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Le blogue de Solutions & Co.

Le blogue de Solutions & Co.

Tips & Co. #379 - Do not accept change!

Faced with change, people have different reactions. When change is perceived positively, it is welcomed. When change is perceived negatively, it is resisted.

Resistance is normal and inevitable because we are all set in our ways. When a person undergoes change and has no alternative but to respond to it, the person gradually strives to accept it.

Acceptance is full of pitfalls and we must be wary of acceptance because there is a risk of becoming submissive or resigned. Resignation and submission can take different forms: illness, burnout, lack of motivation, depression, quitting... They are the result of avoidance, of being overwhelmed and of powerlessness. We take refuge by becoming passive while lacking positive energy and we stagnate.

To accept change in a healthy way, one must be in a “solution-oriented” state of mind. One must assess the change, find meaning in what happens to us, make the decision to accept it, get involved, and seize the change by using our energy until we take ownership.

Ownership is a true source of progress, where we channel our strength to change things. When we take ownership of change, we feel pride, hope, and satisfaction and we use our skills voluntarily to create new habits as well as new routines.

Do not accept change - take ownership of it!

  19 lectures
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19 lectures

Tips & Co. #374 - 5 steps to failing well

Robert Kelsey, author of «What’s stopping you?» shows us how to fail properly and build the resilience necessary to reap the rewards of success.

  1. Consider it a setback, no more than a bend in the road on the certain journey towards eventual success. Didn’t get the promotion? So what? If it was part of a 10-year plan, one knock-back shouldn’t deter us.
  2. Don’t fear failure. Those who do often employ avoidance techniques – disrupting a task or pretending not to care – so they fail by default.
  3. See it as eliminating what won’t work. Why not assume 10 sales pitches for every proposal and five proposals for every sale?
  4. Learn the lessons. Successes and failures teach us things. Focus on this and avoid the arrogance of victory or the despair of defeat.
  5. Be strategic. In relationships, both personal and professional, a strategic defeat might work to our long-term advantage.
  69 lectures
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69 lectures

MENTAL IMAGERY: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERFORMANCE

The next two articles are dedicated to mental imagery. This first article focuses on explaining this science-based technique, how it contributes to performance, and how it can help develop emotional intelligence for use in learning and integrating soft skills within our professional environment.

What is mental imagery?

Mental imagery is the act of representing sensory states mentally, which can include visual, auditory, olfactory, taste, and proprioceptive states, among others. It is a mental training technique that productive people use to prepare for action, repeating and training their thoughts, feelings and behaviours in order to optimize their performance and well-being.

It is used effectively in many areas, including by those working in sports psychology, psychotherapists, psychologists and remedial teachers. In psychiatry, mental imagery is used in cognitive-behavioural therapies, particularly for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia. In the field of sport, mental imagery is a very effective method used by elite athletes as part of their mental preparation to accomplish very specific goals. In therapeutics, teaching, or personal development, mental imagery is used to induce physical, cognitive, or behavioural changes.

There are many reasons to use mental imagery:

  • To psychologically prepare for a future situation
  • To achieve a specific goal
  • To anticipate a possible future stress
  • To adapt or master difficult situations
  • To improve the healing process
  • To calm and control stress.
  • To change or improve a behaviour
  • To optimize or develop certain skills
  • Etc.

Supported by scientific evidence

When we physically learn to do something, the brain changes. Mental imagery is a cognitive process that stimulates the same brain areas involved in the unconscious planning and execution of movements and activates neuronal and behavioural responses similar to actual experience. Neural connections are strengthened, connections are added or removed, and new cells are formed.

Mental imagery is a scientifically proven technique that maximizes the brain’s potential through images. Through the use of brain imaging techniques, such as PET-Scans with radiotracers and functional MRIs (fMRI), it has been shown that the same regions of the brain are activated when we experience a real-life situation as during an exercise in mental imagery, and that the regions related to retinotopy (peripheral vision and/or central vision) are stimulated and reflect the same neuronal model found during the movement’s execution.

Imaging affects more than the muscles, producing cardiovascular and respiratory responses. By vividly imagining tomorrow's stressful meeting, your heart rate increases and your breathing becomes short and shallow, as in real life. This functional equivalence extends to the neural activity that occurs when you see, hear, and smell things in visual, auditory, and olfactory imagery. The same neural process activated when you perceive things with your senses is recreated when you vividly imagine them.

In short, the brain does not recognize the difference between what it really experiences and what it imagines. This is a gray area from which we can benefit!

Improving emotional intelligence

Although mental imagery is frequently used to improve physical performance, it can also help improve activities that include a cognitive and emotional component, such as emotion and stress management or speaking in public.

Our work environments present us with constant constraints, such as angry clients, unpleasant colleagues, demanding superiors, goals to be achieved, recurring problems, and performance requirements, so it is easy to feel overworked, overwhelmed and to have a "short fuse". Whatever our roles, we sometimes find ourselves in difficult situations that lead to an outpouring of emotions.

It is in our best interests to master our emotions. Athletes regulate their emotions before competitions to help them perform better, and soldiers regulate their emotions before going to battle to avoid emotional collapses.

Mental imagery is an excellent technique for regaining control and balancing and reinforcing our emotional stamina. Taking a step back from our emotions and watching them as a detached observer changes the way the brain processes feelings.

Brain imaging studies show that this practice reduces activity in a highly emotional area of the brain, while stimulating an area linked to controlling your physical response to stress - a mental recoil that says, "What’s really happening here? How can I respond?” In other words, you are aware of your emotions rather than expressing them.

Mental imagery conditions our brain, making it more likely to act according to mental representation, resulting in true learning and development of this imagined skill. If you have prepared for this situation, you can simply take the appropriate action you have previously developed and practiced.

 In this article I wanted to make this science-based technique credible and explain how it helps with performance, be it physical or emotional. Start exploring it, and in the next article we will be able to focus on the process and steps required to incorporate it into your professional toolbox as a regular practice. See you soon!

  87 lectures
87 lectures

Tips & Co. #369 - A speedy trick to boost your health at your desk

A study in Health Psychology found that people who sit up straighter feel stronger, more energized and positive, than their slouchy counterparts.

Before you start to sag on your chair, stretch – you don’t even have to stand up. Reach overhead, cross your right arm over your left arm and touch your palms.

Reach for the stars for 5 seconds. This helps to lengthen your spine and open up the ribcage. You’ll release the tension that makes it so easy to slump. Then sit back upright and maintain a good posture.

  130 lectures
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130 lectures

Tips & Co. #358 - Not being unhappy does not mean that you are happy!

According to Barbara Fredrickson, one of the pioneers of positive psychology and author of Love 2.0: “Positive emotions open the mind and broaden the range of both thoughts and actions. They result in accommodating, welcoming, creative and receptive behaviours.”

Positive emotions such as joy, happiness, gratitude, wonder, enthusiasm, inspiration and love are the sources of deep satisfaction.

In contrast to depression, sadness or disappointment, which usually become part of a vicious cycle, positive emotions lead to a positive cycle as they help us welcome new ideas and experiences and influence how we deal with adversity.

Careful... This does not mean that emotions are simply reduced to a system of neutrality. Positive emotions are not achieved simply through the absence of negative emotions.

As such, removing negative emotions is not sufficient and we must actively develop positive emotions in order to expand our intellectual and emotional universe.

  252 lectures
252 lectures

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Ville de Québec

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Xavier Aymé, Chef des opérations | Mercator Canada Inc.

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