Tips on being mindful – please pause and read…

If you would like to slow down, create more space to work through big decisions and make plans, then the practice of mindfulness can help you.

Right now, in this moment, pause for a few seconds and focus on your mind.  Notice your mind has incredible expansiveness,  resources and possibilities—for imagination, creativity, kindness, compassion, insight, focus and wisdom.  Appreciate, in this moment, the true powerhouse of energy and drive that is your mind. Breathe.

Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul said
“You are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts”

For some of us, our mind can seem like an untamed animal, full of distraction, busyness, unwelcome thoughts and inner chatter that can make us feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you would like to just shut off your busy mind so you can get some work done or have a moment’s peace. Yet our mind is the one thing we often struggle to shut off. Even so, if you can notice these thoughts, you can learn to let them go.

Just as we exercise our body to stay fit and healthy, we can gently and consistently exercise our mind, with small practices that make a big difference. Through mindfulness, we can train our minds to work better for us.

Here are 4 top ways to practice being more mindful:

  1. Keep an open mind
    Being open minded allows yourself to be curious, attentive, receptive and perceptive. It is often referred to as tapping into our growth mind or conscious mind. Whenever you notice your thoughts falling into unhelpful old familiar patterns, stop and examine, with curiosity and kindness, what is going on. Notice and accept the physical sensations in your body, the emotions you are feeling and the stories your mind is telling you. Remember these are stories, and not necessarily truth.
  2. Remember, thoughts are not facts
    Thoughts manifest from our programmed mind – based on our values, beliefs, perceptions, experiences and more. A way to observe, and not engage in your stories, is to say to yourself “I’m having the thought… – this is difficult” (for example). This affirms to yourself, you are not your thoughts, your thoughts are just…thoughts. Remember, in our mind we can make generalisations, assumptions, have opinions and these aren’t facts.  Through mindfulness and observing our thoughts, you can question the thoughts. Ask yourself, with curiousity, “How can I get a great result with making this easier?” (for example)
  3. Learn to respond, rather than react
    When you take time to examine your thoughts, you will generally see your own story forming. It is important to become the reader of the story instead of the protagonist. You may notice your heartbeat, sweaty palms, and tightened shoulders or jaw. Responding in this state may not be effective for you. When you let go by simply relaxing the tension, these feelings and/or sensations will also release. From this new state, it is easier and more effective to respond. Mindfulness tends to increase your empathy, your ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes with greater understanding. It enhances your connection with other people and supports you as you build work relationships. It enables you to build better boundaries with more effective communication.
  4. Build healthy habits
    Healthy habits stick best when done consistently and in small do-able steps. It is an ongoing practice of self-care. To benefit from mindfulness it helps to have both training in mindfulness and informal practices that incorporate mindfulness into your everyday. Mindfulness training involves learning a simple mindfulness meditation such as following the breath and practicing it on a regular, preferably daily, schedule. Informal practice can take place any second of the day by focusing the mind on whatever is happening in the present moment taking a deep breath and focusing on what is in front of you, and how you are being at that moment in time.The team at ATI-Mirage are training experts and can assist you with mindful practices to build your resilience, call us today to book your place on our next Mindfulness@Work course.

    Blog written by Wendy Wilson, ATI-Mirage’s Lead Consultant PD and Wellness

The future of work in Western Australia

COVID has impacted everyone, and rapidly transformed, and modernised organisations in their operations.  It has changed the way we work and connect with each other.  The digital transformation of the workplace has accelerated the switch to remote working and the use of the cloud applications, such as Microsoft 365, Teams, SharePoint, Planner, Power Automate and a range of other apps within Microsoft 365.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said MS Teams users are clocking up 30 billion
“collaboration minutes” each day in the most recent reporting quarter.

Microsoft Teams builds on its functionality, enabling a more hybrid way of working

Microsoft Teams application has gone through a major transformation since its launch and is now one of the main digital hubs for teamwork and collaboration. To put it in perspective, below are the Microsoft’s accelerated growth statistics:

  • Microsoft 365 added 95 million users in 2020, as it became one of the most popular apps during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Microsoft Teams noticed 894% growth, from March to June 2020
  • Over 500,000 organisations globally use Microsoft Teams as their default messaging platform

Organisations are now focussed on adopting a more hybrid way of working.  Staff will have far greater flexibility on how and where they work. According to research conducted for Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, over 80 percent of managers say they expect more flexible work from home policies post-pandemic, and more than 70 % of employees say they expect to take advantage of them.

