352: Conquering Fear and Expanding Awareness with Emma-Kate Swann

By October 1, 2018Podcasts

 

 

Emma-Kate Swann shares how increased awareness enables you to be a better employee and a better person.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The four key practices for becoming more conscious
  2. Tips for becoming more secure in your identity
  3. Six ways to counter  your fear responses

About Emma-Kate

Emma-Kate Swann is the Vice President of Leadership & Transformation at Healthy Companies International working alongside a team to both support and lead key client engagements. As part of her mission to bring about positive, healthy outcomes, Emma-Kate coaches executives on optimizing their performance, helps organizations navigate through change, and guides executive teams in building more productive relationships. She is also actively involved in the design and implementation of leadership development programs at all levels within client organizations.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Emma-Kate Swann Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Emma-Kate, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely Pete. It’s great to be here.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, I’m excited to dig into a lot of your wisdom, but first I want to go into your past because I understand that you, when you were 13-ish, appeared on television dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. What’s the story behind this story?

Emma-Kate Swann
That’s true, yes. Well, growing up, who didn’t like Michael Jackson, right? I used to study his video clips and learn his Thriller dance step by step. Then I had the opportunity at 13 years old to perform this dance in a group on a children’s TV show. It was definitely a great thrill at a young age.

Pete Mockaitis
How did you end up connecting with this TV show? How did that come to pass?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, I was in a jazz ballet group. We decided to do Michael Jackson’s Thriller. We had to study the video clip and then our teacher also helped us with some of the steps. We won an Eisteddfod – it’s just sort of a competition that we were involved in – then got invited to go on this television show as the entertainment between cartoons. It was a children’s TV show, so that’s how it came about.

Pete Mockaitis
Do you recall which cartoons you were in between?

Emma-Kate Swann
Oh my goodness. I cannot.

Pete Mockaitis
Hardball here at Awesome At Your Job.

Emma-Kate Swann
I wish.

Pete Mockaitis
I don’t think I can recall the cartoons I watched as a kid other than Nickelodeon had a good lineup with Doug, Rugrats and – maybe I can’t remember them. Ren and Stimpy was a crazy one. That was wild. I don’t even know if you can get away with some of the stuff that they did on that show today.

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely. Oh my goodness.

Pete Mockaitis
Let’s talk about perhaps your current income and impact in career that you’re making. It’s not through dance and Michael Jackson performances.

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely not.

Pete Mockaitis
You’ve got a cool title as the vice president of leadership and transformation at Healthy Companies International. I love transformation. Tell us what’s your role and this organization all about.

Emma-Kate Swann
Healthy Companies, we refer to ourselves as a leadership and change and transformation company. Our mission is to transform the world’s organizations one leader at a time. We’re actually founded back in 1998 by our CEO, who’s an organizational psychologist and my co-author on our current book, Conscious, Bob Rosen.

We have a very focused – we have a specific view about leadership. Our view is that as the world around us is accelerating and becoming more disruptive, that we need to develop ourselves from the inside out in order to show up differently on the outside. We refer to this at Healthy Companies as grounded and conscious leadership.

Our focus on leadership was really set early on when the company was awarded a multi-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation to research the characteristics of successful executives and their companies. This led to more than 500 interviews with CEOs in 50 countries. Then Bob and Healthy Companies and myself then published the results from our executive coaching and our consulting work as well as interviews in eight books.

We apply these approaches to grounded and conscious leadership within really three key areas. One is executive coaching. I know, Pete, that you’re an executive coach yourself, executive consulting, and leadership development in workshops.

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hmm. Now did you say say eight books?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yes, yes, so eight books.

Pete Mockaitis
You know it’s a good sign when you need eight books for them. That’s awesome. Could you give us a tidbit in terms of one of the most striking, powerful, counterintuitive insights that emerged from all that research?

Emma-Kate Swann
Well, often, we focus on competencies or skills in a lot of leadership development. Companies are spending millions and millions of dollars on leadership development. However, our research found that actually the most effective leaders focus on what we call is the six dimensions of leadership health. That is their physical health, their emotional health, their social health, vocational, spiritual, and intellectual health.

This is really what I mentioned in terms of operating from the inside-out. Interestingly, one of the key strongest predictors of effectiveness of those six healths would be what would you say if you had to guess, of those six?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh boy, I could make a case for all of them.

