“Mental health is a state of well-being in which a person is able to fulfill their abilities, cope with the normal pressures of life, work productively and contribute to their community.” This is the 2019 WHO (World Health Organization) definition of health as Value has increasingly become the focus of society in recent months. Mindfulness is slowly but surely finding its way into organizations, the positive influence on holistic performance is seen and integrated preventively. Mindfulness helps to sharpen the view for the essentials, to strengthen the resources in order to increase the potential of the individual and thus of the team.
It starts with ourselves and our self-image. Focusing on strengths is part of systemic thinking and acting, based on trust and a positive, appreciative image of people. As a leader, I have, among other things, responsibility for healthy systems, which includes creating the context for healthy performance for myself, for my team, for the organization. Mindfulness combined with empathy are future skills for leadership and teamwork, because health management is more than one health day a year.
Prevention instead of escalation
The report 2022 shows that the number of days absent due to mental illness has increased by 41 percent over the past ten years. The average case duration, i.e. the downtime of an employee, is 39.2 days. Neurotic, stress and somatoform disorders account for more than 50 percent of the diseases. Mental health is often still stigmatized and a taboo subject in companies and in our society. At the same time, studies show that preventive measures are significantly more effective for everyone involved, for those affected as well as for the organization.
- It’s time to make mental health an overarching issue. This includes the creation of preventive structures and spaces in a trusting atmosphere, which promotes being able to talk about mental stress at an early stage.
- It’s time to lead by example and incorporate mental health and mindful leadership as modules in leadership development.
- It’s time for reflection. For this purpose, micro-sessions in online format with mindfulness impulses and background information on neuroscience can be offered for the entire team.
- It’s time to talk about it and integrate anonymous hotlines or a coaching pool into company health management. You currently have to wait several months for a place in therapy.
Let’s imagine that in the future we will talk openly about our state of health, also and especially when we are not doing so well and we reach certain limits. Is this conceivable? What does this idea do to us? We ourselves have the power to change something. And we have the responsibility – including the economic responsibility – to do this. It starts with ourselves and it’s small steps that have a big impact. It’s time to break a taboo.
How a stroke wreaked havoc on our managerial gaze
My husband had a stroke when he was 49. Everything changed in one fell swoop. suddenly. From manager to early retiree. This grounded us very much and made our gaze crazy. In my recently published book “Perspektive PatchWork” we have described our different perspectives on dealing with a stroke. My husband’s view was directly affected, my view as a partner plus my view in the professional role as a systemic coach who has helped me personally with regard to my own self-care.