In this conversation, we invite Christian Bernhardt to our Living Room as we discuss micro-habit and how they can help you to become an agile leader. Christian coaches, trains, speaks and consults to help people and companies improve their communication so we are excited to hear his inputs about our topic.
Anna = Anna Nestorova (Host)
Christian = Christian Bernhardt (Guest)
ANNA: Hello, everyone! I very much welcome you to today’s Living Room Conversation, this is our episode four. And today, we will have a great guest, bringing very interesting topic around small stuff, and how the small stuff can have a huge impact on ourselves and also others around you, so very much looking forward to this Living Room Conversation. Me and my guest will have fun here and a nice chat, but behind the scenes we have a great team. This is Rhea Ong Yiu, our concept director and Ken Go, who is our technical magician and they will take care that everything runs smoothly so big thanks to the people behind the scenes.
I want to introduce the Living Room Conversation, this is like part of the LIVEForward Institute. This is a brand we established through LIVESciences and we aim to support with different products in LIVEForward. We aim to support individuals and teams and companies around their learnings and growth, and also inspire them. So, today we have the conversation and it’s very like the concept is around having a really cozy and comfortable conversation, no big lectures or slides. We aim to do it inclusive, very inclusive and inviting for a dialogue basically around topics we find interesting and important for us. And I really hope you enjoyed today’s session. I also want to yeah again welcome you and say thank you for tuning in, in our YouTube Live Channel, LinkedIn Live and Facebook Live. Please interact with us, it’s really an invitation to have a dialogue to have a conversation with all of you together, put all your comments in the comment section, and me and my guests will frame the conversation around topics and questions which are interesting for us.
Why are we here today? We’re here today to talk with Christian Bernhardt about micro habits for agile leaders. It’s interesting topic and Christian is a longtime friend of LIVESciences, very interested like really a Teal enthusiast, self-work enthusiast, researcher trainer, author, and practitioner in people-related topics, HR intense, extensive HR experience, communications and especially focused on non-verbal communication. He brings theory and practice using micro habits, and today’s this is on our plate. Effective leadership in a self-organized environment using or living micro habits, welcome Christian.
CHRISTIAN: Hello Anna, thank you very much and hello everybody. I’m glad to be here and looking forward for our conversation.
ANNA: Yeah, really much looking forward myself. Let me start with why? Why this topic, Christian? And why do you think micro habits are important and maybe just to focus it around our topic like why, especially in context of effective leadership and self-organized environment?
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, I think, in the last six years I have given more than 400 training days. And in the end, if you go into the training day or into a seminar as a trainer, you think what can I prepare to give a purpose to the audience or to the trainees. And in the end, you see how difficult it is to get the transfer from the seminar, to the practice. And so when I, you know, there’s a quote that is called the way to hell is settle with, with good edit, with good purposes, you know, and I think everybody of us knows it. Who maybe at New Year’s Eve, you think, okay, next year everything has to be different, I have to change this, this, this, and then you wake up six days later and think oh, I didn’t really change so much. And I think it’s strongly related to a growth mindset. This means the difference between fixed and growth mindset is a fixed mind that things he’s done like this, and it’s genetically determined and a growth mindset, knows that it’s possible to to grow all the time.
And so I remember when I made the first conscious experience with habits, it’s about 15 years ago, where I changed huge parts of my life and so, I know that they are very effective. So in the seminars, I always search with the clients to find the next steps that they can do and there I saw that there is a nice intersection with LIVEScience as, when you do catalyze you always search the next, make up for step two. And so, I think micro habits is a wonderful topic for you and we know that I can tell you a nice story.
ANNA: Go ahead.
CHRISTIAN: It’s not my story but it starts from 2003, and it will end at 2017 like I got the statistical data and it’s concerning the British Cycling Team. And in 2003, the British Cycling Team was one of the worst cycling teams on the whole planet or they were under mediocre. And their reputation was so bad that manufacturers of bicycles even didn’t want them to ride their bicycles because they said, okay, it can be bad for brand and so then they took a new coach and he had the concept of aggregated marginal results. You know, when we talk about improvement, and you think, oh this could be nice to improve, sometimes I think it’s too small to to make make an effort it And so in the end, you’ll get lost of many possibilities that can change things and that you can call it the one person rule and the coach from British Cycling had the completely other attitude, he said okay if we maximize every single point we are so bad, if we don’t have something to lose and if we maximize every single possibility we have in the end, we should get a huge amount, a huge impact.
