Thriving Through Challenges: A Coach’s Perspective on Wellbeing and Resiliency at Work

Cultivate a workplace culture where challenges and setbacks are opportunities for growth and learning.

As an executive coach and facilitator, Deb works with clients to manage challenges more capably — including leading through change, creating strategic visions, communicating confidently, and inspiring and engaging teams and organizations to achieve goals. A Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) as well as a Certified NeuroTransformational Coach (CNTC), she is also the host of the podcast “In the Right Direction.”

Mental Health Awareness month is a timely opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of wellbeing and resiliency in the workplace. Leaders can model and cultivate a culture of resilience, both for themselves and those they manage and partner with. The American Psychological Association shares that:

Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.

Being resilient and coping with stress in both your personal and professional life is important. In any career or job, there are going to be exciting times as well as challenging ones. Coping with and recovering from those situations is vital. If a person focuses solely on the problem and what’s not going well, they miss an opportunity to practice and build resilient behaviors and a resilient mindset.

Wellbeing contributes to mental health, and, as coaches, we help clients increase their wellbeing and well-thinking. One way we do this is by helping them get clear about what is and is not in our control. Even when things are out of our control, there is always more in our control than we think. Making intentional choices about what’s in our control is empowering.

Recognizing What ISN’T in Our Control

We suggest clients start by clarifying what is not in their control, because putting too much energy toward these things can drain us and decrease our wellbeing. As a reminder, here are some things not in our control:

  1. What other people do, say, and think. Our co-workers, bosses, and clients think and say things that are out of our control. We can’t control how stressed they are, how well they slept, and what’s on their mind. Remembering that other people have their own worries and concerns – which often have nothing to do with us – can help us tap into more curiosity and compassion.
  2. Incoming emails and messages. We can’t control the number of emails that we receive at work, what they say, or when they are sent. Although we can’t control those things, we can set limits and boundaries on when we check and respond to our work emails.
  3. Others’ expectations and asks. We can’t control what others ask of us or the deadlines they set. That said, we can ask for clarification, negotiate deadlines, and ask for help.

Focusing too much on what’s out of our control can drain our resilience and wellbeing. Instead, if we bring the focus back to us, what is in our control, and what choices we have, we can practice resilience and increase our wellbeing.

Recognizing What IS in Our Control

Pausing and reflecting on what is in our control is a helpful mental exercise not only for us, but also for those we lead and manage. Here are some reminders of what is in our control:

  1. Taking care of our bodies, so that we take care of our brains. Self-care equals brain care. Taking care of our bodies through exercise, sleep, nutrition, and hydration helps our brain and our thinking. When we take time to care for our body, we can think, communicate, and lead more effectively. This is something leaders can role model, for example, by starting meetings with a stretch and hydration break.
  2. Connecting to Values and Purpose. Thinking and talking about our values and purpose feels good, and it helps us think more effectively and make decisions more easily. We can all make it a practice to make sure we’re honoring what’s most important to us every day, so that we feel happier and more purposeful in our lives.
  3. Asking for help and supporting others. Recent research about resilience has shown that networks are a critical part of resilience, and it’s in our control to lean into the various networks we are part of to both get and give help. Remember to reach out when you need help, and also remember to look around and check in with those around you as often as you can. After all, we never know what challenges others might be facing. As the old proverb goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved.”

During the past few years, the reality is that we have had to be resilient to arrive at where we are today. Remember that you and your employees have this capacity. The opportunity now is to continue to strengthen it through behaviors and mindsets to enhance the wellbeing and mental health for everyone at the organization.

One way leadership can model and support the importance of wellbeing and resiliency in the workplace is by offering a resiliency workshop to their employees. Keystone’s 90-minute Resiliency workshop and training is action-focused and can provide leaders and employees with ideas and strategies to navigate challenges effectively, overcome and reframe challenges, and improve job satisfaction and productivity.

Keystone Partners has more than 40 years of experience working with clients throughout all aspects of the employee experience. We provide expert consultation, facilitation, tools, and training for organizations and employees to increase positive results and ease transitions. Organizations that are going through growth, experiencing a major disruption, or simply adapting to evolving business needs such as downsizing must engage their workforce at all levels. Contact us today to find out how we can help your organization build a resilient workforce.

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