Cultivating exceptional performance

Written by Stuart Haden on July 11, 2018

Martin Seligman has been an avid promoter within the scientific community for the field of positive psychology. He is quick to remind us that psychology needn’t only focus on the negative – trauma, damage and weakness. It can also embrace strength, authenticity and virtue. Treatment can centre on what is broken as well as nurturing the very best version of ourselves. 

Perhaps ‘post traumatic growth’ straddles both approaches. But evidence suggests that experiencing a flow state can help to mend what’s

Continue Reading


Flow states and nation states

Written by Stuart Haden on June 27, 2018

Peak experiences often creep up on us, when we discover them were are lost. How did we get here? Where have we been? How can I locate this position in the future? The road ahead isn’t clear and this can lead to discomfort. We can respond with embrace or rejection.

When we are out of our heads, being out isn’t always pleasant. We loose our usual reference points, destabilised and wonky. We’ve experienced happy and sad endings in equal measure. Sometimes

Continue Reading


What’s the point of performing optimally?

Written by Stuart Haden on June 13, 2018

The question behind this question can be one of two things – it can represent a genuine need to establish an end game for being at one’s very best. Or it’s the root of resistance and a get out clause for not entering ‘the zone’.

In a recent study (University of Sydney) subjects were given the classic test of creativity and problem solving – the nine dot problem. Under normal circumstances fewer than 5% of the population can crack it. In

Continue Reading


Debunking group think for group synch

Written by Stuart Haden on May 30, 2018

Performing optimally as a team requires one thing, “To synch up collectively.” (Kotler & Wheal). A degree of familiarity and purpose that brings people together. The clichés are well known – on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet or marching to the same drum beat.

Kotler and Wheal continue to describe that ecstasis (flow, contemplative/mystical and psychedelic states) cannot be found in any field manual. “It’s a blank spot on their maps, beyond the pen of most cartographers,

Continue Reading


It’s Not About The Coach – Change

Written by Stuart Haden on May 16, 2018

With my book published I know how important the written word is for people when it comes to learning. However, we must all recognise the importance of video content as an emerging trend in media and society as a whole.

When I first built my online programmes I relied solely on the written text. It wasn’t long until I put in a great deal of extra work to make sure each of my online modules also included a video. But, that

Continue Reading


Culture change requires a map and compass

Written by Stuart Haden on May 2, 2018

I recently presented at the CIPD’s Learning and Development Show on my well trodden path of Creating a Coaching Culture. Speaking of paths I introduced the concept of needing a framework and direction. But to bring this alive I likened this approach to using a map and compass.

Culture change requires a framework and just like any ‘map’ we should all be able to pick it up and make some sense of our location. Never a linear journey, always dynamic. The ‘compass’

Continue Reading


There is no wall

Written by Stuart Haden on April 18, 2018

The London marathon takes place this Sunday and it always reminds me of a lesson I learnt a few years back. I was training for my first ultra marathon race and it was time to take my training to a new level. I had a couple of days free to run back to back marathons. 18 miles in and I reached my first option for an overnight camp, but I felt like my day had only just began. 8 miles

Continue Reading


It’s Not About The Coach – challenge

Written by Stuart Haden on April 4, 2018

The art of challenge is a curious thing. We need stretch, but not too much. Scientifically we need to push for about 4%. One great way to quantify this is to divide 24 hours of a given day by 4%. A quick calculation will tell you this adds up to just shy of 1 hour.

In the context of coaching an effective coachee will outline the appropriate level and pace of challenge required throughout the coaching engagement. Or if we break it

Continue Reading


It’s Not About The Coach – energy

Written by Stuart Haden on March 21, 2018

I sometimes joke that my first book It’s Not About The Coach will be best understood when I am long gone. It’s been a few years since it was published and I am still (pleasantly) surprised when I come across similar content.

This week I stumbled across a Motivation Matrix for coaches. It provides a really neat way of assessing a coachee’s readiness and clarity. Simply plotting them in one of four quadrants so that you can serve them best.

I describe

Continue Reading


Are you achieving flow for 2.5 hours a day?

Written by Stuart Haden on February 22, 2018

We can be in flow for about 15% of our waking time, which normally equates to about 2.5 hours per day. This stat is probably quite easy to relate to…for a couple of hours a day we act and feel our very best.

So if this is how much rocket fuel we have at our disposal let’s consider using it wisely. When do we need to bring it? Equally when do we need to keep some in reserve, a quick boost

Continue Reading