Coaching, consulting, mentoring or counseling?Sept 2
You can sign up for either coaching, mentoring or counseling, but how will you know which one suits you?
No matter who you are or where you are in life, we can all do with a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, or someone to shine a light on the path ahead.
Fortunately, there are many professionals who are passionate about assisting others in their challenges, and they fulfil various roles. There are many misconceptions about these overlapping areas of expertise. Coaches aren’t just on a soccer pitch or in an office setting. Mentors don’t just hold a person’s hand and show them their personal playbook. Counselors don’t solely work with the mentally ill.
While each coach, consultant, mentor, and counselor is different; the framework for each approach is established. Rules within each framework offer insight into what is available for someone looking for a helping professional. Knowing which might serve you in your personal pursuit toward success is helpful.
According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.” The coach is the subject matter expert on the facilitation of the coaching process, but is not necessarily the subject matter expert of the client (coachee’s) topic. The coach honours the client as the expert in his/her life and work and hence, is highly skilled at asking questions which elicit the resources and expertise of the coachee. Coaching is not about giving advice or a conversation that offers solutions.
In general, counsellors are trained to ask skilful questions with the intention to diagnose and help clients with their problems including emotional trauma, past events or dysfunction. Generally, a counsellor tends to focus on past events as they impact on the present experience of their clients. Counselling does not typically emphasise what a person should do and how he or she should take action. The coach’s domain is future oriented, often assisting the coachee to draw a line in the sand and gaining clarity about what the coachee wants to achieve. And then coaching the client to get there.
In General, peopleuse the terms coaching and mentoring interchangeably, yet they are not the same. Each have their place but it is important to be clear on which professional you are engaging as they each have a unique focus and desired outcome. A mentor is a wise and trusted guide and advisor. “Mentors are successful people who share their hard-earned wisdom to provide insight and guidance as a mentee encounters challenges along their journey. They typically function in a reactive capacity, responding to issues as they arise.” They are typically more experienced or skilled in their chosen field and act as a teacher in sharing their experience; transferring their knowledge and skills to a ‘mentee’ who is less experienced. Working with a mentor is ideal when a mentee is looking for guidance and advice or to develop a specific skill in a particular niche area that the mentor is a subject matter expert in. Like a coach, a mentor is looking to create solutions with their client. However, the mentor will offer suggestions and solutions to aid the mentee, while a coach will assist the coachee to access their own inner resources to resolve their own problems. The coach is not necessarily the subject matter expert on the client’s chosen focus area. The coach’s skill is in assisting the coachee through asking questions, to discover their own solutions.
A consultant is an expert who is called upon for professional or technical advice or opinions. They are relied on to understand the problem and present solutions around their area of expertise. Consulting is unlike coaching because with pure coaching, the answers come from the client. Consultants typically giveyou answers while coaches are skilled at askinggreat questions so you take a lead role in identifying your own solutions.
As you have noticed, there is a common theme to all of the above approaches. These practitioners all have a desire to help their clients, to make a difference. We believe each approach has it’s unique place and impact.
Be a compassionate leader, invest in your employees mental and emotional well being!Sept 9
Traditionally, companies have invested in leadership coaching only. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on employees like never before, the majority of employees are experiencing mental and emotional turmoil as a result of the pandemic. Many are panic-stricken about their and their loved one’s health. Many double income families have suddenly become single income families. Most are struggling with new realities of remote work from home with increased work at home. For the mental well-being of their employees and to increase their productivity, companies should invest in employee coaching.
Because of lock-down and induced slowdown, many businesses have scaled down or shut shops. So employees are being laid off or furloughed from small to big enterprises. As part of a severance package, companies should provide coaching hours to employees to support them in their transition period and getting back to work. Some companies do provide recruiting services, however coaching adds more value. Even furloughed employees are experiencing much anxiety as there’s no certainty about when will they be called back to work. Providing them access to coaching for handling stress and anxiety will go a long way in building trust and loyalty.
Minimizing impact of the epidemic on employees should be a key concern for any leader, being compassionate leader is the need now more than ever, invest in your employees mental well-being and it will pay off in the long run.