With a more hybrid work option, days can work to suit employees enabling them to work from anywhere, either working from home or for example starting work at 6am, working a few hours before dropping the kids off at school and continuing to work until 2:30pm for school pickup. On returning home with the kids, a quick Microsoft Teams meeting is possible via the Microsoft Team mobile app.  It is easy to transfer meetings between your mobile and your computer desktop and it all works seamlessly.

Communication continues to speed up as well as digital collaboration, according to Microsoft’s research – The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready? The digital intensity of workers’ days has increased substantially, with the average number of online meetings and chats steadily increasing since last year. Specifically, when we compare collaboration trends in Microsoft 365 between February 2020 and February 2021:

Microsoft 365 Statistics
Sourced –

There are still challenges and opportunities ahead for us all in a more hybrid way of working. People are resilient and are adapting and developing new ways of working in a changing world, but careful steps are needed to understand what is working well and who needs the extra support in the new digital hybrid world of work.

For many, the switch happened overnight and often with minimal or no training because of the sudden arrival of the global pandemic. Many organisations are now realising their staff are not as knowledgeable as they need to be about the possibilities and opportunities of Microsoft 365 for their operations.

The expert team at ATI-Mirage have over 120 training programs for you to select from. There are options to work on the personal and professional development coupled with the suite of IT training which can demonstrate how to better maximise your investment in Microsoft 365.

Call us today 08 9218 9059 to find out more or go to our website

How to rescue your time from procrastination

Our latest lockdown seemed to come out of nowhere. From the announcement on the Sunday some of us may have felt a sense of overwhelm, wondering what the immediate future would look like. Once the realisation of the situation became apparent, we adjusted. Perhaps we thought “well, we have done it before, so we can do it again” and this thinking helped us to adjust.

This time though, for some of us, procrastination was a new battle we faced at home. Whether it’s juggling work, managing children at home, partners out of work or disconnection from family and friends, overwhelm can lead to procrastination. Maybe you planned to start your day with some writing and found yourself watching puppy videos an hour later. Or maybe you had a report to finish and ended up casually browsing news articles instead. Perhaps you were super productive in some areas and just put off those difficult tasks.

However, and whenever procrastination hits you, it is safe to say that there is nothing worse than putting things off that we know we need to get done.

Here’s our strategies for rescuing your time and not procrastinating.

Identify why you’re procrastinating

When faced with a decision or a task to complete, we usually rely on our self-control to push ourselves to get things done. When it comes to specific reasons why people procrastinate, in terms of demotivating and hindering factors, the following are among the most common:

  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • Rewards that are far in the future.
  • Task aversion.
  • Perfectionism and fear of failure
  • Boredom

So firstly, decide what is causing you to procrastinate, then build a plan around it.

Acknowledge and accept to break out of the cycle of procrastination.

Studies have shown the more people feel bad about procrastinating, the more likely they are to do it in the future. It is a recursive loop, feeling bad about procrastinating, feeling overwhelmed to know where to start, then go back to procrastinating. One way to break the cycle is to acknowledge where you are and accept the past. We can sometimes give too much value to things we can’t change, and this impacts our future decisions. For example, you may have avoided upskilling in a certain area that would benefit you. That time is gone. So why should it have such an influence on your future decisions? Procrastination is an emotional problem. Self-compassion and forgiveness help get us out of the habit of putting things off.

Establish some small, achievable goals

Every time your brain crosses something off a list you get a hit of dopamine, one of our ‘happy chemicals’. The more you keep this going, the more likely you are to achieve your goals and not procrastinate. Our confidence increases based on our ability to make progress. Start small by focusing your attention on your task for an easy 5 minutes, uninterrupted. Once you achieve this, add another 5 minutes and another, then so on.  Completing even tiny parts of tasks towards your goal makes you feel more confident in your own abilities. This leads to feeling happier and motivated.

Understanding procrastination is beneficial, since it can help you figure out why you yourself procrastinate. This is in turn can help you figure out how to solve your procrastination problem.

To learn more about this, and to understand how you can implement this knowledge in practice attend our Finish What You Start – 8 Ways to Tackle Procrastination workshop. For more information visit

A healthier work / life balance – Setting boundaries

Do you find you repeatedly put the needs of your boss, colleagues, family, friends, or even pets ahead of your own needs? Setting boundaries is just as essential to your well-being as water, food, and air. Your boundaries are where you end and where other people begin.