It’s the same like if you save money, you get a compounded interest effect after some years. And so they started, for example, they oiled the settles of the bikes and they tested different massage scales to see which of this, the muscles would recover a little bit faster, and they made hundreds of small of tiny improvements, and one was for example the most contra intuitive one, they had their trucks for the bikes, when they were at the tournaments. And because we know that or they know in bicycle business, that if you have dust, it’s just a little bit dust can influence the machines with the bikes. And you think, come on it’s a dust, a piece, but in the end they painted the complete truck the interior of the truck they painted white, to see every single piece of dust, so that they could wipe it away. And so now you can say, okay nice idea but what did it matter and the interesting that it had a huge effect. Because only five years later in 2007 there started and a tremendous series of winnings of the British Cycling Team in 2008 in the Olympics of you know, just to know that in 100 years before they started, British Cyclists only won one medal, one medal in the whole international tournament, one. And then in 2008, it was only six years after they had started with the stuff they won in Peking, I think it was Peking at the Olympic Games, they won six gold medals, and this was about I think about more than 60 gold medals that you could win there in bicycles. And in 2012, in London, they won nine gold medals, and in the whole time between 2007 and 2017, the British Bicycle Team won 178 gold medals in international competitions in olympic medals in world championships. And I think if they had won one in 100 years and then they won 178 in ten years.
ANNA: It’s not a coincidence, right?
CHRISTIAN: I think so, and they think so too. This is when they started this, this tiny habit or this atomic habit or this micro habit. This is one very nice story that shows how, yes, how obvious how big the effect can be.
ANNA: Indeed, really impressive story. What was, while listening I also was reflecting how important might it be that you make sure that all these micro events you decide to follow are aligned and it’s clear where they like, will lead us, eventually, so like really have this alignment among the whole team, the whole people like, why we do this and where are we heading by doing all these experiments like alignment around the purpose and make sure you are following by all these different actions you are following this purpose.
CHRISTIAN: Perfect. This is a very very important factor because we know from personal improvement that if you try to improve in ways or in objectives or two objectives that don’t suit with your nature. You know maybe they come some trends and you say I have to improve this and but it’s not really your thing and then you normally it’s getting very hard. So if you find something that goes along with your purpose, it’s much easier. So as an individual, you should get to know, yes get clear about why do you do all this stuff and get clear about what are your values, what are your goals that you’re achieving from then. Then you can, look okay, does this suit with me or not?
You can do the same as an enterprise, I remember I had a consulting project last year and we implemented a new communication culture of more appreciation. And so you we tried, we had more than 30 different small pieces, whether an organization can change and in the end, when we made a workshop found their why. It was really like gluing the leaders together when they found their why and I remember one of them really had, she didn’t cry but you know she had, like the eyes started to. Yeah really and then so if you get, if you see that they get emotional, this is the driver behind our headers, behind our behavior. And this is very and what’s important for leaders is if you find this common why. And this is exactly the purpose of Laloux, this is the basic of Teal, one of the three basics, the fundamental of Teal. And if you find this with your team you have kind of a North Star. Everybody can orientated this and everybody of the team can bring some small improvements. In the effect or if you take them together, you can do one step in the direction that British Cycling did.
ANNA: Thank you, Christian. One last point maybe around the why, circling still in my head, the difference or would you call out some specificity between like of the self-organized setup like we’re here in this self- work environment in the Teal topics compared to standard, more standard organizations and the importance of these micro habits or the maybe some, I don’t know, what distinguishes this setup and how this can manifest or can be lived depending, how this organization functions?
CHRISTIAN: I think what’s very important about is, you know if an organization improves or if an individual improves, you can do it on two ways, the one is continuous improvement, this means you have your section, your method, and you improve it over time. And the other way is to change the pattern, the pattern of how you do something, we had another example from sports is when the so called Fosbury Flop, I think he was from Australia, he was Fosbury, made a complete new technique in high jumping, and when he did this, he went to a new pattern. And four years after he went and won the olympics, everybody had his technique.
And I announced this because if you compare the different behavior, the different consciousness of enterprises, especially orange, green and teal. We have to understand that on the one side, we are now in a new pattern. This means completely teal is kind of new pattern and in this pattern, we have behavior too. This means in this pattern, we can try to improve how we do things. We have the standard that I think, and then Laloux has a huge database with best practice and how you can do it or in his book and there are so much open space, things that you how you can do something. But in the end when you try this, you see okay it’s not so easy like you read in the book. You know?
