The content modules of the Well-Being Coach® programme:
Copyright: organizational psychologist Helen Eriksen
A shift in paradigm from growth to well-being
The Well-Being Coach® programme is structured in modules. The first module frames the shift of paradigm that is currently taking place. We find ourselves in transition from a growth paradigm to a well-being paradigm. We take a close look at the challenges that this entails for our society, our living and working conditions, our personal lives as individuals, our organizations, our health and quality of life, our bodies, minds and nervous systems, our relationships, our working environment and our well-being. And because the focus of the course, in its treatment of both theory and practice, is on what generates well-being and a constructive working environment, that also forms a natural part of this framing perspective.
Change psychology, well-being psychology, motivational psychology
In terms of enhancing our focus on what generates well-being and a constructive, energizing working environment rather than on what we can do to bring down sick leave, this module offers insight into what various research disciplines and practice experiences can tell us about that. In our work as leaders we are inspired by new developments in modern research within change psychology, well-being psychology and motivational psychology.
Relationships, group dynamics and evolutionary psychology
What are the psychological and neurological mechanisms behind our basic relational dynamics? How can we, in individual and relational terms, get better at decoding, reading and becoming more aware of unconscious and influential dynamics? And how can we use this knowledge and inspiration in a proactive effort to generate well-being, joy and a really great working environment?
Stress – causes, prevention and healing
This module addresses stress in the context of the shifting paradigm. What is stress really about, and what are some of the sustainable solutions for individuals, organizations and society? Does it make sense to continue to apply the same familiar solutions, or is it time that we look for solutions to stress prevention and stress management within the well-being paradigm? We take a detailed look at the causes of stress, stress conditions and symptoms and solutions for preventing and managing stress and burn-out.
Resilience, biochemistry, diet, lifestyle, joy
No chain is stronger than its weakest link. And usually we are good at helping and caring for others, making sure that our employees and families thrive. Often, we tend to forget our own needs. However, it is worthwhile bearing in mind the airline safety instructions: in the occurrence of sudden drop in cabin pressure, it is important that we put on our own oxygen mask first, before assisting others. Otherwise we may find ourselves unable to be of any help to anyone, including ourselves. The growth paradigm, with its economic models for constant growth, profit maximization, higher, faster, farther, runs counter to the approaches that nature’s ecosystems tell us have generated sustainable development for millennia and to our own biochemical, neurological and physiological structures.
This module tells us in detail, and in a humorous tone, how we can generate more resilience, well- being and quality of life by combining our knowledge of brain functions, psychological dynamics and the impact of diet and exercise.
Change psychology, well-being and unconscious assumptions
Both individual and relational well-being are shaped, to a high degree, by our perspective on things and our way of dealing with them. And since much of our individual and group-dynamic behaviour is unconscious, governed by old, unconscious assumptions, it is vital for a positive working environment that we continue to advance our conscious awareness of our own and the organization’s basic assumptions.
These assumptions often act as major obstacles to innovation and well-being. Not because we reject change, but because we are not aware what we do. Our psychological working environment is often shaped by the profound way in which we are governed, on an individual as well as a collective level, by old erroneous assumptions that cause us to think that others will like us less if we express something that the majority does not agree with, and that this may cause us to be excluded or marginalized or lose status in the group. When we become more aware of these dynamics and our own role in the greater context, we are in a much better position to become conscious co-creators, acting from a well-being perspective. That is liberating, intrinsically motivating and energizing, and it generates sustainable well-being: well-being that can be sustained because we become more consciously aware of our own actions. We become intrinsically motivated to take responsibility for ourselves and each other.
The brain seen in an innovation and well-being paradigm
What can neuroscience and modern research tell us about the brain and about what drives sustainable well-being, self-innovation, cultural innovation – or the opposite? Might it be an idea to take better care of our mental and physical brain health while we have it? And how can we do that, as individuals and in our interpersonal relations?
The whole brain – multiple intelligences, learning and well-being
‘If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’ (Albert Einstein). If instead it were judged on its ability to swim in water, it would develop an experience of mastery. In fact it would take to this challenge as a fish to water, which is another way of describing well-being. How can we, as leaders and employees, use the knowledge of the multiple intelligences to build a working environment where more people have experiences of mastery and thus of being self-reliant and intrinsically motivated for well-being?
The fruit-tree strategy: GIVING while growing, and the leadership paradigm of the future
This module addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of how we can learn sustainable leadership from the body and from nature and how we can generate greater well-being and meaning in our daily practice. In the transition from a growth paradigm to a well-being paradigm we can draw inspiration from how nature and the body have survived and adapted for millennia in terms of communication, cooperation, knowledge sharing and information. We acquire landmark knowledge about how these two living systems have organized and dealt with the world in ways that are evident in the organization in the form of energy, widespread trust, communication that builds well-being and knowledge sharing, self-reliance and co-creating and a twinkle in the eye of leaders and employees alike.
Mindfulness, movement/yoga, enhanced body awareness
In many cases we have the necessary tools and abilities to generate sustainable leadership and well-being close at hand. We just sometimes overlook them because we live in a culture that typically favours an expressive, extrovert way of generating identity and meaning rather than an inward, reflective, vegetative, meditative practice.
In our culture it is easier for us to understand that the goal is to make it first across the finishing line, to jump higher or farther than the rest and to claim the trophy than to turn one’s gaze inward and overcome one’s own shortcomings by meeting oneself, getting to know oneself and one’s different sides, observing them and then embracing them without judgment.
In this module we learn how we can strengthen our nervous system and resilience by practising mindfulness, and how we can integrate simple mindfulness and yoga exercises in our day-to-day working lives as a way of laying a foundation for a positive psychology working environment and good quality of life overall.