The Third Space
Dr Adam discovered the Third Space after two specific events.
Firstly, he noticed that some of the soldiers he had worked with really struggled to transition home from Iraq. They outlined how they found it difficult to reconnect with family and friends. They brought the stress and mindset of being a soldier into the home environment.
Secondly, twenty minutes before Dr Adam had to walk out on stage and present to 5000 people, his phone rang. He was greeted with the sentence that told him his best friend had just died un-expectantly. Clearly he was shattered and couldn’t believe it was true. Somehow he was able to squash the desire to run away, collected himself and completed the presentation.
When he reflected on both these experiences, he realised that how we use the transitional gap (the Third Space) between each activity or environment has a huge impact on our ability to drop the baggage from the previous interaction and assume the right behaviours and midset to get the most out of the next environment.
This started him on a five year research project where he discovered a revolutionary new concept around what drives human performance. He found that the new competitive advantage in business and life is:
- To be resilient and get over what we have just been through.
- To be adaptable so that we can rapidly transition into the next task and make the most of it.
Resilience is important because there is so much change and uncertainty in business and life right now.
Adaptability is vital because we must rapidly change our approach and focus to capitalise on the new opportunities and challenges we are faced with.
Dr Adam has found that resilience and adaptability occurs in the transitional space between roles/tasks/environments, something he calls the Third Space.
In this research he conducted studies with Deakin University and interviewed hundreds of people with demanding jobs, ranging from Pallitive Care nurses, sales people, call centers operators, leaders, soldiers, comedians to elite athletes. What they all had in common was they used the Third Space to overcome setbacks and assume a mindset to get the most out of what is coming next.
In other words, it’s not what you do it’s what you do in between what we do!
In one specific experiment he conducted with Deakin University they showed that when people practiced the principles of the Third Space between work and home the group showed a 41% improvement in work/life balance.
You want more balance, happiness and performance, its all waiting for you in the Third Space.