ANNA: I know.
CHRISTIAN: And I think you experience it by yourself and then you can say, okay, team what can we do now, when we take this burden somehow it’s nice, but does it suit for us and then what can we change, this tiny changes. And yes, this is one point, why I think it’s important for teal and how you can implement it, and how you can do it more, to get more concise. I think for example, if you want to get more self organized, then it’s very important that you got the safe space so the people open up, they know they can show up in wholeness. And creating this safe space is kind of a, it’s somehow the job of the leader, maybe it’s the founder or the informal leader. And we know this, there is the connection to my main topic to the non-verbal communication. We know that, let’s be about 80% of our conversation is non-verbal and every, I think everybody here knows it, working under a superior. You bring a proposition for example and then you exactly look how he reacts, yeah or just imagine you sit in your office, yeah, making fun with your colleagues, and then the door opens, and he’s coming in. And the one question you ask yourself at this moment is, what’s his mood now? What is the mood of my boss? Is he in well mood? Okay, we can continue if not. So we know that the superior creates the culture, the culture of his section. And so, and he does this by nonverbal communication, they are called tells that are very small signals maybe you make a fun and he or he’s looking like this or he’s laughing or he’s rolling his eyes or he’s looking at a friend of him, a good colleague, and you know, okay they talked about me.
And so there are companies like as agile, like in the United States, they have really manifestos and they have really guidelines in such small, non-verbal tells, what you might do and what not. Or for example, we know that there is a tremendous history of success from Rich Water, which water started, I think 30 or 40 years ago in a garage, and ended up being one of a multi-billion dollar organization. And they have a contract against speaking bad about each other, there’s a contract. This means it you start to talk bad about somebody else, they will fire you because he broke the contract, and this creates a safe space. And I think, so you see it, it’s not some tiny stuff. Like I told you that the way to hell and we all have good.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, thank you. But in the end, daily life is hard and so daily routines will keep them and so working with micro habits find ways to make your good intentions live somehow.
ANNA: Yeah. Thank you very much Christian and I will connect this conversation, this topic you just open now to our conversation, preliminary conversation a bit from yesterday. How in self-organized environment structure can support living these micro habits basically and if we say safe space, we need to establish space, okay where can we order it like, like by which the blog not just order it and it comes and now it’s established in your company, so how can we support each other, especially in a self-organized environment to create this safe space for us who is responsible for it and how do we live it and take care of it proactively and also continuously. Maybe share your experiences and I’ll be also sharing how we try to do this in LIVESciences of a bit.
CHRISTIAN: You may share? Sure.
ANNA: Yeah, yeah just go ahead and then I will be happy if you continue this topic around how companies and especially, I don’t know we have this self-organized environment here can support, and maybe you have examples around these. What we at least at LIVESciences do is we try to start for yourself like the self-reflection, like being clear with yourself, what you need? Right? Because we all are different and have different needs and safe space is actually what I have in my heart, the contact with myself and of course it depends on others as well because I’m not alone, a stand alone. So, making time like consciously understanding taking time and having a routine to reflect on what I need and what I what I aspire for, it’s part of this start with micro habits establishing.
So in the company, acknowledging this it’s already a huge support towards creating the safe space, like different one-on-one practices like feedback, learning to listen, and learning to give feedback in a respectful manner, it’s one little step. And if you make it part of company structures might support people towards this huge goal of having safe space. Practicing gratitude, right? We have in our weekly meeting just a little slot, what I’m thankful for this week and there is another one, what sucked this week. Like really, what was not so cool? So having this space to say I know this felt really bad this week. So yeah, little, little habits like this, fostering them.
CHRISTIAN: Completely, completely.
ANNA: Work for us at least, or I mean we are always on the way, we are never there.
CHRISTIAN: You know I, it’s now more than 10 years that I made my formation for body language trainer. And the interesting thing is I did it there is a direct connection to the safe space, this is why I tell you about this. It was developed at a theater and they treated very deep frightens of people because if an actor takes these frights or these anxieties and brings them on the
ANNA:On the stage.
