Finding out your core values

Finding out your core values

To have a life balance, you should first know your core values. This is the first message I give in my coaching sessions about life balance. I am always happy to help my clients find their core values.

What are core values?

Values, simply explain as the foundation of your life. They serve as your compass for deciding the most important things in life.

Examples of values:

  • Loyalty
  • Spirituality
  • Humility
  • Compassion
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Integrity
  • Selflessness

Many of us never had the chance to reflect on our core values. We need to understand that values ​​are essential to our day-to-day living.

  1. Personal values ​​set up your priorities in life. When you know your priorities, you will properly manage your life and what is really important for you – profession, family, love, or money.

  2. Personal values ​​help you attract friends with the same interests as you. When you identify your values, you join a group that shares the same values.

  3. Personal values ​​define your relationship values ​​too – How your relationship should be with others, especially in romantic relationships.

  4. Personal values ​​help others understand you and avoid misunderstandings with you. They will know exactly what to speak about and whatnot.

  5. Personal values ​​will help you find the city you will live in and how you will get to that place. 

  6. Personal values ​​will guide you in dealing with other people, especially those who have different values ​​than you.

  7. Personal values ​​help you know your vision and where you want to go – your goals and your limitations.

Finding your personal values

Did you ever think about what is really important for you in life, which parts of life are your priorities?

Get some papers and a pen and start with:

Step 1: Ask yourself what do you consider most important in your life. To help you answer this, try closing your eyes and think about how you would like others to think of you and what your life should actually stand for.

Step 2: Think about the things you like and the things which give you energy and power. Ask yourself, what really inspires you?

Step 3: Ask yourself, what do you really want to do in life? What makes you happy?

After noting down your answers to the questions, underline the main words and nouns that resonate with you. Make a list of the words you have identified. This is a great way to have a visual view of your values and have it in front of you.

The next step is to align your values with your goals.

Why should you Ground Yourself regularly

To be grounded gives your energy, a point of steadiness, and you will feel clear, centered, strong and focused.

On the other hand, you may lack focus or be easily distracted, you feel spacey/scattered/anxious and be easily affected by what’s going on around you (especially with other people’s energy or mood).

I have learned the power of grounding techniques and how it can divert your mind to be present and have focus.

Grounding techniques are great tools to break out if you’re feeling emotionally overwhelmed.

Grounding refers to the ability to return to the present moment with sustained attention.

Sometimes we need to break up the negative thoughts and make sure that we quit the circles of ideas which are flying through our minds. We need to keep the past where it is and live at the present. It is also important that we do not overthink about what is to come. The past is gone and the future is yet to come. The past will cause us depression while the future triggers anxiety.

Truthfully, the present can determine our path in the future that is why we need to live in it. Live in the now!

However, the most recent scientific research has explored grounding for inflammation, cardiovascular disease, muscle damage, chronic pain, and mood. The studies found out that grounding affects the living matrix, which is the central connector between living cells. Electrical conductivity exists within the matrix that functions as an immune system defense, similar to antioxidants .

Scientists believe that through grounding, the natural defenses of the body can be restored.

Why grounding?
Despite its lack of evidence, many people have reported improvement for conditions such as:
 
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
How to practice grounding?

Grounding can be performed both outdoors and indoors, depending on the technique you choose to use.

What are types of grounding?

There are many types of grounding. All of them focus on reconnecting yourself to the earth and to the present moment. This can be done through either direct or indirect contact with the earth.

Grounding techniques to try:
1. Inside Grounding

When you’re inside, grounding yourself requires a bit more effort and in most cases, equipment.

  • Use a grounding sheet or socks while you sleep.
  • Use a grounding mat in your home office chair. This equipment has been thought to help ground you throughout the day.

Start with some deep breathing before looking around the room you’re in. Use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method. This can be done aloud or silently, depending on your situation.

  • Describe 5 things you see in the room
  • Name 4 things you can feel or touch
  • List 3 things you hear
  • Name 2 things you smell
  • Think of 1 thing that you would like to change in that place.

Outside Grounding
Walk barefoot. Have you ever been outside on a warm summer day and felt the urge to run barefoot in the grass? One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot. Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with grounding energy.
Lying on the ground: You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it in the grass by the park or on the sand at the beach. If you’re going to ground yourself in this way, be sure to take the proper precautions and never lie somewhere you could be injured.

2. Outside Grounding
  • Walk barefoot. Have you ever been outside on a warm summer day and felt the urge to run barefoot in the grass? One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot. Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with grounding energy.

  • Lying on the ground: You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it in the grass by the park or on the sand at the beach. If you’re going to ground yourself in this way, be sure to take the proper precautions and never lie somewhere you could be injured.

One way to be in sync with nature is through grounding. Grounding can not only benefit in restoring our immune system but also restore sound mind, at least with my experience.

Say goodbye to tranquilizers with only 2 methods

People are overthinking about their past and the consequences that come with it; how it can affect their future and other things that could happen.

Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) said that you can achieve the greatest effect with just a small amount of effort. That 80% of the result is already achieved with 20% effort. For the remaining 20% success one wastes mostly unnecessary energy. If we lower our own expectations, put aside excessive perfectionism and give our best – as good as it is possible – there is also energy left for ourselves.

No one expects us to do everything perfectly.

