For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
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eCourse: Confidence Mastery
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
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Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
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Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
Car Words
Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind

Flow is a state of deep focus where work and pleasure are one and the same. You'll recognise the feeling if you've ever lost track of time doing something you love. Here are the six steps to bring more flow into the day-to-day, drawn from the thinking of the father of flow himself.
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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Father of ‘Flow,’

Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi led an extraordinary life. After a traumatic childhood under Soviet rule (and a chance encounter with Carl Jung) he devoted his life to the study of happiness, and became the founder and leader of ‘positive psychology.’ Sadly, he passed away in his California home in 2022 after decades of residency as a U of C professor. In honour of his research and resilience, we’d like to introduce you to his most famous work — flow.

In the zone; runners high; jeu d'esprit — a ‘flow state’ is a deep level of focus where productivity, passion and pleasure are intertwined. If you’ve ever lost track of time when working on a personal project, meeting a friend or finishing a book, it’ll be a familiar feeling. But is it possible to reach a flow state at work? And what can you do to bring more flow to life beyond the office?

Get ready to do as the flow pros do. Let’s dive in.

Choose an important task

This could mean important for work, or a project that’s important to you. It’s easier to find flow in a task you love, but, with practise, it’s still possible for jobs you’ve been dreading.

Make sure it’s challenging, but not too difficult

Flow is reached when skill and challenge are equally matched. If the task is too easy, it doesn’t require much effort: too difficult and it's hard to lose yourself in it.

Find your peak time

Are you a lark or an owl? Are you ecstatic in the morning and exhausted in the evening, or vice versa? Wherever and whenever you're at your peak, don’t waste it. Notice, note it, and set the time aside.

Clear any and all distractions

Finding flow takes time: you don’t want to have to search more than once. Hide your electronics (or at least switch them to airplane mode), find somewhere quiet, and limit your exposure to any disruptions.

Focus on the task for as long as you possibly can

This can take practise - If you’re really struggling to pay attention, a good place to start would be the Pomodoro Technique. Otherwise, keep trying; bring your focus back whenever you notice it’s wandered, and, most importantly, don’t beat yourself up when it does.

Enjoy yourself

Flow can be hard to appreciate when you're in the moment; in fact it can be a distraction in and of itself if you’re not careful. But it's important to reflect, after the fact, on how good you felt. Csikszentmihaly called this ‘Intrinsic Motivation,’ where the motivation to revisit a task doesn’t stem from an external reward (like money for a job) but from an internal sense of satisfaction and wholeness.

Three Tips to Get the Most from Flow

Practise, practise, practise. Csikszentmihaly described flow as an almost euphoric experience - one where the body is a medium for the work. Anyone can achieve that, but not on the first go round. The only way to reap the full rewards of flow is to turn it into a habit, and, like any new habit, that takes time, patience and practise.

Create a ritual. Find music, places, breathing exercises, even smells that help you focus, and build them into a flow finding routine. If you’re a little stuck, try this playlist from Ben Watt (one half of musical duo Everything But The Girl); over ten hours of ambient and instrumental tracks to keep you in the groove.

Keep the internet out of it. Some disruptions are unavoidable, but turning to twitter is a sure-fire way to destroy the focus that could have been fixed. If you do need a break, try taking a quick walk instead.

Some further flow resources

Watch: Losing Yourself in Flow State (TEDx Talk)

Former concertmaster turned keynote speaker Diane Allen was sure that her ‘out of body,’ flow-ments came from playing violin. But after she froze on stage before a solo, she realised it came from sharing; sharing music, sharing emotion, sharing together. Her brilliant TEDx talk unpacks the importance of discovering what truly makes you love what you do, and channeling it into your work. Watch the whole thing here.

Read: Robert Twigger on Micro-Mastery

Ambition is great, but set yourself a challenge that’s beyond your skills and you’ll have a difficult time finding flow. If, for example, you want to run a marathon, attempting the full 26 miles on your first day of training is only going to dishearten you. We need to become, as Twigger calls it, micro-masters, and find flow in the smaller steps that build to a bigger goal. You can read his article here, but, if you’re keen to put micro-mastery into practise, sign up for our coming conversation with brain expert Ian Robertson - back by popular demand.

Listen: The Man Himself on Flow and Happiness

Csikszentmihalyi’s 2004 TED talk works just as well as a bitesize listen. Here he walks us through his research on happiness and wealth, his humble origins and the motivations for his work. It’s great for a morning commute or a quick burst of motivation.

Read: Flow and Good Business by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

For a truly deep dive into flow, go right to the source. Csikszentmihalyi’s seminal 1990 work has been cited by world leaders, musicians, F1 drivers and superbowl winning NFL managers alike as a masterpiece of positive psychology, but his 2003 work on flow in business, management and leadership is a true sleeper-hit. We recommend them both - Flow and Good Business.

More Resources