Dear manager, parent, executive, class president, coffee barista, school teacher, entrepreneur, C-suite executive…
The list could go on. I say Dear Leader, because we are all leaders at some level. Leadership starts with ourselves.
Two weeks ago, I spoke at a conference. The title of my talk was “The Connected Leader.” Many people came up to me after the talk to thank me for giving them permission “to think about themselves as a leader.” How to care for themselves so-that-they-can better care for their employees, as well as family and friends. It’s all connected, right?
They told me they were tired because of sleepless nights, overwhelmed with multiple priorities on their plate, stressed because they’ve been short with their kids, and lonely because they don’t have the support they need and don’t feel comfortable asking for help and clarity.
You can’t lead from an empty bucket. Believe me, I’ve tried. That dog don’t hunt.
Here’s the thing: when we feel better, we do better. Period.
When we feel exhausted, stressed, pinched, and underappreciated? Well, I’ll let you fill that description in.
So, Dear Leader, if you’re seeking, waiting for, or asking for permission, this is it.
Take it. Own it. Run with it. Your employees will thank you. Your loved ones will thank you.
Ready to figure out how in the world you can do this?
Let’s dive in:
Pause & Ponder
You knew this was coming, right?
There is SO much power in taking time to pause, to gain clarity on what you want and equally, what you don’t want.
Who do you want to be as a leader? As a leader of a business, team, family, or community? Define that in detail. Not sure? What are the qualities of a leader you respect and admire, and let that be your inspiration to start from.
What beliefs do you need to let go of to be that person? What are the actions or inaction that’s keeping you stuck and spinning? You have permission to get off that wheel.
What do you need to set down before it drops? Proactive is much easier to deal with than reactive.
Where do YOU need support? Professionally AND personally. You’ve heard me say this before, our personal life and professional life are not mutually exclusive; they’re interdependent. If you’re struggling in one area, it’s bound to impact the other. Permission to ask for help, granted.
Schedule 30 minutes (or more!) on your calendar to ponder these questions. Nothing is going to change until you do. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable work of looking within, so you can be comfortable and confident with how you lead yourself, your team, or your family.
Prioritize & Proceed
Before you lace up those sneakers and sprint right into action, look at the answers to your questions and ask yourself, what 1-3 items from my list will make the most impact?
Not everything matters equally. This means you need to figure out what you want and HOW you go about getting it. Adding everything all at once to your to-do list with little discernment will only get you back to spinning on that dang wheel. Permission to step off, granted.
What one area, if you were to focus on it, would make the most amount of impact on all the other areas? Double down and build up your muscle in that one area, until it becomes more natural to you, then add the next priority, then the next.
You can do this with a little time, intention, and compassion for yourself. Once you start experiencing the changes you seek, like:
More engaged teams (or kids!)
Self-trust and confidence, and
Getting more done in less time so you can maybe even clock out early…
… the more that caring for yourself becomes second nature because you know and experience the transformation it brings in all areas of your life.
“People don’t decide their futures; they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” ~FM Alexander
In other words, we are what we repeatedly do.
Set yourself up for success by establishing one habit that will support you for each step on the journey. Think big, but go small.
You know that 15 minute walk first thing in the morning (before the kids get up) is just the thing to set you up for a fabulous day…buuttt, you watched TV until 11:30 pm.
Habit: Set an alarm on your phone for 9:30 pm to turn off all screens and lights out by 10.
One of your core values is respect, but when you’re tired, hangry, or behind the 8-ball, you tend to (conveniently) forget that core value and snap at your employee or maybe even your kid.
Habit: Pause, breathe in counting to 4, and connect to the person, the leader you want to be before responding.
Plan ahead. Get clear on when, where, or with whom your habits need some healthy reinforcement and plan what you’ll do or how you’ll react so you don’t need to work so hard to choose a different, better habit.
Boundaries are required for:
A successful and impactful leader
Healthy authentic relationships
Keeping resentment in check (towards self and others…kids included!)
Self-trust and confidence
Contrary to popular belief, establishing firm boundaries will improve relationships, not divide them, because with boundaries you are clear on what is ok with you and what is not…so there’s no need for resentment, which has the ability to deteriorate any relationship, fast.
Go for progress over perfection as you move along this process of caring for yourself…because perfection gets in the way of possible.
Be patient and kind with yourself. Doing otherwise only exacerbates the pieces you’re working so diligently to change.
If you’re looking for permission, this is it. You have permission to care for yourself, to take care of yourself, to fill your bucket first. You can’t fill other people’s buckets from an empty bucket.
