Martin Palethorpe – The mind matters
Sibos sat down with Martin Palethorpe, leading executive coach, organisational consultant, adventurer and founder of The Pragma Group to discuss one of the sub-themes of Sibos 2019 London, ‘exploring the human element’
Against a backdrop of unprecedented technological transformation, businesses increasingly seek to understand how workplaces and work practices can evolve. Martin will present a session at Sibos 2019 entitled Mind matters: Think like a champion, where he will delve into how leaders can transform their mindset to positively impact business performance.
Along with his colleague, Rena Loizou, Martin will also be hosting a series of Sibos podcasts on how to understand how the mind works, which you can listen to on SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher or at the event in the Sibos Wellbeing lounges (located at Exhibition North). Martin believes learning about the human mind can lead people to moments of great insight and revelation that can transform how they think and operate in all aspects of their life and work.
- Why is important for people from all walks of life to understand how the mind works?
“Our mind is the most influential factor in our lives. It’s responsible for the way we think, our feelings, our behaviours and our whole experience of the world around us.
“Most people haven't learnt that much about their own minds, and as a result, they can find themselves unable to be as effective as they'd like. This can lead to an overly judgmental outlook, limiting thinking, a resistance to working with others, and an inability to innovate or to think clearly and make difficult decisions. The world we're currently living in seems to exacerbate these psychological challenges.
“If you want to be more effective, kinder, stronger, and ultimately have more clarity and happiness in your life it is important to learn more about your mind. For many, this really is the most important journey in their life and work.”
- This year Sibos will examine how banks and market infrastructures can leverage new technologies and digital ecosystems such as AI. How do people use their mind to optimise the effectiveness of technology?
“If individuals use their minds to their full potential they can adapt to change rapidly and come up with new ideas that they can implement more quickly, productively and effectively. We each have the capability, both individually and collectively, to be leaders in this fast-moving technological world. But if our minds are ineffectively utilised, getting caught up in old paradigms or limited thinking, it's easy to make mistakes, miss the next innovation or opportunity, which can be catastrophic and leave us struggling to keep up.”
- With technology now playing an increasingly dominant role in our work life, keeping us connected us to our jobs even when out of office hours, is it becoming harmful to our minds? How can we get the right balance?
“It can be harmful because the mind works best when it has time and space. Part of the problem is that many individuals are online in most of their spare moments - browsing the web or social platforms. This can rev up the mind further, not providing the space needed to rest, reflect, or come up with fresh ideas. Being part of a 24/7 technology society can also have an impact on our mental health.
“The personal pursuit to be a high performer in work, as well as to have work-life balance and use today's technology, is important. Many people have an unsustainable lifestyle, stuck on auto pilot and stranded on a perpetual hamster wheel. An achievable balance can be found by mastering how you use your mind, changing mindset and making time and space to reflect.”
- You have recorded a series of podcasts for the new Wellbeing lounge at Sibos. What is the purpose of these podcasts and what can people learn from them?
“The purpose of these podcasts is, on some practical topics such as leadership decision-making and confidence, to provide some insights into how the mind works. We're trying to challenge people's existing paradigms so that they can be significantly more effective in their work and life. The podcasts provide an insight into the work that we do to help transform the thinking of individuals and teams. The approach is unique, which for some may be challenging. We're not providing practical takeaways for the rational intellectual mind as the most significant changes occur at a deeper level in the subconscious.”
- Sibos 2019 will feature wellbeing lounges, where delegates can be inspired by leadership podcasts and enjoy a free foot massages. What are the benefits of having these breakaway spaces at busy events such as Sibos?
“At action-packed events such as Sibos, delegates spend a lot of the week meeting industry colleagues, and maximising their time by attending as many sessions as possible. The mind can become overwhelmed and clogged up, which will make it more difficult to absorb and process the information shared at the conference and networking sessions. Spaces like the Sibos wellbeing lounges will certainly help delegates to 'unclog' a little so that they can regain clarity and be more receptive to information, learnings and experiences, ultimately enhancing their Sibos experience.”
- You will be presenting a session at Sibos 2019 entitled ‘Mind matters: Think like a champion’, what is the focus of the session and what will delegates take away from it?
“At the Mind matters: Think like a champion session, we’ll be exploring the impact the mind has on performance. This is crucial because most people spend very little time, if any, understanding the mind, even though it’s the foundation of the whole human experience and affects the happiness with which we work and live.
“Think of it this way, nearly every elite athlete has a sport psychologist because they understand that their thought process and how they use their mind has a dramatic impact on their performance. The importance of the mind is no less central in the business world but is often overlooked. In this session, we’ll discuss how the mind works so that finance professionals can have more peace of mind and wellbeing while performing at their best in business. Hopefully delegates will leave the session with some positive shift in their thinking about themselves, their work and their life.”