Increase Productivity and Performance by Training Your Mind and Body to Dance
In the workplace we are constantly pressured to be productive and produce results. But something is missing for many of us. Maybe it’s passion for what we do, cohesion with our teams, creativity to reach new heights, the means to make a transformation, or a feeling of being understood. How can we find that missing piece and put it into its proper place? We need to train our minds to dance, not just metaphorically, but literally. Change requires action and movement and the motion of dance alters your state of mind and helps you deliver successful performances of all kinds.
To achieve a “dancing mind” in business or in your personal life is to be in a state where you are focused, aware, alert, confident, creative, connected and coordinated. These elements are necessary to help you better communicate, recognize patterns, attract opportunities, and ultimately make enhanced strategic decisions, all of which lead to transformation.
The “dancing mind” is symbolic for breaking through the old psychological and physical boundaries that limit achievement and represents the process of opening minds to new ideas and enhanced awareness, and invites the focused, intentional mindset of a professional dancer.
So how do we train and teach our minds to dance, and keep them dancing? That’s where partner dancing (yes, partner dancing) comes into play. With dance, you learn to “feel” whatever movements you make and to train your mind to create new habits that help you thrive.
As the co-owner of a consulting firm, executive coach and ballroom dancer, I’ve seen first-hand how key elements and dynamics from the world of dance can revolutionize how men and women approach their professional and personal lives.
Gaining an understanding of the fundamentals of dance such as posture, weight shift, balance, touch, direction, rehearsal, choreography, and judging, can stimulate creativity, enhance awareness, improve analytical skills and lead to peak performance.
In the workplace, there are six parallel elements that I call “the 6 C’s of workplace performance” that are necessary to have a productive, positive and result oriented work environment. To achieve the 6 C’s, you must “feel” and be mindful of your decisions, your “movements”, and how they affect you and others around you, your “partners.” Here are the 6 C’s presented in those whose minds truly “dance” and invite their partners’ minds to dance as well:
1. Compassion has been scientifically proven to release oxytocin, a “happy” brain chemical, which creates a feeling of trust and social bonds. Trust is what establishes an environment where employees feel engaged. Stephen Covey, New York Times bestselling author of The Speed of Trust, shares that trust is an economic driver in the workplace. If your partner makes a mistake, exercise understanding rather than impatience.
2. Communication drives performance. Communication helps you get in sync with your business colleagues and establishes targeted objectives and goals. The biggest element to communication is to get into the habit of listening, while being aware of opportunities. Partner dancing forces you to become a better listener and communicator as you strive to understand the steps, direction, and speed and convey the story you mean to tell through choreography.
3. Connection does more than boost productivity. It is found that engagement also reduces turnover and absenteeism. When you are connected to the mission and the people of your organization and feel in rhythm with a shared common purpose, you take ownership and want to see a successful outcome. In partner dancing, we often take turns leading and following. Truly walking in someone else’s shoes makes your connection richer.
4. Cooperation is essential when a group of people, and not just an individual, needs to thrive and carry forward a joint message in a streamlined manner. We do this best when everyone feels they have a valuable, important role, moving in a well-choreographed way. Another happy brain chemical, dopamine, is released as you are motivated to achieve something in anticipation of a reward, such as dancing choreographed, cooperative routine.
5. Collaboration increases productivity and invites a healthy give and take between partners. People collaborate when they are comfortable and confident in being able to share their ideas and creative thinking. To feel more confident, take a moment to elongate your spine, bring your shoulders down, open your chest, press your shoulder blades together, relax and breathe deeply. Good posture offers strength and stimulates energy and mindfulness, enhancing your ability to collaborate. Even if your collaborative effort leads you down new paths, realize that changing your routine is good for you, as endorphins are released as you create new memories and challenge yourself to new experiences.
6. Coordination is about moving together in a direction. Merely being “interested” doesn’t yield results. You and your partners must be committed to the routine / initiative. True coordination comes from letting go of control. You commit to the steps in a way that shows that you care more about the overall result than you care about every minute action. Dancing freely with a partner helps you let go of every detail and feel more aligned and coordinated, and less vulnerable to hesitation and fear. As you increase your feel good mood by being coordinated, more of the happy brain hormone serotonin is released.
Sure, you could cycle through the 6 C’s on a philosophical level, but to truly feel them is when you create a habit. Partner dancing takes practice, determination, drive, and passion and is the best way to move from theory to action. By immersing yourself in this world, you will benefit in so many ways, challenge your mind and body to learn new things, trust your partner, overcome stage fright, increase your confidence, become better balanced, embrace being “judged”, lose yourself to the music, diversify your daily routine, and step outside of yourself.
Dance exudes glamour, passion, and fun and gives you fresh new perspectives that you can bring to every aspect of your life. By encouraging your mind and body to truly dance, you will find what has been missing and unlock your potential. Even better yet, enlist your whole department or company in a workshop setting and invite passion and joy to every day that follows.
Valeh Nazemoff is the international bestselling author of The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind and The Dance of the Business Mind, as well as a leadership / executive coach, business consultant, and co-owner of Acolyst. She is founder of the Communication Transformation Business Workshop and offers many resourceful information at www.valehnazemoff.com/more.