3 minutes | May 30, 2022
How do you feel when you are wrong?
You were really sure that you were right, but you have found out that you were wrong. How many times have you been in that situation? How many times have you said to yourself, ‘how could I have been so stupid?’Becasue when you feel you are right it does not actually mean you are right.It’s just a perception. It's a belief and a feeling and not a fact. Your feeling of being right could be right - or it could be wrong. This tendency that we all have - to experience our perceptions as facts is one of the biggest factors that our internal saboteur uses to derail us. The next time you know you are right...pause and, just for a moment, accept that you might be wrong. Treat your feelings as being hypotheses - as beliefs rather than objective truth (this is hard but possible). Here are some awkward questions that you can ask yourself that will help you achieve this: What do I believe about this situation? What evidence do I have for my belief? Is there any evidence to indicate that I’m wrong? In what way could I be wrong? Because even the most intelligent people can sometimes be wrong... This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
4 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
Do you feel like you are on the go all the time?
Do you ever feel that you haven’t got time to think? Do you ever feel that life and experiences are just passing you by because you spend much of your day firefighting? By doing this short exercise every day (or at least every week), you will find that when you do, you’ll have far more perspective on life and on your career. Everybody I have spoken to who has tried this exercise, has found it to be incredibly valuable. It’s an exercise I do myself.1. Sit down somewhere quiet. Make sure there will be on interruptions, and take a deep breath to quiet your mind. Try and become aware of any tension in your body, let it go. Consciously let the tension go from your muscles. 2. Replay your day (or week) in your mind. Think about any strong emotions that you had (either positive or negative). Reflect on those and try and understand what was going on for you. 3. Think of all the things you were grateful for. Think of three things that went well that day (or week). Think about why they went well, and what you did that made them turn out well. 4. Think about the things you found difficult and struggled with. Think about what you might need help with. Where can you get this help? Who could you ask? 5. Think of your family, friends, and colleagues. What do they seem to be struggling with or find difficult. What could you do to help them – to help them have a better day tomorrow? 6. Reflect on anything you did today (or during the week) that you regret. What mistakes did you make? Were you unpleasant to anyone? Do you need to say sorry to anyone? If you could turn the clock back, is there anything you would have done differently? 7. Think about tomorrow. What is the one thing you could do that might make tomorrow a better day? Maybe you could remember to take a break at lunchtime? Perhaps try and be a better listener? Maybe you could try to be better at saying no to people?And in the words of Bob Dylan... "If you haven't all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you wouldn't want." This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
10 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Have you ever felt so tired that you couldn’t think?
Have you ever felt really exhausted, but at the same time unable to switch off, relax or even sleep? Do you ever feel cynical about your job and wonder what the point of it all is? If you have experienced any of the above, you may be on the road to burnout. This is a book about burnout – the biggest public health crisis of the 21st century. Burnout is a visceral physical experience. It’s the exhaustion, the anxiety, the sick feeling in your stomach. Burnout is also in your head. It’s the cynicism, negativity and detachment from work and people. It’s the inability to think clearly, the absence of mental well-being. People on the road to burnout are often clinically anxious and depressed... This podcast is the introduction to my new book Anti-burnout: How to Create a Psychologically Safe and High-performance Organisation. Now available from Amazon, on kindle or hardback. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
4 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
How do you feel when someone is rude to you?
How would you feel if one of your colleagues called you scum in front of other people?Recently the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, was forced to apologise after she called a Tory MP 'scum,' in the House of Commons.Research has shown that rudeness - even witnessing rudeness - significantly reduces people's ability to think clearly, be creative and help their colleagues. Rudeness and incivility is not just unpleasant, it has a direct and significant impact on performance and productivity. In other words, if you want to lead a great team - a creative team that gets things done…don’t be rude. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
8 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Why men kill themselves...
Would you notice if a partner, friend or work colleague was feeling suicidal?If someone you love or someone you know, takes their own life by suicide, it’s just awful. It feels unbearable. It's the living who suffer. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault. This was a decision made by the person who took their life and not caused by something you did or didn’t say, or did or didn’t do.If you are worried about someone, all you can do, is listen, be kind to them, and try and point them in the right direction to get help. If you do this, then you have done enough. It’s important to remember that there is a big difference between suicidal ideas (which many of us have had) and the act of suicide itself. Most people who express suicidal ideas don’t actually go on to kill themselves... This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
6 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
How to have a difficult conversation...
