Teaching in a pressure cooker

In this beautiful country we love to call home, we too often see the destructive consequences of prolonged stress and bottled up emotions:

  • High frustration levels
  • Anxiety
  • Passive-aggressive behaviour
  • Violence

It saddens me to realize that our schools have also fallen prey to this emerging epidemic. Anger outbursts from educators, learners and parents are becoming more prevalent. We desperately need to address this cry for help before the pressure cooker’s lid blows off yet again.

Approaching an epidemic by focusing on the symptoms and outcomes, might have some advantages, but the effect thereof is often short-lived. To successfully fight (excuse the pun) an epidemic, the main focus should be to determine the cause of the problem: address the reason behind the behaviour.

What sets our methodology apart from the rest, is our bottom-up approach to behaviour. Research has shown that your innate threshold for input from your environment plays a critical role in how you react to the world. In order to self-regulate:

  • Individuals with HIGH thresholds for sensory input needs MORE stimulation and input from their environment: louder, brighter, faster, etc.
  • Individuals with MEDIUM thresholds for sensory input can mostly cope with their environments.
  • Individuals with LOW thresholds for sensory input needs LESS stimulation and input from their environment: softer, dimmed, slower, etc.

The reality is that we live in a world that is already overloaded with sensory experiences, whether we can handle it or not. When we do reach our thresholds’ limits, our bodies react by going into FLIGHT/FRIGHT/FIGHT mode. This happens on a subconscious level:

 

FLIGHT

  • You remove yourself from a particular situation
  • Escape behaviour
  • Become distractible
  • Become bored
 

FRIGHT

  • Become reluctant to try new experiences
  • You withdraw/hide
  • Become fearful
  • Crying, clinging, “I can’t”
 

FIGHT

  • Become frustrated and aggressive with outbursts
  • Acting out
  • Resistance
  • “I won’t, NO”

At Sensory Intelligence® Consulting we guide individuals towards self-discovery and self-awareness. We explore and determine specific strategies to manage overload and stress, catered to each individual’s unique sensory assess, before an overload becomes externalized as behaviour. Our target group includes (but is not limited to):

  • Educators
  • Learners
  • Parents

By knowing yourself better you can reduce stress and live a healthier, happier, calmer life.

By getting to know your colleagues/learners/parents better, early warning signs of potential overload can be identified and a flight/fright/fight reaction can be prevented. Team cohesion and relationships can improve and our beautiful country can be a hopeful rainbow nation again.

Let’s turn down the heat,                                                                     
                                    reduce the stress of education and                                             
                                                                                    replace it with some insight and understanding!

Do your Sensory Matrix™ and discover sensory strategies to reduce stress and help you cope best.

Our top tip to improve workplace relationships

February is the month of love, and for most of us that means romantic relationships. You probably spent some special time with your partner on Valentine’s Day, or if you’re single, maybe eye-ing someone new or considering what you might want from a romantic relationship. We hope that this was a lovely time for you – whether you connected with a romantic partner or spent time with friends. Love is always beautiful in all ways, shapes and forms.

At Sensory Intelligence Consulting we believe one of the most important relationships in our lives, but one that we rarely focus on, is our relationships with our colleagues. Most of us don’t ever really think about the quality of relationships we have with people at work, or specifically invest in them, like we do in relationships with our loved ones.  Here are some facts to consider when thinking of the importance of workplace relationships:

  • We spend 8 hours or more a day with our colleagues. This is probably more time than you spend with your family, friends or partner.
  • Good workplace relationships are shown to advance careers. They are an indicator of your likelihood of getting a promotion, a positive reference and having colleagues and superiors listen to your ideas and take you seriously.
  • If we have good relationships with our colleagues we are more likely to let go of small irritations and overlook their negative traits. This leads to less conflict in the workplace and a more positive environment to work in.
  • Loneliness is seen as an epidemic with similar health risks as smoking and obesity. Good workplace relationships can combat loneliness and improve our overall health and well-being.
  • Recent studies show healthy workplace environments significantly improve productivity and workplace outcomes.

And the most important point … if you are going to spend so much time with your colleagues…
wouldn’t it be better to just get along?

We believe in the KISS principle (even more so during the month of love!), in other words, Keep It So Simple. We love making things practical and easy to understand. Building good relationships with your colleagues doesn’t have to take tons of extra time and energy – we know you’re busy ?.  So we decided to share our NUMBER ONE TOP TIP to improve workplace relationships:

STOP, LOOK and LISTEN when you communicate.

Let’s elaborate on these concepts:

  • STOP –  When you communicate with a colleague, put down everything else. Don’t multi-task while trying to communicate effectively. Put away technology and other distractions. Even though Skype and email can make things quicker and easier, still make time for face to face connection on a regular basis.
  • LOOK – make eye contact. 90% of communication is body-language. If we make eye contact and really focus on the person’s expression, tone of voice and other cues their body is giving us, we will understand them much better.
  • LISTEN – Open your ears and your heart to what the person is saying. Don’t just listen to solve problems or answer back. Don’t even think of a response yet. Just listen.

Stop, look and listen is the 101 of good communication and can vastly improve workplace relationships. When people communicate better and really feel connected and heard, everything else goes smoother. We also use most of our senses when we stop, look and listen, so we are not only connecting on a cognitive level, but also on a sensory and bodily level.

Are workplace relationships a problem at your company? Why not let us come in and do a bespoke, custom-made workshop for you to address this problem. Send us an email with your specific requirements.