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Do you know a workplace leader, manager, or supervisor?
When did you last sit down with them to talk about health?
Not just about their physical health or even mind-body wellness but about their spiritual wellbeing or self-transcendence.
If you are a reader of Spirituality+Health,
you might have something to help.
I recently had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop on presence and mental health for senior leaders of large corporations. Having facilitated similar seminars for almost 30 years, I sensed a new and growing awareness. They reported employees are feeling disconnected, sad, anxious, and impatient. Mostly, they need to unplug from the workaholic intensity of time compression in the 24/7 world of clock time.
Last year, we published a study where 150 managers from diverse organizations described the impact of stressors on their productivity. Each month, they lost, on average, almost 40% of their time to address mental health related problems amongst their employees.
What is going on here? The internet increasingly offers all types of free resources for mental health. YouTube, podcasts, free smartphone apps, meditation timers, and guided visualizations are everywhere. And some of these are even evidence-based or shown to be effective. Apparently, there is an inverse relationship between the growth of resources and employee mental health...and employees are quitting more and more. The Great Resignation is also the "Great Disconnect."
Here is where you come in. These leaders are alone. The symptoms noted above are as much about spiritual health as they are about mental health. As part of techno-industrialization, leaders have inherited an outdated view of time that has pushed them and others to the limit. Burn-out, alienation, fatigue, depression, anxiety. Of course! These are natural signals that something needs to change.
It may be time to outgrow the outworn fantasy “It starts at the top!” No. It starts with you, with starting the conversation about deeper spiritual matters. It is not just about purpose and meaning. It is about spiritual health and self-transcendence. We continually romance leadership as the answer when—all the while—leaders are becoming increasingly de-spirited.
It's time to appeal to, and nourish, their spirit.
Share your favorite Spirituality+Health article. How simple can it get?
Remember that it is NOT selfish. Many leaders feel that if they give time to themselves, they are taking it away from others. But time expands and you have even more to give when you get off the clock!
Learn more. There are now several articles on leader mental health in popular business magazines. You can share one from Forbes that came out last month.
Ask about presence. Ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how present are you at work?” What helps fill your tank?
Check out and share the Surgeon General’s Mental Health Framework. We wrote a companion piece that gives leaders some action steps.
Study and share the concept of Healthy Leadership. This includes heart-centered leadership, where virtues bridge the mental and spiritual health gap.
Take and share a self-assessment of spiritual health. This article reviews several measures and sample items.
Dr. Joel Bennett is author of the Quest for Presence series and was recently interviewed in Spirituality+Health Magazine and appeared on the Spirituality+Health podcast with Rabbi Rami. To learn more, visit www.presencequest.life.
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