Stress comes when we think that we are losing control and we let the external world affect our internal world.

Stress causes a lot of serious diseases like heart problems and blood clots, but also psychological diseases like burn-out or depression.

Life can be overwhelming at times which results in stress. It could be something happening in the office, or the needy children, or a disorganized household, or the lack of leisure activities.

What sounds like normal everyday life is for most primarily one thing – pure stress. But it’s not just packed days, but also the fast pace of our times with the expectation of constant accessibility that are partly responsible for the fact that many people are under a great deal of stress every day. Time and again, studies show that stress-related illnesses have been on the rise in recent years.

We often don’t even realize how stressed we are until it’s almost too late. The more we accumulate in our daily to-dos, the more our internal pressure increases.

Often, we only notice how stressed we really are in the quiet moments. Instead of relaxing, we continue to work and postpone the break. But it is precisely short breaks that are so important. Help to reduce stress immediately with proven and tested psychological methods.

So what to do when everything is just too much? These 2 psychological methods will help you cope with stress.

Method 1: First take a deep breath with the 4-7-11 method.
  1. Leave everything behind. Put down the pen and pause for a moment. With the 4-7-11 method, we get ourselves out of the circles of thoughts.
  2. Breathe deeply into the belly while counting to four. Then exhale for seven seconds.
  3. Repeat the whole thing eleven times. Numerous studies prove the effect of conscious breathing as a relaxation technique. Under stress, we breathe far too shallowly.
  4. Deep breathing, on the other hand, resupplies the body with sufficient oxygen and lowers blood pressure. Counting at the same time creates new focus and interrupts stressful thoughts.
Method 2: Feel your body and breath

Usually we breathe completely unconsciously. Relaxation techniques direct our attention to breathing to ease the way out of stress and tension. Breathing is one of our basic rhythms, a rhythm that we can consciously influence.

Here are relaxation exercises:
  • Sit or stand upright and place both hands on the tips of your lungs. Consciously breathe in and out into this area. Feel how the chest rises and falls.
  • Place your hands on the lower ribs and feel how the ribs expand and close again in your breathing rhythm.
  • Place your hands on the lower abdomen, the fingers below the navel, the thumbs above and feel the breathing movement here.
  • Put the backs of your hands on your back as high as possible and feel the expansion of the breathing space in this area.
  • Put your hands on the kidney area, feel the breathing space here.
  • Put your hands on your sacrum, feeling the small movements that your breath is in this area triggers.
    Put your hands on the lower costal arch again and feel from here all of your breathing

5 Facts About Effective and NonViolent Communication

The pandemic doesn’t want to end. We are getting stressed and the rhythm of our lives have significantly changed – getting louder and quicker by the minute. In the middle of a working day, we sometimes forget to be empathic and forget how to effectively communicate without hurting anyone. We should know how to effectively communicate with our family, friends, and colleagues in a nonviolent way.

An essential part of resiliency is how we communicate and build our network. To communicate efficiently, we need to know that communication is a two-way road and not one. We need to send and receive.

There are rules to follow when we send. Some sensitive issues are unmentioned because of the fear that it might get us in trouble. Marshall Rosenberg inspired me with defined points that will help us have smooth, effective, and non-violent communication.

  1. Stop playing the right game. This is tricky. Being wrong often leads to punishment. Punishing someone by mistakes leads to shame and denies a person the chance for his needs to be met. Describing your situation rather than defending yourself provides better understanding for both the sender and the receiver, making the atmosphere lighter.
  2. Don’t use dialect tackle language. Don’t label people, as to who is who, and what is what. Based on what is right and wrong, judgments label dialects.
  3. Official Language, that means you have to do something because someone told you to do it. You have to acknowledge that everyone has a choice. It’s very stupid of us if we will always force things on people. if you really think that you have to do something, then it is a must, and to be obligated to do something is not good.
  4. The best way to communicate something to someone is through the OFNR way. It’s called the giraffe language; let’s speak giraffe language its 4 steps: OFNR
Observation

No interpretation, you just describe what it was – observation without you – I noticed that you did that and didn’t.

  • Making an observation is better than judgment. You can say, “the last time you gave me a gift was one year ago,” rather than saying “you never got me presents.”
  • Examples of judgment:
    a) “You were saying mean things.”
    b) “You were trying to make me feel guilty.”
    c) “You are lazy.”
    d) “You are too late again.”
  • Examples of observation:
    a) Say, “I don’t like what you’re saying.”
    b) Say, “You are my partner, and we are supposed to support each other more.”
    c) Say: “You order food every day, and you said that we have to hire a cleaner cause I don’t want to clean.”
    d) Say “Our appointment should have been at 8 and it’s already 8:30.”
Feeling :

Then feeling and how you feel.

  • I feel hurt is a description. As if or like, I feel ignored is a description of a thought.
Need:

Need is also very important. What is my need? What is your need?

Sharing my Requests like “How does that sound to you?” or action requests like, “Can we do this and that in our meeting tomorrow?”

For example:

I am so sad that my friend has not answered his phone for 10 days and never called back. So what I did was the next time he called me, I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t sick or didn’t have any emergency.