Emma-Kate Swann
I’ll put you on the spot, Pete.

Pete Mockaitis
But since I just moved a heavy file cabinet, I’m thinking about my physical health. Let’s go with that one.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, actually each of those independently predicted higher levels of performance. But the one that actually we were really surprised about that had the strongest predictor of performance was actually spiritual health.

Now spiritual health can often mean religion. It’s not what we meant in our research. We actually defined spiritual health as the way you view your world, coming from a spirit of generosity and things like having a higher purpose and also being globally connected, so respecting different cultures and different points of view.

That particular dimension of spiritual health in the way I just defined it had the strongest relationship with effectiveness and also engagement. That was a bit of a surprise for us and actually opened up a new conversation with leaders and individual contributors in a way that they operate within the workplace.

Pete Mockaitis
As you say that it makes real sense to me in terms of generosity because as you sort of generously invest your time and your network, your knowledge, your energy, your attention, sort of whatever you have to offer into people, sure enough they remember it, they appreciate it, and they are all the more likely to respond to you with subsequent requests and provide discretionary efforts and creative ideas and all that good stuff.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yes, and Pete, there is some data to support what you’ve just said.  Bersin & Associates found that companies known for their strong expressions of appreciation are twelve times more likely to show better results than companies less generous with their gratitude.​

Pete Mockaitis
That’s really cool. Let’s talk a little bit about your latest now. The book is called Conscious. What’s your main point behind this one?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely. We recently conducted a Harris poll actually with 2,000 working adults over 18 years of age to understand how Americans view leaders and their ability to navigate in a rapidly changing world.

A strong majority of Americans from our Harris poll believed that conscious leaders, which is really the focus of our book, and we defined conscious as those people who are aware of themselves, their relationships and their environment. These leaders said that being conscious improves organizations in terms of engagement and performance, yet only half of those surveyed think that C-level executives and leaders actually exhibit fully conscious behaviors.

We then focus in our book on what are the practices of becoming more conscious. We identified four key practices being one going deep, which is about really building awareness of yourself and how you show up and discovering your inner self.

The second one is about thinking big. This is about looking over the horizon, looking into the future, and seeing a world of possibilities.

The third is about getting real. This is about being your own change agent and also being honest and intentional about how you’re showing up and your impact on others.

The final one is about stepping up. This is about empowering yourself to act boldly and responsibly. A lot of us can focus a lot of time on blaming those around us for the challenges that we find in society and in our workplaces. We’re saying that stepping up is actually looking at what can you take control of and what can you influence.

Together these four practices then create the ability to transform ourselves and our organizations.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, I’d love to dig into each of those. But first, I want to talk about a definition a little bit. One who is conscious is aware of themselves, of others in their environments.

Could you maybe give us a quick kind of picture of what it looks like when someone – a manifestation or expression of a person who’s acting in a way that is clearly not aware of themselves or not aware of others or not aware of their environments and then the positive foil to that, so just get a real clear picture on what that looks like?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely. If we start at the level of self-awareness. Let’s just take a really simple example like in a meeting. We all have to attend many meetings. It spends a lot of time out of our day in a meeting.

If you think about someone who is conscious, firstly they’re aware of how they’re showing up in that meeting, so how much of the air time are they taking up, how much time are they spending in inquiry versus advocating their view. Are they actually drawing in others in order to get as diverse perspective as is possible? Are they open in their mindset or are they fixed and caught up in their own biases?

That sort of self-awareness is the first level of being conscious.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s striking because I think there are definitely times when I think that I’m on it. I’m sort of thinking all of these sort of like second layer or extra dimension thoughts meta of what’s happening and what I’m doing. Then times when I’m absolutely not. I’m kind of checked out or just sort of barely able to convey something worthwhile from time to time.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s nice to note that what level of awareness are you playing at in a given meeting because it can probably change hour to hour.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely. I think part of the challenge is that we’re operating in such an accelerating business environment, that we’re all running from one thing to the next that to actually be able to be present and notice how we’re showing up is more and more challenging. That level of awareness is just so important.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, so that’s what it looks like awareness in itself and then with others?

Emma-Kate Swann
Awareness of Relationships or others is how aware are you of others’ thoughts and feelings. It is also about the ability to change your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as you interact with others.  For example, if you take the example of a meeting, to what extent are you aware of the signs and signals others are giving of how they are feeling.  What are you noticing about their tone of voice, their body language, and what really matters to them.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. The emotions, sort of the subtext, what’s not said, what are people really thinking and feeling underneath the surface there. Then how about the environment?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, so the environment as well. One of the things that more conscious leaders are focused on is not just in terms of increasing revenue, but what’s the impact on the communities around them.

