Newsletter 36 – June 2007
Welcome to the 36th edition of our newsletter “In Equilibrium“. We hope you enjoy reading it and, as ever, would welcome your comments.
Please remember: we encourage you to forward this newsletter to colleagues. Hundreds of organisations are now distributing the “In Equilibrium” newsletter to their staff and we currently have over 30,000 subscribers!
Please feel free to post this newsletter on your company’s intranet.
Contents: Edition 36
- In Equilibrium News
- In Equilibrium Tip of the Month: The Power of Simplicity
- Book review:The Hungry Years – Confessions of a Food Addict by William Leith
- Stress in the News
- On a lighter note …
- Stress Case Study – Coaching Stressed Executives
- Have you heard of the Ki Treatment?
- Your feedback – Relaxation cd to be won – send us your thoughts!
1. In Equilibrium News
Details finalised – Managing Stress at Work Conference
The programme is now finalised for our “Managing Stress at Work Conference” which will take place at the BLCC in Dunfermline on Wednesday 28 November.
The conference’s objective is to enable delegates to learn from the experience of those who have tackled stress on an organisational level whilst also having the opportunity to learn more about managing their own and their colleagues’ stress while at work.
As well as a rich quality of speakers, delegates will have the opportunity to take part in two of the four workshops offered which will be run by In Equilibrium consultants. Two case studies from national organisations together with an insight into the findings of current research into the link between manager behaviour and stress round off what we hope will be a full and informative day.
New Download available
We have a new download available to our subscribers entitled “Tips for Managing your own Stress”. This resource has two sections, the first provides some background information about stress and the second section has lots of hints and tips for managing stress and improving resilience. Areas covered include: Stress Pressure and Performance, Working Long Hours, Individual Differences, Relaxation, Work-Life Balance, Sleeping, Thinking and Nutrition.
Direct to Your Inbox
If this newsletter has been passed on to you and you would like to receive it directly in future, or if you know of someone who might be interested in receiving the next edition.
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
Nelson Mandela, ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’, (1918 – )
“The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others.”
“In the book of life’s questions, the answers are not in the back.”
Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts (1922 – 2000)
3. In Equilibrium tip of the month
The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity. We have a tendency it seems to over complicate our lives and forget what’s important and what’s not. We tend to mistake movement for achievement. We tend to focus on activities instead of results. And as the pace of life continues to race along in the outside world, we forget that we have the power to control our lives regardless of what’s going on outside.
Websites we thought you might be interested in:
Do you prefer to buy food locally?
This is a website which brings together local producers from all over the UK. You can do a postcode search and it will tell you who and where your local suppliers are. Registering on their site enables Big Barn to inform the suppliers how many local people may be interested in their product, hopefully also encouraging more suppliers to sign up.
Think Fit! Be Active!
The British Heart Foundation have produced a site which provides everything you need to start living healthily. It has information about workplace health and how you can get active at work including their own workplace health programme. The changing facts on their homepage (e.g. that 37% of coronary heart disease deaths are related to inactivity, compared with 19% related to smoking) gave us an incentive to get active!
5. Book Review
The Hungry Years (Confessions of a Food Addict) – by William Leith
This book leaves you in the same eye-opened state about our current binge-culture as “Fast Food Nation” and “Shopped” did about the fast food industry and the power of our supermarkets respectively.
William Leith’s writing is admirably honest and “The Hungry Years” leads you through his journey to discover why he lives his life in excess. Although it is a personal journey, it is also an examination of the way we live our lives now and why the binge culture is so prevalent.
Having always been a person whose weight had yo-yoed, the book begins with Leith packing in preparation for a trip to New York to interview the diet guru Dr Atkins. There are explanations about the science behind this and other diets as well as an expose of why it was neither in Government, Industry nor certain scientists interests to do anything about the negative press which came to surround the Atkins Diet.
However, having become an avid convert of the diet and seeing the pounds slip off, he realised that becoming slimmer had not provided the happiness he sought. He looked to the other excesses in his life … and he believes that he has been addicted to almost everything.