Women Leading with Empathy and Resilience – Leadership In The Times Of CrisisSept 16
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees and disrupted all aspects of the economy for most countries of the world. In the face of the biggest health crisis that humanity has faced in hundreds of years, leaders, both current and new, have demonstrated excellence in the way they managed the unprecedented crisis in their own capacity. It is pertinent to note how women leaders have played a significant role in handling the crisis and the qualities they have demonstrated which redefine what leadership means while dealing with a challenge or fighting against an unprecedented crisis.
We are all aware that New Zealand has managed to eradicate COVID-19 and lifted all restrictions on public movement and economic activities. Much credit has to be given to the Jacinda Arden – led government, which responded to the pandemic with scientific expertise, planning and empathy – a set of leadership traits that are transferable and implementable by any other country or state head. Another female country head who did an outstanding job at containing the virus is Tsai Ing-wen,
President of Taiwan. Her approach has been majorly towards testing, contact tracingand isolation measures to control infections. German Chancellor, Angela Markel, is also widely praised for her calm and responsible approach towards containing the virus in her nation.
Closer home, many Indian female leaders have played a significant role in combating the virus in their own unique ways. One woman who rose to the occasion and how is MinalDakhaveBhosale from Pune. The Chief of Mylab’s R&D department worked tirelessly to develop India’s first Covid testing kit – Patho Detect.
Her commitment towards the nation can be attributed to the fact that she was heavily pregnant at the time of developing this testing kit and submitted it for evaluation a day before delivering her child. Tina Dabi, an IAS officer and Sub-divisional magistrate of Bhilwara district in Rajasthan, is responsible for the ruthless containment model in her district, days before the lockdown was imposed in the rest of the country. K KShailaja, the Health Minister of Kerala, has done a phenomenal job in fighting the spread of the virus in her state through aggressive testing and treatment, and training of healthcare workers.
The examples are proof how women leaders and the qualities they exemplify – empathy, resilience, clarity, decisiveness, strong and transparent communication – are necessary for handling crisis like situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic. As we speak about these women leaders who have battled the current health crisis and minimized its impact in the most exemplary way, we must recognize that, globally, only 7% of government leadership roles are led by women. As per McKinsey report, only 21% of C-suite positions in top MNC’s are held by women. Women have to be extraordinary to land such coveted leadership positions and work incredibly hard to make a mark for themselves in their fields. It is time we pay credit to women for the skills, qualities, and talents they bring to the table and increase their representation in every sector.
Thrive new normal – Coaching as a strategySept 23
COVID has changed our lives upside down in the last six months. What was normal six months ago is not normal post COVID. What is the new normal post COVID? It is evolving as cities are unlocking post lockdown. Employees are returning to workplaces.
Many jobs have transformed into new roles. HR person is always operating on crisis mode. Sales people are doing video calls than meeting people face to face. Video fatigues are creeping in.
How to thrive with all this change? Thriving with change all around you can be challenging. So if companies invest on providing coaches on demand it can help employees who need some guidance surviving through change. This will help employers retain their best talent.
How can coaching help? Having a conversation with coaches in a space which is non judgmental lets employees explore within to find out what is really important, how to cope up with anxieties and find solutions to their problems. They will guide employees through the journey. They will provide a supportive, confidential space.They will help employees work on realistic goals for work and life.
For organizations to survive, they need effective physical and mental wellbeing of employees. So organizations should use coaching of employees as strategy to thrive though new normal.
Leaders – Be human and provide a coach to your employees during crisisSept 30
When Coronavirus started spreading around the world and when countries announced their lockdown, as any entrepreneur, I panicked and I was going through anxiety about business, survival and economy. Luckily I had access to a coach and coach helped me through the period to get over my anxiety.
As a founder of Appreiz, an employee engagement platform I started thinking how we could help companies to help their employees during the tough times of dealing with personal issues, environmental issues and also the economic issues. So I decided to introduce a feature called “Talk to your coach” for employees of the company which uses Appreiz. It is a B2B offereing. Companies can sign up for hours of coaching through Appreiz and offer it to their employees. Employees will then be able to book an appointment with a coach and talk to them.
Why should companies invest on coaching for their employees now?
