Leadership posts

Want a Tool for Managing Conflict and Loneliness?

Posted by Laurie J Cameron

Let's take a deep breath together. I'm writing to you by the fire today in snowy Washington, DC. We are weeks away from marking a year of socially-distanced, anxious, remote living in a pandemic world. It has not been easy. If you're experiencing burnout, isolation or overwhelm, you are not alone.

In an article published last week in Harvard Business Review on the pandemic of burnout, researchers found that 89% of people reported their work-life balance was getting worse, with 62% of people struggling to manage their workload and experiencing burnout. In the survey of 1,500 people, one of the biggest factors of burnout was loneliness. We are disconnected like never before, in a grand social experiment we never asked for. Another finding is that "mismatched values at work" are contributing to the overwhelming sense of disconnection, isolation and exhaustion. There are many competing values in the system these days. One coaching client told me this week he is really struggling with wanting to honor his team's needs for time off, rest, childcare and balance with the very real pressure he feels to meet goals, complete deliverables and get projects over the finish line. It is not easy to navigate.

One way we can offset the impacts of loneliness, isolation and values conflicts is by using evidence-based mental practices to strengthen and amplify positive circuits and mindsets. You can power up an antidote to the sense of "I'm in this alone," or "We are far apart in this matter." Whether you are navigating family conflicts, or carrying the weight of extra work and not seeing eye-to-eye with someone on your team, you can do something to create a shift in your emotional well-being and sense of interconnection. Peace starts on the inside.

When I am feeling disconnected from a colleague, a close friend or family member, or I am having strong negative emotions about a leader or group of people, I pause, close my eyes and do this powerful mental practice called Just Like Me & Offering Kindness.

Chosen as today's Staff Pick on the Insight Timer meditation app, Just Like Me & Offering Kindness orients the mind and heart to our shared, human experience, even during times of conflict and disconnection. It cultivates a sense of common humanity by deepening connection and compassion with others and ends with a loving-kindness practice, offering kind wishes in widening circles to the people in your life. Practice Just Like Me & Offering Kindness here on Insight Timer.

"I feel like this one should be on speed dial for all the human conflict in life"  -Eric, February 2021 

If you are seeking ways to strengthen the heart and deepen connection with yourself and others, join me on March 13th in our virtual retreat, The Art and Science of Being Fully Alive. Learn more in this webinar on being fully alive taking place on February 26th at 12:00 pm ET.
Register here.

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