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How are you? Really?!

How are you? Really?!

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With the scope of talent acquisition executives constantly being stretched, adding more stressors to the role, your wellbeing may be negatively impacted. Lucy Tulloch, Executive & Team Career Development Coach, explores how you and your teams can work effectively together while tending to your career and your well-being.

How is your work-life balance? If the balance is heavily shifted towards work, there’s a risk of it negatively affecting both your mental health and your well-being. Adjusting your workload and your mindset to ensure the essential tasks are completed while prioritising your well-being may feel challenging, but it’s both necessary and achievable.

Developing your emotional intelligence (EI) can be extremely beneficial. EI is the ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others to achieve specific goals. This skill is particularly valuable for leaders and managers. By utilising your EI, you can create a culture of open communication, growth, and well-being for everyone on your team.

How good are you at applying EI to yourself? Do you practise what you preach? Encouraging your team to be upbeat and motivated can feel like an added pressure. But if you encourage them while modelling self-care behaviours, it will reduce those pressures, help you, and resonate more genuinely with your team.

So, modelling self-care to your teams within the culture of the workplace is important both for your own well-being and for theirs.

IDENTIFYING WORKING PREFERENCES IMPROVES RESULTS AND WELLBEING

Many leaders understand the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) and self-care for improving wellbeing, but still feel the need to constantly prove themselves and excel in their jobs. The desire to make an impact at work and advance in their careers is strong. However, this constant drive for perfection and recognition can ultimately be detrimental to one’s well- being and it’s important to find a balance between work and self-care.

We all have ‘Drivers’ within our behaviours that are both helpful and detrimental. They are:

  • Perfectionism
  • People pleasing
  • Be strong
  • Hurry up
  • Try harder

People with a ‘hurry up’ driver enjoy working at pace, achieving a huge amount. But it can also cause impatience, anxiety and irritability, and can be stressful for those around you. In my Behavioural Drivers* questionnaire, each driver has a ‘Permission Statement’ to counter balance the behaviour; the Hurry Up person is given permission to slow down.

Identifying your drivers provides clarity through reflection on how well, or not, they serve you and your team. That reflection and understanding helps you to change your behaviours and influence the outcomes and results you need. These results could be noticeable in how you are feeling and in how you manage others.

DISCOVERING PERSONALITY TYPES

Understanding your personality type alongside your drivers also benefits your approach to work, how you work with others, and your well-being. Type A people are usually ambitious, prone to multitasking, love flying through their task list, and are highly competitive. They tend to work long hours to show how capable they are, a trait that could negatively impact their well-being. And they can get frustrated with Type Bs! Whereas Type B people are less competitive, more relaxed and even-tempered. They tend to work slowly and methodically, and arguably enjoy the process more than Type As. You can see how these preferences might be challenging.

A detail person’s preference may be on connecting people and information, having a natural proclivity for interpreting and analysing data. They love going deep on details and interpreting risk, often finding themselves in an advisory role. But in stressful situations they are prone to worry and anxiety, especially with any risk. This can lead to analysis paralysis, blocking their workflow. Conversely, big picture thinkers are vital for new ideas and solutions, but they sometimes get so immersed in thinking up new innovations that there’s not enough follow through, hindering performance.

All types play crucial roles in business. Knowing this about each other builds respectful relationships, increases tolerances, aids communication, delegation and decision making, as well as growth, development, engagement … and well-being.

SELF-AWARENESS HELPS YOUR CAREER AND YOUR WELLBEING

Instead of applying a label that may keep us stuck in unhelpful behaviours, I use a psychometric profiling tool to fast-track and improve self-awareness of personality types and behaviours. The goal is to achieve balance which leads to impact and influence. Team profiling also stimulates powerful conversations, allowing us to explore what you recognise about yourself and others.

Unhelpful behaviours can negatively impact colleagues as well as our work-life balance and well-being, leading to fatigue, overwhelm and poor decision making. So, gaining awareness and adapting behaviours help improve both leadership skills and your wellbeing. But when we’re busily focussed on work and deadline pressures, it’s easy to miss the signs that well-being has slipped down the priority list.

Psychometric profiling also explores what sort of working environments you thrive in. This knowledge is particularly helpful when there’s a change of role function that may push you out of your comfort zone. If something feels difficult or uncomfortable, rather than soldiering on and allowing it to impact your well-being, consider why this is happening. Your answer should help you to find the solution and move forward. Look at that experience as an opportunity, not something to be concerned about.

You may also discover that your characteristics are not suited to the role you’re in if it has changed over time. When I help people to explore their career satisfaction, they can recognise that either they or the role has changed.

Productivity and Efficiency. Managing your time is an important part of self-care, helping you to prioritise your well-being. Ensure you’re planning time for you. This should not be an afterthought. Be proactive, not reactive, to your well-being. And ensure your team do the same. Consider boundaries that you might want to put in place.

Reflect on Purpose, Meaning & Values. When your needs are being met you feel energised and motivated. When they aren’t, it can leave you feeling tired, overwhelmed and unfulfilled. Regularly check in with what your ‘why’ is. Does it still fit in with your career and life goals? Has anything changed – the job, your values, or you? What do you need to do to bring it back in line? Identify the best way to keep yourself moving forwards, preventing yourself from becoming stuck and frustrated.

“Opportunity to notice and explore what you can put your energy into and what you need to let go of, being things you cannot influence”

What’s Your Driver? Knowing that can change how you work and the pace that you work at, benefiting your mental and physical health.

The Wheel of Wellbeing.* Because wellbeing is a broad subject, my Wheel of Wellbeing breaks it down into manageable slices – nutrition, inspiration, spiritual, support, sleep, positive relationships, emotional/mental well- being, and physical health. Mark your level of satisfaction on each slice. The outer ring is 10 (very satisfied) and the inner point is 0 (very dissatisfied). By grading your satisfaction, you can see where to focus your attention.

The wheel is a useful tool both for your own well-being and for opening difficult conversations with team members. It may indicate that they know the solution to their own well-being challenge, helping you to support them in making that a reality. It could be encouraging breaks away from their desk or managing their hours. The wheel is transferable to projects in the workplace, too.

The Circle of Influence.* This provides an opportunity to notice and explore what you can put your energy into and what you need to let go of, being things you cannot influence. Doing this exercise gives you permission not to hold on to things that you cannot change, helping you to see where you could focus.

Journaling, or Wild Writing. A brain dump opportunity. Get everything out of your head and onto, either before bed to aid sleep or first thing to help with focus. A recognised CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) practice, many therapists recommend it. Use good old-fashioned paper and pen – studies show this helps your brain to gain clarity.

Check in With Yourself. Before your day starts, what do you notice about your how your head and body feel? Take some deep breaths and do some stretches to get your blood flowing. Use 1 to 10 scales for both head and body, 10 being stressed and overwhelmed, 1 being super relaxed. Consider what you can do to reduce your stress by one point. Prioritise your go-to stress reducing techniques.

Utilise Your Organisation’s EAP (employee assistance programme) and encourage your team to do the same.

Talk. Whether with a coach or mentor, a manager or a friend, talking about how things are in your role and life is essential. Trying to be the strong, silent type can create situations in your mind that, if they remain unresolved, can become overwhelming.

Exercise. Get back into your favourite sport, go to the gym, or take up Tai Chi or Pilates. Try a brisk, silent walk – no podcasts, music or phone calls!

When you’re feeling stuck or frustrated, seek guidance from someone objective, like a coach or mentor.

* To request copies of any of the above materials, email Lucy@lucytullochcoaching.co.uk.

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