This is what I told him,

  • Observation – “I have reached out to you many times in the past weeks but you don’t pick up the phone.
  • Feeling – I feel very ignored.
  • Need – It would be great to connect more with you since we have been friends for a long time.
  • Request – Please at least let me know when you’re busy as this is very important for me. You can send me an SMS or call me back when you’re available.
  1. Positive judgments and compliments are not always good.

Regular compliments are not always good, including saying:

  • You are smart
  • You are the best boss
  • You are beautiful

Some people are pressured to keep their image based on the compliments they are given and this can affect the development of their true self-identity.

Instead, say it in a NonViolent Communication (NVC) way.

    1. Be specific about what was exactly done for this, and not just general.
    2. Share the feeling you have about it.
    3. Share your needs and why it’s important for you that he or she is like that.
    4. You can then see how they receive appreciation.

Why is Money not the right way to motivate your employees?

In the past years, I visited around 100 companies and we had talks about life-balance for their employees. I have to admit that companies have different priorities. There are companies that truly care about their employees. There are also some that would rather focus on other things than the workforce.should be focusing on.

As a life-balance expert, I am posing this very important question to reflect on.

Why should a company motivate the employees to have a good life balance rather than money?

For one, a big paycheck is not enough compensation. Why?

Money is like drugs. When you get some, you want more. When you have more, you want a lot more. It is not enough to satisfy one’s needs. If money becomes the motivation in the team, you will run out of it quicker than you acquire them.

I know a consulting company in Vienna that gives fresh graduates 140 thousand euros, annually. It is great money, however, it is evident how they’re unhappy and burned out. They are only working to save money and leave their jobs. They hate working there!

Money can be a great motivation and the job should be well paid, but there are other points which are important. According to the latest research at Gallup, employees appreciate it when their employers take care of their psychological health.

What do employees need?
  1. The employees need someone to understand them. Bottom line: they need a leader to lead them.
  2. They need to develop as individuals, hence, they need to feel safe and integrated.

A company can only give this, if they know the value of humanity, and the value of the Human Resources department.

What should companies do?

TRAINING
  1. Training for leaders. There should be a learning and development plan for the leadership, and from here the talents should be defined. And they should also have a special learning and development plan.

  2. Training for the workforce. All other employees should also have a plan to continue their development. Without making the employees learn and develop the gaps between the leadership, talents and employees will result in psychological problems, like communication problems, conflicts, presenteeism, and team negativity.
HEALTH & WELLNESS

Other than learning and development, the wellness and the health of the employees should also be considered.

Companies should be mindful of their employees’ health, especially on the quality of the food they eat and their day-to-day movement while in the office.

  1. What do they eat when they are stressed? for snacks? What food is available in the company’s pantry?
  2. What sports and recreational programs does the company offer?
  3. Are they mentally ready for future challenges?

Every part of a person’s wellbeing is essential to his productivity and success. If a company takes priority in that, they will surely become a magnet for high-class talents. They will also retain loyal workers that will help to leverage their businesses.

So the equation is:

Happy Employee = (Learning and development plans for leaders, talents and the workforce + a good life balance program for the employees + good payment)

Pretty basic. Let’s talk!

6 stress management techniques Relaxing techniques

There are so many people who are thinking too much, they are all the time thinking about past experiences which they didn’t take a lesson learned out of it, and looking about how this could effect their future, and thinking about all the things which could happen.

Stress comes when we think that we are losing control and we let the external world effect our internal world.

Stress is the 1st step to alot of serious diseases like heart problems, and clots but also psychological diseases like burn-out or depression.

Everyday life is often too stressful.

We often don’t even realize how stressed we are.

Office, children, household, leisure activities: What sounds like normal everyday life is for most primarily one thing – pure stress. But it’s not just packed days, but also the fast pace of our times with the expectation of constant accessibility that are partly responsible for the fact that many people are under a great deal of stress every day. Time and again, studies
show that stress-related illnesses have been on the rise in recent years.

We often don’t even realize how stressed we are. The more we accumulate in our daily to-dos, the more our internal pressure increases. But often we only notice how stressed we really are in the quiet moments. Instead of relaxing, we continue to work and postpone
the break. But it is precisely short breaks that are so important and help to reduce stress, with some immediately applicable, psychological methods it goes even faster.

So what to do when everything is just too much? 

These 3 psychological methods help to cope with stress. Whether in the office or everyday life.
Method 1: First take a deep breath with the 4-7-11 method.

Leave everything behind.

  1. Put down the pen and pause for a moment. With the 4-7-11 method, we get ourselves out of the circles of thoughts.
  2. Breathe deeply into the belly while counting to four. Then exhale for seven seconds. Repeat the whole thing eleven times. Numerous studies prove the effect of conscious breathing as a relaxation technique. Under stress, we breathe far too shallowly.
  3. Deep breathing, on the other hand, resupplies the body with sufficient oxygen and lowers blood pressure. Counting at the same time creates new focus and interrupts stressful thoughts.
Method 2: Set priorities with the 80/20 rule.

Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) said that you can achieve the greatest effect with just a small amount of effort. That 80% of the result is already achieved with 20% effort. For the remaining 20% success one wastes mostly unnecessary energy. If we lower our own expectations, put aside the excessive perfectionism and give our best – as good as it is possible – there is also energy left for ourselves. No one expects us to do everything perfectly.

