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It seems to make sense that if your employees are healthy, motivated and engaged, they are happy. I also believe that with a happy, healthy workforce, you experience increased productivity, higher staff retention and a healthier bottom line - a win/win situation.
Employers have recognized this for many years, offering their employees incentives, such as subsidized gym memberships, health checks, in-house weight loss programs, staff satisfaction surveys, cinema tickets - the list is huge. For some employees, it has the desired effect - at least, temporarily - but for most, it just doesn't have a positive, long-term impact. So are we missing the point? Instead of guessing at the problem and providing the answer we think is required, would a better approach be to actually identify the issue and tailor the solution?
I think so. In my mind, wellbeing is not a "one-size-fits-all" approach - it's a way of life. It's the integration of mind, body, spirit. Everything we do, think, feel, believe and eat has an impact on our state of health. It's more than just the food we eat - factors such as healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity and spiritual awareness are essential forms of nourishment. And it's personal - each and every individual is unique - so offering, for example, subsidised gym membership (which often is taken up but not used) - does not get to the heart of the matter, so any incentive only provides temporary relief. Wellbeing & Performance coaching provides a positive connection, a supportive relationship for the person(s) who want to make a positive, permanent change. It a journey of self-discovery; the client finds their own answers and makes their own choices. The coach encourages and supports them on their chosen path.
Our programs focus on 12 key areas. Working one-on-one or in groups, each individual decides the areas he/she wants to work on, and creates their own action steps that move them towards their goal. The process is less time-consuming than you would imagine; the results are more far-reaching than you could hope for.
For more information on how Wellbeing & Performance Coaching can improve the health and happiness of your employees (and yourself), please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8006 9224.
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Getting a team to work together can take time, effort and understanding. I remember when I first joined Merrill Lynch in their London office, managing the client services team for the European Futures & Options Operations Department.
Although most europeans have a good command of the English language, we decided to recruit native speakers in our London office - so the desk had a mixture of English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch nationals. They were all young, enthusiastic and very ambitious, and I certainly had my management skills tested in dealing with the various egos as well as learning to manage the cultural differences!
We'd had a far amount of resignations, and had recently recruited some new staff. The existing team had interviewed and selected the new team members, choosing to take on staff with no experience in our industry, explaining it was easier and quicker to train someone in the skills of the job than to learn a foreign language. As a result, we recruited some very bright and enthusiastic new team members, for whom in most cases, this was their very first job.
About a month into the new team, I realised things weren't working out quite as we had hoped. There was real tension on the desk - it was no longer a fun place to work. The experienced staff felt the new recruits weren't pulling their weight; the new recruits felt they weren't being given enough support. The result? Resentment from both sides, lack of cooperation, no real communication and the experienced members taking on the majority of the work "to get it done".
I asked everyone to stay behind one night so we could talk it through. We went into a conference room, and set our 'agreement' - we would be honest, we would listen and respect the opinion of each person, we would be kind and considerate in our feedback. On a whiteboard, I wrote up the comments from each person. It soon became clear that everyone was on the same page! The experienced team members felt their new colleagues were lazy, because they didn't get through the work fast enough. The new team members felt their experienced team members lacked patience and understanding - they needed to be shown more than once how to do a task - they wanted to understand why they did what they did, not just do it by rote.
I make it sound quite civilized. In fact, that meeting was far from civilized at the beginning - lots of raised voices, several tears of frustration, but as we worked through each point, the team reached an understanding. The whole process took a couple of hours, but at the end, everyone went across the road to have a drink in the pub. Magic happened that night. From that point on, the team grew strong. They worked hard, and they played hard. They supported each other through thick and thin, and they had a lot of fun together. I think it was one of the best teams I have had the privilege to work with.
If you have a team that is not working cohesively, and you want to change that, I'd love to work with you and them to identify the issues and facilitate a solution. Call me on (02) 8006 9224 or email me: email@example.com.
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Have you ever stopped to think how the words you use and the negative self-talk running through your head are contributing to your stress levels? It's our self talk, or the words our inner dialogue uses when we think, that can negatively increase our stress levels, limit our potential, and colour our experiences.
Our language, or more correctly, the actual words we use, can negatively influence our viewpoint. For example, if you’ve been told that a difficult person is ‘a nightmare to work with’, you might take that information at face value, and therefore perceive that person as more frustrating than if you’ve been told they’re ‘somewhat demanding’.
If your dentist tells you, ‘This is really going to hurt!’, you will probably find a procedure more painful than if you’ve been told 'this might feel a little uncomfortable'.
Similarly, your perception of stress may be increased when your self talk is negative. Telling yourself something is 'difficult' or 'unfair' is harder to deal with than telling yourself it's 'challenging'. Expressing things in a positive way can lift the mood, make the situation fun, and enable you to deal with it with less stress.
