Introducing Anna Kane, Occupational Psychologist, mindfulness coach and PHD student!
Hello Anna! You are someone with a fair few qualifications to their name, including a diploma in mindfulness studies. What fuelled your pursuit of knowledge in this area?
I’ve been running my own business for about ten years and I got to the point were I was having quite a lot of health problems. I ended up turning to mindfulness and it really helped me work out what was going on. I wanted to see if I could share it with the people that I work with, in terms of my clients that I coach and train. I kept on doing courses and then ended up doing a diploma, and it’s been one of the best things I ever did. So, it’s really changed the way I work, the work that I do and the people that I work with.
So, can you talk to us a little about your current work for Kingston University on self confidence?
As an occupational psychologist the majority of my work happens in the workplace so, when I was using mindfulness, I tended to get a lot of people coming to me who wanted to improve their self confidence. I wanted to see if mindfulness and self compassion could improve self confidence but in order to do that I needed to come up with some kind of tool to measure it, that’s when I decided to do a professional doctorate. I'm currently writing a paper that is going to be a model of self confidence which will then help me design a tool in which to measure it.
You talk a lot about compassion and acceptance in the workplace. Have you ever been in a work environment where the management approach has been devoid of compassion and all about perfectionism?
Well quite often managers will be very task focused, so they’ll talk about the work that needs doing, rather than the person that’s doing the work. That can end up being a problem, because people end up feeling undervalued, they’re not engaged in their work and they’ll end up leaving for another organisation that treats them better, or where they’ve got better relationships with the people that they work with. It’s not necessarily the organisations fault, sometimes it will just be the individual managers. So, it just really depends. Some organisations don’t necessarily do enough to support their managers by training them.
How long have you been in Brighton and what are the highlights of living here for you?
I’ve been here for about ten years and one of the highlights for me has got to be the sea. I love swimming and I love going down there whether I feel happy, or sad, or whether I wanna socialise or whether I wanna be by myself.
Where is your spot of choice at PLATF9RM?
Well, I don’t really have one, it depends what mood I’m in. I do use the quiet room quite a lot, because it’s got sea views, and it allows me to think if I’m doing some research or writing a client report but I’m like a cat, I’ll just go wherever suits me at the time!
Does having a space like PLATF9RM help you to maintain a good work/life balance?
Yes, without a doubt. So, I’ve worked from home a couple of time before, where I’ve had my office at home. One time I even had it in my bedroom, which was horrendous. And both times, my mental health just nose dived. So, I’ve promised myself that I’ll always have a co-location space to work in. Because it’s just so important!
I remember showing you around PLATF9RM, what were the things which caught your eye upon first entering the space?
The floor. Love that floor. The floor and the moss wall, it’s quite unique. What else? The variety of people working here, old to young, people suited, to people in chilled out trendy clothes. Just go with the flow. Loads of people here that do lots of different stuff. That for me is interesting as well, not just having one type of industry that works here. So, having people that I can connect with, that are relevant to what I do.
What are your favourites, what are your locals?I’ve got three or four locals, I love Velvet Jacks, over in Hove. I drink in the Marlborough quite a lot. I'm just near to The Foundry, so, that literally is my local. And I’ve been known to have a few late nights in The Office.. Not this office!
Where is the most amazing place you have visited in your life?Gosh, I would say Ankor Wot, in Cambodia. That is the most amazing place in the world. They’ve re-discovered these ruins, it’s basically miles, and miles, and miles where the forest grew over, it’s like ancient temples. It’s really really amazing.
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