CHRISTIAN: On the stage, thank you. And then people that see this can get away of their own anxieties and this is kind of a healing effect of theater. And so he developed, he took the Seven Deadly Sins of the church, because we know that these deadly sins, influence at least in Western society, very deep because yes, we have a religious background or a Christian background. And so, he found out the seven archetypes of this anxiety, of these deadly sins. And you know every of this has a positive side too, but they are really seductive, this means if you get too deep in them, you suffer from the bad aspects. And then he developed a workshop or a method to train actors, and this was the core of the body language trainer education. He created for example, some certain sounds and you dance to them and then you feel if you have a blocking somewhere in your body, and then you can find where are your blind spots. And the interesting thing is by dancing, I know it sounds interesting, but it works and this is the very interesting thing about it, and he presented in already in the 80s and 90s. He presented this while he worked with this method with big blue chip companies and like Mercedes Benz, for example. The interesting thing is, while you dance into an energy to a sound that is connected with deep anxieties or the deep sins, in the first you are a little bit shy, and you’re not so secure, but in the end if you do thi with a team, they are all opening up, you know, because everybody is trying to let out.
For example the scrooge, you know scrooge is a deadly sin, and then but everybody’s said yeah, yeah, like this and if you do this with a team and you have the dancers, you have mantras that they sing or shout together, you have standard scenes that you play on the stage. For example, if you, there is a for passion, there is a scene on a bank in a park where we have to flirt together, and another is their difference and if you do this, you show yourself up very vulnerable because you show up completely like you create this wholeness and because the others do that at the same time, you create trust, and this will help you to be a more complete and have the safe space for the future. This is a little bit more I developed a workshop, it’s called the seven keys to personality, because we know if you make your freedom, peace with this sense, inside of you. You’re more open and you can, you are less
CHRISTIAN: Inhibited, thank you. This is the same now, you don’t strive for perfection, you just said okay I’ll let it flow okay. And so, when I did this with group we had a tremendous effect because they see in the body language of the other ones, when they started to change after this. And they have a complete new vocabulary, I have it with my girlfriend for example and then when they, I know you’re in your scrooge, I said okay yes you’re right.
ANNA: Oh, cool! It’s quite interesting, Christian. I would like to, we talked a bit how to establish micro habits towards establishing safe space and what can we do to get there. I want to turn it the other way around and ask you, what is it needed so we decide to act upon something can create this micro habits routine and stick to it and actually get the effect, like what are the prerequisites of effective micro habits living?
CHRISTIAN: What’s important is that you make them, we know that we are somehow very influenceable by the setting we act in, by ours, by our surrounding, and this is where you have. The first thing is you have to identify where they inhibit you, where there is a bottleneck. And then you have to, this means you have to develop some awareness and you know awareness is a huge movement, awareness about in daily life, because we are, we know that we are about 90%, 95%, we are like in automatic mode, we just run through our lives, we get this impression here, we got the impression there, we react automatically. Maybe you know it by yourself, how often do you, maybe you thought okay, somebody wrote me a mail I have to search this mail to answer him, okay. And then while searching this mail, you see another mail and you say oh yes I want to do this, you open Amazon and buy something. Maybe you, I already had this not only once and this is how you’re setting will influence you dramatically. And so, by knowing this, you have to prepare the setting that makes the wishable behavior more likely. For example, I read about a guy who took a time clock, an automatic time clock, you can put it on your fridge or something like this, and he stops, he will stop electricity. And he did this at his rooter because we know if we want to wake up early and the next day to use the day and it’s not possible if we stay awake in social media till one o’clock in the night. And so at 10pm the electricity of his router broke down because of what he installed this technical piece and so he said, okay I think it’s time to go to bed.
ANNA: He was really dedicated.
CHRISTIAN: Really! There are dozens or hundreds of things. And for another one is you stand up or you want to stand up and everybody else knows it, you want to stand out but in the end in the morning when you wake up, we turn around, you know, we turn around and we’re okay give you some 10 minutes more. And what we know now is that we if we drink some water, it gives us energy directly and so you can prepare, I know this is not about a teal but it’s about self-improvement, if we prepare a glass of water next to our bed and in the morning instead of taking our mobile and changing going to snooze, we drink this water, or even better, we hide the mobile that we put it in the next room so that we listen to hear the sound but we have to stand up, and then you take the water, and then it’s much more likely to stay awake.
ANNA: So basically create the right environment, and try to work towards automatism, automatic behaviors which will automatically support you, lead you there.
CHRISTIAN: This is so important. There are dozens of maybe of self-organization, we can take one. One example, I don’t know if you know the book Monkey Management.
ANNA: No, I’m sorry.
