Mental fitness – the workshop

How using ‘Positive Intelligence ®’ can make your life at work easier and more fulfilling

Mental fitness is all about our capacity to respond to challenges with a positive rather than a negative mindset. It’s a measure of the strength of our positive mental ‘muscles’ over the negative ones. This lies at the heart of the neuro-scientific idea of ‘Positive Intelligence ®’ or PQ, the concept which underpins this programme.

This approach recognises that as humans we are great at self-sabotage! Our saboteurs can create a whole host of negative emotions such as stress, self-doubt, frustration, shame and guilt and these can affect our performance, our relationships at work and our general level of happiness. Our saboteurs are the ones that wake us at 3am to berate us for something that happened yesterday, that may see us judge others (which in turn is likely to fuel their judge, escalating conflict and damaging relationships), saying ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’, procrastinating, getting frustrated when trying to control others and situations beyond our control, pushing for the next achievement continually and achieving success but not happiness.

his programme, based on Shirzad Chamine’s pioneering research with half a million people, is designed to show you how to develop a more positive mindset and how to apply it in a work context.

In Part One we focus on understanding our Saboteurs and learning practical strategies to weaken them. You will complete a free online self-assessment before the session and we will use this to focus the learning on what you see as your top saboteur. We will also focus on the Judge Saboteur, which is universal to everyone. In addition, we will start to learn how to build the mental ‘muscle’, self-command, which helps us move from our saboteur to our sage mind, and how to still the saboteur voices and quieten the mental chatter. To build this muscle requires repetition, in the same way that building physical muscle does, so we liken this to exercises (‘reps’) in the mental gym.

In Part Two we focus on the Sage part of our brain, including the Sage Perspective, and how to activate and use the 5 Sage Powers of empathy, explore, innovate, navigate and clear-headed action, without any contamination from the saboteurs. You will have the opportunity to apply this to work-related examples and consider how you wish to continue strengthening your mental muscle after the training.

As these sessions are working on rewiring habitual thought patterns and building mental muscle, sustained change needs a commitment to ongoing application. Insight will only get you so far!

Learning objectives

By the end of the first session, participants will:

  • Understand the concept and importance of mental fitness at work
  • Know the difference between the Saboteur and Sage parts of our brains and how building three core mental ‘muscles’ improves our mental fitness
  • Know how the master Saboteur, the Judge, and accomplice saboteurs are responsible for our negative feelings and never serve us well.
  • Be aware of your top saboteurs and how they impact you and others at work
  • Be able to recognise your saboteurs in action and begin to intercept and weaken them
  • Have learned practical ways to become more grounded, to still your mind, in order to activate and choose a ‘Sage’ response

On completion of the second session they will:

  • Understand the nature of the Sage brain and its impact on performance, peace of mind and healthy relationships
  • Understand how the Sage perspective becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and how to use the ‘three gifts’ technique
  • Have explored the 5 Sage ‘powers’, know when and how to use them, and their relevance in a work context
  • Have a simple ‘operating system’ to apply in a range of situations

Benefits for teams

Most teams work too hard, experience too much conflict, friction and stress, and vastly under-achieve their potential. This is because every team member is unknowingly sabotaging both their own and their team’s performance and wellbeing. This programme enables a team to start maximising both performance and wellbeing simultaneously by focusing on the root-level mental ‘muscles’ that affect both.


This programme is appropriate to all managers and staff, at all levels. It’s ideal for running on a team basis.


Flexible. The two sessions each run for three hours. You could choose to just have the first one, on a virtual basis (using Zoom or Teams), by way of a ‘taster’, with a view to running the second one later. Or you could schedule them both, perhaps a week apart. Or you could run them both on the same day, as a classroom event, face-to-face (the recommended approach, from a team-building perspective).

Maximum 12 people per group (and we suggest a minimum of six).


This programme was designed by Positive Intelligence. To get the most from the programme, we ask that participants first complete the free ‘Saboteur Assessment’ on their website, here.


This programme sets participants on the way to developing a more positive mindset, improving their PQ, and achieving higher performance at work. They can do this on their own. But once your team has ‘bought in’ to the idea, the best way of implementing it is to follow a seven-week programme, using an app and with some hour-long sessions facilitated by our Positive Intelligence-certified Mental Fitness Coach, Rosanne Bernard. Details here.

The expert trainer

Rosanne is an exceptional coach / trainer.

She’s fully accredited as a certified Mental Fitness Coach by Positive Intelligence to run this programme and gets great feedback for it, as you can see from the feedback here.

Workshop outline

Session 1 – Dealing with our saboteurs

1 Welcome, aims and introductions

2 Mental fitness

  • What’s the big idea?
  • Application to the work environment
  • Overview of research
  • Saboteur v Sage brain

3 The Judge

  • Our Master Saboteur and its impact
  • Three modes: self, others and circumstances
  • Why the Judge is never useful
  • Discernment v judging
  • Recognising and weakening the Judge

4 Accomplice saboteurs

  • Nine accomplice saboteurs
  • Your top saboteurs from the self-assessment
  • How saboteurs overuse and abuse your natural strengths
  • Exercise: Recognising your saboteurs in action

5 How to weaken your saboteurs

  • Strategies to weaken your saboteurs
  • Exercise: Application to work

6 Shifting your mindset

  • Moving from a negative mindset
  • The power of the Sage brain
  • Building the Self-Command muscle
  • Going to the mental gym – PQ ‘reps’

7 The ‘operating system’

  • A simple operating system for life – the 5 key steps

8 Next steps

  • Review and insights
  • Focus on the Sage Perspective and Sage Powers in Part Two
  • Application and visiting the mental gym
  • Further reading

Session 2 – Using our Sage brain

1 Welcome, aims and introductions

2 Mental fitness in action

  • What’s the big idea?
  • Application and learning from Part One
  • Building the three core mental muscles
  • The third muscle – our Sage brain
  • The Sage’s role in the ‘operating system’

3 The Sage perspective

  • Understanding the Sage perspective
  • Two choices – accept or convert
  • The ‘three gifts’ technique
  • Application to work issues

4 The 5 Sage powers

  • What they are and when to use them
  • The five powers and you

5 Empathise

  • Empathy to ourselves and others
  • It’s tough being human!
  • Strategies to develop empathy and compassion
  • Work applications

6 Explore

  • A ‘beginners’ mind
  • When to use the Explore power
  • Strategies to develop Explore
  • Takeaway challenges

7 Innovate

  • A truly creative approach
  • When to use – work applications
  • The 10% rule to reduce conflict and enhance creativity
  • The ‘Yes… and…’ technique

8 Navigate

  • Choosing the right path
  • Aligning with purpose, values and meaning
  • When to use – work applications
  • The ‘flash forward’ technique

9 Activate

  • Taking clear laser-focused action
  • When to use and what gets in the way
  • Preempting the saboteur strategy

10 Exercise: Pulling it all together

  • Using the 5 powers together or independently
  • The ‘operating system’ at work
  • Lasting positive change
  • Application and visiting the mental gym

11 Next steps

  • Review and insights
  • Further reading, training and support

The Mental fitness programme gets fantastic results. Give us a call on 01582 463460 to talk through how it might work for you or your organisation.