Have you got a difficult conversation coming up? One that you can’t (or shouldn’t) avoid? Are you dreading it because the other person might not see things your way? Here are a few ideas that will make the conversation much easier and productive. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
5 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
What do you do when your day hasn't gone well?
How was your journey home yesterday? Did you sit in your car, or on the train, going over the events of the day? Going over and over the conversations you had - what you could have said, what you should have said. When you got home, did it continue. Instead of inside your head, you went over things with who ever would listen, "you wouldn't believe the day I have had, and I should have done this and I could have done that..." Do you remember how you were feeling when you replayed these incidents over and over in your head? Upset? Anxious? Angry? You may have left work hours ago, but the replaying of your day is keeping those feelings alive... The name for this is rumination. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
4 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
Helping someone to change...
Do you work or live with someone who really needs to change - but won't? Not only do they resist all efforts to help them, but don't even acknowledge there's a problem? Perhaps it is someone who upsets people they work with. Or a teenager who ought to do more to get ready for their exams. You can't simply force people to change.... but you can influence their willingness to change. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
6 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
Can a belief kill you?
Can a belief kill you? Can something as intangible and ephemeral as a belief, thought or attitude kill you?Well, yes they can - and they do kill millions of people every year. Most deaths from illness are caused by beliefs. The belief that smoking, drinking too much, eating junk food and not taking exercise only damages the health of other people. These are all pretty obvious examples of beliefs leading to poor lifestyle choices with predictable consequences. What about something less obvious. For example, how could holding the belief that stress is bad for your health, possibly harm you?A study carried out in the US in 2012, asked 30,000 people the questions "How much stress have you experienced in the last year?" And, "Do you believe that stress is harmful for your health?" The researchers then tracked them for eight years, and at the end of the study they used public death records to find out who died... This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
5 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
How to be more decisive...
Do you know someone who suffers with analysis paralysis? Someone who always ask for more and more information, rather than make a clear decision? Or, you might be that person. We'd all prefer to avoid making difficult decisions. This is because we fear making the wrong decision. The very anticipation of making the wrong choice is a powerful deterrent. The bigger the decision, the more the anxiety about taking action. In real life situations, the only decisions we can hope to make are imperfect decisions. An imperfect decision is better than none because once implemented, they can be monitored, evaluated and modified, whereas inaction simply generates more inaction.If you keep putting off a decision, it will stay bubbling away at the back of your mind, using up mental resources and making other decisions that much more difficult. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
6 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
Why diversity doesn't work...
A passenger boarded a flight, only to discover that she was allocated a seat beside someone who had political views that were different to hers. Feeling virtuous, she went into a full blown rant and demanded that the passenger be moved to another seat. It didn't help her mood, when the airline crew pointed out that this wasn't something that she could demand. After a deterioration in her behaviour, the woman was removed from the flight. Wouldn't life be simple if anyone we didn't agree with, could be moved...from the seat beside you, from the office or just out of your life? Wouldn't that be great? But, would it? Imagine what life would be like if you spent all day living, working and talking to people who are just like you? Imagine just talking to people who hold exactly the same opinions as you? This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
5 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
The art of group think...
In April 1998, a glittering party was held in a Manhattan art gallery to launch a biography of the American Expressionist painter, Nat Tate. The party was attended by David Bowie, Gore Vidal, as well as gallery owners and art critics from influential papers such as the New York Times. Many of these experts in modern American art spoke enthusiastically about Nat Tate, warmly remembering aspects of his life, shows they had attended, and reflecting on the sadness of his premature death. But there is a twist to the story of Nat Tate...Hear the strange story of how Nat Tate, David Bowie and William Boyd hoaxed the New York art establishment - and what it has to do with work today. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
6 minutes | May 26, 2020
The joy of being bored...
What do you do when you feel bored? Do you turn to your mobile phone for distraction or just nod off? There has never been so much to do. Whenever we feel the slightest twinge of boredom, we reach for our smartphone for instant gratification. If you walk around any city you will see people gazing down at their phones, rather than paying attention to what is going on around them. We live in a society where we are chronically over stimulated - 24 hour social media, shopping and TV. We should embrace boredom as a luxury of modern life, rather than fear and avoid it. The next time you feel bored, resist reaching for a distraction and instead turn your attention inwards. Allow your mind to wander. This is when creativity starts to kick in and your mind looks for stimulation from your internal world, not the external world. When you pay attention to boredom it gets unbelievably interesting. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
8 minutes | May 20, 2020
How resilience can hurt you...