The rewards and educational moments are many when you, as a leader, show people how caring for themselves positively impacts every area of life.
When we do better, we feel better, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.
Whether executive in C-suite, mid-manager, entry-level employee, or stay-at-home parent, being a leader requires you to care for yourself first, NOT as an afterthought.
I lovingly challenge you to open your calendar and book a time for you to think, to care for yourself, and fill your bucket. If your calendar is booked solid for the next 4 weeks, don’t despair. Look out until you find a week on your calendar where you can book time with yourself. Book it, and honor it, like you would a doctor’s appointment. It is that important.
Bring in some beautiful and kind Graceful Accountability- don’t beat yourself up, don’t let yourself off the hook as you do this work.
It’s going to feel uncomfortable at first, but sit in the squirm until you get to the other side. You’ll love and appreciate what, or rather who, you find.
Boundaries are a topic that comes up often in my work (and in my life…). There’s so much baggage (and so many beliefs) that come with boundaries:
“They’re so hard to establish”
“They feel mean and divisive”
“I don’t know how to communicate my boundaries”
“No one ever respects my boundaries”
Or this one, which I hear most often:
“I feel guilty when I say NO”
Have you ever said or felt any of those?
I’ll admit, I have, many a time. Until I learned what boundaries are and how to communicate them.
Boundaries are the bridge that connects us to our goals and success. Now, that sounds weird, right? Boundaries connect? Stay with me for a minute.
When we lack boundaries and add something to our calendar even though we don’t have the time, energy, gumption, or desire… it moves us further away from our goals, our dreams, our healthy relationships. The gap becomes wider between us and what we want.
Boundaries bridge that gap, bringing us closer to more of what we want, and less of what we don’t, without apology. When we:
Say Yes when we want to say NO, it creates resentment in our relationships rather than connection.
Add one more thing to our already overloaded plate, it makes us scattered, overwhelmed, and stressed out rather than further along on our journey.
Buy something to make ourselves feel better, but it actually adds to our financial stress, it creates a vicious cycle that keeps us on the hamster wheel of ‘not enough.’
So, without further ado, let’s dive into 9 bold & beautiful boundaries that will support you in reaching your goals with less stress and anxiety and more flow and freedom.
9 Must-Know Things About Boundaries
1. Your boundaries are about you, not others
Your boundaries are for you, to keep you safe, out of overwhelm, and away from resentment. It’s your responsibility to establish and hold them, not others’. It would be nice if people honored your boundaries, but they are yours to honor.
2. No is a complete sentence
No need to explain or go into details of why you aren’t available to take on that last-minute project someone on your team dropped, to bake the 457 cookies for the bake sale, or why you’re not available to go out. When you start explaining things, it’s waaaay too easy to get off balance and just say, screw it, I’ll do it.
3. It’s your responsibility to be clear, direct, and respectful
Clear, direct, and respectful will sound like an unemotional, blame-free, unapologetic statement: “If you continue to be disrespectful, I’m going to remove myself from this conversation because I respect myself too much to be treated this way.”
It is NOT your responsibility how it lands for others. That is their responsibility, and their response speaks to who they are.
4. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
Always look at the tradeoff you’re making when you say YES (or NO, for that matter). If you say yes, will that fill you with resentment? Will setting and honoring the boundary allow someone else to build their knowledge? Will ignoring the boundary build unhealthy dependency?
“If you give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. If you teach a person to fish, you feed them for a lifetime”. ~Unknown
5. Place boundaries around your time
What are you willing to commit your non-renewable resource, time, to? Your kids’ last lacrosse game, parents’ 50th anniversary party, a friend’s big birthday, or snuggle time with your baby won’t come around again. Honor what’s most important by placing boundaries around your time, without apology.
6. Learn how to delegate
OK, OK, so you can do it faster, and it will actually take longer for you to teach someone to do it. The thing is, that won’t change until you teach someone to do it, allow them to do it, and put them in charge of doing it…and let them fail so that they can learn how to succeed.
7. Set boundaries around your spending
Yes, those shoes are fabulous, that car is sassy, but will it help you to be financially stable? Less stressed? Pause before pulling out that credit card, and connect to your boundaries before swiping.
8. How much is enough?
Whether it’s giving to charities, your kids, a wedding gift, or a baby shower, get clear on how much you’re willing to spend before you get wrapped up in the excitement (or guilt).
