ELITE PERFORMANCE: A PSYCHO-PHYSICAL APPROACH

Wealth Management & Private Banking

15 July 2018James Goad

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To support employees towards elite performance, corporations now need to explore the untapped area of psycho-physical wellbeing as a key contributor.

Headlines:

  • Top athletes have technical and mental coaches – the financial industry lags behind but still expects high performance from their staff.
  • In the current day, many organisations have high performance but also a trail of “dead bodies” while other organisations have happy employees but low performance.
  • Wellness and performance sits on a spectrum and we all slide up and down at different points of our lives.
  • Paradox works with organisations to unlock the potential of their talent pool through testing body composition and building a plan to improve psycho-physical wellbeing.

Key issues and challenges:

  • Top athletes use scientifically measurable approaches to reach elite performance. Corporations expect the same of their top talent however there is little to no usage of psycho-physical support to aid this.
  • The delegates are attending for a variety of reasons, including wanting to learn how to get the best out of a team they manage, how to make a business successful, how to focus more on the community and people rather than just profit, and how to lead a lifestyle change.
  • For many of the high-flyers in attendance, the stress and unhealthy working habits resonate with them. One delegate mentioned that at his previous firm, he was: “always stressed, had an ulcer at 35, and did not know how to sleep without medication”.
  • According to the expert, the level of mental and physical health affects the quality of personal relationships, longevity, and how willing people are to “do good for the world”.
  • The quality of thinking is directly linked to the quality of doing, and if that chain works well then there would be less scandals in the financial world.
  • However, wellness is not a binary thing – it sits on a spectrum ranging from long-term sickness to elite performance, and everyone slides up and down at different points of their lives.
  • The expert also argued that we need to look at our body composition of fat, bone and muscle like an investment portfolio – when it is out of balance we feel the negative effects.
  • Our body is made up of 25% chemistry and 75% electricity, and the more healthy it is, the more robust it is to stress.
  • When we get stressed, inflammation affects our entire body and brain, retaining water throughout which affects the electrical circuit in our brain.
  • Our brain is made up of two parts – the automatic side controls functions such as breathing and heartrate, while the other part makes the decisions and is affected by the automatic brain.
  • Previously, medical devices used to measure body composition would take 10 days. However, now due to technological advances, it only takes 15 minutes.
  • For some companies, results from these medical devices have reduced insurance premiums. However some delegates are wary of introducing them to their companies. They worry about the buy-in from senior stakeholders due to costs and novelty of the approach, but agree that it is important for firms to start considering the health of their employees seriously.
  • Some innovative companies have also put in place training to recognise absenteeism or underperformance due to health and subsequent support; however more corporations need to be engaged.
  • Admittedly, it sounds very simple but put in practice it is more complex as very few are willing to change their lifestyle completely. There is however low-hanging fruit to pick from, such as 5 minutes of deep breathing or similar exercises which are quick and efficient.

Conclusions and solutions:  

  • To support employees towards elite performance, corporations now need to explore the untapped area of psycho-physical wellbeing as a key contributor.

Expert: Charo Garzon, Co-Founder, Paradox Partners

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