Enhancing Wellbeing in Business: How UBalancer Solutions Supports Leaders in Volatile Times
Why is creating a sense of wellbeing at work such a rare commodity in the business world? What is being done to build it into company culture? Can coaching help executives and business leaders foster wellbeing with employees, even in times of stress and rapid change? Let’s learn from our network and see EQ coaching in action.
Alison Lalieu, CEO of UBalancer Solutions, a national network of professional neuroleadership coaches based in Australia, describes the challenge organizations are facing today: “Most of the coaching programs that we are asked to roll out at the moment are around people who are frightened of what’s coming, of losing their jobs to change initiatives, and frightened of what this all going to mean; they’re trying to prepare themselves, but by the same token they really don’t know what to do. There is a desire for a leadershift, finding a new way of thinking, infused with emotional intelligence and conversational intelligence skills to better navigate the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity that abounds.”
So what can leaders do when their employees are skittish, distrustful, and anxious? For starters, they can learn to stay calm and focused so they are in better places to respond rather than react, and to make wholehearted strategic decisions engaging their logic and the critical information to be gleaned from their emotions. Alison is optimistic about their ability to embrace this mindset.
“We’re getting lovely successes,” she reported. “It’s about deeply infusing a brain-based approach, the neuroleadership approach, with EQ. We see shifts in the way people are thinking and increases in their level of trust. It comes down to helping people to slow down and build some mindful practice into their days. Finding even 10 minutes of silence each day, to just be with our thoughts, appreciating with presence the good things we do have, and learning strategies to stay calm in the face of this time of incredible change and distrust.”
Trust, a key ingredient in being able to achieve personal wellbeing, is also at risk. As Alison said, “We are required to form trust more quickly than perhaps was asked of us previously, and this further fuels uncertainty. Certainty is one of the primary needs or drivers of our brains, and so it’s no wonder that people are struggling with the current state of the world.”
What exactly are these clients afraid of? Why is their trust, and their sense of wellbeing, at such a low ebb? Alison sees a long laundry list based on lack of security, uncertain employment, and changes in the skillsets that are going to be required in a world of automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The pace of change has instilled a fear of the unknown that hums underneath the surface.
This quarter, make your organisation focus wellbeing inclusive as a need for a sense of balance and equanimity, which seems timely as so many changes are happening throughout the world at such a fast pace, whether it is technological change or political or social upheavals. From her view in Australia, Alison says, the pace of change reflects what is happening globally and her clients are not immune to the resultant anxiety.What about technology accelerating the challenges by speeding things up? Some employees are expected to spend more time online working after hours from home, or even remaining connected on their weekends and holidays. How does that affect their sense of wellbeing?
She noted, “With social media, we are exposed to what’s happening in the rest of the world within seconds and everybody’s affected at some level. I see it in my coaching work. The world has simply become too fast for a lot of people and the level of expected connectedness has overtaken where our brains are prepared to be. For me, it’s trying to make sense of things when we’re tired a lot of time. And, in fact, when we’re expected to do more than is really reasonable most of the time.”
Workers can experience difficulty drawing boundaries between home and work life, and prioritizing what matters most to them. Both tend to suffer from neglect, and most of all, people tend to look after everyone else and put their own needs last, resulting in overwhelming feelings and burnout. Alison agrees, saying, “You have to establish what’s o.k. and not o.k. and if you isolate times in your day to disconnect from the internet, the benefits are huge. A wonderful leader told me the other day that he has started using a virtual assistant and now only finds out about his critical emails, receiving only the most important ones in his inbox. It’s one creative way to buy back face-to-face time and precious me time.”
We can enhance wellbeing through self-trust by just understanding ourselves and others, listening to connect, sharing our successes in life and living non-judgmentally and with empathy. Living with authenticity, while all the time staying true to our self, our values and our noble goal.