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Issue 61

Work-life balance does not exist -Work-life balance does not exist – follow-up follow-up

Adrian Vîntu
Coach în Leadership și Inteligență Emoțională @ self employed
OTHERS

Because of the positive feedback received from the public on my last article, I was asked to write this follow-up.

Intelligence at work

Being intelligent at work means learning and practicing integration of personal and family life with the nine hours spent at the office. I will share some examples for clarity.

Organizing

I will discuss an example inspired from my current life. I have recently held a workshop about the Agile/Scrum organization of a project. What do these paradigms actually mean? They imply a lot of psychology, from client communication, dividing a project into smaller activities - workable and measurable, to retrospective and progress analysis.

As an experiment, you can "steal" parts of Agile/Scrum and implement them at home. Each weekend, you can hold a reunion with the family/partner and talk 30 minutes about one thing you will work on all week. The partner/kids feel involved, and feel that their opinion matters. During this process the people give each other mutual support; they get rationally and emotionally involved.

How much do you think you can tighten the relationship? Would you have liked your parents to take time, to teach you to organize, to help you and empower you? Would you like to have a partner, with who to spend time not only watching movies and eating popcorn, but who is truly there for you and supports you?

Stress

Here is another example. You do not want to bring work-related stress at home, and you've just had a Mindfulness training. You can do an experiment alone, or you can involve the whole team, to meditate 30 minutes a day at the office.

The benefits of meditation are fantastic, and everybody derives great value, both the company and the family/partner. A person who meditates shows minimal stress levels, gets along with colleagues better, functions calmly under pressure, and makes decisions under rational and emotional clarity.

Meditation was introduced 40 years ago outside Romania, and it is slowly rising in our country. When I talk about meditation, I like to highlight the people that live under much stronger stress levels than we do, and who have found the Holy Grail - see CNN clip.

Relationships

Another much more complex example is the relationship with the family. We expect that, after the nine hours of stress, gossip, and strongly activated defense mechanisms, we can become, at the push of a magical button, good parents and good partners.

By what miraculous process do people believe that this transformation takes place?

You can, though, fight against this situation. An experiment would be to have training on communication and to apply it on the team, as well as your family, in order to notice how you behave, what you feel, what the negative triggering elements are, when you fall under stress. You can thus learn and practice emotional and though management on the team.

What you do at work is the greatest practice for home life!

Other examples

Examples are infinite and they are strictly related to emotional and rational intelligence. The more you practice, the more confidence and velocity you achieve. Incredibly smart people have changed fundamental processes in their companies, starting from this system of experimentation.

An interesting and successful experiment was made by WebDigital (disclaimer: I have no connection with that company). Do you notice any magical quote in Ionuț Munteanu's quote? "It all started with a pilot-project - an experiment".

A Rich Life

The experiments that integrate the different domains of life, in order to bring well-being and a lot of free time, are just a part of what I was describing in the previous article. Psychological training is required if you want to have a rich life.

Facilitators

Who and what helps you in this process?

Managers and HR

Yes, the world renowned unliked managers and HR people can bring these types of courses in your company. However, there is a huge problem. We are talking about a new subject taught outside of Romania, an especially complex subject which they have no training of, so the quantity of understanding and open-mindedness is minimal in the case of the majority.

This is where the differentiation comes from. A company that tries to attract talent, that tries to attract you, need to quickly act on and learn the new trends, and to pay much more attention to your personal needs.

The team building in the mountains and the free pizza don't have the incentive value they used to. Intelligent people over 30 need something else. Experienced people holding great skills, high level people the company needs are no longer easy to attract.

Psychology types

A young girl with a manager title asked me sadly: "How many psychology types do I need to learn to have a successful team and successful interpersonal relationships"? The good news is that

The psychology you practice at work is the same as the one you practice at home.

The same things you learn in business psychology can be applied at home, and the other way around. For example, learning marketing is a brilliant way of understanding the human mind, and the usability in your personal life is the ease with which you find new friends, or even the desired partner.

Again, we are talking about integration, acting in one domain that has ripple effects in the other domains of life.

Measurability

A fascinating fact about this kind of training and change perspective on life is… the measurability of the effects. We are talking here about the physical possibility of measuring the positive consequences on all domains of life: business, community, family, self. You can see the example of WebDigital: happy employees, greater productivity.

In brief

There is rich life, there are excellent relationships, and there is free time. Companies which concentrate on offering these things are the ones that attract valuable people, who continuously develop, who grow the profit of the company, and who stay loyal.

I wish you to work in an environment like this, where you and your life matter!

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