Glenn Mead

Failing to succeed.  How psychological distance enables success.

We all react all the time: most of the time our reactions are instantaneous, unconscious and based on our survival needs. We are quick at taking things at face value.

These powerful first impressions can lead us to react in ways that can be unhelpful – Making decisions about others, about the situations we find ourselves in, and indeed about ourselves. We can become led by emotions rather than guided by facts. In this masterclass, you’ll learn why your first reaction will always be an emotional-thinking one, and how to react better by asking questions of yourself and others that put things into perspective.

Why attend? What you will get out of this session:

Self-Awareness: How we can’t help thinking emotionally / Perceptual processes and decision-making:
• Taking things ‘at face value’
• Two ‘thinking brains’ (brief overview of 5 models of thinking –   Goleman’s emotional intelligence,             Kahneman’s 2 systems,  Mischel’s hot and cool thinking, Rolls’ Implicit Thinking and Peters’ Chimp         Model).
• What is an emotion and why do we have them?
• Why are emotions so strong and why do we sometimes do things  we later regret?
• What are the consequences of emotional thinking? Anxiety and stress and the impact on decision          making.

Activity: Your own needs and values in focus: what frustrates you and what makes you happy? Sharing raised awareness of triggers with others in the session. [A speed-dating activity to encourage members to share their findings. I call this ‘Chimp Speed Dating’ as it’s deliberately intended to allow members to realise that self-acceptance is important. Without it, we cannot be truly good as leaders.]

Understanding how values influence our motivation; how to manage those motivations; motivation and gratification – instant and delayed. Individual motivation in groups: our basic needs for acceptance,
understanding and autonomy. How a threat to these needs can lead to anxiety and a drop in performance.

Activity: Your hierarchy of values: what’s most important and what is less so? What do you compromise on now in order to achieve the bigger reward at a later stage?

Thinking Errors
Reflection: what were you thinking? What were you expecting: consequences and control?
Thinking errors (14 of them) and how our language distorts our thinking.

• Individual activity: reading through examples of thinking errors and identifying the ones we typically      fall victim to – 5 mins
• Paired discussion: sharing individual findings – 5 mins each way (10 mins).

• Identifying and removing unhelpful thoughts. Reflect on a recent incident and question the accuracy of    beliefs (control), recognise values involved, and identify thinking errors – paired activity.

Gaining perspective: using coaching to see the wood for the trees
Psychological distance and how perspective (of time, space, social involvement and probability) can reduce emotional sensitivity.

Activity: in pairs/threes, discuss a recent challenging event and use questions to put it into perspective. What would you do differently next time?


When and Where?

Previously spoke at:

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SPEAKER: Glenn Mead

Glenn has been coaching since 2001. He was first introduced to the techniques of asking questions to surface assumptions when attending an Open University Business School MBA course on creativity, innovation and change. He was taken aback by the effect of having someone else question and challenge the beliefs, thoughts and facts that he took for granted. Taking the time to reflect on the ways he typically thought, felt and behaved quite literally opened his eyes – not only to the habits that were possibly holding him back, but also to the potential and opportunity that lay ahead of him.

That revelation spurred him on to learn more about coaching and facilitation. An initial diploma in life coaching introduced him to the literature and to neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). It also heightened his curiosity in how different people respond to coaching and whether coaching as he knew it is an appropriate change intervention for everyone. Understanding individual differences requires knowledge of psychology, and so he decided to embark on further study and began a BSc Psychology with the Open University, a diploma in executive coaching and leadership mentoring, and a primary certificate in cognitive-behavioural coaching for stress management, all over a period of 4 years.

Towards the end of reading for his psychology degree, he started to think about his next steps. With a background in leadership development and operational management gained over 20 years, including 9 years as a commissioned officer in the British Army, the logical progression was to focus his qualifications and experience on the world of work and to complete a Masters Degree in Occupational Psychology, which he did in 2010 at the University of Leicester.

Since 2010, he has continued to refine his offering in individual and group development by adding the neuroscientific basis of decision making to understanding how we think, both emotionally and logically. Applying this knowledge to individual coaching, action learning sets and group facilitation fosters a deeper and more sustainable understanding of the self and others and how we can make better decisions, manage problems and conflict, and communicate more effectively.

Glenn is supervised by an EMCC and ICF-accredited coaching supervisor, receiving 2 hours of supervision every month.

Comments from Members who attended this workshop:

  • Glenn gave very clear explanations and good examples.
  • He is knowledgeable about the subject area – some good interaction.
  • Good use of slides – not too much content on them to read, so listened well. Good use of video examples.
  • He helped me translate great theory into action.
  • Allowed us to practice applying it to our particular situations.
  • Gave me time to develop new skills and thinking independently of my daily business.
  • He explained the need for perspective and talking through issues with somebody else.
  • It was interactive which forced a train of thought rather than death by PowerPoint.
  • Acceptance of emotional response – this is not wrong – just needs to be managed.
  • Understands our way of thinking and how we react appropriately.
  • The breakout sessions were very helpful.
  • Outlined the limitation eg chimp thinking and raised awareness of this versus logical thinking.
  • Glenn was analytical about emotions and helped to clarify a complex environment – mine and others brains and emotions.
  • Glenn spoke in an energetic manner with practical examples, activities and lots of interaction.
  • He worked through examples to demonstrate the topics covered.
  • Explanations of psychology and a general understanding of this subject. Good presentation. Good slide show and handout.
  • Helped me to understand reflection and control of emotions through difficult times.

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