Traditionally, companies invested only on leadership coaching. But given this pandemic crisis followed with economic crisis, individuals in an organization are going through turbulent times at work and home. They have either lost loved ones or worried sick about their loved ones getting sick. Double income families may have become single income familes or no income families. Kids are at home with no play school, school or college. Employees are working from home and working at home. For the mental well being of their employees and increase their productivity, companies should invest in coaching.
Because of lockdowns many businesses have to scale down or shut business. So employees are laid off or furloughed from small to big corporations. As part of a severance package, companies should provide coaching hours to employees so that they can go through their transition period and get back to work. Some companies do provide recruiting and counselling services. Coaching adds more value. Furloughed employees will go through more anxiety as they don’t know when their companies will call them to work. Providing them coaching for their mental well being will go a long way. What about Non furloughed employees? They go through added stress of not knowing when they will get laid of or furloughed.
Companies which have empathetic leaders will look for ways to take care of their employees. Now more than never is the time for every leader to be human and take care of their employees. Invest in your employees mental well being and it will pay off in the long run
Why Coaching should be part of EAP?Nov 20
Workplace stress is a significant part of the general mental health crisis. Changes in the economy due to COVID and increased financial concerns translate into pressure at work, whether working remotely or working from home. Workplace stress statistics reveal that heavy workloads, deadlines, and demanding bosses all contribute to the problem. It has increased now due to continuous video calls and working from home with all distractions. Stress due to work can cause serious mental health problems for employees. Stress can lead to serious drops in productivity and end up costing organizations..
Some interesting facts on Stress at workplace shows that why EAP should be there.
In 2019, 94% of American workers report experiencing stress at their workplace (Wrike). Over a third of surveyed US workers cited their boss as the main source of their work-related stress. Also, 80% of workers covered in the survey by Korn Ferry said leadership changes affect their levels of stress. 63% of US workers are ready to quit their jobs due to stress according to Dynamic Signal study.
So when employees are stressed at work place, their productivity goes down and it becomes an organizational problem. So employee mental wellness should be addressed by organizations.
Many companies do have Employee Assistance programs to reach out to a counselor or therapist for talking about issues. Most of them do not need counseling to overcome their mental health. So they still suffer with workplace anxiety. That is where coaching comes in.
What can coaching do in Employee Assistance Program?
Like counseling, coaching is based on a confidential, straightforward, trusting, and non judgemental relationship. But coaching is neither counseling nor advice-giving. It is a place to find supportive guidance by way of asking the right questions and finding the solutions. Coaching provides a fresh perspective on life’s challenges and helps you recognize your strengths and consider ways to improve yourself in the future. Coach can help discuss any personal or professional issues like difficult boss, conflicts within the team, workplace stress, emotions in the team, workplace relationships etc. Talking to a coach helps the individual to navigate the workplace better and improve them. So organizations should add Coaching as part of their EAP.
Now there is an employee engagement software which also looks into mental wellness and offer Coaching as one of the tools.
The Essence Of Creating A Holistic Work EnvironmentNov 27
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This statement rings true especially in today’s scenario, where the repercussions of a pandemic still impact the world. Forced to work from home for months on end, close to 50% of the workforce has experienced a decline in their mental wellness. Long work hours and constant isolation have only served to catalyze this problem. Therefore, the onus lies on the management of the companies to create a nurturing work environment that accounts complete employee wellness.
Leading From The Front
Around 70% of employees feel that they would put in more effort if they felt more valued at their job. This is no random number, either, as it can directly affect employee turnover rates for the worse. It’s up to the leaders to spearhead the initiative to make their employees feel more welcome at work. How can this be tackled? One step at a time.
Compassion For Collaboration
It’s not enough if your employees just show up to work, they need to have full involvement to be at their productive best. In fact, 23% of employees feel that their managers don’t connect with them enough. For that, they need to keep a sound mind, without any undue work stress or pressure. As a manager, you can make a difference just by your tone of communication and languaging.
– Regularly connect with your employees on how they’re doing and if they require any assistance.
– Organize interaction sessions where employees can connect with each other and discuss their lives and work. Camaraderie is a lifesaver here!
– Though it may seem counter-intuitive, don’t push your employees to deliver above and beyond all the time. These are difficult times for everyone!
– Positive reinforcement can work wonders against work stress. It can motivate employees to deliver their best despite the odds, and even the statistics back this up, with 78% saying that they’d work harder if they had support.