Method 3: Feel your body and breath

Usually we breathe completely unconsciously. Relaxation techniques direct our attention to breathing to ease the way out of stress and tension. Breathing is one of our basic rhythms, a rhythm that we can consciously influence.

Exercise:

  • Sit or stand upright and place both hands on the tips of your lungs. Consciously breathe in and out into this area. Feel how the chest rises and
    falls.
  • Place your hands on the lower ribs and feel how the ribs expand and close again in your breathing rhythm.
  • Place your hands on the lower abdomen, the fingers below the navel, the thumbs above and feel the breathing movement here.
  • Put the backs of your hands on your back as high as possible and feel the expansion of the breathing space in this area.
  • Put your hands on the kidney area, feel the breathing space here.
  • Put your hands on your sacrum, feeling the small movements that your breath is in this area triggers.
  • Put your hands on the lower costal arch again and feel from here all of your breathing.

How to empower yourself to forget someone who hurt you?

What is self-empowerment?

Did you ever feel that you are really helpless? That you really don’t feel like standing up anymore? That you really can’t have a relationship again after you got hurt and separated from your significant other?

No one is exempted from this feeling. No matter our age, we experience love and all its pitfalls. After being hurt, how do we move on after the one you loved has left you?

Have you tried self empowerment?

Self-empowerment is being on top of things. It is being in control of your life and using your power to overcome any emotional, physical, or psychological challenges you are facing.

Let us talk about this first.

What is the difference between deciding and choosing? 

Deciding takes different options, and when you finally decide on one option, the others no longer exist.

On the other hand, choosing keeps your options open even after arriving with one. You understand that the possibilities are existent and can be explored later on.

Now that decision and choice have been defined, let’s further understand self-empowerment.

Self-empowerment is choosing what we have in our life at present, programming our minds that our present life is actually the outcome of our choices.

For example:

Your significant other left you but wanted to stay friends. You feel hurt, and you can’t stop your tears from falling. You know there is someone else.

What will you do? How can you empower yourself and move on?

Firstly, write a list of things that disturbed you about him/her. 

For example:

  1. He/she doesn’t give you polite answers. 
  2. He/she was too flirty with other people.
  3. You didn’t feel like he/she was 100% loyal.

And the list goes on.

And then, empower yourself to make better choices by using the “I have chosen” affirmations.

Now will write the following:

  1. I HAVE CHOSEN not to be with someone who is impolite and disrespectful.
  2. I HAVE CHOSEN not to be with someone who is too flirty with other people.
  3. I HAVE CHOSEN not to be with someone who is not 100% loyal.

Read the list 5 times or as many times as you can. Read it every morning for a week or so, and every time you think about the person who hurt you.

It will not take longer to move on when we focus on making a choice. We need to fight against the idea of “making” and start acknowledging that we have the power to make that choice.

Knowing the reason behind our choices makes us empowered. When we are empowered, we come to a place of choosing.

Be in charge of your life by being empowered.

The Psychological Secret behind El-Ahly Club Success

Did you ever wonder why there are clubs that are consistently winning?

Is it about the big sponsors and budgets? Is it about the players? The management?

For example, why is Bayern Munich in Germany, Al Ahly in Egypt, or Real Madrid in Spain winning most of the time?

Today I will share with you the psychological secret behind the success of Al Ahly in Egypt and what is the scientific secret behind the spirit of the red shirt (in Arabic : ROH ELFANELA ELHAMRA)

Yes, indeed! (ROH ELFANELA ELHAMRA) has a scientific and psychological explanation.

Al Ahly in Egypt is the most successful club in the world of football. Al Ahly has a record of 42 national league titles, 37 national cup titles, and 11 national super cup titles, making them the most decorated club in Egypt. The club has never been relegated to the Egyptian Second Division. Al Ahly is considered the most successful team in Africa and is one of the continent’s giants.

In international competitions, the club has won a record 10 CAF Champions League titles, a CAF Confederation Cup, a record eight CAF Super Cups, a record four African Cup Winners’ Cups, an Afro-Asian Club Championship, an Arab Club Champions Cup, an Arab Cup Winners’ Cup, a record two Arab Super Cups, and has won three bronze medals in the FIFA Club World Cup. With 24 continental titles, Al Ahly is the most successful football club in African history and was voted by CAF as the African club of the 20th century. The club’s international trophy haul is the second largest in world football, behind Real Madrid.

And now to the story behind the success of Al Ahly:

Al Ahly is called the fourth pyramid in Egypt because of their trophies, and that’s not just because of the perfect leadership, vision, great players and system. I went inside the club – the players’ dressing rooms, players fitness rooms, and facilities. My dad is one of the biggest fans of Al Ahly, and he has passed that over to me. I have many friends who played in Al Ahly and are now big leaders there. I still watch all the Al Ahly matches although I don’t live in Egypt anymore.

But why are we mentally and psychologically so attached to it?

I always wanted to know the secret of the success of this club. I feel like it’s not only about the system or planning; it’s not only about the respect and the great spirit inside and around it. I know I had to understand why.

What is behind Al Ahly Club’s success?

After digging, reading, and researching, I have discovered the answer.