9. Pause before purchasing
Establish a boundary for purchasing. This has worked wonders for me with buying books. I’m a voracious reader and used to order pretty much every book that was recommended or ones that piqued my interest. And, yowza, that stack of books kept growing and caused stress every time I looked at it. And that stack of books stacked up my credit card each month. $30 bucks here, $18 bucks there adds up month over month. Now, I place a book in the cart and wait 48 hours before deciding to purchase it. It’s been a game-changer.
What one boundary, if you were to implement it, would make the biggest difference in your life? What’s holding you back from making that change happen? What’s possible when you do?
Was there a boundary that you thought of that is not on my list? Please share in the comments!
P.S. Interested in more tips and tools to help you improve your boundaries? Download my Boundaries Blueprint, a 19 page e-book.
An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
by James Clear
My biggest takeaway from this book: Tipping the scales
We don’t need to have 100% of our actions and beliefs line up perfectly to start shifting our behavior, our habits, towards being the person we want, or need to be, to achieve the results we want (be it financial, physical, spiritual, emotional…).
We just need to start being consistent a majority of the time, as in a mere 51/49 percent, to tip the scales towards consistently choosing more of what we want…and less of what we don’t.
The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
My biggest takeaway from this book: Not everything matters equally
As Gary Keller says, “Success is sequential, not simultaneous.” There are so many things we can and want to do, but we can’t do them all at once.
The authors share how to move our endless To-Do list to a Success list using the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. Studies show that approximately 80% of our results come from 20% of our activities…so No, not everything matters equally. As you create your action list for the day or week, ask yourself, “Is this a 20% activity that will drive 80% of my results?” If not, it doesn’t make the success list.
My biggest takeaway from this book: Focus on the tradeoff
It comes back to Newton’s 3rd Law of Physics, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When we say YES to one thing, we say NO to something (or someone) else. Time is a nonrenewable resource.
Essentialism helps you to discern the vital few from the trivial many by understanding the tradeoff your “YES” and “NO” bring.
Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work by Juliet Funt
My biggest takeaway from this book: The importance of white space on our calendar
One of the most essential elements of a successful leader is scheduling time to think during the day. It is NOT booking back-to-back meetings and trying to fit in just. one. more. thing.
Our calendars never used to be this full. When we don’t have time to think…how do we clarify our goals and our priorities, and the actions we need to take to reach them? Add the habit of putting white space on your calendar
Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal By Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
My biggest takeaway from this book:The importance of recovery time.
Our personal and professional lives are not mutually exclusive; each impacts the other. The authors share stories and strategies that highlight the importance of focusing on our energy to help us perform better, whether at home or work, so that we can be more effective, productive, and successful. And, happy.
I’d love to know, what are you reading these days?
“People don’t decide their futures; they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.” -F.M. Alexandar
I love this quote and share it all the time with clients who struggle with consistency, follow-through, and “not enough time” to get everything done.
So often, we believe our issue is time management.
When you think about it, our time and energy are our most valuable resources.
Yet, if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us just go through our days spending our time and energy, not investing.
There’s a clear difference between spending and investing. It’s an expectation of a return, an ROI on what we are investing in.
So, if you struggle with inconsistency and follow-through, here are 3 habits to help you take control of your time and energy.
I know, I know, not very sexy or exciting. But walk with me for just a bit on this one.
Let me ask you- How many times in the past year have you:
Said yes to a new client or project when your calendar was already overbooked, and your stress level was through the roof (and your kids can’t remember what you look like)
Work nights and weekends so you can (finally) catch up…and do it all again the next week…and feel guilty the whole time you’re doing it
Put your self-care on the back burner even though you know it’s what feeds your energy and focus (and joy)
Reached a goal and achieved success only to push yourself to strive for more, better, faster rather than celebrating and embracing the moment (say nothing about relaxing…)
And how many of those times you ‘chose’ to push, strive, overbook, and put yourself on the backburner (again) would you have chosen differently if you had paused (for 2-minutes or 20) to play that “opportunity” out to the end game– the tradeoff you were making by sayingyes?
Your Pause is what fuels your push.
It also strengthens your tenacity in taking back control of your time, your energy, and your sanity.
Kinda sexy now, huh?
✊🏽 Power to the Pause…
P.S. A pause can be simply taking a breath before responding, scheduling 30 minutes on your calendar to ponder an opportunity vs. distraction, or taking a few days, weeks, or months to gain clarity and make an intentional choice. The key is to disrupt the automatic response that is not serving you.
I don’t know about you, but there have been countless times I chose to continue a habit that did not serve me, continue to get the result I didn’t want…and wonder what the hell was going on. Gotta admit, that’s an exhausting cycle to be in.