Awareness of the Environment involves understanding and adapting to both internal (organizational) and external (societal) forces that impact you, your team and your business. It is also about understanding the context or challenge you are dealing with. For example, are you bringing a perspective of what’s important to your internal and external stakeholders to share at the meeting?  If you are meeting with a group of senior executives, are you adapting your communication to meet their needs? For example, providing a big picture strategic perspective and not getting into too many of the details.  This is about being aware of your environment and the context in which you are working.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s great.

Emma-Kate Swann
Does that make sense Pete?

Pete Mockaitis
Absolutely. Well so could you maybe give us an example, and you don’t have to name names specifically of just – because now that you lay it out, it seems like yes, but of course, we should all do this and that would be necessary for any leader to be effective.

But maybe could you give us an example of an organization or a leader who just bombed it in terms of they did some decision making or some communication that just clearly conveyed they were severely lacking on some of these awareness dimensions.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yes, absolutely.  One example comes from working with a group of global leaders at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  They came together from around the world to participate in a three month residential leadership program to prepare them to lead global teams.

I worked with this one senior leader as part of that program. He had moved around a lot in his teenage years. That had really left him feeling disconnected from his peers, so his way of relating to others was to outsmart his peers and his clients, which gave him some sense of control and feelings of superiority, but further increased his feelings of loneliness and isolation.

One of the things that we talk about in Conscious is that it’s no longer enough to be the smartest in the room. Pete, the man was clearly smart but we had to move him in our coaching to have more of a conscious way of thinking and way of showing up.

For example, one of the things that I worked on with him in coaching was to have him move from this scarcity mindset, which is a belief that there’s not enough, so there’s not enough knowledge or resources or opportunities, to one where he’s actually believing a principle around abundance, which there is enough. That led him then to share his knowledge, to be more cooperative, and to be more generous in his relationships.

The second way that I needed to work with him in terms of moving from a smart to a conscious mindset was to challenge his belief that I am what I know. His whole identity was caught up in – and this is very common – was caught up in being the smartest in the room, having the right answer. If I challenge – if someone challenged him, they’re challenging him as a person.

What we needed to work on was that he was who he was, warts and all, and that all of us have strengths and weaknesses. When we become more conscious, we are more comfortable in our own skin and we share more of our whole self. We feel more comfortable being vulnerable with others.

Then finally we worked on his mindset, which is also a smart paradigm rather than a conscious paradigm, which is I can only rely on myself to survive. In other words, I have to have all of the answers myself rather than engaging others to help with me tasks or to give me some more ideas.

We had to shift that thinking in order for him to actually understand that we’re only as effective as those around us. We actually learn a lot from those around us in our environment. This then moved him to focusing on more behavior around asking others for ideas and learning from others.

The outcome eventually was that his peers provided him feedback that he became much more of a team player and that his clients gave him positive feedback that they shared a new desire to continue doing business with him because interestingly he was brilliant but no one wanted to work with him because they came away feeling stupid as a result of his need to be the smartest in the room.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen that. I’ve felt that. I remember one of the kindest things anyone ever said to me in sort of a farewell work event is that I never made him feel dumb. I thought that was really sweet. I was like, “Oh, thank you so much.” Because I know how that feels. It sucks.

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
Awesome. I’m intrigued about the identity point though, so he said – before identity was I am what I know, and then that shifted to something. Was there new identity statement or what’s the new identify then?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, so the new identity is I am okay who I am or as I am. Right. It’s acknowledging that all of us have strengths and all of us have areas for development. Actually, when we’re vulnerable and when we show some of that and when we ask for help, it actually builds trust. Rather than seeing vulnerability as a weakness, actually starting to see it as a strength.

Pete Mockaitis
Absolutely. Now that ‘I am okay as I am’ can for some be a lifelong journey to arrive at such a place.

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
As a coach what are your pro tips for fast-tracking that one?

Emma-Kate Swann
I have to say that particular mindset shift is not one that happens necessarily overnight. Yeah. It’s one it’s starting to be kind to ourselves. It’s simple little things to start with, so asking for help, sharing where – in a safe way, I normally get people to experiment in a safe way to start – so sharing something they may need, some support with, so something – whether it’s even just help with a spreadsheet.

