‘Trust and confidence is crashing’ – the headline from an article summarising the feeling of supporters at this year’s World Economic Forum at the Swiss retreat of Davos. With the ever-present tensions surrounding the economy, jobs, inequality and migration among other things, it almost feels like it could be applied to pretty much any current affairs bulletin right now.
The call for social skills in leadership (often referred to as 'soft' skills) and emotional intelligence (or ‘EQ’) isn’t anything new. You may not find these listed in the job spec, however more and more, companies are looking to recruit employees who can not only demonstrate outstanding expertise, but also collaborate and communicate on teams.
How often do we shut down our potential to thinking?
While some of us may not consider ourselves particularly talented in the ideas department, I believe we all have the ability to tap into our creative juices.
Perhaps it’s more about our perception around what being creative actually means? We can all be curious … and explore, and because of that capacity it stands to reason that we can all conjure concepts and ideas. We may not follow through with making them a reality … so maybe that’s what leads us to believe we’ve not got the capability?
What is it then, that can prevent our flow of thought and stop us in our tracks?
If you’ve travelled through the clouds, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the safety instructions in the event of oxygen masks making an appearance mid-flight.
It’s an important metaphor for those who tend to run around taking care of everything and focusing on everyone else other than themselves.
If the aspiration is to follow your bliss, the inference of course is that you actually know what ‘your bliss’ is. So let’s imagine that you do have an idea about what you’d really like to do with your life, and that it’s not what you’re doing now.
So the obvious question is ‘why are you still doing what you do?
Stress. It can make us less responsive, less creative, and less effective. Often stress is referred to as mental or emotional pressure coupled with the psychological effects as a result, however it’s important to realise that in fact it’s a reaction between the mind and body and therefore, how we feel, think and physically behave are all significant factors.
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