When I decided to pause and PONDER ( i.e. look at the trigger that had me choosing the ‘easy’ way out and getting results I did not want)….I was able to peer through a different lens, and discover the point, the trigger, that had me take the habitual action each time.
One simple example of this for me is my morning yoga habit.
Now, I admit I am not a fan of yoga. It is not something I look forward to. Yet, I do know just 15 minutes five days a week keeps my body feeling strong, healthy, and flexible, especially given the number of hours I sit in front of a screen each day.
The problem was that I’d choose something that was more interesting or fun to do (like sit and read a book…) rather than take action and get on the mat to stretch.
I was stuck in a cycle of what behavioral economists call time inconsistency: we value the present more than the future. Meaning the reward is in the moment (avoiding an activity I don’t like), but the cost is in the future (stiff back, achy hips, etc.).
I chose the reward in the moment of NOT doing my morning yoga routine. The cost was in the future, so it was easy for me not to think about it or minimize the impact IN THE MOMENT.
After months of struggling, I decided to lean into my habit of pause (even for just a few seconds) each morning when I’d think to myself, “Ugh, I’ll do it tomorrow,” and take a moment to ponder the outcome of each choice, the result of my action or inaction. It was a split second of connecting my future self to my present self that I was able to choose the ‘cost’ (15 little minutes of yoga) in the moment for the reward of a healthy and happy back and mind in the future.
Pause for just a few seconds in the moment (it really doesn’t have to be a long pause). Ponder what the outcome will be for you in a week, month, or year if you choose action or inaction. Is it moving you closer to your goal? If not, it’s moving you further away because time is a non-renewable resource. Make sure you’re investing it, not freely spending it
Nike was onto something when they came up with the tagline, “Just Do It.”
At some point, we’ve all spent time avoiding a task/to-do/priority that we know we need to get to, but it seems too big, too uncomfortable, or too unexciting, sooo, we continue to kick that can down the road, then feel frustrated with ourselves and our situation. Heads up, this can easily consume your confidence and self-trust because of your lack of follow-through.
All that avoiding consumes your energy, focus, and productivity. And let’s admit– joy.
A friend was recently telling me about a phone call to a lawyer that she needed to make but kept putting off. It had the potential to be a big and uncomfortable conversation. She felt agitated, disappointed, and frustrated with herself. She started questioning what was wrong that she didn’t ‘just do it” because it was ‘just a phone call.” This call had the ability to positively impact her and her family’s future in a big way, yet, it was uncomfortable.
I asked her to think about 3 months from now and what it would feel like if she hadn’t made the call. That Pause and Ponder– approximately 30 seconds– was exactly what she needed to proceed confidently into action. The thought of having this ‘action’ (aka, inaction) consume her mind and energy for 3-months was far more uncomfortable than deciding to pick up the phone, move through it, and feel GOOD about herself (and her future).
A phone call is simple, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean easy, and this is where we can really get tripped up.
Simple doesn’t always equate to easy, and this is where the second-guessing of self comes in– we get stuck on spin cycle, consuming our mind, time, and most definitely energy.
P.S. Don’t fool yourself, indecision, aka inaction, is a decision.
Pause- don’t react immediately Ponder– think critically about what’s going on Proceed– trust yourself to do the ‘thing’ without overthinking
3 simple habits…does not necessarily equate to 3 easy habits.
Show yourself some compassionate curiosity as you explore this new way of BEing present while simultaneously BEing future-focused.
If the only thing you take away from this is to implement the habit of Pause, things will start to change, and you will start to take control of your non-renewable resource, time, and, especially, your energy.
Ready to be more effective with your time and energy but still need some support and a strategy to get you there? Book a complimentary clarity call here. Let’s get you moving into aligned action.
Experiencing burnout has serious effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Which, let’s admit, undoubtedly impacts our financial health…which, in turn, impacts our mental health. It’s a vicious cycle. One that’s a struggle to get out of.
If we don’t have the energy, focus, or ability to ‘get the job done,’ it impacts every area of our work and life wellbeing. The WHO states, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:”
feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
reduced professional efficacy
Given the events of the last three years, can we finally admit that the “Workplace” no longer only means being away from home and “at the office?” Nowadays, home is often a workplace for your job, for a stay-at-home parent, caregiver taking care of elderly parents…or a plethora of other ‘unpaid’ work. The lines have blurred, and this has become fuel for the fire. We have the power to start tipping the scales in favor of a healthier approach to work and life. It starts with CLARITY of what we want; goals for what wellbeing looks and feels like- at work and at home.