Many of us dedicate a good chunk of our time at work. That work also can spill over into our life at home, where the line between work and life gets blurred.  This can mean we feel constantly ‘on’ and ‘available’ for work and this can affect our health and stress levels.

So, creating boundaries around our workplace is critical. Creating boundaries at work can feel risky because there is the real worry of possible repercussions. Yet with clear communication, practice, and preparation it can be done.

Here are 5 tips for setting boundaries and navigating your current workplace.


  1. Know your values.

What is important to you? Honesty? Trust? Integrity? Understanding your own values will give you a clear path to creating boundaries. By knowing your values, you can identify when your limits are being tested. These become your boundary lines. What you consider to be ok or not ok. For example, you might value your hard work ethic, but that does not mean you are constantly available outside of work hours. Once you are out of the office it is personal time and work can wait until the next day.


  1. Actively practice applying boundaries.

Actively demonstrate the behaviours you expect from others. If you like people to be on time to meetings, then be on time for meetings too. If you prefer face to face communication and expect it of others, then demonstrate that behaviour. People will quickly learn your boundaries by your actions, rather than you having to tell them.


  1. Communicate

While actions are important, communication is key. It is up to you to let others know what your boundaries are. In the workplace, it can be difficult to just volunteer them without any context. It might not be until a situation arises when you are able to let others know. For example, when starting a new job, it is important to communicate how available (or not) you will be outside of regular business hours. Of course, this will depend on your role and responsibilities.


  1. Prepare for a breach of boundaries.

There may be times when boundaries are going to be crossed. Decide ahead of time how you will deal with that situation in terms of how you will respond and act. For example, your boss emails you on the weekend. What will you do? Reply straight away because it is your boss or wait until Monday? Has it become a usual practice or is it a genuine crisis that requires attention?  When boundaries are crossed our emotions can take over, so it is important to have a rough plan of action so you can handle the situation rationally.


  1. Boundaries are there to help us.

View boundaries as cementing positive working relationships rather than walls to keep people out. They can alert us to behaviour that might be harmful in the long run. Breach of boundaries can lead to stress and a breakdown of working relationships.


No matter how uncomfortable it may be for you at first, you will never regret taking care of yourself and letting others know how to treat you. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to investigate your values and clearly communicate them. The more you connect with your boundaries and values, the more you will be able to create a healthy work/life balance.


Enjoyed these tips?  We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:


Communication & Interpersonal Skills with Disc*

Developing Self Confidence & Assertiveness*

Conflict to cooperation*

Develop your Emotional Intelligence*

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders with SEIP*

*Also available as a live, facilitator-led virtual training course

Top 3 New year resolution strategies which work!

As we look towards 2021 we may choose to create a list of resolutions for the next 12 months. Many people will probably agree 2020 has provided plenty of life lessons! This is likely to be the catalyst for personal change and resolutions in the new year.

So how do we ensure we follow through on our promised resolutions? Unfortunately, many people forget their resolution within weeks. A major reason for this is because it can be deceptively difficult to develop new ingrained habits ‘cold turkey.’

So how can we achieve all we want for a better future?


Here are our 3 top strategies for achieving your resolutions.


  • Swap the word “resolution” for “goal”. Goals are powerful. They can extend our vision and move us closer to our potential. They make it easier to create plans and to accomplish what we set out to do. They can help us realise what seems impossible is achievable when we put our focus to it. Resolutions, like aspirations, are usually a means to a goal, but if you find a resolution too difficult to stick to, it is usually dropped and forgotten. With goals you can adjust them to a lower intensity or pick a different path leading to the same end result, and not lose sight of the goal.


  •  Include behaviour changes, not just measured actions. For many, simply setting a goal rarely leads to actual behaviour change. Rather than think in terms of quantifiable goals based on simple measures, define the behaviours you want to improve which achieve your desired outcome. Specific goal success then becomes the outcome of implementing positive behaviour change. For example, rather than saying you want to go to the gym 5 days per week, commit to choosing a healthy activity every day (walking, or parking your car further away to increase your step count). The goal becomes behaviour driven, rather than a measure of if you went to the gym or not.


  •  Focus on adding, not taking away. It is usually easier to add a behaviour than to stop a behaviour—so focus on adding more positive behaviours. Eventually, they will squeeze out the negative behaviours. For example: Instead of making the goal to eat less unhealthy food, focus on trying to eat more healthy food. You may subconsciously feel more deprived if you think of taking something away. If you replace unhealthy food in your diet with healthy food, the same goal is accomplished.