CHRISTIAN: Monkey Management, I think some of you can know the concept but leaders know that we want the teams to work self-organized, but in the end they come back and have some stupid questions and then it’s okay come give it to me, it’s just a minute so I will fix it, okay but in the end and this the author’s work with the metaphor of monkeys. In the end, it’s five o’clock in the evening or seven o’clock, and everybody’s going home and you’re sitting here with monkeys on your shoulders from different workers or colleagues, and you have to do this, and so very often leaders end up doing the monkeys of other people till 10 o’clock 11 o’clock in the night because they didn’t have the awareness to recognize that they took it and now they know that they have to do it.
And so for example if you can, if you put a monkey, a damn monkey on your desktop, this will remind you that if somebody comes when you talk about the concept with a sort of self-organized team is you say, hey, let’s be honest, I notice you have something in your mind and you think it’s quickly done, and then you have to delegate it to somebody, other should do it and then he asked one or two questions, and you think, okay, I don’t want to explain the whole concept that’s in my mind, give it to me. And if they know the concept that they should do it by themselves to grow and then they come and then you can have a look, a common look on the monkey and say okay, it’s your monkey, and give it back to him for example.
ANNA: Oh, Christian you know what? I know to whom I need to, if a monkey is present and he’s from our team. Thank you for this idea.
CHRISTIAN: You’re completely welcome. And then another can be for example what I told you about the purpose workshop I did with the organization and after this we made, one day was purpose workshop, the second day was a future conference, where we looked at how we will develop in the next years. And in the end, they visualize the goals because we know visualization brings, gets a much deeper impact on your brain than only words. So, for them, you know, we we have a workshop and we have a seminar and the next day reality begins and then it’s gone. And so I, when I saw that how deeply they were hidden by the purpose, they saw or they
ANNA: Yeah, they define for themselves and they were emotional.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah. And then I took the pictures that I got from the workshop and put them in the internet, you can create cups with pictures on it
ANNA: I didn’t know but it’s a good thing to know.
CHRISTIAN: You have a cup and you can put your image on it or something like this. And after this workshop, I took our core values that we had, I took the purpose that we found, I took the vision that we had and the picture I created a panorama task, although it’s 12 times for the whole team and now every time when they meet, they have their cup, and they say okay his is why we do this job and where we want to be in three years. And then beside of being a nice present that really helped them to do, it’s like a bookmark and it has to be visible.
ANNA: Yeah. It’s a huge job how to translate these all big visions and values in actually tangible habits for the organization. Right
CHRISTIAN: What you can for example do is maybe the What Went Well Method. What went well? I think you already do this, if you start a meeting, it’s in the first seconds have a huge impact of how the meeting will evolve and how we develop. And so if, in the beginning everybody takes just one word, and says what went well in the last week. And so everybody’s concentrating on growth aspects, not what was crap, you can talk about the crap too, but what went well. And another thing, what is that for example, but for yourself do this, talk about gratitude or we know that every small problems, every big problems once become very small. And in conflict management we know that we had, there is a accumulation like a cast card of how conflicts develop and at the very beginning there are tensions, you know, tensions inside of you.
And so if you want something to happen, you have to give him two legs. Everybody, you can say okay, Anna in our team, you are our attention delegated, to talk about tensions and to feel the presence, if everybody has tensions, it’s your job. And in every meeting, it’s your task to ask when you stop the meeting now and say okay everybody feels inside of him and says, do you have tensions? And by implementing this in daily routines, it’s only a small thing. And then people, the teams, the colleagues feel okay, I got a tension here, let me talk about it and then you can find a solution. And this prevents that it’s becoming bigger and bigger inside of the people and getting more, you know, it’s not affecting the relationship and this is one another thing you can do.
ANNA: Yeah. Talking about micro habits of an organization Christian, I have to think about change management and when we want to implement actually make change stick.
ANNA: And often this doesn’t succeed that we are not very successful there. Why, why would be your answer like with the context of micro habits and change management?
CHRISTIAN: So we know that, I think it’s normalized 90 to 92% of our intentions, we don’t get the transfer and we know in organizations I think about 80 to 90% of the change projects they fail because of the passive
CHRISTIAN: Passiveness, thank you!
ANNA: I think!
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, I think too. They fail because people other than the works on the basics, if you have a hierarchy, they just don’t do it. And we know that one of the most biggest risk is, one of the most preventers is if there lacks the clarity and all the clarity.
ANNA: Just to make a clarification here, you mean the clarity of the message of the leaders?
