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  • Writer's pictureJerry Brook

Wellness in the Workplace

There seems to be a misunderstanding concerning the term “Wellness.” It is as though one must have an affliction in order to need healing. I disagree. Wellness isn’t just for those suffering distress.


Wellness pertains to the healthy as much as it applies to the unhealthy. Likewise, the wellness of others affects each one of us, either directly or indirectly. Our wellness in turn also involves them. For this reason alone, we should all be striving for the wellness of our community.


Studies show that by helping others we help ourselves as well. It is of course not necessarily in a like for like manner, rather, either in a reciprocal way of give and take, or in an altruistic way of self-reflection.


As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” You could be the moon that influences that tide. In other words, you could boost the wellness of those around you, thereby improving the situation for all.


As an entrepreneur, a business leader, a manager, a supervisor, a teacher, a parent, you are looked to as an example of best practices. One of those important practices is the wellness of those who you are responsible for. After all, the healthier that the individuals are, the stronger the team is as a whole. It makes no sense to rely on others unless you have contributed to, and can therefore attest to, their well-being. Thinking that your children will behave, when you yourself have not given them the representation of good manners, makes you the fool, not them.


Three traits of wellness

There are three core traits that are necessary for wellness to take hold and grow.

· Acknowledgment

· Validation

· Respect


Acknowledgment

We won’t value that which we haven’t acknowledged.


If we aren’t aware of, or focused on, the things and people around us, we are more likely to bump into, or trip over, those things and people.


When we feel as though we are not being seen we tend to act as though we do not exist.

That is, if you aren’t seeing who I am, or what it is that I am doing, it doesn’t benefit me to act with integrity.


By being seen we hold ourselves to a higher standard.


At the moment when you feel seen, I am letting you know, “I see you,” and “You are real to me,” and “You have a place, and occupy a space, in the world with me”.


During that time the two of us are mutually connected.


Validation

We can’t expect to get that which we haven’t valued.


If we aren’t letting the people around us know what it is about them that we value, we should not be surprised when we don’t receive anything of value in return from them.


When we feel as though we are being taken for granted, the things that we do are of no worth and are therefore not worthwhile in doing. Validation gives us a sense of worth.


People need, and want, feedback. A buddy once told me that, “People need pats and pushes. The trick is in figuring out, when to give the one and not the other, and how much of each that are required.”


The only way in which we can make adjustments to ourselves, or to our surroundings, is from feedback.


And the only way to know which adjustments to make is by others expressing what is that is valuable.


Respect

I recently viewed a video on YouTube of an equity experiment.


Researchers observed two Capuchin monkeys situated in side-by-side cages. The monkeys were in full view of each other. Each monkey was asked for a rock, for which they were given a reward. When the first monkey received a slice of cucumber, she accepted it without any issue. However, when the second monkey was given a grape for the same task, that is where the problems began.


As it turns out grapes are more desirable than cucumber. On the second iteration of the same task, again the first monkey performed the task correctly, and again she was given a slice of cucumber. This time however, knowing that the price of a rock is a grape, she became visibly upset. She threw the cucumber back at the researcher and demanded proper payment, a grape. Finally on the third iteration, the monkey being confused, tested the rock to be sure that it was not the reason for the mistreatment. Again, she was given a slice of cucumber, and again she threw it back at the researcher.


The moral of the story is to treat people impartially and with the respect that they deserve. It’s simple really, treating high quality, high value, people poorly and or treating low quality, low value, people acceptably, leads to unrest, discontent, and even hostility.


The results

It’s simple really. All you need to do is ask yourself, “how would I feel if I weren’t acknowledged, validated, or respected?”


I, myself, use these traits regularly in all my interactions. It is as easy as looking people in their eyes, listening to them intently, and treating them reasonably.


The consequences of which are reciprocated. I too appreciate being acknowledged, validated, and respected. It is the essence of the proverbial “win-win.”


Lights, camera, action!

I feel so strongly about these traits that I have created an app, The Good Together Game, specifically meant to foster and enhance wellness. The app can be used in any setting, and for any relationship type, family, friends, intimate, and business. It is fully customizable to suit the users and their specific situation.

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