The Lens Shift on Wellbeing

By September 1, 2021Well-Being

Seven Lenses to See How Everyday Work is Changing – A Series

Why Wellbeing Matters

This is Jack Ricchiuto with Thrive at Work. We’re talking today about wellbeing. I want to talk about two questions in this brief video. One is why is wellbeing so important for us to pay attention to as leaders? The second is, what are the shifts we’re seeing from the old lenses to the new lenses when it comes to understanding wellbeing and its place in our practice as leaders?

Emotions Drive Performance

So first about the why. Wellbeing is important because according to brain science, performance is basically a reflection of our emotional life. How we feel is how we do. Emotions drive performance. So paying attention to how people feel, and how people feel at their best in work is really the most direct way to support their performance.

1 – Proactive Check-ins; Model and Practice Empathy

As far as the lens shifting, in the Old Lens, we saw wellbeing as a crisis referral situation. We managed by hope. We hoped people took care of themselves. If they didn’t and it became obvious they didn’t for some reason, we would make a referral or make a suggestion for a referral to a professional. In the New Lens, we do proactive check-ins on a regular basis.

This can depend on the person and the situation. Basically, we’re talking about regular, brief check-ins. These are conversations of empathy where we express empathy and create a psychologically safe space for people to name, express, and talk about their emotions. Doing this helps them regulate their own self emotionally.

2 – Flexibility in Work; Supporting the Whole Person

In the Old Lens, we treated people as employees, not whole people. In the New Lens, we’re looking at flexibility in work. We’re looking at how to support the whole person. Certainly, that’s become a big deal during the pandemic, but we believe that trend of paying attention to and respecting the whole person will continue to be front and center for us as leaders.

3 – Shared Responsibility; Community Oriented

The third shift in lenses that we’re seeing is the Old Lens of everyone for themselves. Everyone has to be responsible for their own mental health. The New Lens is a more shared responsibility; a more community-oriented approach to wellbeing.

One of the things this means for us as leaders are facilitating team agreements around how we can share and support one another. These are really important and they help people feel seen and heard. This gives them the sense of belonging and wellbeing that they’re looking for in their work so they can be at their best and learn at their best.

These are some thoughts about wellbeing. We’d love to talk to you more about this and how they apply to your organization. If you missed the previous lenses, you can have a look here.

If you’d like to connect with us to talk more about these lenses or about the way that work is changing, please get in touch with us by booking a call, head to our website, follow our blogs, or join us on LinkedIn. I look forward to seeing you next time.


About Jack

In my late twenties I had the good fortune to have mentors who were practice leaders in what was then called the Human Potentials Movement. They inspired me to help organizations and communities realize their potential in ways they never imagined. It became clear this was the core gift that would shape the past 40 years.