Categories: communication, Leadership, mental health, People Skills, professional development, project manager, soft skills, Wellbeing
Let’s talk about personal wellbeing.
It’s not the normal topic I talk about. Usually when I post it’s about technical skills like maturity assessments, cost and time estimating, or practitioner competency development. If I talk about soft skills I talk about skills like leadership, communication and team development.
The thing I noticed about all of these skills is that they are all outward facing. They require the leader or the project manager to give something to someone else. I realized that maybe it’s time to start looking after our own wellbeing first. By doing this we can be healthier people and be better prepared for our personal and professional challenges.
This post is also founded in my own personal experience of letting a state of “ill being” sneak up on me in very small barely noticeable steps. I won’t go into too much detail but there was a point in 2018 when I had to admit that I had let several years of stress and lack of good health practices adversely impact my overall state of wellbeing. I am not the only hard working professional to end up like this, I won’t be the last and maybe you can relate or know someone who can.
What helped me recover and return to a state of wellbeing was positive psychology, signature character strengths and learning resilience techniques.
I’m going to leave you to google the science of positive psychology and it’s founder Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania. The elements of positive psychology that have helped me most have been learning about and focusing on my signature strengths, mindfulness and gratitude. If you bought one of his books I would recommend “Flourish”.
The science of resilience is an incredibly powerful set of tools and insights from Karen Reivich & Andrew Shatte, which at its heart teaches us that it isn’t the event we experience that shapes us, but the way we respond to it, and we can learn to have more control over the ways in which we respond. I’m going to encourage you to get their book “The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life's Hurdles” and learn some practical techniques for improving your levels of resilience.
If I could pass on two basic tips that you could use immediately to increase your levels of wellbeing it would be to start a simple gratitude practice. Each evening before you go to bed either write down, or share with someone, three things you are grateful for that happened that day. It’s a great way to end the day and it’s been proven that gratitude increases wellbeing.
The second tip would be to find out what your signature character strengths are and begin to leverage these more in your personal and professional life. Everything seems easier and takes less effort when you use your signature strengths. You can take the free assessment at the link below.
So, let’s keep sharing great ideas about leadership and project management. Let’s exchange ideas about Gantt charts, kanban boards and earned value management. Let’s debate agile versus waterfall approaches. Let’s keep inspiring others with stories of great leaders, communicators and team builders. But let’s also start to talk and share stories about our own wellbeing, and what works for each of us.
Find out your Character Strengths here: