• Matt Edwards

BLIG #4 - Behaviour & Language Infecting Greatness

With so much communication on the airwaves - What messages are we sending out through our behaviour & language?

John F. Kennedy's inaugural address inspired children and adults to see the importance of civic action and public service. His historic words, “Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country,” challenged every American to contribute in some way to the public good.

So the purpose of this post is to highlight just some of the thousands of words, posts, links and language in general that provides an essential perspective and maybe some clarity in such cloudy conditions. And also champion altruistic groups and communities that have bonded and everyday heroes who will help calm the seas on this volatile & epic journey.

In my Performance Tree Model (and previous BLIGs) I talk about 'our Grounding Roots' - The stuff that is truly important to us, and how these 'values' power our mind-set and are expressed through 'The Trunk" in our behaviour & language. When the environment gets tough like it is right now, it is this grounding in the roots and strength in the trunk / at our core that will see 'The Tree' not just survive but maybe even adapt and thrive.

Over the past week or so we have all seen and read of instances that, have not been examples of great language or behaviour. Panic buying, poor leadership, conflicting 'scientific' arguments, and of course criminals exploiting the vulnerable. Clearly in the latter this must be a 'a lack of moral fibre' and basic human values. But what about this just weird behaviour and unhelpful and sometimes unkind language we are seeing and hearing.

Well, as weird and unkind and unhelpful as it is to others - 'they' are probably acting in line with their values and what is important to them? - Whilst clearly in conflict. Not an excuse but a reason Why perhaps we could hear things like - "I am just looking after my family" or " I am just being prepared". (If any of us actually asked...) So can 'they' really be judged and chastised? A genuine question to ask... conflict behaviour causes some weird reactions particularly in such weird environments...

The one thing I can say for certain and with confidence however, is that this Covid-19 thing requires a different lens when it comes to sorting this global pandemic out. We simply can not just be covering our own arses (with toilet tissue presumably!) - Not an 'I and ME and MY' lens but more of a 'WE and US and OUR' lens. We must remove our local blinkers and stay open minded to this ever changing global environment. We must use our own intuition and intelligence to choose where we get our information from and then process it for the good and share it with good intention and purpose - otherwise why add to the chaos I would ask?

So on that note let me let me share some Anti Viral / Anti Chaos language & behaviour fighting this epidemic. Its only a snippet I know but please share more on my Facebook and Linked-In pages. #spreadasmile #infectsomehope

Nicola Hallam & supporters of Stalybridge COVID 19 support - Facebook Group (& the many others)

Already with 603 members in just 3 days! have already signed up to offer to support to those vulnerable and isolated. Also brilliant at sharing local businesses, services and offers generated to support those who need it the most. Why not check out and join your local group?

Amanda Brown @ KIND HAPPY HUB - Facebook Group (& not specifically Covid 19 Related)

I first heard of this just after the tragic death of Caroline Flack on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show (Virgin Radio) I loved the idea that someone had unconditionally set up a platform to share some love and kindness and not just say it! I knew nothing of Amanda before but chose to listen to her share her knowledge and experience (particularly with Mindfulness) which she expresses in a really calm, kind and generous way in her "live at about 5" videos on Facebook. I take what works for me and give it a go - my favourite exercise so far was with my family. We simply took it in turns to tell each other "All the things we love experiencing" and "All the people we love and are fortunate to know" It worked a treat, was fun and brought to the moment stuff thats really important to us. (Like pancakes Olivia! LOL!!)

Which makes me think of a tenuous, but brilliant link that highlights the benefit of great chat around the dinner or breakfast table - priceless!

Who would you most like to have dinner with?

The Teachers & Staff @ Stalyhill Infant School & Wise Owl After School Club

Whilst not the most vulnerable members of society right now - our children, their welfare and their health & well being will always be paramount. We have all seen the conflict that poor language & behaviour can create - this simply cannot happen to our children as they do not yet have the same social experience as adults (although some are more emotionally intelligent than some adults I have experienced lately!) The Team at Stalyhill have remained calm and consistent in their approach and with their communication with the children and parents alike. I feel like they know just HOW important this is as well as doing WHAT is required of them in their roles.

