The ability to effectively manage emotions and mood is a core ingredient of health, happiness, high-performance, and business success. To make these complex processes more accessible, Tougher Minds has created the concept of Activation.

We measure a person’s Activation on a scale, which runs from zero to 100. When you are at zero you are technically dead! When you are at low numbers you are are calm and relaxed. When you move to high levels on the scale your Activation increases, meaning you might be excited, angry or pumped-up. There is an optimal number on the scale for everything you do every day, including sleeping, focusing on the task at hand, not losing your temper and resisting temptation.

An example of the effective use of Activation

Are you ready to perform? The All Blacks know how to control their Activation levels.

Are you ready to perform? The All Blacks know how to control their Activation levels.

A good example of the effective use of Activation to improve performance is in the tough world of international rugby. The New Zealand All Blacks are – according to many – the most successful sporting team in human history. Their win rate over the last century is 75%. In recent times, it is 83% , and in October 2015 they became the first team to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups.

In the build-up to and aftermath of this latest triumph, much press coverage highlighted that although the team has always been a global sporting icon, the players have not always boasted great mental resolve and only gained it via a very deliberate process of mental skills training. This was done in response to a number of high-profile defeats that were the result of choking under pressure.

The same reports explained that a central pillar of the All Blacks’ approach is to keep an optimal performance state, or what they call a “blue head”. They also recognise the damaging panicked and unhelpful state we describe in our ‘Activation’ model. They refer to this as having a “red head”.

So we can see that achieving the correct Activation level is crucial to performance under pressure. Of course, the same applies to everyone else in their daily lives. An inability to achieve the correct Activation level when you are making important business decisions, or simply trying to have a productive afternoon, can make consistent high-performance in your professional life very challenging.

Effective Activation for business performance
Learning how to monitor and effectively manage your own Activation levels is a key part of our Tougher Minds Personal Change Management™ and Leadership programmes.

We show how to understand the Tougher Minds Activation scale and outline simple and practical techniques to control your daily Activation levels for optimal performance in business and life.

You can learn more about Activation, and more about our highly successful Personal Change Management™ and Leadership programmes, by downloading our our new eBook “The Elite Business Athlete”. To download it, click here.

  • If you feel Tougher Minds can help you or your organisation, or if you would like your organisation to benefit from our training programmes for business, please click here to contact us.

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