It is a self-fulfilling prophecy

Let me explain first some expressions and give you some facts from international studies to make you understand that expression:

  • A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that causes itself to become true. That means that when someone believes in something and that it will happen, and we visualize it, it will undoubtedly happen as planned if it is realistic.
  • Not only that, but when a person expects a person to behave in a certain way, most probably this will happen.
  • There are two types of self-fulfilling prophecies: Self-imposed prophecies: when a person’s expectations influence their actions. And the other-imposed prophecies occur when others’ expectations influence your behavior, especially those you value.
  • The Pygmalion effect is a type of other-imposed self-fulfilling prophecy that states the way you treat someone directly impacts how that person acts. If another person thinks something will happen, they may consciously or unconsciously make it happen through their actions or inaction. There is a study that teachers and coaches treat their students or players like they are the best and put high expectations on them to perform better.

And now back to Al Ahly:

There is an idea in each player’s mind in Al Ahly from young to old: “we are the best, we are the heroes, we are the masters of football in Africa, and we will win every championship we enter.”

Al Ahly leadership is giving the players and the trainers and staff all they need to achieve this. But still, they are also working with all circumstances and make sure to bring positive wording for the team towards the self-fulfilling prophecy in training, media, occasions, and conferences.

The same affirmations that Al Ahly players know are that the fans believe in them and say it in their songs to the team in the stadium. Every fan of Al Ahly believes that the team will win. Every reporter in the stadium and around it thinks the same. But you know what? Also, the team playing against Al Ahly knows that Al Ahly will win in the end.

You wanna know how that reflects on Al Ahly?

Al Ahly scored in this period in the last minute and after the official time of the matches 103 local goals, both in the League (93) and Egypt Cup (8 goals) and the Egyptian Super (two goals).

On the African level, Al-Ahly scored 23 different goals in this period in the African Champions League (18), the Confederation (3), and the African Super (2). In comparison, 3 goals came at the level of the Arab Championship.

Al Ahly has a great history, values, understanding, and system. Their leadership exhibits an excellent knowledge of how the people’s minds are functioning and how circumstances can work for their success.

This is why I believe Al Ahly will always stay up in the skies and have one success after the other.

I learned a lot in my life from Al Ahly, but the most important thing that we all should learn is using the self fulfilling prophecy in the right way:
  1. Believe in yourself and trust the process and be patient.
  2. Speak positively about yourself. Say it out loud and tell everyone that you are the best.
  3. Don’t get into any losing battle.
  4. It’s never too late to get your wins. You win or you learn.
  5. Be optimistic.
  6. Stop being a victim & let everyone in the system focus on one target and know the main values and goals.
  7. Live in the present. Focus on your current game.
  8. Move on from your past and put your trophies behind. Think about getting your next one.
  9. Continue to work on developing yourself everyday.
  10. Your Values are shaping your image, always be loyal to them.

Please don’t call me a life coach

No one should be coached on how to live their life

No one should be coached on how to live their life
I am not a life coach. I don’t want to be one, and I cannot be called one.
Why? Because no one needs a life coach. No one should be coached on how to live their life.
What do I do then? I am a mental trainer and coach. I give the world the right tools to live healthily and increase resiliency.
I help people find their values and their goals. I help them boost their self-esteem and let them understand why they should and how they should love themselves.
What does it take to live in balance?
This is what the world exactly needs now.
I believe that psychologists and psychiatrists are an essential part of life. When we need help while facing a psychological challenge or when we feel that we are going into a deep hole, we should consider meeting with a professional right away.
We need to be guided with the right tools to find our way and build resilience. Having the right tools prevent us from sinking into mental health diseases. This is how we could protect ourselves in the future.
By having the right tools, we are guided on what kind of food helps us live in a balance – not to be bloated, lose excess weight, and prevent any long-term diseases.
The right tools will also guide what movements keep the heart healthy and tone the muscles, such as: how to sit at your desk, how to destress, how to relax when you are in a meeting, how to manage your time, how to love yourself, how to have a new you, how to speak clearly and say your opinion, how to communicate, and how to be in a relationship again or how to keep it.

Your mind doesn’t register the word “not.” You will do the exact opposite when you say you do not want to.
Everything happens in your brain. You can control your whole life mentally. Mohamed Salah is the best football player worldwide now. In my opinion, he was raised in a poor society and didn’t have an open-minded culture around him. He didn’t have the best education, but he was talented and determined by himself in football and as a great professional. He is getting trained in football and mentally. Look at where he is now with a great level of charisma and stability. He is very grounded. If people want to succeed in life, they should look for life balance and that can only be achieved holistically with the right mindset first and then work on your nutrition and movement. The role of a mental coach is to help you achieve life balance. Mental training is exactly like sports. Your brain is like your muscles which could be trained and coached. When you train your mind well, you can coach it independently. You will know how to put your mindset should problems arise.
An example of mental training is using positive language to program your mind.
Positive language is fundamental. I train my clients not to say, “I don’t want to be xxx, but to say I would like to be yyy.” Or don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I am planning to look amazing and good and feel comfortable with my body.” Don’t say, “I don’t want to be late,” Say “I will always come on time.” Your mind doesn’t register the word “not.” You will do the exact opposite when you say you do not want to.
 
