The term ‘work life balance’ is a tired notion.
I was first introduced to the concept of blend last year when I interviewed Mel Forbes, CEO of The Guidant Group. I was interviewing Mel on the topic of leading with emotional intelligence. As a business The Guidant Group had recently invested in a leadership development tool called Open Blend Method, founded by Anna Rasmussen www.openblendmethod.co.uk. The impact of this investment, according to Mel, has been transformational.
what is Blend
Anna, a self-employed leadership coach, was six months into her maternity leave when she started considering the notion of work life balance. She was struck by how negative it felt, and intuitively knew there was a better way to look at it. She split her life into segments, and populated each with the area that needed to be considered, in order for her to reach her potential as both a mother, and a coach.
What she found was that in reality our commitments are not separate. Instead they come together and influence each other. In short, they blend. The concept of work life blend highlights the reality that productivity at work is impacted by life, just as life is impacted by work. Acknowledging, and respecting, that our life and our work blend together is empowering. What she found was that by getting the blend right, performance improves.
Suddenly she had clarity, and a plan to make it all work. The concept of blend was born. The Open Blend Method has now developed into an online leadership tool that enables managers to enhance the wellbeing, engagement and productivity of their talent.
Why do we find it so hard to get the right blend?
I believe that creating the right blend takes courage. From my own experience it has taken me nearly 17 years to get it. I first had to start with knowing what the right blend would look like for me. As a coach you would think that I would have found this easy - unfortunately not. I set out to explore and get curious about my own performance and what I was feeling when I was at my optimum level. I had energy, vitality, creativity and a zest for life - I worked a lot less hours, but was focused and more productive.
My turning point came one day when I realised the right blend for me was not always the same as other woman in leadership that I knew. I believe that this is a really important message I can give to others - this is about creating the right blend for you, not for anyone else.
Of course the blend needs to benefit others including the organisation you work for, but the impact of your own wellbeing and happiness on your productivity, will ultimately be the greatest benefit you can bring an employer.
ideas for creating the right blend
Open Blend Method have developed 6 simple steps to create your unique work/life blend based on a number of contributing factors. The focus is progressive and acknowledges the fact that every individual is different.
Imagine that everything is running smoothly in your life. You are being highly effective at work, highly effective at home, you are happy and have a sense of being on top of everything. What is contributing to that?
Take some time to think about this. It is important.
You need to identify 8 contributing factors
If you want to learn more about the other steps I highly recommend talking to Anna about Open Blend Method. I am are currently introducing the tool as part of a Management Development Programme, as a way of helping Managers to have great coaching conversations that are REALLY focused on what the individual needs and empowering them to achieve this. The programme is an integrated mix of coaching and workshops with the focus on helping the business create a more emotionally intelligent climate. Open Blend Method leadership tool is a practical solution to help embed the learning and transform the culture of the business.
As a Blend Coach I use Open Blend Method with my clients to help them create a unique work/life blend. I have found this leadership tool to be transformational in helping individuals to feel more empowered, fulfill their potential and improve performance. Please contact Amanda Wildman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07815 743045 to find out more about workshops and coaching programmes that will create a climate of emotional intelligence with the focus on helping employees achieve the rightblend.
"Amanda has done a fantastic job for my team at Pearson, through team workshops and individual coaching. She connects well with individuals, and tailors her approach to great effect. She understands the importance of leadership and teamship to drive corporate success and has a myriad of tools and models that can be used and applied to address the particular human challenges teams and leaders face as part of their corporate evolution. I thoroughly recommend her services." CMO Pearson.