Be like England; take your performance to the next level with a Business Psychologist

England’s performance against Columbia was exemplary and I’m not a sports correspondent – to be honest I rarely watch football. I’m a rugby fan myself (Tigerrrrsss!). When England play though – I make an exception and the patriot in me comes out to play.

Hopes were high before the match

Why is this? As a nation, we aren’t known for our optimistic outlook when supporting our national team. We hold back, better to limit the disappointment levels. Yet this time, this time more than any other time, this time (admit it you sang the words there!) things were different.Our boys were composed, confident on the pitch, so what was different about this World Cup?

Dr Pippa Grange; Head of People and Team Development at The Football Association.

Dr Grange is a Business and Sport Psychologist appointed to build the team’s resilience and trust levels. Business Psychologists work so that we’re able to operate at our optimal level even when high pressure bears down on us. Like performance in the World Cup when the nation is watching, or launching your business as the main wage earner, to holding your nerve in the boardroom faced with a hostile take-over bid.

Dr Grange needed to get the team to face their anxieties and the pressure of their dreams off the pitch. Why? Well when fears are replaced by a powerful alternative successful outcome this makes a huge difference to how we act. This is the case whether it’s the England team’s World Cup performance, or our performance as leaders or business owners. Dr Grange’s brief was to change the culture and mindset of the team – in order to win, first we have to believe. I bet at this point you’re thinking – Doh! The thing is if it were that simple to do alone, the England Team would have done it years ago. No team member ever left for the World Cup looking forward to returning to a disappointed nation.

The Skillset of a Business Psychologist

Dr Grange made the headlines this weekend – national papers acknowledged her work as instrumental in England’s success. Quite rightly too. The mistake the papers made though was, as one paper wrote, “England now head into a semi-final showdown with Sweden on Saturday brimming with confidence and maybe, just maybe daring to dream”.

No! England left to play Sweden, and beat Sweden BECAUSE they dared to dream. They dreamt on the training pitch, on the coach and on the pitch with pressure baring down on them. England are still in the World Cup because Dr Grange builds resilience levels, and coaches performance beliefs.

Why working with a Business Psychologist is different

Dr Grange worked individually with team members, and with the team as a whole. She utilised her skill set to identify where to push for more, or question beliefs. I’ve met some highly skilled coaches – we’re expert at asking the right questions, at the right time, in the right way.That’s essential for growth and progress. What a qualified Business Psychologist adds to that mix is an ability to identify behavioural patterns, the dance between the conscious and the unconscious and how this affects the words we choose, the business goals we set ourselves, even the level of risk we’re comfortable to take during negotiations. We’ve researched the top thinking, and global studies. As an aside, to claim the title Business Psychologist a Masters Degree in Business Psychology is usually required in Business Psychology. We understand teams, the dynamics between people, behavioural economics and the science behind effective decision making. So if you’re looking to take your performance to the next level, be smart, be like the England team and hire a Business Psychologist.

We offer a 30 minute synergy call, at on cost to you.

Call 0121 285 1350.

A Female Coach & Performance Consultant?

“A Motivation Coach and Performance Consultant? How’d you end up doing that?” is something I hear quite often. I became a certified coach and started my own business, realising there a was shortage of experienced female coaches.  I work blending the two elements of what I’m love; motivation and psychology. I’m a geek on the two subjects and proud of it too. It’s become something of a standing joke that when my partner returns from a course raving about a book, I will already have read it  – whether it be motivating teams, self-motivation or the impact of motivation on corporate goals!

For those close to me the fact that I failed at school will come as no surprise. I’m too full of inquisitive energy and need to explore ideas.  “What have you learned while you’ve been out here?” was uttered to me by disenchanted teachers most days of the week and I spent most of my secondary school career the wrong side of the classroom door. I left with three qualifications to my name. My future didn’t look bright, and I wasn’t wearing rose tinted shades.

I ended up working 9-5. Clock watching my life away in my early twenties was both a sobering and motivating force. As an adult, I returned to college. I became the first mature student from South Birmingham College to gain a place at the esteemed redbrick University of Birmingham, taking on five jobs to fund my way through. I left with a 2:1 degree and set my sights on becoming a teacher.

My grandmother gave me sound advice; if something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing well. I studied with the best names in education – I sold my bed to buy my interview suit for my PGCE for which there were fifty applicants for every place. It was only coming home ecstatically happy having gained a place – jumping in puddles on the way I realised I had no bed to sleep in the night! But, none of that mattered because I was following the trail of what I loved doing.

So I began teaching and almost simultaneously I fell in love with psychology  – which always sounds glamorous when I talk about it, but this really was driven from necessity. When scheduled to teach Shakespeare to 14 year olds last thing on a Friday afternoon, you quickly learn everything you can lay your hands on about motivation and persuasion!

Ebeneazor, if you ever find this blog, the day you ran back to school that Friday evening because you realised you’d forgotten my revision class – that was the day I realised I was quite good at this motivating business (16 year olds run for very few things)! You deserved the standing ovation the class gave you and the light bulb moment you gifted me changed the path of my career for good. I gained my MA (Education) focused upon ‘Deep Learning’ with motivation at the heart of my studies. I became a Deputy Headteacher in a large urban comprehensive school responsible for the professional development of over a hundred staff; trained and practiced as an Ofsted Inspector. I worked at regional and national level, coaching staff and senior leaders and energising teams. Once more I followed the trail of what I loved doing, the tasks where time seems to melt away and you’re left in a state of flow.

My passion sparked academic pursuit, an MSc in Business Psychology and courses with Dr Paul Ekman (the original Dr Cal Lightman from ‘Lie to Me‘) on body language and micro-expressions. I became an expert on deception – it’s not as easy as Dr Cal Lightman makes it appear and whilst an interesting subject for a dinner speech, understanding how to motivate individuals and teams to perform at their best is by far my favourite subject. It’s also how I spend most of my working time. ‘Do what you love…’ as they say, is the story of how I became a Motivation Coach and Performance Consultant.

If you’re looking for a female coach, preparing for your first leadership role or seek support in motivating teams I’d love to start a conversation about how I could help.  Let’s talk…