As you move through the year you may need to adjust your plans. New projects can pop up or plans may require more time than you realised. Consider regularly reviewing your goals to ensure you are on track and adapt them as you need. Remember: Change doesn’t come overnight. As you work toward developing what is important to you, the change will come, and it will be lasting.


Enjoyed these tips?  We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:


Time Management & Personal Productivity*

Finish what you start – 8 Ways to Tackle Procrastination*

Declutter & Organise Your Time, Tasks & Things (Work & Home)*

Boost Your Productivity*

Manage Stress, Build Resilience*

*Also available as a live, facilitator-led virtual training course

Creating a routine for success

Do you want to increase your happiness, health, and the quality of your work? Start with a daily routine. If you think depending on routines will turn you into a boring, predictable, uncreative person, think again! Daily routines can be the key to having a productive life.

So, what’s the difference between a routine and a habit? A habit is an activity you do without giving it a second thought, like brushing your teeth in the morning.

A routine, on the other hand, is a group of habits you do consecutively, and they are usually completed in a logical order. For instance, you might exercise in the morning then take a shower. If you do it the other way around, you’re all sweaty for the rest of the day.

Many of us may already have a daily routine. It might look a little like this: Wake up in the morning, have some coffee, go to work, come home, cook some dinner, watch tv and go to bed.

If this routine sounds like yours then ask yourself this question: Does your routine support you in achieving your personal and professional goals? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to change things up.

Set a goal for yourself then build a routine to help you to achieve it. Routines allow you to utilise your time effectively and optimise your energy.


Here are our 3 top tips for building effective routines.


  • Choose routines which stabilise your day. Crisis moments in work, social, and home life often come from forgetting tasks. Think about the stress of rushing to meet deadlines, forgetting a birthday or anniversary, or double-booking your calendar. Routines ensure you do what needs to be done on a regular basis so you can avoid those moments of crisis. An example of an effective routine might be to pick your clothes out and make your lunch the night before, so you don’t have to rush in the morning. Or set birthday reminders in your calendar two weeks before the date so it gives you time to organise a present.


  • Work out your peak and low energy times of the day. Routines work best when they fit around your lifestyle. Copying what someone else does might not work for you in the long term. For example in the mornings you may have more energy and focus versus the evenings when you’re tired. So it makes sense to create a routine where you complete important or active tasks in the morning. Then focus on relaxing, low priority tasks in the evening.


  • Keep track of your progress. After you create your routine track your progress to hold yourself accountable. Check in with yourself to see how the routine is working for you. If needed change things up. Consider using a tracker to visually see your achievements. Even if you’re not consistent in the beginning, motivation comes from the little wins on the path to reaching your goal.


Daily routines set you up for success. Routines allow you to follow well-placed steps towards your end goal. They provide an opportunity for you to focus on what matters while keeping the daily life tasks in dependable working order. It’s the repetition of a strong routine which keeps you grounded, enabling you to function effectively, even in the midst of a crazy work load or an unpredictable environment.


Enjoyed these tips?  We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:


Declutter & Organise Your Time, Tasks & Things (Work & Home)*

Finish what you start – 8 Ways to Tackle Procrastination*

Time Management & Personal Productivity*

Time Management: Boost Your Productivity*

Tame Your inbox

Manage Stress, Build Resilience*

How’s your digital communication?

Have you ever had a negative reaction to an email or text message you sent? Have you ever misunderstood a message you received? Were you ever disappointed by an email reply from a colleague in response to a request you sent them?

When email was first created, the intent was to replace paper letters.  When text messaging was created, it was to communicate information such as “I’m running late”, or “Can you meet at 11am?” We now use these tools for conversations (and some might say – overuse them for communication). In-person communication involves visual, verbal and vocal modes.    Communication in the digital world usually compromises at least one of these modes.


Professor Albert Mehrabian, best known for his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages, constructed psychological measures of communication in feelings and attitudes. The combined statistical results of two studies** concluded the now famous—and famously misused—rule that communication is only 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55%) and tone of voice (38%). Mehrabrian has stated “this equation only applies to a communicator talking about their feelings and/or attitudes.“  This is where emotional intelligence comes into play.