For example, when you say you want to quit smoking, your brain will be thinking about smoking. If you say you do not want to get angry, your mind will become irate.
We need to be mindful of the words we use and say. Words are powerful, and they can make or break you. Challenges are usually a symptom to the real problem. By overcoming each challenge, you are closer to overcoming the real problem itself.
Talking with mental coaches and trainers allow you to use the right tools to overcome these challenges you are facing.
 

Are Companies Responsible For Their Employees’ Life-Balance?

Are Companies Responsible For Their Employees’ Life-Balance?

In a 2020 survey by Eurofound, 29% of women and 11% of men stated that it is hard for them to concentrate on their jobs because of family while 35% of women and 33% of men said that jobs prevent them from giving time to family. 

The survey also revealed that 36% of women and 28% of men are too tired after work to do household chores.

Probably the most surprising finding is that 38% of women and 29% of men still worry about work even when they’re not working. Overall, the survey revealed that a significant percentage of men and women with young children are experiencing work-life conflicts.

If these problems that concern stress management, time management and resilience building are not addressed, these could happen:

  1. Employees will experience burnout.
  2. Employees will be prone to chronic diseases.
  3. Employees will feel demotivated.

And these will lead to increase in absenteeism and presenteeism rates in organizations.

The Cost of Presenteeism

Presenteeism refers to situations when employees come to work but are unproductive due to many reasons, such as burnout, mental illness, demotivation, no chemistry with the team, conflicts, time management and stress.

Remember that the cost of presenteeism to businesses is almost 10 times higher than that of absenteeism.

Absent workers cost employers around US$150 billion per year, but those who came to work and were not fully productive cost US$1,500 billion per year in the US, based on the BLS data.

In the Middle East, based on the new GCC Insights, the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) found out that employees were unproductive for 57.5 days each year, and that’s equivalent to almost three working months.

This has led me to thinking: Are companies responsible for their employees’ life-balance?

We have reached out to experts across different sectors worldwide and asked them two questions:

1)  Do companies have a role in developing the life-balance of their employees?; and

2)  What can companies do to help their employees achieve life-balance?

Flexible working hours, remote work, understanding employees’ individual needs, and allowing time for family and recreational activities are the common recommendations mentioned by our respondents in support of life-balance.

Do companies have a role in developing the life-balance of their employees?

All of the HR experts that we reached out to believe that companies have a role in developing their employees’ life-balance.

Here are some of the highlights in the points and recommendations shared by the HR Experts when asked how companies could help their employees achieve life-balance:

  1. Providing flexible work options.
  2. Supporting the wellbeing of employees.
  3. Having guidelines and principles on how a healthy life-balance should look like.
  4. Nominating life-balance partners to promote life-balance within the company.
  5. Creating flexible policies that help achieve life balance, such as flexible working hours, remote working, self sick leave, advanced salary, and entertainment discount extended to friends and family.
  6. Facilitating awareness sessions on how employees could be productive at work while maintaining their personal lives.
  7. Enforcing the culture that helps segregate work time from off-work time.
  8. Encouraging efficient work, not more work. Offering flexible and remote working, giving time to volunteer, and giving access to exercise.
  9. Not asking employees to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of their job security or prioritize their livelihood over their family.
  10. Finding a good way to address the individual needs of employees by taking into account the different life phases of employees. For example, young parents have different challenges than employees without children.
  11. Ensuring that employees are given the right tools to perform their roles to the best of their ability. This may be in the form of flexible hours, flexibility for working parents, remote work options and setting realistic expectations with clients.
  12. Building a workplace culture that is motivating and energizing and purpose driven to instill a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem among employees.
  13. Providing life insurance, along with health insurance. Promoting team-building activities and awareness campaigns; holding team meetings outside the office without discussing work.
  14. Setting a course of action to change the organization from within. It should be approached holistically and incorporated at every level of the organization. Train employees, provide them with the right tools and initiatives; and empower them to encourage change in behaviour and attitude.
  15. Making mental, emotional, and physical wellness a priority and not an add-on. Making vacations mandatory on an annual basis to make sure everyone gets their switch-off time.

Here’s our interview with 15 HR experts:

What can companies do to help their employees achieve life-balance?​

Focus on productivity and not hours; flexible working, Working remotely; lead by example. — Alexandra Richardt, Global Head of Human Resources, United Initiators GmbH

Education, flexible working, well being support, active promotion of work-life balance — Rachid ‘Ben’ Bengougam, Senior VP HR EMEA, Hilton

Be role models and have guidelines and principles on how a healthy life-balance should look like and most important of all walk the talk. — Tim Shahriar Tabrizi, Serial Entrepreneur, Supply Chain Expert, Former CPO of WSA

First of all, companies should have a willingness for WLB or LB as a LB partner of each employee and should not act like Police State. Exactly like Business Partnering, each company must nominate staff as Life Balance Partners who will propagate LB. — Uday Dongare, Head HR Administration, L&T

Being an expatriate and managing over 50 nationalities in one property is not easy to ensure the Talent is welcome and feeling home.