I am almost certain that all around the country for the last week or so - Adults have dropped their kids off at the school gates - When at this point the kids enter a relatively calm environment with consistent messages provided and shared by responsible adults - Whilst the parents dash off to hostile environments to listen to rubbish and sometimes are playing apart in all of the nonsense like kids in a playground...

A couple of links I have shared with my kids and have helped are -

  • Tom Fletcher Pepper in a Bucket - The germs run away video -

  • "Covid 19 UK Response" - The overflowing water video -

And I loved the idea in school of kids in the class room picking up some glitter on their hands to simulate germs and then touching stuff to see just how easy it spreads (Then cleaning up and washing your hands!)

Leaders of every type, Altruists, Philanthropists, NHS staff, Service men & women, care workers, and the people who are spreading the useful and kind language & behaviours & who will care for our health and mental well being in months to come.

I believe it is these amazing human beings who will do the following - expressed so beautifully by Dr. Lindsay Jernigan and shared on Facebook for everyone to consider by Bev Holden (Clearthinker).

Performance Tree Talk...

Performance Talk - High Performance Inspiration

In recent times I have been extremely privileged to share some small experiences with a couple High Performance Guru's whom I must thank and share the kindness they have shown me.

Michael Clegg (MSc.ASCC) - 1st Team Strength & Conditioning Coach at Manchester United & Former Player.

Mike, right from the start loved the Performance Tree concept and has provided a number of potential opportunities in the Performance, Education and Well Being sector. We have worked at a number of schools in the past to promote values lead performance, growth mindses and well being. I would like to thank him for his valuable time as he has fitted me in to his super busy schedule. He also recently shared a leadership lesson with me from Roy Keane - needless to say it was simple and effective. Take a look at Mikes YouTube channel with some great video's and interviews (before he was full time strengthening and conditioning the players of the greatest football club on planet earth :0)

Damian Hughes - Change Management Catalyst & Professor of Organisational Psychology & Change @ Manchester Met University - International Speaker & Best selling author of The Liquid Thinker & The Barcelona Way

We have never met, sure I have read his books, watched his videos and podcasts and heard him speak - so why does he get a mention? Recently my friend and colleague, Kate Miles-Roberts (Clear Thinker) email introduced me to Damian and I took the opportunity to invite him to my Performance Tree Development workshop. He couldn't make the date but took the time out to personally respond, wishing his pardon as it was his daughters birthday. he also wished me some really kind and timely words of encouragement and offered to stay connected. So when I updated him on the launch of my website - I was delighted again to get a response which read -

Hello Matt

I hope that my mail finds you well. It is great to hear from you.

Thanks for sharing your work. I’ve had chance to have a look over the weekend and it looks fantastic and is obviously making a huge, positive difference to many.

I’d love to catch up for a coffee and understand more about it.

In the meantime, however, many congratulations; I know you invested a huge amount of courage to get this far. You should be very proud.


These simple kind words from a well respected leader in your field of work were free, unconditional and so motivational to me. Having belief in potential is priceless - Thank you Damian (& Kate too!)

You can listen to Damian alongside Jake Humphrey on the High Performance Podcast. Episode 1 was Rio Ferdinand and Episode 2 was Ant Middleton both are here -

Tree Talk - A Sapling...

Performance Tree is my young business less than 18 months old and like so many other businesses who are relatively small or new we find ourselves in the most testing of times and extreme environments. Already this week after my main client in the aviation industry has understandably postponed all face to face learning and workshops until the foreseeable future - I have had to think differently if I have any hope of surviving.

So with the help of the Zoom Video Conferencing platform I will be Zooming down the information highway rather than the motorway. So if you would like to connect or Zoom please get in touch - we could all do with some support right now .

Look out too for some great ideas landing at the end of the week which may just be...

  • Stuff that you or your business might need right now or over the forthcoming months as face to face contact becomes more improbable and the risk of social isolation increases

  • Stuff that is accessible and facilitated for individuals and teams on-line

  • Stuff to support your continued development and well being when we might need it the most

  • Stuff that still has the human element with a voice and face! That you can hear and trust (people buy people first!)

  • Stuff that will help you think clearly and cut through the foggy environment as you are required to think differently

"Look after your people and your people will look after you and your business"

#spreadasmile #infectsomehope

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