It is a commonly held wisdom that before you’re able to help others, you must first help yourself. For example on a plane, you are asked to first fit your own oxygen mask before helping others.
You may not have consciously thought of this in the context of wellbeing at work however, yet an effective leader should lead by example, not only in their day to day management, skills and action plans, but also in their wellbeing habits.
A brilliant wellbeing leader needs to understand first what wellbeing means to them in their life and ensure that this is proactively being acted upon but also outwardly champion wellbeing initiatives across the company. This will then resonate and inspire your team and further encourage them to live with wellbeing in mind themselves and ensure that they’re performing at their best.
The following action points may help with this:
• In your own life, what areas are you causing you most anxiety and concern? Workload, time for exercise, nutritious eating, financial worries, relationships? Show initiative and openly address one of these, for example, leave early on Monday to go to yoga or bring in a healthy lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. Organise a team wide run or netball game. Take an afternoon off to simply read and recharge.
• Put yourself in your teams shoes, each of them has similar worries themselves. Is there anything you can suggest to them that they do? Notice that someone loves the theatre or the cinema, suggest they leave early next week to catch a show.
By being proactive, showing that it’s OK to care about wellbeing and effectively bringing it into your schedule and still delivering value and great outcomes at work will have a ripple effect in your team.
Ariana Huffington knows this all too well, she has long championed the importance of wellbeing at being integral to productivity, fulfilment and achievement, releasing two books ‘The Sleep Revolution’ and ‘Thrive’ providing tips to achieve this.
While Simon Biltcliffe, CEO at Webmart a successful printing company leaves the office every Friday afternoon to go to the countryside alone, to recharge and think.
Wellbeing is a habit worth making. Lead by example.
Written by Emma Masding
Emma comes from a management consulting and media background and is passionate about well-being, philosophies of life and great food. Emma is about to start training as a life and career coach and is combining her interests of applying well-being theories to practical life with a love of writing to blog for Yoke.