One thing always stands up to is how to let the talent balance their life. Having fun in the workplace, building relationships among the talent, and create flexible policies are also helping to achieve life balance. For instance, flexible working hours, remote working, self sick leave, advanced salary, and entertainment discount extended to friends and family. — Kheder Osman, Assistant Director of Human Resources at W Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Encourage the flexible working hours, compress working days and long weekends, telework invite family members to workplace, awareness sessions on how to be productive at work while maintaining your personal life. I used to say: prior 2020, we take the pending work from the office to home; after 2020, we take pending work from home to office. — Mahmoud Alabdali, Head of Human Resources, MyClinic

Mainly two things, first, create a company of experience that aims to enjoying life beside work, as in employee welfare programs, second & most importantly is to enforce the culture segregating work time from off work time, i.e. weekend is for rest, week days for work, annual leave is for rest, work days for work, etc. — Hussein El Ashmawi, Group HR Director, Alameda Healthcare Group

Offer flexible and remote working, give time to volunteer, give access to exercise.

Don’t push seniors to retire in order to finally pursue their dreams. By letting seniors work remotely, they can move to their ideal location, travel, and spend more time with their families – while still contributing to your organization’s success.

Encourage Efficient Work – Not More Work, In addition to performance concerns, working long hours has proven to be damaging to employee morale – The Mental Health Foundation reports that when working long hours, 27% of employees feel depressed, 34% feel anxious and 58% feel irritable. — Kamesh Chaganti, Vice President – Human Resources, Zee Entertainment Middle East

In a world where someone’s time is almost equally divided between home and workplace, companies can and must play a vital role in helping their employees achieve a life-balance.

This can be done by first and foremost creating a workplace atmosphere that reflects real life. A place where employees are people who have an actual life happening outside the walls of the office in which emergencies might come up or situations may arise which the employee needs not to apologize or feel bad for.

 

Staff shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because they had a personal issue which needed them to be away from their working desks for a certain amount of time.

Maral Baboyan

Second, being in a working environment which doesn’t abuse the employee mentally and emotionally is vital in helping employees lead a balanced life; one in which the person doesn’t go home drained to the point where they are unable to live out their personal lives.

In a nutshell, companies should learn not to ask a person to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of their job security or prioritize their livelihood over their family. Always keep in mind that when a person is given the flexibility and freedom to comfortably balance out their professional and personal lives is one that will achieve more on all fronts. — Maral Baboyan, Head of HR, Key of Education International School – Qatar

In my point of view, the main task for companies to ensure the life-balance of their employees is to find a good way to address the individual needs of employees.

Taken into account the different life phases of employees, it quickly becomes clear that young parents, for example, have different challenges than employees without children.

The generation models also show that companies must respond flexibly to the different demands and expectations of employees in order to be and remain attractive.

Whereas work typically comes first for baby boomers, the situation is very different for the following generations X and Y. Here, self-fulfillment, purpose and independence are high on the list of priorities regarding working life. Of course, exceptions confirm the rule here as elsewhere.

These different expectations are increasingly coming into conflict as Gen Y is widely entering the labour market. This often leads to conflicts between employees and managers, but also within teams. Not everyone involved always has the necessary understanding for the other´s needs.

 

Here, as a company, it is important to create appropriate framework conditions so that all employees can relate and conflicts can be avoided.

Christine Fink

 

Especially in the more conservative industries, I believe this will be a major challenge for companies in terms of leadership, teamwork and flexibility. Working time regulations, shift models and infrastructures need to be re-thought in order to respond more agilely and flexibly to the needs of employees and at the same time ensure the effectiveness and profitability of the company. — Christine Fink, Head of Human Resources Europe & South America, GF Machining Solutions

With work schedules getting busier than ever before and clients becoming more demanding, the pressure on employees to perform above and beyond expectations is huge.

There is an immense responsibility on forward thinking organisations to ensure a healthy life-balance for all of their employees. Studies have shown that balanced employees are inclined to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, perform better, which inevitably will increase company productivity.

 

Productivity comes in different forms, and each employee performs more efficiently under different conditions. Employers have a duty to their employees to ensure they are giving them the right tools to perform their roles to the best of their ability.

Reem Osman

This may be in the form of flexible hours, flexibility for working parents, remote work options and setting realistic expectations with clients.

Understand who your employees are, what makes them tick, what gets them up in the morning (and no, it isn’t their job), use these motivators, to incorporate their priorities into their work life, and you will see happier employees who feel appreciated, included and understood. — Reem Osman, Chief People Officer, Nybl

A typical employee spends between 33% to 50% of any given day at work. It is important that workplace Culture is motivating and energizing and purpose driven. This will instill a sense of self confidence and self esteem among employees that spills over on everything else in an employee’s life.

 

Companies that invest in authentic, high performing, high bar leaders and front line managers have remarkably high performing and happier members.

Sanuj Krishnan

Happier team members are more energetic outside of work and are able to bring harmony between work and life. Companies these days go the extra-mile in offering tailor made benefits (un-limited leaves, family days, sabbaticals, flexible work arrangements) to meet employee lifestyle needs as well. — Sanuj Krishnan, Global Head of HR, Swvl

Although life balance is key, yet at times it may differ person to person. Some enjoy more professional drive while some enjoy outside work environment. Managers need to be supportive towards their employees/team members and encourage humility.

Step in with empathy to understand how focus are they. Employee/s with personal issues in their back pack reduces productivity and a proactive approach helps mitigate.

Managers with regular team meetings help ease to open translucent doors between the manager and the employee which will help in assessing the efficiency as well.

