One of my favourite English Rock bands of the 1980’s got it spot on with the lyric ‘’When people run in circles it’s a very very mad world, mad world’’.
Life is just so hectic and there is no respite. Daily work and family pressures in my view are significantly worse than they were back in the 80’s when I was finding my way in the world. Today’s guest Dr Audrey Tang is a Chartered Psychologist , NLP practitioner, and resident psychologist on Sky TV’s Chrissy B Show. She is also author of best selling books Be A Great Manager Now, and her latest The Leaders Guide To Mindfulness: How To Use Soft Skills To Get Hard Results. Leaders are under intense pressure every day, and by using Audrey’s Mindfulness strategies you can focus your attention on the present so you and your organisation can perform more successfully, and make your world a little less mad.
“I sometimes take a harsher tone with self-care in the sense that looking after and being responsible for other people doesn’t excuse you from being responsible for yourself.”[10:15]
Audrey’s original dream as a young girl was to be the most famous actress the world had ever seen. She ended up in a drama school instead of completing her A levels, but she found out the acting world wasn’t for her. The combination of rejection and fitting in with the type of people involved in the scene turned her off from pursuing it as a career—however she still ended up doing some acting work on the side after completing her A levels, and landed a spot on a James Bond Film: Spectre.[17:50]
For her first degree, Audrey went headlong into psychology. After her Masters she tried out event management and advertising, but still found herself bored with the repetition required with her company. She tried law and tried tutoring in drama as well, but ended up teaching psychology which carried her throughout her PhD. While she could write well academically, she didn’t much care for the style academia required—and through writing on her own she managed to get some work published and started doing training sessions and ended up on the Chrissy B Show.
“So often people think it’s all about ‘I set myself a goal and then I achieve it and that’s the end.’ You often learn and change path through failing. There are certain obstacles where you absolutely can’t bulldoze your way though. Those failures teach you those skills of adapting and being flexible and transferable skills.”[33:33]
With culture today focusing on social media and an always connected world, it can be hard to sit back and actually enjoy life as it comes in front of you. This is where Mindfulness comes in to play—not just in your personal life, but your work life as well for both those at the top of businesses and those they lead. She calls this Applied Mindfulness, and sometimes this doesn’t mean what you’d first think. Being more aware can open up different avenues of creativity and inspiration—different ways to pitch ideas and products and think from different angles for your client. Being mindful of how your body responds to making decisions can help in high stress situations, and sometimes the results of this come across in hard to measure ways. But if your employees seem to be more efficient, happier, and staying in the company for longer—the line between whether this stems from your mindfulness or theirs blurs and everyone around you can benefit.