It’s something that feels safe enough and just opening up a little bit about themselves, which is being a little more personal, which can be vulnerable for people. Just with those small steps over time with that mindset can start to shift and they can actually see that their relationships start to improve.

Pete Mockaitis
That is good. I’m thinking about maybe even more of a baby step is, I have confessed my need for help to the Amazon Prime Now delivery person or the Instacart grocery shoppers like “I don’t know you and I need help with this.” Sometimes life is out of control, so thank you so much for you’ve done here.

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
Very cool. Thank you. That was just background. Now, you’ve got four practices associated with being conscious. Could you give us maybe sort of kind of a best practice prescription in terms of “Hey, if you want to do one thing when it comes to going deep and discovering your inner self stuff, what would that be? Could we do that for each of the four?

Emma-Kate Swann
Sure, absolutely. I’d love to. Going deep is about discovering your inner self. This is really just about learning who you are, where you come from, and why you act the way you do.

There’s a particular skill that we refer to. It’s got an interesting name. We call it wrestling your inner reptile. In other words, it’s about understanding how your mind works and how we get hijacked by our survival instincts. I’m just going to spend just a couple of minutes talking about the neuroscience of the brain just because it sort of helps to understand this particular practice. I just want to keep it really simple here.

We have three brains. All of those have developed at different times and they have different responsibilities. Firstly, we have what we call the reptilian or primitive brain. This is really just focused on survival. Secondly, we have the emotional or feeling brain. This is where aspects of memory reside and also our impulsive actions begin. Thirdly, and really important in terms of our creative thinking and our decision making, we have the executive or thinking brain.

Now the problem is that our Stone Age survival instincts are not our friend in our current accelerating disruptive business world. What they do is they keep us stuck in negative emotions and they often slow us down in our business tasks as well as our life.

What happens is that our brains are constantly scanning for threats. The amygdala part of our emotional brain uses the five senses as well as some of our internal signals of threat, like our elevated heart rate or shortness of breath. Then when it perceives a threat it takes only 80 milliseconds for an automatic threat avoidance impulse to kick in. This actually happens at an unconscious level.

The signal telling us about our actions so that it’s how we actually show up, doesn’t reach our thinking brain until 240 milliseconds. At the same time, what happens is that one or more avoidance emotions like fear, and anger, and shame are triggered and that effectively takes our thinking brain, the part of our brain we need to be at our best, offline.

We’re all wired for survival and prone to these reflex-like responses and it takes the smallest of signals for us to perceive a threat.

I think Pete, we’ve all been there. We’re in a sales meeting. We know our numbers are not where they need to be. Your boss is frowning and instantaneously you notice your defensive reaction. Your tone becomes defensive. Your body language becomes defensive.

Going back to your question around what can we do about this, one area of awareness that’s particularly important to help us learn to – let’s just put it, wrestle our inner reptile, right that unconscious part of our brain that can trigger us – is to recognize what we call early warning signs our body gives. We refer to these as somatic responses.

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone says or does something like frowns at you because they think that your sales numbers that you’re about to report are not good enough or says something that you feel disrespects you then you get either a flushing feeling or that feeling in the pit of your stomach or a tightness in your chest?

Now given the reptilian’s brain unconscious and our emotional brain is only partially conscious, by recognizing what we’re experiencing in our body, that is vital information to then course correct our behavior.

So for example, when you notice that feeling in your stomach, what you need to do is take a few deep breaths and slow down the reaction from your emotional brain and that buys you some time to allow your executive or thinking brain to switch back on and then you can actually be more thoughtful in your response. Does that make sense, Pete?

Pete Mockaitis
Oh sure thing, yeah. The practice then is just in the moment of you begin to feel some defensive things to do some conscientious breathing there.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely. The first step is to – the first thing you need to be aware of what are those people and situations that are likely to trigger you, and then what do you notice somatically, so what do you notice in the body before the behavior even shows up.

Before the defensive tone or the defensive body language, what is – this is really a level of awareness that most people do not have – what do you notice happens in the body? Because that reaction in the body will give you the early warning sign before the action sets in that you can then manage the response. Does that make sense?

Pete Mockaitis
Yes.

Emma-Kate Swann
Then the response can be as you said the deep breathing and knowing that our thinking brain if we’re triggered is going to take a little while to switch on.