 

Managers need to set a good example by focussing on the assigning per priority instead of quantity and deadlines over weekends. In addition, employee wellbeing, health and safety plays a vital role.

Sthabirjit Chaliha,

Along with health insurance, if companies can also promote life insurance for their employees, adds a value that stays with a positive vibe and spreads outside the work. Another example is paternity leave for fathers that helps spending quality time with their families.

In addition, team building activities, regular awareness campaigns like breast cancer awareness, etc. works wonders. Holding team meeting outside office, without discussing work for a day helps reducing the gap and an opportunity for managers to earn respect and trust from team members.

With the COVID 19 pandemic, companies have adopted technologies that help employees to work from home and have proved that productivity has in fact increased. Companies should start thinking about flexible working hours with set of deliverables so that companies can keep up with their set goals without compromising on productivity. — Sthabirjit Chaliha, Head- Human Resources, Al Najah

A straightforward Google search will tell you that employees spend an average of 90,000 hours over a lifetime, equating to one-third of their life at work. On the flip side, Payscale.com says that people spend an average of 328 days with their friends throughout a lifetime.

By virtue of these statistics, it is safe to say that companies can play a significant role in an employee achieving a life equilibrium. From a bottom-line perspective, there are numerous advantages from adopting this philosophy, such as increased productivity, reduced sickness and absenteeism, and greater talent retention. So the business justification is sorted.

Elrona DSouza

Companies can set a course of action to change their organisation from within. It should be approached holistically and incorporated at every level of the organisation. For starters it is important to listen to their employees, understand their needs, and incorporate them into the plan for starters.

Such initiatives should also be substantiated with data collected through exit interviews, engagement surveys, productivity reports etc. A great way to launch this change is to start from the top i.e. C-suite as role models. It can be strengthened by the line managers who advocate these principles as they are front line people managers who will bring out the best results.

They need to be trained, provided the right tools and initiatives and empowered to encourage change in behaviour and attitude. The training should focus on change in attitude and behaviour from penalising their teams for prioritising life balance to normalizing it.

The change may be gradual and needs to be monitored with the right measure of behaviour changes, perhaps through employee questionnaires and life balance surveys. The support and change in how an organisation values employees and their contribution can only be achieved if they make it mainstream and all pervasive in their decisions, policies, systems and work processes. A few events and generous leave policies will do little to change the current life imbalances. Employees should be encouraged to take them and not have to worry about the consequences. — Elrona DSouza, Managing Partner at S&K Consulting

“You can’t do a good job, if your job is all you do!” Ali Khursheed Ahmad
In my opinion, the responsibility for ensuring a healthy work-life balance for people in the organization is shared equally between the employer and the employee. The employees have to take responsibility to change their attitudes to work and home life and at the same time, companies can help their staff to find and maintain a work balance that works. My mother used to say, there’s a place and time for everything. Now when I think of it, it’s so very applicable to the world of work. We all will readily agree that boundaries are good in our personal lives. There’s no reason why we can’t and shouldn’t have boundaries in our professional lives too. A world where we work when we work. And we can have our 100% self in our personal lives when we’re not working. There shouldn’t be any guilt about an employee who wants to give due priority to his family or personal commitments too. The best kind of companies actually encourage and even force employees to have a healthy work-life balance. All progressive organizations must start by fostering high-trust work environments and setting boundaries around work. Starting with the leadership teams, work-life balance must be practiced from the top and all the way below. Everyone deserves to be their 100% at work and when not at work they deserve to be their 100% in their personal lives too. Flexibility around duty timings, week offs, and place of work should be the next area of focus. Getting the work done is important, but there can mostly be a lot of pivoting space as to where, what exact hours or days should that work happen. It is also very much acceptable to experiment with customized ideas for each unique work environment to try out what works and what doesn’t. People who still feel compelled to stay late for work everyday must be restricted to work beyond an acceptable hour. Vacations must be made mandatory on an annual basis to make sure everyone gets their switch-off time. A healthy common-zone where personal meets professional is another good practice where employees feel comfortable sharing their work updates with family and the office is welcoming in specially curated family days at the office. Mental, emotional, and physical wellness is a priority and not an add-on. The sooner companies start realizing that, a lot more work would be delivered while keeping both productivity and personal satisfaction at their respective peaks. Once we have figured out whether we live to work or work to live, we would all be a lot closer to achieving the kind of work-life balance that we all deserve! — Ali Khursheed Ahmad, Group Head – Performance, Training & Talent at FHG Middle East

Achieving Life-Balance for Your Organization

By having a better understanding of your organization’s current situation as well as the struggles your employees face during this time of crisis, you’ll be able to come up with better ways to address their concerns and help them achieve a life-balance. Step up and enforce a culture that encourages listening and supporting employees especially during such a difficult and challenging time.

I advise each organization to work as of today – and not tomorrow- on a wellbeing plan for their employees.

It should be a long-term plan with quick short-term measures. It’s not about one course or webinar, it’s about strategy and milestones, which could be measured to see also the huge ROI on the money you are putting into this.

There are so many organizations which will help you not only to apply this and not only to calculate your ROI, but also help you with calculating your absenteeism and presenteeism rate and have a complete strategy and plan for your employees. Learn more about how U-Grow can help.