Healthy Team Commitments – Self Care

By January 15, 2020Leadership

Thankfully, we no longer live in the day and age when workers were thought of as cogs in the wheel. If one cog broke down (literally or figuratively), then another cog was ready to take its place.

Over the course of my work career, organizational theory and sound business practices have begun to take into account the well-being of employees. This shift has manifested itself in different business strategies, employee benefits, and work environments.

Here is the next commitment healthy teams make:

We are committed to the principles of self-care.

The idea of self-care is more common, and talked about, than ever before. Overall, I believe this is a good thing. As long as the result isn’t increased selfishness or narcissism, we should all be concerned with taking the best care of ourselves as possible.

During 2019, I wrote about this idea of self-care. Here is part of what I wrote:

For me, self-care is a matter of stewardship. I have been entrusted with one life. As much as I often think otherwise, my life is not my own. It is a gift, albeit a complex, often confusing gift.

How well this one life turns out is affected by how well I care for my body, mind, and spirit.

Along the way, will I encounter environmental factors beyond my control? Certainly. Genetics will play a part. In large part, the actions of other people are beyond my control. Like you, I’m only getting older.

Where I do have the ability to choose, I want to choose well. I want to be a good steward of the one mind, one body, and one spirit I have been given.

What does this require? What do good stewards have in common?

Good habits
Good attitude
Good friends
Good execution
Good ability to take corrective action

A team that is committed to self-care is communicating to every member an important value that must not be minimized: Your life matters. Because your life matters, we are committed to helping it be the best it can be.

Team leaders that expect teammates to “burn the candle at both ends” eventually end up with no candle.

For me, self-care has become more important as I’ve grown older. Which should be no surprise – when I was younger, I was invincible, recovered faster, and had more energy (but less wisdom).

In my life, the practice of self-care includes such things as regular rest, a healthy diet and more exercise, appropriate time off, and practicing the spiritual disciplines. I have grown to love these practices as much as I love a really good cup of coffee. OK, probably even more.

Some leaders will hear “self-care” and think, “All I’ll have is a bunch of lazy workers.” That’s not been my experience. What I’ve learned is that a team can only work hard over long, sustained periods of time if the individual members are also resting hard.

In my environment, I put it this way: We will work hard and rest hard!

For each team and each individual, self-care will look different – though I do believe there are certain universal items (rest, physical health, spiritual connection). The best teams will be a hybrid of shared practices and individual freedoms.

Self-care is team-care.

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  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • masters in management and leadership
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