In 2016, at the Wembly Arena, Nick Blackwell and Eubank Jr met for a boxing match. Both boxers were breathing heavily. For every punch that Eubank made, Blackwell tried to hit back. Eubank was clearly winning… No matter how hard Eubank hit Blackwell, Blackwell always came back for more. He was the embodiment of resilience, no matter how much pressure he was under, he stood there and took it and did his best to fight back. That is, until the referee stopped the match in the 10th round. A closed left eye and blood coming from his nose - the boxer, Nick Blackwell was finally taken to hospital on a stretcher while receiving oxygen. It’s the same in life and in business. A person or team can only tolerate stress for so long until that final punch gets them...Resilience will eventually turn into fragility. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
6 minutes | May 13, 2020
What do other people think of you?
More importantly, what do you think about yourself...and is this accurate?It must be awful to be one of those bosses who think themselves inspiring and popular, only to be sniggered at in private. The most extreme example of the phenomenon is David Brent, from 'The Office,' whose lack of insight is both funny and tragic at the same time. Another reason for the popularity of ‘The Office' is the awkward sense of familiarity because all of us have encountered people like David Brent. We might also recognise some of his characteristics in ourselves. If self-awareness is hard, awareness of how others see us is even harder. People are reluctant to say what they really think about you because they see you as a flawed human being with good bits and bad bits. Depending on the person, you might get told about your good bits, while others revel in listing all of your faults. Rarely will you get a balanced picture describing both. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
7 minutes | May 1, 2020
Status is important...
The importance of status has its roots in our hunter gatherer past. When we as a species were evolving, your position in the social group to which you belonged, could be a matter of life and death and so evolution equipped us with brain circuits that constantly monitor our relative status. Even in trivial situations, like having a brief conversation with another person, deep in your brain there will be an awareness of your status relative to the other person.The brain's centers that register physical pain are very close to, and share some circuits of the centres that register emotional or social pain. This is why we experience feelings as physical bodily sensations. We talk about hurt feelings, or a 'kick in the guts,' when another person is nasty to us. A loss of status hurts - really hurts. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
4 minutes | Apr 26, 2020
According to a recent study published in the European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences, procrastination was identified as one of the most important things that made people feel stressed. It was linked to poor performance, anxiety and even poor physical health.Stress isn’t caused by work, other people or the world in general. It’s caused by our perceptions of these things. Stress (or more accurately, anxiety) is internally generated and based on the way we think about our life, not on the reality of our life. And a good example of this is procrastination... This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
5 minutes | Apr 23, 2020
The secret life of meetings
Have you ever come out of a meeting and felt like it was a waste of time? Nothing has changed - nothing was achieved.Perhaps you felt that you weren't listened to. Or was it your fault - you didn't communicate clearly enough? Well it could be the fault of neither of these - the poor outcome may have been caused by the group dynamics. That is, how many people were in the meeting, or where you sat in the room... This podcast is a short guide to the kind of unconscious dynamics that happen in every workplace meeting. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
7 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
How many futile meetings have you been in?
How many meetings have you participated in that have failed to make a decision? How many meetings have you been in, that have made a decision, but seem to struggle, for weeks or even months, to implement the decision? This is a common frustration in organisations - boards or leadership teams, never actually getting anything done; despite endless meetings. This group procrastination is very similar to what individuals do to avoid difficult situations. You convince yourself of the need to gather more information, check your email once more or make a cup of coffee, before starting to work - as if only then can the 'real' work begin. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com
6 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
Are you looking forward to working from home?
Working from home...some of us will find it easier than others - why is this? We are all different and have different personalities. Some people get energy from interacting with other people; others, prefer being alone and just getting on with the task at hand. This is why a lot of the advice in the media and online offering advice on home working needs clarity and practical solutions. Advice that one person will find helpful will be meaningless to another. To figure out what will help, start giving some thought to your personality.The Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College asked me to write some articles about leadership and remote working. This was first published on the EPC Insight website. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit michaeldrayton.substack.com