Easy and powerful stress-reduction technique

Heart Meditation

To end the weekend, I want to share an excellent technique called “quick coherence” from www.heartmath.org with you that I am often using when working in a training or coaching setting. It is very useful when starting a session, in order to reduce anxiety, stress or frustration; of course it can also be used at home or in preparation of difficult conversations or meetings. It is said to create positive changes in your heart rhythms, sending powerful signals to the brain that can improve how you are feeling and thus how you are acting and behaving.

  • Step 1: Heart Focus.

Focus your attention on the area around your heart, the area in the center of your chest. If you prefer, the first couple of times you try it, place your hand over the center of your chest to help keep your attention in the heart area.

  • Step 2: Heart Breathing.

Breathe deeply but normally and feel as if your breath is coming in and going out through your heart area. Continue breathing with ease until you find a natural inner rhythm that feels good to you.

  • Step 3: Heart Feeling.

As you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive feeling. Recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience the feeling. One of the easiest ways to generate a positive, heart-based feeling is to remember a special place you’ve been to or the love you feel for a close friend or family member or treasured pet. This is the most important step.


Excellent process awareness and team building tool

Wooden mannequins pushing puzzle pieces into the right placeYesterday, I had the pleasure of being introduced to a fun tool during a team building exercise, called “Lutts, Mipps & Wors”. As I thought this tool was really fun and could be very helpful in an environment where you need to develop:

  • process awareness,
  • problem solving, and
  • teamwork skills

I am introducing it to you now. Whereas the exercise might seem fairly simple as such, the difficulty actually lies in understanding what you need to do as the units of measurement are not expressed in a way you are used to.

The task reads as follows: A man drives from city A to city B, then to C, and then to D. The objective is to calculate how long it takes him, in units of wors.

There are 26 data cards which contain elements of the required data needed for solving the problem (some are really needed and some not but it is up to the participants to find out!). Cut them out and distribute them evenly to the participants.

There are many ways in which to facilitate this workshop but you could ask your participants to work without putting their respective cards out of their hands (so only one hand is free) and without anybody taking concrete leadership.

Access to a flip chart with markers should be given and in 10 minutes max the right answer needs to be found.

After the exercise, you can lead a discussion of the experience, and highlight various learning points that were involved.

A good guideline for conducting the workshop can be found here.

Have fun and let me know how it went!