?  Here are some suggestions to help you get a plan in place or take further action.

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Monday, April 20, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Hugo Tilmouth, CEO, ChargedUp

Well before the UK Government advised businesses to work remotely where possible, we took the decision to make the move. We switched to remote working on 10th March. We called a meeting that morning and had transitioned to remote working by the time everyone left that evening. We haven’t been back to the office since that day.

It’s now over a month since we moved from actual office to virtual office. You won’t be surprised to hear that we’ve learned a lot in this time. Here are some tips to help you and your team work remotely, based on our experience to date:

Work from home

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020
posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

By Hugo Tilmouth, CEO, ChargedUp

As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads, it is important for companies of all sizes to make a contribution to help contain and fight the virus. We are seeing many companies coming forward and taking action. One way to help is by providing something that we all need in the current circumstances, for example, access to hand sanitizer.

This is where we realized that at ChargedUp, Europe’s largest phone charging network, we can make our contribution.

We are switching our network of charging stations to hand sanitizer stations. We have named this initiative CleanedUp and aim to give our support to the UK’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

ChargedUp Station

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