03/11/2010

By Brian Chernett, Founder, The Academy for Chief Executives

Being the CEO can be a very stressful job. You probably knew that when you took it on. Some stress can be good and enable you to do your job better. However,if stress is affecting your ability to do your job effectively, you need to do something about it.

Building time into your day where it is possible to take time out is one way of doing this. Reading something unconnected with work, taking a walk, talking with colleagues are all ways of taking a break from work and recovering balance.

There are also things we can do alone to manage our state, reducing stress and it is three of these that I want to explore. Managing our state allows us quieten down the distractions that stress creates in our thinking and to reduce the physical manifestations of stress. We are then better able to face whatever needs to be done. Yoga, meditation and NLP are all methods for being able to do this.

I’ve experienced yoga in India first on the beach in Kerala as part of an NLP course with Sue Knight and then at the Jindal Naturecure Institute, a charitable hospital established by The Sitaram Jindal Foundation in 1978, on the outskirts of Bangalore. In both cases, I was supported by expert teachers. For me, yoga has helped with physical suppleness and with my mental clarity. With the right teaching it can do that for you.

Meditation is time put aside specifically to clear the mind of clutter and allow it to focus, to develop the thoughts that matter; a cleansing which takes away obstacles and leaves the profound. Using music or song and chant can help the process of meditation, help you to focus and to order your energy to work for your good.

I believe successful achievers find energy through meditation. Sometimes I find that I am not meditating but simply lying there thinking about positive things. It doesn’t matter about doing it right but it is it important to set the time aside for thought and renewal. What it does for me - and maybe other successful achievers - is that it cleanses the mind. First you neutralise the negativity and then you begin to get positive thoughts. With those you can go about your daily work with real positive energy which enables you to achieve things you didn’t think were possible. You certainly wouldn’t do them if you carried the negative thoughts around with you.

One technique from NLP can also be undertaken using your own experiences and resources. You can do it in the privacy of your office or you can do it in public - no one will be the wiser. So what is this ‘magic’ technique? It is remarkably simple and very powerful for most people. I’d recommend giving it a try. It may seem a little strange at the outset but will soon become second nature.

Let’s try it. The first stage is to decide how you want to feel. What resources might you need to deal with the issues that are facing you and maybe holding you back? Maybe you need patience or optimism or energy or clarity of thought or maybe you want to feel invincible? Whatever it is you need, choose one.

Let us choose energy.

Now stand, feet apart and in a relaxed posture and recall a time when you felt very energetic, when nothing could hold you back. Feel that feeling, see what you saw and hear what you heard at that time. As the feeling intensifies, touch your finger and thumb together or make some distinctive physical movement that you can repeat unobtrusively. You can now use that physical movement to recall that state and experience it again. This is called an ‘anchor’. You can create more anchors for other resources in the same way.

Try it and see what happens. If the state you achieve isn’t powerful enough, try intensifying the recollection by making any images bigger and brighter, any sounds louder and any feelings more intense. The more you do this, the better the effect when you ‘fire off ’ the anchor.

Anchoring is just one element of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a set of tools and techniques for achieving peak performance. For leaders, or anyone with a highly demanding job, I strongly recommend finding out more about its uses and effects. It may be the difference between being overtaken by events or turning them to your advantage.

Why not give these techniques a try. Finding out more ablout Yoga, meditation and NLP can also give you techniques for other situations at work or at home. You have nothing to lose but unhelpful stress.


Watch a video of Brian Chernett, Founder of The Academy For Chief Excecutives, explaining how The Academy For Chief Executives inspires business leaders.

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Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) - He has 43 years' experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at www.chiefexecutive.com. We always welcome your feedback on the articles. Email them to brian.chernett@freshbusinessthinking.com

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