Martin Palethorpe, a ‘quality of mind’ coach, explains the importance of the mind and how to harness it.
He explains that there are five key things that we need our minds to be doing effectively right now, during the COVID-19 period:
- Peace of Mind (not getting caught in the noise and anxiety that is going on outside of us.)
- Leadership (whether this be within an agency, family or within our own lives we need to be calm and strong.)
- To achieve clarity
- Creativity (an opportunity to think creatively beyond what we have known, to reinvent practices.)
Martin wishes to help people unlock the mind and work effectively in these five areas.
For the first 15 years of his life, Martin was in the technology sector and describes it as a ‘very pragmatic and results-driven environment’. After that, he ‘had an early mid-life crisis and for the last 20 years [has] been coaching business leaders individually and in addition to whole teams.’
‘It always surprised me how easy it was to be dysfunctional. It is hard to be effective as a leader or a team running an agency.’
Martin suggests it is important to consider ‘the role the mind plays in performance: you might have some thinking that you’re good at what you do, or that you lack confidence, or that you’re not always good in large groups.’ ‘The mind is constantly influencing and shaping how you come up and engage with the world. The relevance of this is moreso than ever during a global COVID-19 pandemic.’
Martin discusses a ‘flow state’ where we can access our full potential. It is a state that has ‘a timeless quality to it. This is when we access the best of ourselves.’ It is a state where ideas seem to come to us, where we are the most effective and where we perform to our best.
He suggests that the ‘flow state is our natural state, and we have the ability to get into this state automatically. The only thing that prevents us from being in flow at any moment is thought.’
‘The journey of being effective is how you shift and change your relationship with yourself to keep you in flow.’
When asked whether thoughts are inherently bad, Martin suggests that ‘we are thinking all of the time. But the distinction is in ‘low quality of mind thought and high quality of mind thought. It is this low quality of mind thought that can hijack you from your flow state.’
Low quality thoughts that we should become aware of are things like, ‘what if we lose that client?’ ‘what will happen in the next month?’.
When asked about how to make logical decisions, or swap between a flow state and a logical state, Martin suggests that ‘there is a rational part of the mind and the intuitive mind. Although when making decisions we take into account data, ultimately these decisions are intuitive and are part of this flow state.’
‘Everyone’s experience of this pandemic is completely different, and every agencies experience is too.’
‘It is critical that you get inside the realities of the people in your team. You can be calm and measured but if you don’t understand how they are feeling and support them most effectively.’
‘The mind has the ability to create and imagine. But the downside to this is that it can go wild. The rational part of our mind wants control, but we are existing in a time when there is more uncertainty than ever about the future.’ But Martin suggests that ‘we were never really in control anyway and the quicker we realise this the quicker we can relax into flow.’
Rob Coke who runs Studio Output, has worked with Martin to implement these ideas after feeling like their agency had lost direction. ‘He helped our team members to see each other’s reality and understand what eachother wanted.’
‘The quality of mind approach deals with a higher level of thought. It focusses on what you can and can’t control. It encourages everyone to recognise we are all creating our own reality, and that everyone else’s reality is totally different. This will not only strengthen core relationships but will in turn make for a more productive and effective team.’