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Stress, Resilience and Positive Psychology Training

“The personal impact of mental stress on workers is a serious and detrimental issue the worker and their families and also employers. Typically mental stress claims result in workers being absent from the workplace for long periods of time. The loss of productivity and absence of workers is costing Australian businesses more than $10 billion per year.”
– Safe Work Australia Chair, Ann Sherry AO

stressed-staff1-630x315How to reduce workplace stress is a key question that employers, Workplace Health & Safety and Human Resource managers must answer if they want to maximise employees productivity and minimise costs.

Stress is a major cause of absenteeism, poor staff retention and poor work performance.

Heartnicity has a range of Stress Management and Resilience courses and training options that can be customised to suit your organisation.

Resilience is the positive capacity to cope with stress or adversity. Resilience in the workplace refers to an employee’s ability to cope with the various challenges of the modern workplace: learning new technology, organisational change, economic change, increased workload, budget pressures and deadlines, as well as  difficult relationships both within and outside the workplace.

Research has shown that resilience is “the single most important factor in determining whether a person feels successful, satisfied and happy”

Research by the Black Dog Institute (a mental health organisation) shows enhanced resilience leads to a “significant improvement in job satisfaction, productivity and retention in the workplace.”

Based on the principles of personal development – self awareness and self regulation- Heartnicty’s programs build your people’s resilience. The development of higher levels of individual social & emotional intelligence in the workplace generates better leadership, better collaboration and co-operation, better delegation greater team cohesion and ultimately better all around performance which organically improves the bottom line.

Heartnicity business solutions are designed to have an immediate impact, helping your staff to reduce stress and build resiliency.

When your team is resilient:

Their bodies are better able to withstand challenges and recover from stress (physical resilience)
They’ll be able to access more positive emotional states when they need them most (emotional resilience)
They’ll learn to call on and get strength from their friends and family (social resilience)
They’ll have greater capacity for mental focus and they will develop the determination they’ll need to be successful (mental resilience)

Sadly however some of the most important people in your organisation are the most stressed individuals. Often they believe they haven’t got time to waste in touchy-feely or more politely soft-skills.  We offer corporate coaching that specialises in helping these individuals to consider their options and make time for developing their own Professional Interpersonal  Relationship Capability.

Getting to the Heart of Stress


This workshop is based on Margie Braunstein’s  book ‘Getting to the Heart of Stress’  to inspire, educate and motivate participants to recognise and harness good stress while learning how to eliminate harmful stress.

In plain language, stress is a biological term which refers to the human (animal) body as it responds to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined.  It is the autonomic response to a stimulus.

Our brains are set up to assess threat and enter into alarm without taking the time to consciously think it all through, which is really helpful if a lion is chasing you but not so useful when you were stuck in peak hour traffic on the the way to work and the first email you open is an unexpected demand from your boss.

A great metaphor for life with regards to stress is the roller coaster ride.  Some people feel terrified and out of control.  They sit up the back, close their eyes, hang on for grim death and generally resist the experience.  Others take the front seat and revel in the excitement with arms in the air!  Yet it is the same ride… The ride is not inherently ‘stressful’.  Stress is measured by the individual perception of each passenger.  And so it is in business. If you can get your people up the front waving their hands in excitement just think how much the workplace would change .

What shape is your nervous system in? Learn about both good stress and harmful stress and how to ride the roller coaster of life with fun and excitement. Learn simple and practical strategies to reduce the load on your nervous system. Take the 3 second challenge to relax at your desk. Become aware of what drives your choices and make better choices in your life.

What annoys you the most at work? Learn how to deal with all those stresses during the course of an average work day that impede productivity and produce fatigue. Stop resisting and start accepting.

Learn how to practice the Heartnicity Method of Awareness and Acceptance so that your Action will be deeply meaningful, based on your own values.  We call it a Path of Heart.  Imagine what this would look like, feel like for you? Open to your heart’s desire and start to live and work from a place of meaning and joy.

Margie brings the practices in her book to life so that people leave with a feeling of confidence about how to meditate easily, integrate difficult feeling states and start to living the life they long for. Workshops are offered on a regular basis.

Please register here for upcoming public workshops.

Emotions at Work

The new animated Disney/Pixar film Inside Out takes us inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl — a mind controlled by five emotions, each voiced by a different actor.

Animated Disney/Pixar film Inside Out: From left: Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Joy.

Many business managers make a virtue of keeping emotions out of the workplace. After all, “emotions running wild make things difficult to control.”

Emotional team members can have a dramatic negative impact on performance.

  • Emotional people perform erratically; they engage in arguments or refuse to work together.
  • Angry outbursts hang like storm clouds dampening all activity and productivity.
  • Jealousy or envy can cause workers to undermine and gossip about rivals or managers which undermines team cohesion.

And how much lost productivity can be put down to the clash of egos? Some people just can’t take feedback without getting their feelings hurt.  They either blow up, casting a toxic plume over the entire office, or become unconscious saboteurs; not contributing at meetings, missing deadlines and even complaining about the business to clients.

99% of the time, this is unconscious behaviour. People don’t even know they are doing it. And these negative impacts are just the tip of the iceberg; they’re what we can readily observe…

We can also see emotions at work in absenteeism and related significant lost productivity. We know anxiety causes team members to withdraw from productive work and to seek diversions such as social media, net surfing or to start searching for other jobs.

