One of the things that gives us a powerful sense of purpose in our work at Cognomie is bringing people together to create connection and community. Our business is built around bringing together a global network of coaches unified around a shared goal of excellence in transformational coaching. Our coaches specialise in creating spaces that bring together coach and coachee or coach led groups to create journeys of transformation. We work with organisations to help bring people together aligned around shared goals of Mental Fitness
We do this because relationships, community and connection are at the heart of wellbeing. Bringing people together is one of the most powerful drivers of Mental Fitness that we know.
Wellbeing is about working as a collective, it’s not a problem for individuals to solve
Mention the word wellbeing and the images conjured up can be of self help books, meditation apps or walks in nature. Self care can be important (although there is a growing body of evidence that individualistic approaches to wellbeing can be much less effective than collective ones).
We certainly believe that any wellbeing strategy within an organisation should be personalised and tailored to the needs of diverse individuals. But for us the image is less about candles and contentment and more an image of a group of people on a journey, dealing with adversity and opportunity, supportively and collaboratively.
In the words of a recent article about approaches to wellbeing in the Harvard Business Review:
“Rather than focusing on self-care, we need to be better at taking care of each other.”
The wonderful thing about this for us is that it builds on the inherent strengths of organisations.
Work is a collective enterprise. Work itself is about working together to overcome problems. With the right strategies and structures in places, work can be a powerful and joyful source of wellbeing, not a drain on it.
How can organisations adopt a more collective approach to wellbeing?
The HBR article recommends two things.
- Framing adversity as a collective challenge – sharing and solving problems together
- Creating relational pauses – taking a temporary break from the daily routines of work to ask and answer the question, “How is our work affecting us as human beings?”
On a practical level these can be simple steps to take. Successful organisations are good at framing business problems as collective challenges. Applying the same approach to sharing the challenges of working life is evolution, not revolution. Successful organisations are also often good at creating spaces of reflection. Post-project debriefs or quarterly review sessions are well understood as tools of organisational improvement and high performance. Evolving these to become a regular space of reflection on “how we work and how it affects us” could simply build on existing practice.
But it isn’t always easy. Introducing new aspects to organisational culture takes time and requires care and constant nurturing. In our experience organisations that succeed at this adopt an approach that recognises that people need to be “trained” in Mental Fitness, deploying transformational coaching widely across the organisation so that people gain a shared language, toolkit and understanding of common goals. So rather than just assume that the challenges will define themselves and that the spaces to create relational pauses will emerge organically, coaching creates a cohort of people able to frame those challenges and create and hold those spaces, purposefully and with wider business goals in mind. This is where group coaching, facilitated by highly experienced coaches skilled in enabling connection, shared vision and action has the power to transform not just individuals but teams and organisations and create wellbeing.
Want to take this further?
Not got a Wellbeing Strategy, or you’d like to learn how we can help you make your existing strategy work harder, then we want to help you.
If your organisation is aiming to be in the vanguard of putting Mental Fitness at the heart of organisational development and you’d like help to take this further, we’d love to talk.