Business coach for entrepreneurs: A hokum or game-changing decision?Dec 02
Life and the way we used to live it has undergone an involuntary makeover in the past few months. Unfortunately, the startups which landed in the market during the onset of the COVID-19 had to suffer the tides of uncertainty, since the world went on a sudden respite.
Now, in the business world, the earth will always be shaky and risky. To that end, having a coach as your backbone to guide you through the thick and thin is all anyone can hope for. This was just a hint in the right direction. To make an informed decision about whether or not hiring a business coach for yourself is a pool you want to dip your toes in, it’s better to discuss what other benefits entrepreneurs reap.
Reasons why hiring a business coach is a must for budding entrepreneurs
1.Make you step outside the self-drawn box.
Entrepreneurship is all about pushing your boundaries and overcoming your confinements. In this age of online business, the old-school meets are no-longer in fashion. Thus, entrepreneurs are bound to stay limited with their business group.
A business coach can help get you out of this rut and enlighten you on different ways to grow as an entrepreneur and explore new horizons to conquer for your business.
2.They’ll tell you what you do not know still.
As a budding businessman, it is impossible to be a know-it-all, because to become that, one has to have years of experience worth of knowledge. It is something that you cannot learn from the web.
To run a business successfully, one must anticipate the risks that may knock on the door anytime. But is it possible when you do not know what you don’t know? and thus, cannot learn it.
This is where a business coach will walk you with the lantern of knowledge through the darkness of the unknown. Investing in a knowledgeable business coach does not sound like a bad idea now, does it?
3.Get your hands of constructive criticism from a pro.
Nothing works better to improve one’s business like good and constructive feedback. Criticism should always be welcomed as long as it comes from someone you know is worth their salt and will help your business improve.
Sure, you can ask for feedback from your friends, co-workers, colleagues, family, etc., but are you sure it’s something you can trust and act upon without second thoughts? Constructive criticism will be invaluable from someone who knows your business model inside out and its targeted niche.
4.Help you set realistic and achievable goals, based on your want.
Because the business is yours, so should the goals. No one else should ever dictate what you should and should not achieve with your business. But many times, entrepreneurs can be clueless or far from reality when it comes to setting business goals.
Of course, goals are made from big dreams, but isn’t it better to take small steps, set milestones, several achievable goals that will gradually lead you to your big dream? A business coach can play a prominent role in helping entrepreneurs identify the most viable and achievable goals that will help the business immediately as well as in future.
5.Stop you from undervaluing work-life balance.
We understand that establishing a startup can be overwhelming and all-consuming. But sometimes, juggling your personal life and your business priorities just stops working. Hence, the latter ends up consuming the former.
As much as people like to glorify workaholic culture, it is not the best for business and the entrepreneurs in the long run. A business coach can teach you how to handle both efficiently and not get over or under-worked.
6.Connections are the new capital.
Similar to the first point, a business coach will not only encourage you to go out of your comfort space, they will also broaden your connections.
Because they are professionals, they have a wide pool of acquaintances in your niche and the others. Moreover, they can vouch for and introduce you to other potential customers appropriately since they know you and your business model in detail. Therefore, they know to whom and how they should pitch your brand.
7.Everything leads to you making more profits.
A teacher/coach is like a track for the train. Although a train has its own engine to move it, it is the tracks that guide it in the journey and help it safely and successfully reach the destination.
Even the smallest thing can make a big difference for your business in the long run. All the little to major decisions you make with the guidance of your business coach will eventually end up boosting your business. Trusting the whole process and your decision to hire a business coach will definitely pay you multiple folds.
How does a relationship coach help you build a stronger bond?Dec 05
Our whole life is a series of interwoven relations and episodes surrounding those connections. Contrary to the popularly romanticized version of movies and fiction, a relation is not build-out of the blue based on a single emotion - love.
Much like anything else, there are other crucial ingredients that add the necessary flavours to a relation - piquant debates, sweet romance, peppery disagreements, tangy desires, and savoury understanding.
Although some people may seem to have it all under control, things are not always easy-going. A relationship needs hard work, practice, resilience, diligence, and the will to make it work.