We know depression and anxiety results in increased absenteeism and loss of productivity. Heads Up research shows that untreated mental health conditions, including  un-diagnosed depression, cost Australian employers $10.9 billion every year through absenteeism, reduced productivity and compensation claims. A depressed person can cost a business $9,665 per year.*

And just how much stress does financial uncertainty, potential job cuts, acquisitions or mergers, legal action, regulator investigations, the introduction of new systems or technology, the lose of key people, the introduction of new services or products,  create in your organisation?

In workplaces people tend to respond emotionally because the people they work with on a daily basis become a surrogate family and people tend to react and respond just like family members.

If the family/company has good communication skills and thrives on healthy interaction, people act in a functional manner.  They resolve differences appropriately and perform their work with enthusiasm, commitment and passion.

However, if the family/company is dysfunctional, individuals often act very much like spoilt and unruly children. Besides engaging in a range of behaviours that detract from their own performance they may seek to undermine the performance of others. While this may be directed at a single individual it often becomes an issue for the whole workteam.   150819_CAR_Immaturity

So what can business managers and leaders do? Business wants the passion and personal motivation but not negative emotion.

Firstly, Managers have to accept that emotions are at work in your workplace including their own.

Emotional and passionate people make things happen, but often they are not encouraged in business settings where detached, cool and objective decision-making skills are considered to be strengths. Passionate people threaten the status quo. They create change and shake things up. Motivation, creativity and productivity are the energy-boosters businesses want, but if you want these qualities you have to be willing to manage emotional charged environments and work with ‘negative’ emotion too.

Managers have to develop their own capability and their staff’s capability to understand and work with emotion in their professional relationships. This takes leadership and courage because managers have to be prepared to attend training with their staff and model the behaviours that they want to see flourish in their workplace.

“Emotions at work” is a flexible training and coaching program designed and delivered by Margie and David Braunstein.

This program builds communication competence, interpersonal capability and relational/emotional competence (that is EQ) in key personnel to develop healthier social contexts for work.

Emotions at work is a customised program where you can choose from a list of options including: communication training and workshops which include conflict resolution, communication, self management, stress management, emotional intelligence, facilitation, coaching & mentoring.

Contact us here and we’ll call you soon to make an appointment to talk to you about what we can do for your organisation.

Customised Training

Custom-eLearning“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe―Jane Wagner

Heartnicity is happy to consult with you to design a customised solution to suit your specific needs. We once heard an HR Director of a large organisation say, “we don’t use the words emotional and intelligence in the same sentence around here, it’s bullshit and all our managers, know it’s bullshit.”

This organisation had appalling staff retention and spent thousands on a cultural survey to learn that “management communication” and “lack of respect for staff” were the two most significant issues in the organisation. They then spent a small fortune failing to address the underlying problem.

Organisational culture is a significant determinant of the approach needed to be taken in this type of training. If you have identified the need for culture change, then this type of program is a subtle way to introduce and integrate what can be challenging and confronting issues. As been suggested elsewhere on this page, that takes genuine leadership.

Meaning that senior management has to step into the training program with their staff and tell the truth about the organization and themselves.

Contact us here and we’ll respond with a more detailed explanation of our consulting method and if you wish, we’ll then provide you with detailed proposal. Online e-learning modules are in development and are hoped to be available through this site from late 2016

Our Training Philosphy

There are three kinds of training.

handcrankThe first is Formal training

That’s what most of the people in your workplace have; it tells people how to do stuff. Most of us have a minimum of 12 years of it

Once you’ve been told how to do stuff, you are tested by being asked how to go about doing stuff. The two versions are then compared. One version is privileged over the other thereby demonstrating that the system is inherently biased against innovation and change.  If there’s better than a 50% agreement between your version and theirs then you are officially qualified to do stuff. Occasionally they ask you to demonstrate that you can actually do something but that’s only where there are readily observable outputs. And that’s so 19th century!

You can have someone come along and do formal  training for you and tell everybody how to do stress which is not particularly useful. Some people might get some useful piece of information and try to do stress better in future. You can tick that soft-skills  box. It’s like cranking a handle.  It’s a very mechanical view of people, a waste of resources, but it looks good on your resume.

There’s Intuitive Training. It tells people stories about how not to do stuff and sometimes stories about how really successful people or organisations did stuff related to their needs. Your people get to make sense of the stories.

You’ve ticked the box and you’ve waved hands around and pointed out what’s wrong enough to get some people to actually think twice about doing something differently but mostly they just wave their hands around and point a lot too.lifeguard_heroine

It doesn’t really make much difference to your resume at all.

But everybody gets to feel good about how we recognise the need to do stuff together. (It was fun in the 80s because you could claim this stuff as a tax deduction and fly to exotic locations to have the alcohol fuelled organisational version of “I’m a celebrity get me out of here”, full of trust exercises and grown-ups collapsing in a puddle.)

Then there’s Interactive training.

We know it works.

We’ve seen it happen and if you’re willing it can happen for you. We come along and we give your people some experiences.  We also give them the information they will need to contextualise those experiences.

studio-event_comedy_with_a_unicycle_balletIt prompts people to want to make sense of their experience and become more active participants in creating meaning from their working life a working life that brings them fulfillment.

It doesn’t just tick the box, it challenges workplaces to become where people strive and thrive and respond to the dynamically changing environment that defines today’s organization



Margie has worked with:

I've been priviledged to work for and in collaboration with these organisations