For some people it’s pausing because their reactive response is to sort of snap at someone or sort of have that short tone. For others, they disengage or they freeze. You need to build awareness of how you react and then notice the somatic reaction and then plan a different response in order to manage them.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. This is really good. Could you share some observations in the body, that sort of common defensiveness things that pop up? There’s “Oh my heart rate is suddenly going faster,” or “I feel a descending wave of heat from my head to my toes,” or “I am getting a little twitchy in the elbow.” What are some examples that come up again and again?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah. One is interestingly when some people are stressed, they actually clench their fist. By simply noticing that your fist is clenched and then relaxing it, can actually shift your whole emotional response and then that shows up differently in your behavior. It can be very small tweaks in awareness building, but that can actually have a huge impact and then the behavior you can then change as a result.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s excellent. What are some of your responses that you recommend folks use? I guess there’s the breathing and there’s the unclenching and what else?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yes. So the deep breathing, the unclenching. One key one is that you need to buy yourself some time so that you can allow that executive brain to switch back on.

Sometimes just if there’s some water there, just take a glass of water and have a drink of water and that’s just buying yourself time. At the same time ground your feet because we physically – when we ground the body physically it can actually reground our emotions because we’ve got to remember that our emotional brain is being hijacked right now.

Pete Mockaitis
No kidding. So there’s science behind this?

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
I do that. I just do that. I remember I just did that during my interviews when I was a candidate trying to get my first jobs. I had no idea why, but somehow when I started freaking out that just made me feel better. You’re saying – I thought that was just a weird thing I did, but you’re telling me this is deep in our humanity. This is so reassuring.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, there you go. Yeah, your intuitive response worked.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, so put both feet firmly on the floor, that does stuff for not just me. Cool.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely, yeah. Definitely the deep breathing, the grounding the feet, and buying yourself some time, whether it’s just ask another question so you can listen rather than having to present your point of view right then and there because you’re thinking brain is not going to be at its best. Taking a moment to have a drink of water.

If you really, really feel triggered, and you’re concerned about how that may show up, you may need to just ask to leave the room for a moment and then come back when you’re more present. That’s not the most ideal response, but if it’s going to be better than sort of having a short tone or sounding very defensive, then it’s a better outcome.

Pete Mockaitis
You talk about reptiles and angry reactions, in my mind’s eye, this is so dorky, but I just keep seeing this scene from a Star Trek Next Generation, maybe a movie, maybe a TV episode, not sure, but Worf says – I don’t know who cares about this but, Trekkies in the audience here we go – when Worf screams at the captain, “If you were any other man I would kill you where you stand.”

That’s what I think about in terms of the intensity. But I think we probably are thinking, shall we say, attacking thoughts perhaps in response to these things, maybe thoughts we’d never want to say aloud.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yes, yes. Very true. Very true. Yeah. And remembering that not everyone reacts that way, some people disengage, but that also can be not effective in the way we’re showing up. It looks like we’re not contributing to the discussion. For some people, it’s how do you get back in the game when you get triggered? How do you get grounded again and then actually be able to contribute again in a conversation?

Pete Mockaitis
Emma-Kate, what I love about this is that this awareness stuff is so much more than surface level, “Oh know yourself and your strengths and your weaknesses.” This is really in the moment and what that looks and sounds and feels like from a very personal and physical perspective. That’s a whole other level than “I’m good at details,” which I love.

Emma-Kate Swann
Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes just asking our peers, someone that we trust, to give us feedback around how do we show up nonverbally when we’ve been seen to be little bit defensive, what does that look like? Normally people – that’s really showing vulnerability again, which builds trust, so most people are very happy to share any observations they might have of you.

We all have them. We’re all human, which is part of being conscious is to acknowledge that we’re all human and sometimes even if we’re practicing these conscious practices, we’re going to have an off day and that’s okay as well.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s fun. Well, I wanted to talk a bit likewise about think big, get real, step up but we had so much fun with go deep. We went deep on going deep.

Emma-Kate Swann
We did.

Pete Mockaitis
So thank you.

Emma-Kate Swann
Of course.

Pete Mockaitis
Is there maybe one kind of quick tip that you might share or key thing you want to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Emma-Kate Swann
We have at the end of each chapter we have some very practical tips for each of these practices so that would be one way of starting to learn sort of how to apply it in a very practical way. That would probably be sort of if people want to learn more about it, that’s probably where I’d direct them.