CHRISTIAN: Exactly. You have a problem that maybe the top of the hierarchy thinks something, and they test it to the next level and someone it ends up at the line managers, and the line managers says okay, I don’t know how to sell it to my team and they say doesn’t interest me. You are here, one of the leaders and you have to be loyal to your organization. Normally, this means classical orange companies, you have to be loyal to the ego of the leader. And so very often he wants something and so it has to be good, and it’s losing commitment with every level of the of the hierarchy. And in the end, there stands the leader, the line manager with his team of about 10 or 12 people, and they should do it.
And so maybe there comes big impact of nonverbal communication, because maybe he says, yes you have to do this and this and this and they say hey come on, this is not so useful. And he says yes, it really helps you to do it and you know how it is. And he says okay, with his lips he says we have to do it, but with the rest of his body, he says, I know it. And so, if you don’t do it, I told it to you and I hope you do it, but if not, I understand you somehow. And so then by seeing this is what I told that the superior is setting the culture of his division and say they feel very fast, that they can, what they can do and what not.
And if you have even bigger organizations when you know you have a central in the headquarter and then you have satellite offices, this okay is coming from the center, from the head office, you know, we do hear what’s important. And this is, we know it’s from neuroscience, we know it from new work, we know it from the fourth inter-industrial revolution that we have today in the VUCA world, so complex situations that we can’t master them top-down, we have to solve them by complex attitudes. And this is why we don’t need, this is the hard thing I talked with a neuroscientist two weeks ago and we talked that in the past, you have to bring coherence in the system, coherence means it’s working fine. Like a machine, every wheel is running perfectly, this is coherence, but this was in orange hierarchy is perfect. But today we got a VUCA world and there we have to go complex and this means you can’t master the complexity, top-down. And this means you need another system to bring coherence or you need another point to bring coherence to the system, it’s not any more that the top leader, it’s today’s purpose, you know, there’s a real difference. Because everybody in the lower hierarchies, if there comes a new idea, and sees okay what is our purpose? Then he sees, okay, what can I do best to fit, to suit this purpose. And everybody has the same understanding, it’s not about the ego of some, you know, Laloux is talking about this, that how important it is to transcend your ego. And this is, if you take your back a little bit, take yourself step one, step back and look at the purpose, and then what will be the best for the purpose and for our different stakeholders, not only for the shareholders, like in the past but for the different stakeholders. And this is what you can do, you really find archetypes for your stakeholders, and put them, make them visible again. I don’t get it perfectly together right now but I think there was I, it’s some years ago I read it when they said imagine that when you invest money for somebody for his retirement, it would be your mother, or if you give your feedback to somebody it would be your brother. And like this, it’s nice quote
ANNA: Yeah, it’s a total shift in the culture and how we approach each other in the work environment basically taking ownership, taking ownership of the whole system even because we are all allowed basically to take this leadership position and here again exactly as you said how important is that everyone of us in this self-organized environment basically role models these little behaviors. And yeah, and the purpose alignment definitely need it exactly as you said.
CHRISTIAN: And one more point, what’s very interesting is when we talk about complexity and agility. And we know that if you make the best transformation in training, if neuroscience brought immense effects and insights in training too, and we know that if we get information, we always have to transfer it, the abstract information, so that our body can understand it so you have the best impact if you make your body feel what should be learned.
I remember I had once training, and there was a girl or a woman, and she ran in the risk of burnout because she had too much to do. Another told her that yeah, you have to improve your time management and blah blah blah, and I said no you have to learn to say no, yeah. And she said okay, okay, and then I said it’s about guarding your space. If somebody is approaching you too much on a territorial, on a natural level, if I come too close to you if we are in the same room, you push me away. And I told her you have to do the same when he comes with tasks that are not yours, push him away. And so we trained this really by body work, she’s not here, I stopped there that was in the time before Corona and I approached her and I came so near until she finally pushed me away, and we did this two or three times and she was breathing and the energy she felt the difference, and this is how you can change your attitude in daily life. And I am telling you this example because when you want to become more develop, more agility, it’s even better or the golden way is to become more agile.
And this means for example, start to surf because if you’re surfing, I know trainers, they are so lucky to live next to the ocean, they take the people and put them on surfboards, because if you are on a surfboard, you have to let go everything you can’t control the ocean, yeah, you have to feel what will be the next wave be like and then you have to try to make your way and have to hope that it will work. And the same maybe if you, I don’t know if you know impro in theater?