Some may possess the crucial attributes which promote a healthy relation, while some have to practice to develop those skills. For instance, one person may be born with a beautiful voice, but regardless, they still need to learn some skills, tactics, and practice to get it right.
Similarly, to develop a loving and trouble-free relation, one must hone these skills. But how can you become better at something when you do not know what it is?
Enter a relationship coach. It is someone who you can think of as any other coach who guides an individual/couple to achieve those skills to ace something. They lay out the do’s and don'ts in a very subtle and acceptable way.
Relationship coaching is different from couple’s therapy since the whole process is not based on resolving just ‘the problems’ but rather teach and guide to make the relationship stronger.
They are different is one more aspect which is couples/dating/marriage therapy is concerned with a couple whereas relationship coaching is ideal for an individual looking to become better at something and build meaningful relations.
So, what does relationship coaching entail and how can a coach transform your relationship?
What does a relationship coach do for your relationship?
Help us set the right expectations
High or unrealistic expectations for a relationship are much like a plaque for teeth decay. It may not seem evident at first but it definitely shows devastating results much later.
This is something that we do unconsciously, thus have not much control over it. For instance, expecting your partner to be available to you at certain times might not qualify as over-expectation, but your other-half may not agree with it. Such disagreements may build up frustration and thus lead to unpleasant results.
However, with enough tools at our disposal and the right practice, it is possible. A successful relationship is a blend of aligned values, desires, mutual respect, to name a few. To balance them, a coach will help us re-evaluate what we have learned about these things.
We pick up our ways and view-point on certain things by seeing the adult-relations surrounding us in our childhood. A coach can enlighten us about what we should improve, un-learn, or re-learn. Therefore, we eventually understand how to form realistic and fair expectations which strengthen the bond.
Encourage to do small-things everyday
Do you ever realize the exact and date you feel connected to a person? No, it’s not always a big occasion but the small things that happen here and there which makes you feel like home towards that special someone.
These small and caring nothings are what brings a relationship to life and also has the power to put an end to it. A relationship lives on a day-to-day basis and not on an insanely expensive present on yearly anniversaries and birthdays.
A nice cup of coffee or an impromptu breakfast-in-bed sometimes may be the right way to do things. A relationship coach will guide you with practical advice on how to tread the path of day-to-day relationship. A coach enlightens you to be aware of your promises and keep on working on your relationship, just like you did in the very beginning.
They help you develop healthy habits so that you are able to make room every night or week to connect with your better-half and keep the flame alive.
Separate problems of other life-areas from the relationship
We as humans have a lot of things to take care of - a lot of areas in life which need our constant attention. When we face problems such as financial, work-life imbalance, health, parenting, etc., we tend to direct our feelings towards our partner.
Therefore, a relationship coach is qualified to teach you ways on how to separate the problems of other aspects of your life from affecting your relationship. Moreover, how to share your concerns or hear theirs more efficiently.
An efficient coach will be able to help you make remarkable improvements in yourself which will provide you with tools to manage your relationship well. No one can deny that out of many, there are some bonds that define our whole life. So, why not do it the best way you can? Learn to make the most of your relationship with a remarkable relationship coach.
The Future of Workplace WellnessMar 25
The working class of the world hasn’t been happy for a while. A recent international poll by Gallup proved that. According to this report, 85 percent of people are unhappy because of their jobs. So, employers have been investing in the workplace wellness of employees.
This has become crucial in the post-Coronavirus world. The home has become the workplace, affecting their work-life balance. People haven’t gone for a run or hit the gym in a year. Every global wellness study saysmental health issues have taken a leap during this time.
Now the question is, what does the future of workplace wellness hold? How vital are wellness programs, including coaching and therapy? Let's take a look.
Importance of Workplace Wellness in Post-COVID Times
There was a time when employers believed that employee wellness meant a lack of illness. Companies have come a long way since then as now they have started thinking about the need of a holistic approach, they are now opening to include mental health programs and well-being coaching.
The Coronavirus outbreak has forced employers to change their perspective on workplace wellness. This includes emotional well-being and mental health besides physical condition. Attention to employees well-being will offer benefits like -
● Reduced absenteeism
● Improved health conditions
● Better engagement
● Increased productivity
● Improved morale
● Positive brand image
There is physical health that needs attention. This will help keep away obesity, hypertension, diabetes etc. But mental health is crying out for help too. Besides treating depression, stress, and anxiety, well-being coaching will take the front seat.