“The Hungry Years” although making some very valid and thought-provoking points, had me laughing and cringing in equal measure and is a very readable book. It left me questioning our current way of thinking that losing excess weight will be the answer to all evils and a lifetime of happiness; and wondering if that old adage “a little of what you fancy does you good” is perhaps a better way forward.
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing plc ISBN 1592401554 or 978-1592401550
6. Stress in the News
In this section we give you links to recent articles in the press that we have found interesting:
Pace of Life now 10% faster than in early 1990’s
Professor Richard Wiseman in collaboration with the British Council has revealed the result of an international study to measure the speed of life in various cities worldwide. This site also includes a link to a quiz which tells you if you’re living your life in the fast lane and the possible shortcomings of so doing.
Mind calls for new green agenda for mental health
Mind, the mental health charity, has commissioned two studies from the University of Essex. The results published in this report confirm that participating in green exercise activities provide substantial benefits for health and wellbeing.
Mental ill health is the 2nd largest cause of sickness absence
A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Active Health Partners reveals that mental health is the 2nd largest cause of time lost due to sickness absence in UK organisations with stress, depression, and anxiety accounting for over 50% of these mental health problems.
7. On a lighter note …
A routine Saturday morning chore results in some unexpected but welcome side effects.
8. Stress Case Study – Coaching Stressed Executives
The HSE stress management standards identify Support as one of the 6 key conditions influencing health, well being and organisational performance.
The standard requires that :
- Employees should receive adequate information and support from their colleagues and superiors; and that
- Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns.
For stressed senior executives, this support can be hard to find. As the leaders of the organisation, they can feel that they should be providing rather than receiving support. And since they tend to have fewer immediate colleagues and superiors to turn to, life at the top can be lonely and isolated.
Executive Coaching is a way of responding to this problem. The following case studies illustrate how a non-judgemental outsider can help the executive to find his or her own solution.
A Career Decision
Finance Director John’s career was at a critical stage. A capable individual, the Company wanted John to move up to group level and allow a promising team member to fill the gap. However, John was avoiding making a decision because he was very worried about the impact of a move on his family; in particular his wife who was prone to anxiety and bouts of severe depression.
Coaching enabled him to talk confidentially about the situation at home, his values and aspirations. It enabled him to develop criteria for accepting a new role, and to identify alternative ways in which he could meet his own need for a challenging role, whilst continuing to support his wife and family.
A Stressed Team
Operations director Suzanna’s 360 degree appraisal had resulted in a very disappointing set of scores. Working in a complex, fast changing environment, she had been working long hours, close to burn out, and was inclined to blame her co-directors when things went wrong.
Coaching helped Suzanna to see herself as others were seeing her, and to understand how she was adding to the stress levels of her team. The 360 feedback was used to complete a SWOT analysis from which Suzanna was able to use her strengths and make the most of opportunities to create some quick wins with her team, while in the longer term she undertook an in depth management development programme.
In each of these cases, it had been possible for the executive to work through a stressful situation with the coach acting as facilitator, with personal growth outcomes that brought significant benefits to the organisation as well as the executives.
For further information about Executive Coaching, please contact us.
9. Have you heard of the Ki Treatment?
Ki Health International got in touch with us recently to tell us more about the Ki Treatment and we thought you may be interested to hear about it.
A practitioner explains “Ki Treatment is based on acupressure, which is similar to acupuncture but uses pressure, or touch, instead of needles. It boosts energy levels, lowers stress, and treats a variety of health conditions. The full body Ki Treatment takes around 15 minutes. No oils or creams are used, people remain fully clothed and are able to return to work immediately.”
If you would like more information about workplace visits throughout the UK from Ki Health International, please phone 020 7636 3500 or view their website at www.kihealth.org and click on “Ki @ work”.
10. Your Feedback – Win a PRIZE
Please let us know what you think about this edition of “In Equilibrium”. To entice you, we are offering a prize of a copy of our Relaxation Techniques cd for the most apt and original comment received (in our opinion, of course!).