Think of your goals as a compass to guide you, or as a map to help you navigate your path to success** while keeping your wellbeing as your north star.
We need clarity so we can understand how NOT to be overwhelmed.
Here are 3 areas to help you find your compass, today. These will guide you to find the clarity you need so that you can unhook from the guilt about all those things you’re NOT getting to, and focus on what, and who, is most important– without apology.
**Success according to what is to you, not what others and society expects, defines, or demands it to be.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. Alice: I don’t much care where. The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. Alice: …So long as I get somewhere. The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
From Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Your vision is your north star, your GPS, your compass, your co-pilot.
It’s your purpose for all of your goal-setting activities.
We need a longer-term vision so that our shorter-term actions are in alignment with where we want to go….so we know why we’re adding things to our already overscheduled calendar or saying NO.
Find a quiet space to relax and be curious about your vision for your future, your relationships, and your wellbeing. Journal on one, or all, of these questions to help you start gaining clarity of your vision for what you want this one big beautiful life to BE for you:
Where DO you want to get to? When you imagine your life + work in three, ten, or thirty years from now, what’s your ideal vision? Who are you BEing? What are you DOing? Or perhaps even more importantly, what are you NOT DOing?
What legacy do you want to leave? Knowing this will help you live on purpose.
What is exceptionally important for you to achieve this year? Get as specific as possible with this one.
How much is enough? This is a big one. Until we’re clear on this, it’s far too easy to keep adding and adding to our never-ending to-do list for more, bigger, faster. Ask your children or family what’s most important to them, and make those things a priority. Know how much money, clients, or “giving of yourself” is enough…so you can pause and enjoy what you have rather than ticking off a box and moving on to the next in a blink of an eye. Know how much is enough so you can relax, enjoy, and even celebrate your successes instead of constantly focusing on more. This will actually help you achieve more, btw.
If your vision is why you’re DOing what your DOing, your values are how you’re BEing along the way.
The roadmap to work + life wellbeing starts with knowing your core values.
Your values will help you be more intentional in your choices, guiding you to focus on what and who is most important.
Knowing your values helps you to set boundaries, with less stress and angst, so you can unhook from how the other person will respond.
There’s always a tradeoff. A “Yes” to one thing will require you to say “No” to something else. There are 24 hours in a day. That is non-negotiable.
When you’re clear on what your core values are, it’s much easier to discern between an opportunity and a distraction, and saying “NO” doesn’t feel so complicated and heavy. Bonus? You’ll be less apt to overload your plate with a pile of shoulds that keep you on the hampster wheel running towards burnout.
7-Elements of Wellbeing
With a clear vision, and knowledge of your core values, the next step is to clarify that one lead domino that will help set you up for success.
The 7-Elements of Wellbeing are the most important areas of our life that lead to a life of wellbeing, at work and at home.
Which one of the seven elements, if you were to focus on it, would make the most impact on you and your goals?
Heads up, it may not be what you think.
I’ll offer myself up as an example.
As a business owner, my focus is constantly on growing my business and bottom line. Laser-focused on what I need to DO to reach my goals.
So, I believed the one area/circle that would help me reach my business goals would be to focus on my work, my business.
But what I found over the years is the more I doubled down on building my business, the more I was in the hustle and grind mentality… the less I enjoyed my business because I wasn’t having any fun.
The harder I chased my goals, the further away (and more exhausting) they felt.
Until I realized something that seemed so dang counterintuitive. Slow the bleep down, and have some FUN. Yup, fun.
When my days, weeks, or years were all about DOing more, everything else became less…including less time with my family. My work-life wellbeing was way out of whack, and it was not sustainable.
When I’m all business and no fun, it’s the worst thing I can do to grow my business.
For one of my clients, self-care (physical) is her circle that made everything else easier.
Another client– it’s scheduling regular getaways (personal) with his friends.
Another– focusing on one date night a month with each of her kids (key relationships).
So, I invite you to think outside of the box. More work isn’t always the answer to more success. Which circle will you support you to walk, not run all day long?
Is it personal, like mine, and fun is the driver? Key relationships? Financial? Or is it spiritual, a deeper connection to something bigger that inspires you?
When you’re clear on which area, which circle, will help you to achieve success– without it consuming you– saying no to all those things you don’t really want to do becomes easier.
So put the boulder in the steam…meaning, schedule Thinking Time (T2) on your calendar to get clear on what your vision, your dream is and let everything else flow around it.