If you tell yourself you can't handle something, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your subconscious mind believes the thoughts it hears - accepting them as instructions. Not only that, you actually stop looking for solutions! Instead of telling yourself you can't do something, ask yourself instead how you will handle it, and you open up the realms of possibility, letting your creativity flow .... and finding a number of possible solutions!
Make a pact with yourself to consciously catch yourself having negative thoughts and replacing them with positive internal self-talk, and not only will it become a habit, it will help reduce stress and leave you feeling empowered, creative and resourceful.
If you would like to work with me to reduce your stress and improve your wellbeing and performance in all areas of your life, please contact me, either by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (612) 8006 9224.
Do you have difficulty saying “no”? Are you always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself? Perhaps you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings?
The reality is that when we don't say "no" to others, we say "no" to ourselves.
The reasons we find it hard to say no vary. It could be our desire to help, to avoid conflict, to avoid appearing rude. We might be afraid that if we say no, it might spoil a relationship or we might lose out on an opportunity.
Whatever excuse you give yourself, when you don't say no to something you really don't want to do, you are in fact not respecting and valuing your own time and space.
Let's look at this from a different perspective. What if you stop saying NO to what you don't want to do, and start saying YES to what you DO want? What if you put yourself and your own priorities first, and start saying yes to your family, your health, your sense of self?
Perhaps saying Yes to you can help you feel more positive about your choice, and enable you to say no with good grace.
Need help to get started? Call me: +612 8006 9224 or drop me an email: email@example.com.
It's 7.25am - five minutes before my gym opens - and there's me plus four other members already lined up at the front door. One lady is banging on the door to gain entry, despite the rest of us telling her that the gym doors won't open until exactly 7.30am.
"I just want to get in there and get on with it", she said. "Wow", I thought. "She's keen!" I hadn't seen her at the gym before - obviously new - and clearly raring to go! As we filed inside and each got started on our workouts, as I could hear her telling another member "I've already read all my emails and written and posted a birthday card this morning. I have such a busy schedule!"
And suddenly, I understood. You see, I got the distinct impression that this lady was really enjoying her state of busy-ness. That it energized her. That hanging around outside the gym when she could be inside exercising was just a waste of her time. I was like that once - running from one thing to another, on a complete high - thoroughly enjoying the challenges along the way. The lady this morning was animated as she described her life - for her, being busy was Fun!!
For some, however, maintaining this fast pace is tiring, challenging and far from enjoyable. Even the language and tone of voice is different - the words are negative, the voice is slow, everything looks and sounds heavy.
If what you are doing does not satisfy your needs, if you are stuck in a job you don't like, for example, you will probably find yourself experiencing health issues, having trouble sleeping and stagnating. If left unchecked, it may lead to serious health issues, and ultimately, burnout.
Making a change can be simple, if you tap into your creative force. Bringing a playful attitude to your situation may help you get a more positive perspective on it. No matter what your situation, it is possible to transform the way you perceive it into something more enjoyable for you. It's possible to discover your real needs and fulfilling them, of discovering your real talents and using them, of discovering your many options and trying them out.
It really is possible to enjoy life - whether you want to be more energised, have less stress, more time for yourself - whatever it might be. And maybe you will be the one banging on the gym door minutes before it is due to open in anticipation of a fun workout!! I hop
Have you noticed how some people just don't behave the way you would, or the way you expect them to in a given situation? Your best friend, who you thought you knew so well, just doesn't react the way you thought they would? Do you find yourself wondering if you really know them at all?
It all comes down to their values being different to yours. It's not a case of right or wrong, just that we all have different values. Many people are not consciously aware of their values - but they still live their lives in accordance with their own personal values. Values are the things we believe in and which we think are important. They are the sum of our life experiences - influences from all around us - our parents, our family, our friends, our education, what we read, and so on.
We make decisions based on our values - and when we act out of alignment with our values, we feel intuitively not right - it's our in-built navigation system letting us know - and if we ignore the feedback, we feel very uncertain.
If we want to live a rich and fulfilling life, therefore, we need to determine our personal values. There are hundreds of values, but we tend to live our lives according to between 5 and 8 key values. So how do you determine the values that are important to you?
One method is to pick from a list, narrowing down until you end up with around 6 that are the most important to you. In my mind, there is a potential flaw in this approach as, subconsciously, you might pick the values that you think you should have, rather than the ones you truly live by.
A more accurate method is to dig deep within yourself to uncover your values. Think about your actions, the life you are living, the decisions you make - what are the principles you live by that create the choices you make? Still finding it difficult? That's ok - this doesn't come easily to everyone. Take a look around you and identify a role model that you admire and write down all the things you admire about them. These are the things you value - the things you want to live by.
When you live by your personal set of values, your life is fulfilling and stress free. You will accomplish your goals and dreams and be able to lead and influence others.