The good life/work quadrant. How does one effectively find life’s sweet spot while embracing work, leisure, love and all life’s other loop-di-looops? Dr Adam Fraser, one of Australia’s leading human performance researchers, says in a world that’s getting faster, there is a tool that can help keep you on track for all good things. Find out what it is and how it can help you show up better in all areas of your life.
What I want to talk about tonight is, you know, about this sort of self-acceptance as well as some really tangible things we can leave the room and do to improve our quality of life. Cool? ‘Coz you know the whole thing is we want to be happy and the exercise and the diet thing is really how do we be happier.
Let’s picture this is a four quadrant model, alright? So there’s four quadrants. Now what would from you see like what Shelly Gable has done a study that she claims is… uncovers the key to flourishing relationships. And I think this is the most useful tool I have discovered in the last 15 years. Right. So when I interact with another human being I can interact one of four ways. We’re viewing that there’s a cross across there.
So we can be active or passive.
Active meaning in that interaction incredibly engaged, involved or passive which is what most men do when their wives talk to them while they watch TV — passive. Right? Active… passive. You can be constructive in your behavior meaning improve it or destructive meaning you make the situation worse. Do we get that? So active, passive, constructive, destructive.
Now, so what her research looked at is she start to look at marriage counseling. What was the biggest thing they learnt?
They learnt to fight better.
So what they learnt was their capacity to articulate what they are unhappy with very clearly and very succinctly so they are enable to fight better. However, the relationship really sorta flourished and improved. What she showed is the only thing that makes a relationship flourish is active-constructive interactions. Basically, how often two people celebrate victory together? So how would that look in my romantic example?
I’d sit my wife down and say “tell me all about it”.
“Well, they brought me in a room and there’s all these people there and I had no idea what was going on and they made this announcement.”
And how did that make you feel?
“Just awesome. Because you know what? I’ve been working my butt off and that is just such good recognition and I just felt so proud of myself and felt so good.”
Why do you think you got the promotion?
“Well, it’s interesting you ask me that because on the drive home I’m thinking why did I get that promotion? And what I realize is that I’ve tied business case to strategy and I streamline my supply chain…”
If I make her relive that experience together, we flourish, our relationship improves. So what what she showed is in a relationship how often two people get together and talk about what went well but not talk in passive “great job”. You know, it’s like the companies get together on Friday afternoon, have a couple of beers and go “Yeah, well-done” — that’s passive. So this is not just romantic, this is every relationship.
How often friends get together and talk about what went well?
How often if a manager sat down with a team member and went, “You know what? You have been doing an outstanding job on this. Tell me about that.
Why’s that working?
What’s going on for you?
Why did you even think about doing that?”
Their relationship flourished. So the key is how often do we get together and talk about what went well. What I want you to think about is how much time do you spend in that quadrant — What went well —and analyzing it.
My wife and I have been doing this probably last year. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life by far. And I’m not talking metaphysical “let’s have a hug”. This is the most practical best thing I’ve ever done. Our relationship is moving, yeah, it’s just evolving, it’s getting so much better because we’re doing this. So many companies that I present this to that take it on change. There’s a company called… I’m not gonna say who they are coz they’re awesome… Eastcoast Bullbars. They make bullbars. Ladies in the front row looks at that and goes, “That’s bloody genius. Yes, that’s bloody genius! Fellahs we gotta start doing this!”. So he sent me, I should’ve gotten my computer, but he sent me this email the other day going, “I just checked in. How’s it going?” “Oh awesome!” but they don’t call it “what went well”, they call it “what did we smoke”. So they have a weekly meeting called “What did we smoke today?” ‘coz that’s far more blokey. And what they go was “Okay, what’s working really well?”
“Well, we’re absolutely nailing this.”
“Because of this.”
Well how can we take that principle and apply to other areas of the business? What he’s saying is the culture is growing and also the people in it are growing. Some of the younger guys are really quiet and they are starting to gain confidence and build on things because they consult.
Why does this work? Three reasons.
Number one, if you are constantly looking at what am I doing well, you consistently have constructive behaviors front of mind. So front of mind, you’re constantly looking at what have I done well? What have I done well? What have I done well? So what’s your chance of replicating those behaviors? Seligman took a group of pessimistic kids. Zoey you gotta write these questions down.
He got their parents to ask three questions at the end of the day:
1) What did you do well?
2) What did you enjoy? and
3) What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
And I wanna let to go: art went good, math was okay and I’m looking forward to sport. They had to talk about, they had to paint mental pictures, they had to retell the story. What were they doing… optimistic pathways getting lots of energy. What they found is children changed to more optimistic than pessimistic. My new behavior is I’m gonna exhaust 30 minutes a day, I’m gonna cut down on alcohol, yeah it’s clarity about behavior. That’s what people don’t change. This is in the mind in its potential conference. Children that have dinner with their parents around the dinner table are eighty-one percent less likely to take drugs.
What we now know is that crucial for well being and even for performances is to feel positive emotions. So some studies recently got doctors put them in a good mood or a bad mood then may ask them to diagnose patients. Doctors in a positive mood now diagnose as far quicker and were far more accurate. Students 50 percent difference in test scores depending on whether they are in a good mood or bad mood. When you’re in a negative mood what happens to your brain? What do you reckon? What does it do? Who said closes down? That’s exactly what it does. It’s going in a fight or flight so it starts thinking about creativity, innovations thinking how do I survive? When the brain is in a positive state it starts to open up more activity throughout the different areas of the brain.
The biggest problem with change is people don’t articulate. Your goal, 5 kilos, what’s that? That doesn’t have a behavior attached to it. The one thing out of the talk is how much time do you spend there and if you’re gonna do something about it. Clear behavior. That will set you up for a better lifestyle, less cortisol, you know, the whole bit. So that’s crucial and that relates to the part of the book about what’s your relationship like with yourself. I think that’s a starting point and then start to look at the things about the exercise, you know, start to implement that. It’s gonna make you feel better, all those sorts of things.