Future of Workplace Wellness: Steps by Companies
Most companies have some kind of wellness program in place. Companies need to analyze how new workplace well-being programs can help both parties. Employee well-being helped Johnson and Johnson save $250 million in a decade.
Regular health checkups, medical insurance, and gym memberships are already in place at most companies. Employers need to pay attention to workplace wellness by focusing on the following -
a) Psychological Counseling
People are struggling every day with crippling mental health conditions. Providing psychological counseling will help manage Depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress, substance abuse, etc. It will also tell them that you “see” them.
Easy access to counsellors and therapists will help detect mental health issues at an early stage. It can prevent mental health conditions becoming fatal. Thus, multiple counseling sessions will help employees stay healthy.
Employers can offer different insurance options to cover mental health treatments. It will allow employees to opt for treatments and seek help. Companies will have to reconsider existing medical insurance to cover mental health.
b) Well-being Coaching
The current economic standstill has led people to wonder, "What's next?" Well-being coaching will train employees to feel motivated. It will encourage them to sharpen their strengths and strive to reach career goals.
Post lockdown, online consultations have become essential. Employees working remotely can opt for virtual programs for well-being training. It can help them pursue growth at a personal and professional level. It can be a transformational experience.
Workers can rediscover themselves with the help of life coaching. A coach can help a person break boundaries and set higher goals. This results in confident employees. They will likely offer higher productivity with eyes on the goal.
What Corporate Wellness Programs Might Look Like
The corporate world has changed in terms of how it functions. We now understand the importance of seamless communication and easy collaboration. We also know that a company can run smoothly even when employees work remotely and at flexible hours.
The flexibility of working hours and location might improve productivity. Employees can work from their comfort zones once in a while and give better outputs. Companies will have to redesign their corporate wellness programs in the coming months. Here's what to expect:
a) Technology and virtual programs
Technology and virtual programs will dominate workplace wellness. Health portals will help track of calories consumed and burnt, nutrient input, etc. as tools of accountability. There will be webinars and telephonic sessions with health experts. Such sessions with doctors, dieticians, psychiatrists, and wellness coaches will replace face-to-face consultations.
b) Socialization and Entertainment initiatives
Wellness challenges will foster communication, socialization, and team spirit. This will build a sense of community even among remote workers. Entertainment initiatives might encourage employees to relax. From cooking videos to virtual music sessions, virtual initiatives can keep moods afloat.
c) Mental health
Mental and emotional well-being will be in the spotlight. Employers will focus on supporting employees struggling with duties at work and home. It’s likely that they will create a more supportive and appreciative environment for employees. They’ll also create better options for employees to choose treatments for mental health conditions.
d) Well-being coaching
Well-being coaching will become an essential tool to train employees. Workers will receive coaching on how to stay fit, be social, manage time, etc.The focus will be on finding solutions instead of just coping with problems. Life coaching can help every employee deal with everyday stress and maintain a healthy balance in life.
So we can say that companies will have to focus on physical and mental health. From medical insurance to counseling sessions - a holistic approach is a must. Employers must create the appropriate environment for both remote and in-house workers.
Gone are the days when providing medical insurance to employees was enough. In the post-COVID world, workplace wellness now demands a holistic approach. They must address mental and emotional health. Employers will likely allow workers to give their best from their comfort zones.
The future of corporate well-being seems brighter. Programs will include counseling sessions and virtual socialization initiatives. Coaching sessions will train employees to be proactive about their own lives and happiness.
There are platforms like SearchMyCoach where employees can find a coach. Wellness coaches can extend a helping hand to train and guide workers. During these trying times, coaching can motivate them to do better in every front.
Emotional and Mental Well-being of Mothers Working from HomeMay 11
A year ago, the first global lockdown made working moms happy. It seemed like an excellent opportunity to spend time with their kids. But as work-from-home followed suit, things began to change. This new arrangement has caused psychological illnesses in two-fifths of people. But working from home has been severely harmful to the mental health of women.
