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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.
Have you ever watch a young child take it's first step? Seen them hesitate, uncertain of what might happen, then take another step, then another? And as the steps increase, the look on their face changes from one of fear, to uncertainty, to intrigue, to joy and then sheer excitement - with lots of screams and giggles included. The adults standing near by give encouragement and cheer them, which boosts their confidence to take another step. With their support team beside them, believing in them and celebrating their success, their confidence continues to grow - until their fears disappear altogether and their parents have to grab them to stop them walking into danger!
We gain confidence in many ways - usually when we achieve something in line with our values and beliefs. Making decisions makes us confident, it moves us forward, and as we move forward, we gain confidence.
It's only when we lack confidence that we begin to feel doubt and that's when we step outside of ourselves to seek recognition. When we lack confidence, we are indecisive and uncertain.
We doubt ourselves and make decision making difficult, asking ourselves "what will happen if I make the wrong decision?".
Just assess the situation you find yourself in, and make the decision in light of what is best for you in that moment. We learn from everything we do - so take the first step, and trust your internal guidance system to take you where you need to go. Like a child, every step forward brings greater confidence, and if you can surround yourself with supportive friends, they will cheer you on your way.
You will find that, when your confidence is at it's peak, you are open to new things, moving forward and positively energised. You are calm, acknowledging and yet strong and powerful at the same time. You are living life in accordance with your values, living life on purpose, and with gratitude.
If you are still wondering about your personal values, then I encourage you to think about the following:
- how do you fill your space? (eg, shoes, books, art)
- how do you spend your time?
- how do you spend your energy?
- how do you spend your money?
- what do you think about most?
- what do you visualise and dream about the most?
- what do you say to yourself?
- when you converse with others, where do you lead the conversation to?
- what makes you smile or frown?
The answers to those questions might give you a better understanding of your values. We filter our life according to our values. Anything that supports your values goes into your long term memory. Anything that does not support your values goes into your short term memory.
We all act according to our values, so in order to get someone to do what you want them to do, you have to communicate in terms of their values, not your own. No two people have the same value system. No one has more success or failure, just a separate set of values.
When we are true to our own values, we are not in competition with anyone else - we are unique. So if you love people for who they are, they become the people you love.
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.