As our modern workplaces are increasingly digitally focused it is becoming even more difficult to express clearly what you say, what you mean and how it is received.  We still want our messages received with the right intent and not trigger unwanted emotional reactions.  Even though digital communication lacks visual body language, there are still digital cues we can use to minimise risk of miscommunication, and unintended reactions. It is important to learn the signals of digital body language to find better ways to connect.


Here are our top 3 digital body language tips you can use to ensure your message is clear and received in the way you want:


  • Write your message as if you are the receiver: When writing a message, consider how the message will be received by others. Write your message as the receiver, rather than the sender. What elements of your message are important to the receiver? For example, if a colleague has taken the time to email you a detailed plan for your next project meeting, would they like a response from you just saying “Thanks”? Or would they like your feedback, maybe some positive comments on how much you like their work? Even when you are busy, take a moment to reflect and write your message based on how you would like it to be received. Consider these 2 questions before hitting “send”: Did I give enough context for what the receiver needs from me? Is my message clear? Remember what you write is not always what people read.So, write from the readers point of view.


  • Consider your response time: While the context of your message is important, so too is the timing of your response. The time of your response sends a digital body language signal to your receiver.  For example: Taking too long to reply to an email could indicate a lack of time management or not caring about the topic of the message. Equally replying late at night or on weekends, could set an unrealistic expectation to others they should be working outside of normal office hours too. In the long term these actions can impact team dynamics which can lead to a breakdown in relationships. Consider setting expectations and agreements about response times. eg: No communication after a certain time, unless an emergency (and provide emergency examples).


  • Proofread for the correct use of punctuation, abbreviation and emoji’s. The rapid pace we communicate means we sometimes do not take the time to proof-read our messages. or become too reliant on smiley faces or acronyms. This ends up making more work down the track trying to fix the errors from miscommunication. Just to be clear, professional business standards do not favour emoji’s in documents, emails, texts.Yet, they are becoming more pervasive.If emoji’s have become more acceptable in your workplace be conservative on how you use them. Poor punctuation can indicate a lack of attention to detail, or possibly incorrect information being received. For example, the overuse of exclamation marks can read “anger” or show heightened excitement. This may not be suitable for the message you are really trying to send.


Just because we work in a virtual world does not mean we need to always use virtual communication. Sometimes it is just as important to pick up the phone, video chat or meet in person.  It can save time, especially when the topic is important.   After all we probably all know what email/or messaging ping pong is like. Just talk!

All these methods combined builds stronger, healthier relations between colleagues, clients, and teams.


Enjoyed these tips?  We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:


Business Writing*

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence*

Communication & Interpersonal Skills*

*Also available as a live, facilitator-led virtual training course


** Mehrabian, Albert; Wiener, Morton (1967). “Decoding of Inconsistent Communications”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology6 (1): 109–114. doi:10.1037/h0024532PMID 60

Organise to maximize your impact in the digital workplace

Technology continues to impact the way we work, and the Microsoft 365 suite continues to be updated with a wide range of apps for greater work efficiency. Many organisations have migrated work files from the traditional network drives to cloud storage locations such as OneDrive for Business or SharePoint. When moving to cloud storage, have you just duplicated the existing folder structure into the new cloud environment without making any improvements?

Imagine a new way of structuring your folders to maximise your ability to find information.


Is there a new and more efficient way to structure your files?


In SharePoint, you can make use of metadata to effectively organise your files, along with the creation of customised views. This can help produce a tree like structure to easily navigate through your organisation’s files. This also helps improve the searching capabilities with SharePoint, as well as tailoring the views of content for certain audiences.

Like the search function in Google, we now need access to files quickly and effectively, and with many people working from home we will need access to these files at home or at a remote location. Collaboration is a workplace priority within the new hybrid workplace especially with staff at home and in the office. How do we manage our remote teams effectively; should we do this in SharePoint or MS Teams, Planner or Lists? As a suggestion, could Microsoft Planner be useful within MS Teams, to plan and manage projects, and to track the completion of tasks?

Using metadata in SharePoint is a smart approach and can be of great value, in addition if used with customised views and search refiners, it makes files much easier to locate, rather than trying to guess which folder structure the files are in.  Looking at the bigger picture, having a metadata strategy and setting this up correctly can help organisations with governance and analytics, which can have a positive impact on the business.


