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Becoming your best self

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  • Thriving! Positive Energy at Work for Leaders workshop conducted by renowned mental health professional Karl LaRowe

How do you become your best self? How do you feel physically, emotionally and mentally when you are at your best? How do you transform the stress and negativity of modern day living into positive energy? These are the questions that were asked and answered in one of the most interesting and dynamic workshops to come to Sri Lanka.

‘Thriving! Positive Energy at Work for Leaders’ was a full-day highly informative and interactive workshop brought in by Janaprith Fernando, Attorney at Law, together with ITD World in partnership with the Hilton Colombo and The Sunday Times, Daily Mirror and Daily FT. This workshop assisted participants to identify how stress was affecting them and learn specific methods to transform the negative energy of stress into the positive energy of thriving to become your best self.

There were participants from several organisations including multinationals, publicly-quoted companies, government organisations and private sector companies. The workshop began by acknowledging that people are experiencing a stress epidemic that impacts our physical, emotional and mental energy. After measuring our level of stress, participants learned a simple yet effective method to discharge and release chronic stress in just seconds.

Then the workshop turned towards the concept of what it means to Thrive! Participants discovered that thriving is a combination of positive physical energy, or vitality, positive emotional energy or positivity, and positive mental energy which is developed by embracing your strengths. 

Each section of the workshop introduced scientific research from Positive Psychology, Strengths Psychology and Appreciative Inquiry and then provided practical tools that were taught through activity-based learning. The workshop was a unique blend of theory and experiential practice. 

Although it was a large group, participants who are usually reserved began to relax and open up after the first exercise where they were encouraged to discharge their stress in a loud sigh of relief. 

In addition to several physical techniques for discharging stress and recharging with positive energy, there were methods to increase positive emotions, identify personal strengths and develop a portrait of your best self. There is also a workbook that incorporates information from the slides with the practical skills learned and becomes a lasting resource to help continue the practice of Thriving! after the workshop is over. 

“It was a wonderfully different workshop for me. I have not attended such a well-thought-out process addressing issues facing busy and successful leaders. I learnt how to reduce stress and it will contribute to enhancing my performance as a leader. Well done to ITD and Karl, we need a repeat workshop for our leaders,” said participant Chamika Naranapitiya, who is a Deputy General Manager at Watawala Plantations

“This workshop was truly an eye-opener. I was able to appreciate how stress can damage us without us being aware of it. The workshop also taught me the value of self-compassion. Karl is an amazing facilitator and I was delighted to be part of this pioneer workshop in Colombo,” said Aitken Spence Human Resources Manager Ishara Wickramathilake. 

Prima Ceylon Sales and Marketing Manager Ravindra D. Coonghe said: “It was a fascinating and enlightening program, where I found and connected with my true self. On the human values of positivity, focusing on my own strengths which would help me to focus on my professional as well as my personal life.”

“The program started with being aware of myself and appreciative of one’s strengths and how you can contribute to people around you. Through group interaction each of us realised our strengths. Our hidden strengths were brought out during these sessions; how we can conduct ourselves under stressful situations, also to value ourselves and realise the contributions we make,” opined Beautician and Proprietor Angeeka De Silva. 

Thriving! Positive Energy at Work for Leaders was conducted by Karl LaRowe, a mental health professional from the United States who is passionate about the topic because of his own personal experience. 

LaRowe shared his story of recovery and flourishing and provided a sense of hope and encouragement as he shared the knowledge he had acquired over the past 20 years providing over 1,000 trainings to more than 50,000 professionals across the United States, the Middle East and now South East Asia.

Encouraged by the response, Fernando intends to organise several varied workshops and sessions for a cross-section of professionals in June this year. 

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