Towards a new balance between professional and personal life

Towards a new balance between professional and personal life

By Corinne Beauvallet & François Kaisin

In the Western world of today, the place that our jobs occupy in our agendas is out of proportion. Stress, depression, fatigue, absenteeism and an unhealthy social life…are the consequences of this situation. How can we find a new balance? This is the challenge of our life and generally, this is also the challenge of all human and modern organizations. We will try to shed some light to these issues taking into account the people and the organization.

Personal spaces to respect oneself

1/ Our physical space

Our body is the engine that enables us to function and to being present, here and now. We need to take care of it and keep it running, in the same way that we do with our car or furnace. Therefore, we need to prioritize all the requirements that our body needs: a proper and healthy diet, a nice, healthy, calm and practical environment. Physical exercises: adapted sports, postural stimulation (walking, running, bike-riding, swimming, Pilates, postural stretching, etc.), energetic exercises (Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, etc.), passive care: massage, acupuncture, kinesiology, etc. And last but not least, our sexual needs. To listen to your inner self is key, and you can learn how to do it!

2 / Our space of power

This has to do with trying to discover ourselves and define who we really are, acknowledging our potential and limitations regarding the power and the things they lack, so that we can accept and value them. Even though we are all human, we are not identical. We are unique in our gender, thus the role we have to perform is unique and special! Then, ask yourself: who are you? What do you have to offer? Your inner space is necessary to connect with yourself in order to find your personal essence.

3 / Our intellectual space

This is a learning space, the knowledge field, the accumulation of data, the analysis and the study in depth of reality. This requires from us the capacity to empty our mind completely, the calm of the body (“flash” sleeping techniques, relaxation, meditation etc.). Otherwise we can feel overwhelmed very easily! We cannot get ourselves organized if we do not make room inside of us and empty our inner space.” Many things happen outside of the action, in silence and quietness”. Mariano, Manager of Risks and Financial Services.

4/ Our relational space

This space has to do with the ego/self. It is “I” in the middle of a social and professional group as well as in my family and in my personal relationship with my partner. It is a space that occupies a great part of our time and energy and that has a strong impact on our daily lives. How can I manage the perception of others about me? Their expectations? How can I take advantage of this “fuel” that the relationships I have with others give me? How can I manage the lack of energy that certain relationships give me? To find a balance and a subtle alternation between life with others and a moment of solitude is a challenge in itself!

Recognition, respect and the development and practice of these “four spaces” enable us to live our lives in an efficient and effective way, making us being the main players of our lifes. By achieving a balance amongst these four spaces, we will find our real source of creativity and power.

Three tools to be used starting tomorrow

1 / Recognizing oneself

Define and respect oneself and accept what we are, what we can control and what we must say to ourselves and to the others. Take some distance and make a “diagnosis” of our strengths, needs, limitations, and the environment. That is the setting where we can act and create. If we accept this, we will be able to release the necessary energy for what is really important and gives meaning and coherence to life. “Things do not change, what changes is the way you look at them, that is enough”, Lao Tsé.

2 / Being independent

This means not to use another person, sometimes in a pathological way, in order to find the necessary energy for our life. This is an attitude that affects the general and personal dynamic of the groups. By identifying these types of persons, we will be able to avoid them and render them useless, enhancing and improving personal autonomy

3 / Living in the present

The past is what forged our identity. The future is what we have built step-by-step in the present! The only space for the action is here and now, the present as a given gift just for being, and to fulfill our aspirations. To invest in the present ensures efficiency.

Implementation in the company or organization

We notice that by satisfying the specific needs of the persons, according to age, gender, and stages in life, helps to maximize his/her productivity, creativity and professional performance. And due to the uniqueness of each one, we can affirm that the fact of identifying personal potentials and value them, enables us to strategically place the person in the appropriate company or organization for him/her, thus offering the latter an efficient and operative resource. Which are the main issues to consider in an organization?

Help each person as well as teams to get to know themselves better and to understand the environment where they interact, being alert to their vulnerability, overwork or “burnout”

Be aware of the fact that each person must achieve a balance between his/her professional and personal life with respect to the “four spaces” mentioned above. (For example; quietness time, special time as a father or mother).

Identify and value the unique potential of each person so that when the time comes, entrust him/her with projects and teams.

Give positive feedbacks

Provide resources such as coaching, with the objective of developing an harmonious and efficient dynamic within their teams

About coaching

The coaching practice aims at rapidly and efficiently achieving goals related to the professional and personal development of the client, done in individual and group sessions. The coach focuses on what is the most important for his client, asking him powerful questions, sharing with him different points of view, “without twists”, about the situation and letting the client know all about the tools he/she can use to get a better understanding of himself/herself. The coach also provides the client with stimulating challenges. The coach helps his client to examine his/her beliefs and explore other possibilities and to choose the better strategies. He makes the means emerge as well as the actions to face different situations in an effective and fast way. It is a priority for more than 85% of our clients to achieve a balance between their professional and personal life. “Being the # 1 is above all, an example of an achieved balance”. Marian, Commercial Manager.

In other words

If our research is about the most perfect state of balance, it is by the states of imbalances that we aspire to it. In this sense, we can see how it carries very positive things for ourselves. This means that our experiences, even the most difficult, is what moves us, what drives us every moment to adapt, to learn, to integrate, to discover, to know. It is therefore important to consider these fields of experience, they appear in the private field or in the professional field as extremely positive evolution opportunities, leading us to a better control of our expertise, our efficiency, and furthermore, to our personal fulfillment, our expression of our best in an environment, a given field.

Implementation in the company of tomorrow

Human and economic capitals are becoming more and more interdependent and it is obvious that happy people are more efficient and pleasant to work with and to be around at home too. What if we were to propose that the companies of tomorrow integrate these suggestions in their strategic guidelines? What do you think?