WIL Highlights for June 21, 2019

“Leveraging the Science of Positive Psychology, Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness in Business” featuring Patricia Thompson, Ph.D, President of Silver Lining Psychology & Senior Consultant with Turknett Leadership Group

Summary: What a special opportunity it was to learn from Patricia’s expertise and experience on this compelling topic. She drew from many years of experience as a corporate psychologist, researcher, teacher /presenter, writer / author, and leadership consultant. Patricia also shared her own story, her journey from her birthplace in Alberta, Canada to where she is today. Overall, few speakers have shown more personal authenticity and vulnerability than Patricia – and no one has shared more practical strategies for using positive psychology and mindfulness to improve one’s work life. Patricia calls these “my strategies to manage the gremlins” (e.g., feelings of self-doubt, fearfulness, frustration, uncertainty etc.)

Her unique strategies include accepting the chaos; being in the present; and observing your own thoughts. Within each of these Patricia provided specific examples, exercises and tips for how to recognize and act on these principles. During her remarks and the discussion that followed, attendees clearly had their awareness raised about the POWER of MINDFULNESS to help make you more productive, less stressed and more confident at work.

Patricia also gave away to one lucky attendee a copy of her book, The Consummate Leader: a Holistic Guide to Inspiring Growth in Others … and in Yourself.

Background – Personal & Professional:

  • Patricia grew up in a close-knit Canadian family and remembered from an early age that she did not like the spotlight. However she did enjoy helping her father in his dental office.
  • When she was ready for college, she chose the University of Toronto where she received her B.A. degree in sociology; after that she came to Georgia and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from GSU.
  • Early professional experience was a teaching assistantship. Then in 2004, she joined a boutique consulting firm and later, a major culture and lifestyle change to a consultant role with a large talent management firm based in ATL. Work required constant travel across the country and was all consuming.
  • In 2011 Patricia got married and later they welcomed a son. This was also when she challenged herself to start her own business. A few years later in 2015, Bob and Lyn Turknett invited her to join TLG (Great decision!)
  • Finally, Patricia shared her love of the game of tennis and some lessons she’s learned. Even more personal was when she shared her own experience using mindfulness to help her in the grieving process and the unexpected loss of her beloved father.

Key Lessons & Takeaways from Attendees:

  • “Accepting that there is chaos and that’s it’s unavoidable – not a bad thing but allows us more mental energy to be productive.”
  • “How to practice mindfulness.”
  • “Being intentional about what you’re listening to.”
  • “Accept the chaos, but not with passive acceptance.”
  • “Facts and thoughts are two different things.”
  • “Learned so much about the importance of mindfulness.”
  • “Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean meditation.”
  • “Dismiss negative thoughts like junk mail.”
  • “My thoughts are just my thoughts. And you are not your thoughts.”
  • “The present is the only thing over which you have control.”
  • “I won’t let my small voices get the best of me or sabotage me.”
  • “Business case of mindfulness in the workplace with easy to implement strategies.”

Other Learning Points:

  • Definition of Mindfulness: “Intentional focus; not being reactive and not judgmental.”
  • Being in the present makes you more productive; allows you to read people more effectively, not missing subtle cues; listening to the other person helps validate the relationship.
  • When you constantly question or second guess yourself, it’s unproductive. But you can take a perspective on your own thoughts, observe your thoughts in a more objective way, like being a curious scientist.
  • One way to get rid of negative thoughts is to imagine a garbage can where you dispose of them in your mind. You can actually think “I am having this thought…” without letting it consume you or direct your behavior.
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