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One of the intangibles in my training work is the need to bring people to a place of wellbeing before asking them to learn something new. With some, this involves learning about empathy and respect for their colleagues and customers. Others need help managing their stress. Occasionally, a group or department can feel unappreciated, overworked or simply not aligned with the work. To succeed and truly make a difference through training, it’s essential to first address who people are and how they feel before introducing something new. Increasingly,  my work as a trainer starts with assessing personal and organizational wellness.

When people are in state of wellness, they sound, look, behave differently.

Here are some indicators:

1. Appreciation. Isn’t it true that when you are not well you tend to see the glass half-empty? Whenever we feel vulnerable,  sick or worried, we find it difficult to say thanks, or to see the abundance and beauty surrounding us.  But when we are well and in a state of harmony, we can see beauty and possibilities; we are not afraid to say thank you. People who are well are appreciative.

2. Generosity/Expansiveness. It’s difficult to be generous when we feel we are lacking in major ways. When we are not fully well, we tend to hold on, act from fear, keep things bottled, hold it in. On the other hand, people who are well, balanced and happy have an attitude of generosity and expansiveness about them. They can more easily reach out to others, give of themselves, share their resources, insights and advice. My friend Janey has worked to  help transform the lives of Vietnamese youth for many years. Please visit her site and consider contributing to her amazing charity in whatever way you can.

3. Flexibility (reach and breadth). People who are well are more flexible — not just physically, but also emotionally and socially. Just as stress and tension make us less flexible, wellness increases our flexibility in how we move, absorb, react and influence our world. As I’m sure you’ve observed, when we are not well, we are less likely to change course, thrive with changes, roll with the punches or take advantage of opportunities.

4. Joy/Humor. When we don’t feel well, we are less likely to find humor in situations. A good friend of mine when faced with a cancer diagnosis insisted that she and her husband would follow Norman Cousins advice. They rented funny movies from Netflix for a year and that’s all they watched! It made a huge difference in their life together.

5. Adventure. People who are well have a sense of adventure. They look forward to the next assignment, the new day, the next challenge and new experiences. This is quite different from the attitude of someone who is afraid, holding on, overwhelmed or exhausted — unwell.

How can you apply this?

  • As a smart manager, consultant or business owner, you can use these pointers to plan for success. Assess your staff so that you can help them be in a better frame of mind before teaching them a new methodology or requesting their support of a new initiative. 
  • By recognizing these traits (or their lack) in yourself, you can choose to embody the behaviors, feelings and actions of wellness and move towards increased wellbeing  in your life.
  • Whatever your work or circumstance, know that you deserve wellness in your body, mind, spirit … in your work, your life and the environments in which you move.  If others don’t realize, speak up, have courage, ask for help, dare to create healthy change.
What does wellness look and feel like for you?
Please share your comments.