Make an appointment with yourself and book a time slot on your own calendar– like you would for a doctor’s appointment. This is not a luxury, it is a necessity if you want to be more present, pleasant, productive, AND profitable. Things won’t change unless you do.
Honor your time block so you can get clear on what your values are and use them to navigate towards more ease and less stress.
CLARITY of what you want; goals for what wellbeing looks and feels like– at work and at home– and so, specifically, getting clear about your Vision, your Core Values, and your 7-Elements of Wellbeing helps you to dodge the overwhelm, confusion, and over-commitment that lead to burnout.
If you’re willing to share, I’d love to know what Core Values you chose. Please leave a comment below.
It’s likely you spend the majority of your waking hours working. My business-owning clients, even when they’ve done the hard work of setting their focus where it’s needed and delegating what they can to their team, definitely do.
Even if you haven’t taken a leap into entrepreneurship, I bet if you’re here, you’ve climbed the ranks at your office or workplace to a position of leadership and management – and work is commanding at least 40 hours of attention from you each week.
So is it any surprise that when things at work aren’t good, nothing is?
It’s critical that we understand workplace wellbeing is the foundation for all other areas of our wellbeing. Gallup has even studied it: they found five distinct elements of wellbeing that “differentiate a thriving life from a suffering or struggling life. They are, in order: Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community.”
Our work life and personal life are not mutually exclusive
Companies are starting to recognize this. Wellbeing, in all facets, has increasingly become part of the corporate conversation.
The trouble is, too many companies are still focusing on “wellness” programs – essentially diet and exercise. Or, maybe a ping-pong table.
What if the next global crisis is a mental health pandemic? It is here now.
-Gallup, Wellbeing at Work
The world is craving a different approach to success.
What if you could be part of creating an environment where that approach thrives? Where it encourages wellbeing at work, for yourself, your colleagues, and your team? Where your team contributes more and better work to your company’s collective goals, simply because they are, well – at work and, by extension, at home?
3 areas of focus to help inspire change
It’s possible. No matter where you are in your company’s ladder, there are steps you can take right now to help promote workplace wellbeing for your team. It starts with you, and how you communicate with them.
1. Give the gift of clarity
Clarity is foundational to wellbeing. Understanding what is expected of you every day decreases stress, overwhelm, and burnout.
Another eye-opening statistic from Gallup: “Only 1 in 2 employees worldwide know what is expected of them. That means half of employees are unsure about their roles.”
How can you possibly go to work every day with a cloud of uncertainty and walk away in the evening feeling accomplished, fulfilled, or even just useful?
When employees and managers know what is expected of them, it builds trust and increases engagement… which, maybe not coincidentally, are the next two areas I want you to focus on.
2. Build trust
With a more cohesive team that is clear on what’s expected of them, trust, collaboration, respect, and productivity increase (as does profitability).
What’s more, you build trust through accountability. I don’t mean a scary, aggressive accountability. I mean, “I trust you with this work,” and then demonstrating that trust by letting them own the work you’ve asked them to do.
It’s also, “I trust you to come to me with suggestions and ideas.”
Ultimately, trust has to be there for people to come up with something new and be willing to fail. You’re building psychological safety so that your team can trust you, too. Your team has to know you have their backs.
3. Inspire engagement
To put it simply, career wellbeing is the number one driver of overall wellbeing. And the number one driver of career wellbeing is engagement.
When employees are actively engaged in their work, they feel like they’re a part of something bigger. A sense of autonomy, of serving and adding to a higher purpose, of learning and evolving and growing, has a powerful impact on a team.
More than anything, your team needs to know that what they’re doing matters.
And you establish that by engaging with them – for starters, by providing regular feedback, scheduled conversations, and open doors (literal or figurative!).
Have I convinced you yet that you can do this and that it’s in the best interest of your team and company to do so?
If not, maybe the Surgeon General will: late last year, Dr. Vivek Murthy and the Office of the Surgeon General released their Workplace Well-being report. “A healthy workforce is the foundation for thriving organizations and healthier communities… As we recover from the worst of the pandemic, we have an opportunity and the power to make workplaces engines for mental health and well-being.”
I deeply believe that these issues are worth our attention, no matter how big or small we think our sphere of influence is at work. I’m going to be diving into each of these three focus areas in the months to come – I have so much more to share with you about why each one is important, how you can establish clarity, trust, and engagement with your team, and the payoff you’ll see from doing this work.
I can’t wait to hear what you think and how it works for you – we have an exciting journey ahead of us!