Pete Mockaitis
Cool, thank you. Now can you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Emma-Kate Swann
I would indeed. I’d love to. One of my favorite quotes is by John Wooden. He’s from the Hall of Fame Basketball. He was a coach from the Hall of Fame. His quote is, “It is what you learn after you know it all that counts.” I think for me that really sums up that distinction between conscious and smart. Being conscious is about being a lifelong learner and staying curious and open.

Pete Mockaitis
How about a favorite study or experiment or bit of research?

Emma-Kate Swann
Sure, research that was cited by O’Brien and … in 2010 is very relevant to what we talk about within Conscious that is that 83% of our brain is unconscious and 17% is conscious. However, of that 83% that’s unconscious, it controls the majority, which is 95 to 97% of our perceptions and actions.

In other words, most of our day we’re operating on autopilot. From a conscious perspective, if you can imagine the possibilities, if we could tap into more of that unconscious part of the brain, and become more intentional about our actions, behaviors, what the impact would be in our teams, in our organizations, and in our communities.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh great, thank you. How about a favorite book?

Emma-Kate Swann
No, my favorite book is Leadership and the Art of Conversation by Kim H. Krisco. If you think about it, one of our most powerful tools in getting things done through others is our communication tools. This book really provides a number of key practical tools to doing this very well.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. How about a favorite tool, something you use that helps you be awesome at your job?

Emma-Kate Swann
I practice and teach yoga sculpt at Core Power Yoga. That’s a combination of yoga, cardio, and weights at a 92 degree heated room. For me – that’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But it energizes my body. It helps me get very present and helps me get really focused so that’s something that I practice every day.

Pete Mockaitis
How about a favorite habit?

Emma-Kate Swann
Well, that would be my habit I would say. Your other question was a favorite tool?

Pete Mockaitis
It was a tool, yeah.

Emma-Kate Swann
A favorite tool of mine, this is one I use a lot in coaching or introduce people to is called the HeartMath, M-A-T-H, technique. There’s actually software you can purchase online. It’s about I think 250, sorry 150 to about 200 dollars.

What it does is it looks at your heart coherence and you can actually see – it starts to graph it on a screen. By using this breathing technique and actually being able to see the data on a screen, when you have high heart coherence, you’re able to better manage your emotions and you’re also able to be more creative in your thinking.

It’s a technique that really helps people get conscious, or it’s really a conscious practice, but also sometimes people need the science or the data and that HeartMath technique allows you to see that on your computer screen.

Pete Mockaitis
What exactly is heart coherence?

Emma-Kate Swann
Heart coherence is the distance between heart beats. I’m sort of not a scientific expert in this. What my understanding is that when you have high coherence, that’s when you have those positive relationships with performance outcomes.

What the software does is just show you – it actually has a graph, green, blue, and red – and it shows you when you start to move from low to high coherence. It can actually happen as quickly as five minutes time. There is actually a lot of science and a lot written behind it, researched about it that people can read up on. But that’s what the technique is about.

Pete Mockaitis
Fascinating. I’ve heard of the HeartMath Institute long ago. But I didn’t know exactly what was under the surface, so thank you. That’s intriguing.

Emma-Kate Swann
Oh, of course, absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis
How about a particular nugget, something you share that really connects and resonates and gets quoted back to you?

Emma-Kate Swann
Probably as simple as conscious is the new smart. That really sort of comes down to that paradigm shift that I talked about earlier. I think that if people could actually make that shift, it would make our teams and our organizations really much more creative and much more engaging places to work.

Pete Mockaitis
If folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely. It’s HealthyCompanies.com is our website. Or I’m very happy for people to email me at EK.Swann@healthycompanies.com. I’m also LinkedIn or Twitter.

Pete Mockaitis
Do you have a final challenge or call to action for folks seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Emma-Kate Swann
Absolutely. We say that teams, organizations and communities become more conscious one person at a time, so my challenge to you is to start with yourself. One thing you can do is take our short self-assessment to see how conscious you are. It’s just a small number of questions on our website and it’s free. If you go to our Conscious book page and click on the assessment there. And thank you so much for having me.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, Emma-Kate thank you. This was a ton of fun and I wish you lots of luck with Conscious and all you’re doing.

Emma-Kate Swann
Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you so much Pete.

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