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WEDNESDAY WISDOM Compassion – Connection – Community

Having recently accepted an invitation to speak at an upcoming conference focused on the challenges of managing mental health issues in the workplace, I was reminded yet again of how isolated many feel when negotiating life and work in a less than optimal ‘mood’. 

Outside of serious psychotic illness, mood disorders are more common than many may choose to accept.

At any given dinner party of 10 people there is a good chance that at least five of those seated around the table are taking some form of medication for stress.  It is not relevant whether their diagnosis is anxiety, depression, burnout or something else. The bottom line is that a large portion of society feels less than fully alive, much of the time. 

Irrespective of the established fact that stress is exacerbated by the reality that we do not demonstrate or share compassion for it, we continue to shy away from connecting with one another in a manner that would ultimately reduce feelings of isolation and build a sense of community.

Wearing the hat of both health professional and business coach, I am absolutely delighted when clients share their mood-related challenges as it helps me to be more effective in our work.  The value lies in being able to acknowledge and incorporate the need to accommodate the impact mood has on personal energy while operating in the workplace; building a career; aspiring to create a legacy; being effective; productive; and ensuring as optimal function as possible. 

There is a direct link between thriving in our work and being able to be authentic and honest about who we are while actively doing it.  The benefit of embracing these personal factors, rather than spending time pretending they are not there, makes all the difference.  

For example: one of my coaching clients finds presenting feedback workshops to be exceptionally anxiety provoking, almost functionally disabling. As the distance between anxiety, limited function and depression is very short, this has a negative effect on the bottom line of business in a variety of ways.

Through openly discussing and exploring this anxiety in our work together, as well as recognising how common the experience is, we have discovered methodologies that manage it so well that presentations have since become an increasingly positive experience. 

It was in embracing the mood challenge – and not resisting it – that previously unidentified capability was found.

In the words of the larger than life actor, Dwayne Johnson: “I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realise is that you’re not alone.”

Imagine the exponential energy society would generate if we simply choose to show compassion, connect with one another and work as a community, rather than waste energy investing in building walls and (de)fences, while attempting to convince the world that we are ‘okay’.


13th of March 2019

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