ANNA: Yeah, not that I practice very often but I know the technique in general.
CHRISTIAN: It’s amazing, it’s exactly the same. In improvisation theory you have some rules and some roles, and one rule is never say no. You may say yes, this means you just take what’s coming and then you can make whatever you want but he says yes and if you do this, if you do what I want to tell you, if you do agility trainings with your staff, first of all they use all the principles, they just take what is and develop it so you going in the growth mindset because you don’t reject, you said no, no, no, you have to take it and so if you are getting into this habits again on the stage or in the workshop and do this improvisations, all the time, in the workshop, in a safe space, you know you’re in the seminar, you have your settings like for example and what I like most is if you got a new flat with different people living in it, and then sometimes somebody’s changing and then you have an introduction and so there are three people living in different rooms in this flat and somebody’s coming you. And the interesting thing is before this scene you give them just their status, you know, one of them knows he has the high status, the other one is second, third and fourth. And just by having their status all the time, there’s coming a completely different conversation or the same conversation, somehow and it’s so funny and then in the middle as a trader, you change the status, and then they check their role. And so, they have to become very flexible and very eager.
ANNA: I think this is a good, excuse me Christian, I think this is like around this conversation, I feel very well fitting is a question of Tin B, what would be your advice to leaders who are just at the beginning of their transformation journey at the very start like what would be your advice around micro habits, maybe exactly around with their teams and how to work with people, I think this is very valuable starting point but yeah.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, yeah perfect. A very good question, I can tell you what was one of the deepest impacts that had, one micro habit that I developed. I remember then it was about 14 years ago in 2007, I was in a management seminar and he said okay, the big managers and leaders they have one thing in common and this is reading for one hour every day. And so, I stood up one hour earlier and I started to read and if you do this in the end, you read about 30, 40, 50 books every year. And by the years, you read hundreds of books and we know there come three or two important numbers, we know from the sign of from investigating flow, that if we have some habits or if we have some experience, but if the level is not rising and we get bored, so we stop to develop. And so we know if you have a new task that is only four percent above your knowledge and your competence, then it’s attractive for you because it’s not too difficult and you can grow.
And we know that if you want to develop a new habit, then it needs about 66 days. There are some time marks, the first time mark from up to now will be 72 hours, we know that in our brain, I already saw videos how the synapses develop and that in the first 72 hours it’s connecting the relevant parts, and you know this from many key notes or trainings that if you don’t start it in the next three days, it’s going away again. And so what I think is a nice habit there is if you are in a seminar, just take some notes, make them on post-its or sticky notes, and if you come back in your office, I tell this to my clients all the time, if you come back in the office take the next weeks, and then on Monday of every week you put a sticky note from your seminar and this will help you to take the content that you get in the seminar and practice it in daily life.
ANNA: Thank you, Christian. Thank you very much. I think this is a good advice. Thank you, Tin B for asking and yeah just take away what I heard is like just start, just take the first step and start and see how it feels.
CHRISTIAN: One point, just to finish it for Tin B, what you can do now is we know that you need about 66 days to establish the habit and you should not work at one, more than one habit at once. This means if you want to develop as an organization, you can leave it up with your teammates to bring in new habits. And for yourself, what you should do if you’re in a new project, read books that go along with the topic, in the next three, two months and then you will make the improvement of four percent and after this you take the next one and so you continuously improve, and this is what I would recommend you, if you are in your new project, read books that go along with this and help you to develop. Okay.
ANNA: I want to say thank you Christian for this conversation and thank you all who were with us in the different channels. If you enjoyed this conversation, make sure you like and follow us and also maybe recommend us to your friends. You can also find this streaming later on in our Spotify, and iTunes channel and just listen to it later. And if you’re curious what events are still upcoming thru LIVEForward, Ken will be so kind now to show us. These are the upcoming events in July and August, just take your phone and scan the QR code and subscribe if you’re interested, we will be very happy to meet you there. Thank you again Christian and if you would like to mention your events, your upcoming events in this summer.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah. It’s a moment for coaching individuals, if you want to develop new habits in your work life or daily life, and work together with companies to just found out where you can implement new ways and methods, and if you’re interested just contact me and then we will see what we can do together.
ANNA: Here are the contact details of Christian and thank you again very much for this nice conversation. Wish you a great summer and see you all around.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, thank you very much.
ANNA: Thank you.
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