How Working Outside the Home Helps Women
To understand how work from home arrangements affects women's mental health, we first need to understand one truth. Work can often be a heaven for women, besides the source of financial independence. Researchers believe that when women go outside to work, they get a temporary break. For a short time, they can be away from being a mother, wife, daughter-in-law, and homemaker. So working outside buffers the stressful effects of demanding roles at home. They don’t need validation from family, as their success speaks for them. They can be in their element in the workplace, too.
In the professional arena, women feel higher self-esteem, breaking out of typical gender roles to achieve success in male-dominated domains. Plus, their work friendships impact them positively. Many women escape domestic violence by going outside for work. Thus, it boosts their psychological well-being.
How Work-From-Home Hampers Working Mothers Wellbeing
Interestingly, many experts argue that employment can be the source of extra burden for women, besides existing stressors like childcare and household duties. Companies with flexible options for women, especially new moms, to work from home prevent overloading women with workplace stress.
While the pros and cons of balancing work and home for women are many, one thing is for sure, society sets almost unachievable standards for women, constantly pushing them to become supermoms. In an attempt to live up to those standards, women end up wearing themselves out. Amidst all this, their professional and personal lives have been ignored and lost in the Covid-induced lockdown. Working from home has affected the mental health of every professional, increasing mental health challenges, substance use, and suicidal tendencies. But it has hit women hard in a different way.
a) Increased Responsibilities
With no outside help from nannies or househelps, every chore is the responsibility of women. Often, they get little help from family. Plus, kids almost always become the sole responsibility of women. Then there's an increased workload to help companies cope with the pandemic, leaving women burnt out.
b) 24x7 Duty Hours
Almost every professional has felt the pressure to be on the job all day during the pandemic. There's no 9-to-5 work hour boundary. For women, it's the same with housework. Since they are home, they're supposed to take care of the home and cater to the demands of family, kids all day.
c) Fear and Isolation
The constant inflow of news about deaths increases the fear of losing loved ones. It also leaves women fearing separation from their kids after contracting the virus. Then there’s the feeling of isolation from not having real human interactions. Let’s not forget increased domestic violence during the pandemic.
How Organizations Can Support Working Mothers Wellbeing
It’s clear that working remotely during the pandemic has triggered existing mental health conditions. It has turned healthy workers, especially women, into exhausted, cranky employees. Organizations can deal with women working from home sensitively and take into account how they juggle work and home.
Companies are making positive changes to help them with online services. This can help female employees maintain a work-life balance with more ease.
a) Online Mental Healthcare Sessions
Organizationscan focus on programs to help with guided self-care, virtual fitness and meditation sessions, teleconsultations with psychologists, etc.
b) Internal Support
Ensuring that they have the best support from the IT and HR teams will also help improve productivity and time management.
c) Encourage Engagement
Webinars, hobby activities, etc., to encourage engagement have proven to help maintain healthy work relationships and communications.
d) Virtual Childcare Support
Organizationscan tie up with childcare providers for virtual classes and fun activities. These keep children engaged during the mother’s working hours.
e) Hybrid Workplace Arrangement
Adopting to current scenario like introducing new policies about virtual breaks, implementing meeting-free days, non-working Fridays once a month, etc.
Well-Being Coaching - the Future of Emotional &Mental Health Care in the Workplace
One of the most helpful tools to cope with work-life balance for working women (mothers)is through online well-being coaching. Womenworking remotely can attend virtual programs and navigate personal and professional challenges with the coach’s constant support.
Well-being coaching can support one in achieving a balance between mental and physical fitness routines, maintaining a healthy social life, allocating time for work, family, and self, etc. It’s about handling daily challenges in one’s life with the best possible solutions which helps one perform better.
It’s important for working women(mothers) to clearly define their responsibilities and setting the boundary. Often, they put added pressure upon themselves to emerge as the versatile superwoman who can do it all. Most womenhave a hard time letting go of the idea that they don’t need to do it all by themselves.
With flexible work hours and remote work arrangements being a part of the new normal, organizations will have to take greater care about how they are changing the lives of their employees, including working mothers. Well-being coaching will help them take a holistic approach towards maintaining a healthy social fabric.
