Working with ACT

How Using ACT in the Workplace Could Transform....Well, Almost Everything

Rachel Collis Rob Archer
Rob Archer / Rachel Collis

Session Structure
1. Why is ACT needed in the workplace? 2. How is ACT in the workplace problematic? 3. How ACT in the Workplace Could Transform... Almost Everything

2

About Us

3

1. Why is ACT Needed In The Workplace?

Top 10 Work Stressors
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Lack of control Lack of communication No appreciation No feedback Career and job ambiguity Unclear policies Mistrust, unfairness, office politics Pervasive uncertainty Random interruptions The treadmill syndrome

Bill Wilkerson, CEO of The Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health

The amount of information we process daily has doubled in the past 20 years

Distracted...

Disengaged...

9

Distressed

1 in 6

British Occupational Health report

10

1 in 60

Referred to specialist

1 in 6

Mental health problem

1 in 3

Not engaged > risk

Distracted

Disengaged

Distressed

‡ Time Management ‡ Success, resilience & change ‡ Performance Accelerator ‡ People-led Change ‡ High Performing Teams ‡ Safety Leadership

‡ Avoiding the Black Hole ‡ Resilience Training ‡ Work Effectiveness

The Evidence 
Proven to improve performance and health.  Enhances organisational interventions.  We understand not just that it works but why.
And....it can be trained!
Thanks: Jo Lloyd, Paul Flaxman

How Using ACT in the Workplace Could Transform....Almost Everything

Big but

2. What are the ways in which using ACT in organisations can be problematic?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Difficulties with Creative Hopelessness Combining ACT with problem solving Getting hooked by politics, status, groupthink etc ACT sounds weird Making values work work.

Creative Hopelessness
If a person has exerted so much effort and yet is coming for treatment, one of two things must apply: 1. The person has not found the right way to fix the problem, or 2. The model for change is flawed and unworkable.

Hayes, Wilson & Strosahl (1999)

60% of people in employment are not suffering from mental illness

7.6 / 10

Diener et al 2000

Groupthink and the Control Agenda

As long as you think the problem is out there, that very thought is the problem"

Stephen Covey

Absolute belief is an essential part of any massive achievement

Andrew Meikle: Win Now, Win Later

You become what you think...so discipline yourself to think about the things you want and keep your mind off the things

you don t want

Brian Tracy - Create your Own Future

We observe, we tell a story, and then we feel. Since we and only we are telling the story, we can take back control of our emotions by telling a different story.

Patterson et al: Crucial Conversations

So what do we suggest?

If CH involves:
A dialogue focused on three primary questions: 1. What does the client want? 2. What has the client tried? And, 3. How has that worked?

Hayes, Wilson & Strosahl (1999)

Needs Analysis
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ What does the client want to achieve? Where are they now? What have they tried? What do they think will work? Context

Be clear what the problem is... and isn t.

What is Your Top Business Priority?
Issue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Attracting and retaining skilled staff Changing organizational culture and employee attitudes Acquiring new customers Developing new processes and products Increasing customer loyalty and retention Managing risk Improving workforce performance Increasing shareholder value Using IT to reduce costs and create value Being flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing market conditions Developing employees into capable leaders % Agreed 35% 33% 32% 29% 29% 29% 28% 27% 27% 26% 26%

Source: Accenture

Don t make them wrong

Psychological Flexibility

Contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values

Increase discrimination around workability

Weave it in...

What are the ways in which using ACT in these settings can be problematic?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of Creative Hopelessness Combining ACT with problem solving Getting hooked by politics, status, groupthink etc ACT sounds weird Making values work work.

Work problem
‡ Lack of control ‡ Lack of communication ‡ No appreciation ‡ No feedback good or bad ‡ Career and job ambiguity ‡ Unclear policies / processes ‡ Mistrust, unfairness, politics ‡ Pervasive uncertainty ‡ Random interruptions

Problem solving response 
       

Enhance job control Communication skills Appreciative inquiry 360 degree feedback Psychometrics/ decision sciences Policy review / process redesign Challenge perceptions Risk management Time management

The Limitations of Problem Solving
Value of problem solving Changing processes to improve job control boosts health & productivity Psychometric tests help identify the right career for me Categorising people as µtalent¶ helps us direct resources at the best Having a set of organisational values helps us embed desired behaviours Risk management reduces our risks Safety procedures have cut workplace accidents It helps to know my strengths so I can build on them and improve weaknesses We need to stick to our plan ...Outside the skin (most of the time) Limitation of problem solving People need help noticing new opportunities and learning new skills Having a µtype¶ can restrict our sense that we can grow, develop or adapt Categorising people as talent tends to alienate those who aren¶t talent Organisational values often lead to cynicism Risk management still leaves risk Most accidents are not caused by poor procedures, but mindlessness. Strengths mean nothing without context. No plan survives contact with the enemy ...Inside the skin (most of the time)

What are the ways in which using ACT in these settings can be problematic?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of Creative Hopelessness Combining ACT with problem solving Getting hooked by politics, status, groupthink etc ACT sounds weird Making values work work.

Sometimes it all goes horribly and terribly wrong...

Needs Analysis
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ What does the client want to achieve? Where are they now? What have they tried? What do they think will work? Context

Attitude

Dynamics

Understand who s powerful

Strategies to build influence: 
    
Do good work Hope you are noticed Avoid political manoeuvring Be humble Have open and honest agendas Genuinely seek feedback

AND...

Find out how the system works

Be prepared to sell solutions

Excel at presentation

Be Flexible...
C ntact with the Present M ment

Acceptance

Val es
Psych l gical Flexibility

Def si n

C mmitted Acti n Self as C ntext

What are the ways in which using ACT in these settings can be problematic?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of Creative Hopelessness Combining ACT with problem solving Getting hooked by politics, status, groupthink etc ACT sounds weird Making values work work.

Private events

Translating ACT for Organisations
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy The 6 processes of ACT AAQ-2 Stress management Self as context Mindfulness Defusion Acceptance Present moment awareness Values Unwanted private events Creative hopelessness process Control agenda Mental toughness Contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords.. Acceptance & Commitment Training Mindfulness / values-based action WAAQ Resilience Your resilient self Noticing attention Noticing thoughts, focusing on behaviour Willingness Self-compassion Getting present / Presence Commitments / What s important? Intrusive thoughts, painful feelings and memories Needs analysis process The limitations of problem solving Mental flexibility Needs to be explained in segments or Flexible thinking

What are the ways in which using ACT in these settings can be problematic?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of Creative Hopelessness Combining ACT with problem solving Getting hooked by politics, status, groupthink etc ACT sounds weird Making values work work.

The Current View...
Vision

Identity

Values

Capabilities

Behaviours

Environment

Source: Robert ilts

Successful organisations are characterised by strong values that communicate what behaviour is appropriate and what is not .

Source: CIP

Organisations must have a sound set of beliefs on which it premises all its procedures and actions To meet a challenging world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself except those beliefs .

Source: In Search of Excellence ± Peters & Waterman

You can whip people into line with fear, but you can't get them to build any of the great human accomplishments. That takes aspiration, which I think means values .

Hank Robb

You need low enough experiential avoidance that you do not run from the pain that empathy will give you.

Steve Hayes

We can take what we do in our therapy rooms and bring it to the occupational and social contexts of our lives. We can live our values while having our doubts come along for the ride. If we can take a chance on this broader level the collective impact will be great.

Jonathon Bricker

What s next?

Working with ACT Website

http://workingwithact.com

Ideas to get involved:
‡ Subscribe to the site ‡ Write a guest blog ‡ Ask us questions / request materials for using ACT in the workplace

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