Leading for Wellbeing

Work can be Challenging

Work can be tough when everyone has a full agenda and change is constant. Some of the team just get on with work, while others can be a constant worry. With all sorts of personalities in any team, you may be aware that one or two people are struggling. Sometimes it can be a bit nerve wracking and you may not want to ask in case you get more than you bargained for. 

Besides, there are counsellors that they can access so it’s not really your problem anyway.

You do Care!

If you are reading this though, you do care! You want your staff to be happy and you know that some people could be working better. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could take responsibility for themselves and just get on with the job, ideally cheerfully?!

Looked at as a whole it can seem overwhelming. You probably have several good things in place already. What we find when we work with companies, is that small tweaks by each individual can have a huge positive effect throughout the organisation. So where to start?

The Good News

Both the bad news and the good news is that you have to start with you.

It probably doesn’t feel like you have a problem. You may be able to tell us the names of the exact people who have the problem. However, people learn more from what we do than from what we say.

Until you start taking full responsibility for your total wellbeing, there is little hope that your staff will.

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

When you get on a plane the cabin crew remind you that in the event of an emergency “please put on your own oxygen mask first”. We are inviting you to do exactly that. If you don’t, you may run out of air before you have achieved all you want for the people around you.

Understand that you lead by example and consider the following:

  • How are you looking after you?
  • Are you taking care of yourself?
  • Do you spend too long at your desk irrespective of your productivity?
  • Do you grab a sandwich at your desk or head out to the park at lunch time?
  • What does taking care of yourself mean to you?
  • Are you going to work tired or excited and raring to go?
  • Are you on a bit of a busy treadmill or are you having fun in your life?

Take the Action

If life is feeling really good and you have got this covered, take a little bit of time out to reflect on how well you are looking after your own needs. Check out what is going particularly well in regards to your wellbeing. Is there is anything you would like to improve?

If you know already that you aren’t on the scale of looking after yourself, we would invite you to reflect on what one thing would be a sign of you taking care of yourself. Is there something that you used to love to do, or have always wanted to do? Is there something you could do regularly that you know would make you feel good?

We know that being in nature is vital to our mental and emotional wellbeing so we suggest that you might want to take a walk in your local park while you reflect on all this.

Even if you have come up with loads of ideas, start with just one thing; start that dance class, allow yourself half an hour to read when you get home from work, start getting back to swimming. Whatever you know helps you feel great, commit to it.

The Trickle Effect

You are already filling 24 hours a day, doing stuff for yourself may feel like an indulgence, but take a leap of faith and give this a go.

It may seem difficult to see how it could make a significant difference, but trust us – blame us if that helps. When you start putting you first, you start an upward spiral which your team will notice. When they see the change in you some of them will want it too.

They will see that it is OK to take a lunch break, that they can leave early enough to get to the pool, and the clarity this creates will have you achieving more in less time. Keep it going and in a few months, this could be one of the most significant changes for you and your team.

written by

Ruth Steggles