Here is one easy way to create metadata (you will need the necessary site permissions)


  • Go to the Document Library for which you want to create new metadata.
  • Click on the settings icon on the right top corner and select Library Settings.
  • Scroll down to the page and select Create Column.
  • From the Create Column page, enter a new column name (i.e. Department).
  • Next, select Choice radio button.
  • Scroll a bit further down the page to the option – “Require that this column contains information”: select Yes.
  • Type in your different choices
  • Select a default value if required
  • Click the OK button, towards the bottom right-hand side of your screen.
  • A new metadata column with the name ‘Department’ is now added.

When a new file is added, you now have the option to apply the default meta data – Finance or select either IT or HR.  Simple select your file, simply click to the left of your filename.

Then select the “info” icon , to open the details pane, then scroll down to the department’s meta data option. Select the meta data that you wish to apply.



Feeling excited about the opportunities or overwhelmed? ATI-Mirage Training and Business Solutions are here to help you understand the power of Microsoft 365 for you and your organisation. In just one day you will learn about: Sway, Delve and the power of the major features and Apps offered with Microsoft 365 for Business (formerly Office 365).


Book today for you or your team to harness the power of your technology investment.


MS SharePoint – End Users*

MS SharePoint – Site Owner

Microsoft 365 for Business*

MS Teams*

MS Power BI – The Essentials*

Introduction to MS PowerApps*

Introduction to MS Power Automate (Flow)*

*Also available as a live, facilitator-led virtual training course

3 Strategies to manage emotions at work

Emotions are part of being human — they are proof we are experiencing the diversity and complexities life throws at us. On occasion, it is normal for emotions to come to work with us, especially where expectations run high and resources are low.

We are going to feel some stress and frustration from time to time, and sometimes it might show.  It’s about what we do with our feelings and emotions, and how to use them constructively rather than destructively.  This doesn’t mean you lose your temper or take it out on others.  It also doesn’t mean you pretend or deny the feeling isn’t there. Both are harmful in different ways. The workplace is a professional setting and not all emotional expressions are appropriate.

Whether you’re a team member or a leader, it’s important to understand how to manage emotions in the workplace.

Here are our top 3 strategies to managing emotions in the workplace:

Identify triggers to untangle yourself

If you experience an emotional outburst, explore what has triggered it. This allows you to deal with issues at their root cause, which also helps you prevent an outburst in the future. Take time to reflect on what happened before the emotional outburst. Having a level of self-awareness allows you to better understand when you’re feeling overwhelmed, how you got there and how to manage it.

If you become aware of a pattern, getting some help from a professional such as a psychologist or access your workplace EAP (Employee Assistance Program)  can help understand and untangle these patterns.

Take a break and refocus

If you feel yourself getting overly emotional, it’s best to take a break. Instead of venting anger or creating an awkward situation, let others know you need to take some time out. Once emotions have cooled down continue the discussion by identifying the problem and potential solutions, rather than only focusing on the problem.  Its best to deal with issues as soon as possible without making anyone feel attacked or threatened.

Also consider your needs, and the needs of others. People often don’t understand what others need.  Sometimes we need to reflect on identifying our own needs.  This can form part of the conversation.

Boost your own happiness and others will follow

Happier people are often more successful, more creative and resilient. So, spend time doing things you enjoy and connect with people who are important to you. Our moods are often influenced by the people around us. Make a conscious choice to be around people who make you feel happy and supported. If your workplace could do with a boost of positivity, then make a choice to be the champion for the cause. Encourage others see the good from the bad. A few satisfied, high-performing people can spread positivity and produce even better results for teams.

Our wellness programs with provide you with the tools, strategies and knowledge to help manage emotions and stress.

To celebrate Mental Health Week 2020 we will make a donation to Lifeline for every October wellness course booking:

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders with SEIP

Manage Stress, Build Resilience

Introduction to Mindfulness 1 hour (special October 16th event)

Mindfulness @ Work

Developing Self Confidence & Assertiveness

Procrastination – 8 Ways to Finish What You Start – 2 hours

Let’s talk about R U OK? Day

Mental health is a huge focus, especially today being R U OK? Day. During Covid-19 we’ve heard the impact the pandemic is going to have on some people’s mental health in the long term.

COVID-19 has taken over all our lives and there aren’t many people who haven’t felt the impact of the new normal turning everything upside down. R U OK? Day reminds us to focus on connection and to make a concerted effort to check in with people around us, not just today but everyday. Reduce feelings of distress or loneliness simply by asking the question ‘are you okay?’