How Women Can Care for Their Emotional &Mental Health
Women need to set boundaries and make necessary changes in their lives. They can implement the following -
a) Follow Routine:
It's time to follow a strict routine and specify a time for work, family, children, and self. Set tasks and goals for yourself and work towards them instead of working vaguely.
b) Learn to Co-Parent
It’s essential to establish that a mother is not the only parent responsible for kids. This may be a battle with your spouse to take on new duties - or yourself to let go of some.
c) Delegate Duties:
It's time to stop treating your partner and family members as your children. Be firm in delegating responsibilities to them so that you don't handle everything all by yourself.
d) Set-up HomeOffice:
Working women need a dedicated space for working - a comfortable desk, ergonomic chair, and more. Maintain a professional environment and train kids to stay out of it.
e) Set Priorities:
Let’s face it - there will always be things you’ll fail to complete. You need to let go and prioritize what’s most important. It can be a PPT project - or reading to your child.
f) Have Me-Time:
Whether it’s 15 minutes of free-hand exercise or 30 minutes of reading before bedtime, a small amount of time just for yourself can prove to be precious and helpful.
Your social life has gone for a toss during the lockdown. But you can just pick up the phone and make a call anytime. Or, have a virtual tea with friends while you Facetime.
h) Learn to Say “No”:
Saying"no" can be the hardest thing to do, whether it is to your boss or your little kid. But be firm about refusing to attend a last-minute presentation.
i) Ask and Take Help:
It takes a village to raise a child - especially during a pandemic. There's no shame in taking help from your boss, family members, or mental health professional.
Living up to the standards set for and being a "good mom" isn't easy, especially when you have to do it round the clock. Add to that the drive to prove that you can do it all in the professional world, and you get the perfect recipe for mental health problems in working mothers.
Every organization needs to take the responsibility to create a wholesome working environment for women during the pandemic. Being flexible and providing tools can help women employees perform more efficiently. This includes well-being training through platforms like SearchMyCoach to help them achieve a perfect work-life balance.
Develop Self- Awareness To Improve Your RelationshipsMay 29
Mayuriwas having relationship issues with her partner, Avik. She thoughtAviktook her for granted and didn’t show affection enough. They were fighting about this repeatedly and it was impacting their relationship.
On a close friend’s suggestion, she reached out to a coach and conversation with the coach evoked a realization that she might be contributing to the problem. She realized that she too didn’t appreciate Avikvery often and that she was overlooking the nice small things he did around the house for her and little physical gestures that showed his affection.
During her conversations with the coach, Mayuri introspected her thought processes and realized that whenever Avik missed an opportunity to make her feel loved she assumed that he was purposely avoiding doing things that she liked.
After her conversations with the coach, now she spends time thinking and talking with Avik about how they want to show and receive love, and they are working on improving their relationship.
If you too like Mayuri, are facing issues in your relationship, here are some tips for developing self-awareness and improving your relationships
1. Practice mindfulness , especially when interacting with your loved ones. Pay attention to the words they say, their tone, their body language, and their facial expressions. We communicate far more information non-verbally than we do with our words alone. Give your loved ones your full attention.
2.Have regular conversations about the relationship. It’s important to keep things in perspective and ensure that nothing is falling between the cracks. When you have regular conversations about your relationship with your loved ones, it’s much harder to avoid or ignore things that can turn into problems. It also helps you reflect on your part and come prepared to discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, along with your loved ones.
3.Spend quality time together as well as apart. This is especially important for romantic relationships, as we often find ourselves spending most or even all of our free time with our partner. However, much you love and enjoy spending time with your partner, everyone needs some quality time alone. Make sure you and your partner are both getting some quality “me” time to think about what you want, what you need, and what your goals are. This will help you in maintaining your independence and stability. Then, since there will be two independent, stable, and healthy adults in the relationship, it will be even more fulfilling and satisfying to both partners when they spend quality time together.
4.Share your perspective and consider theirs. It’s easy to get too caught up in our perspective on things; however, healthy relationships require that we consider others’ needs in addition to our own. To know what our loved ones need and to deliver on those needs, we must first identify and understand them. We do this by practicing self-awareness and sharing that awareness with our friends and family.
If you never check in with your loved ones on their views or feelings, it can cause you to drift apart and inhibit real, satisfying intimacy. Ask your loved ones for their perspective on things and share your perspective with them.