So, can asking a simple question really change a life?

According to SANE Australia: Are you okay?’ is not asked as often as you might think. For the person being asked, just hearing it can be a positive, memorable experience.

The power of a simple question can have a greater impact than you may expect. Not everyone who is asked responds at the time, and not everyone who asks pursues the conversation further.

R U OK? Day is about the intention, the kindness, concern and being there to truly hear, hold space and validate someone.

Sometimes people will respond with saying they are fine.  They may be and they may not be.  There are many reasons for this including feeling safe to open up without being judged, feeling confronted, put on the spot or not ready or not knowing what to say.  Or they may simply not realise how they feel.

Leaders and team members can often observe changes in behaviour and are unsure on the best way to approach it with the individual concerned.

Some common thinking and assumptions in this situation include:

  • They are doing their job, so I won’t pry into what’s none of my business
  • If something is wrong, they will tell me
  • It is affecting their work; I have to say something and what if I come across as a bully by correcting their work
  • What if by saying something, a can of worms gets opened I cannot deal with.
  • I am too uncomfortable with these types of conversations, if I leave it, it will go away.


We all can (and leaders especially can) engage in more effective and meaningful conversations to address behaviour changes while creating safety to talk by following a simple framework from Tasha Broomhall, author of A Mental Health Guide for Leaders.

A. Approach the person with sensitivity

  • Time: Be present, do not rush and choose an appropriate private time
  • Place: Have the conversation away from a central hub. Consider a space with more than one exit
  • Language: Respectful and non-judgemental, non labelling or blaming (e.g. You are being negative)

B. Don’t diagnose or therapise.

Your goal is to talk about observations and gain their feedback. Your observations may have nothing to do with what you have concluded, so it is important to build a shared understanding.

C. Do with, not to.

Your conversation is not talking at them, rather than with them by also coming to agreement about next steps.  Some individuals may not have spoken about any mental health concerns and there needs to be trust established for progress to begin.


Having the conversation Broomhall, recommends a 4 Step framework for an effective conversation.

1. Frame it.

2. “I’ve noticed…” (objective observable actions only, do not use label judgements such as you’ve been lazy, negative or aggressive)

3. “Have you noticed…”

4. Zip it (be quiet, be patient, create the space for them to respond, do not feel compelled to fill in a conversation void with more talking)


  • “Sam, this conversation has nothing to do with your work performance. I’ve been noticing a few things recently and I wanted to ask if you’re doing OK?”
  • “Sam, I’ve noticed you have been very quiet and not contributing as you normally do. I’m wondering if you’ve noticed this as well, and if there might be something behind it.”
  • “Sam, I want to discuss a few things I’ve observed lately related to your work performance. Before we discuss performance issues, I want to offer you any support if you need it. I have observed a few things lately and I’m wondering if you are OK? I noticed you are quieter and interacting less (provide specifics) – Have you noticed this too?”

What to do if someone replies they “are not ok”:

Acknowledge their response. You may not have expected their response and that’s fine. Validation is the key to responding well. Let them know you’ve heard them. Reply with “I’m sorry to hear you say that”. If you feel comfortable to do so ask the person “would you like to talk about it?” If it is not the right time or place to open up, suggest when you can get together to talk.

Listen. All too often we can find ourselves in “fix it” mode. When someone tells you, they are not OK it is natural to start offering solutions. Sometimes all the person wants is a friendly face to listen to them. Talking about problems eases the burden the person carries. Listen without judgement to make the person feel less alone and cared for.

Connect to professional support. If a person has shared they are not ok it’s important to ask if they are talking to anyone else, specifically professional support. If someone is in a vulnerable situation with their mental health, it is important they know what help is available to them.

Regardless of a person’s response to your question, let them know you are always available if they want to talk. It is worth repeating your support. By keeping the conversation going you will make it easier for them to connect and open up in the future.

So, this R U OK? Day, don’t worry about finding the right words. Don’t hesitate if you don’t know what you’ll say next. Break the silence. Ask the question. And know, no matter what the reply, you might have made the world of difference. People want to feel heard without being judged.

Finally, R U OK? Day is not a tick box exercise. Human beings need support and a feeling that they matter. Reach out beyond R U OK? day.

We offer Wellness Courses – organise a group course for your workplace today by calling 9218 9059 or emailing

Posted by Wendy Wilson & Kathi Rogers | Learning & Development Consultant on 10 September 2020.