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Protecting the Personal

(Original source: T+D, August 2012)

 

Smart work and performance do not require long hours in the office or a barren personal life. The highly motivated executive team leading the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center came to this realization together with Sarita Bhakuni, organizational psychologist and consultant for CPP Inc.

Through Bhakuni’s guidance and facilitation, the leaders completed a series of four assessments during the course of two years. After each assessment- personality, leadership, needs, and conflict management- the leaders debriefed both individually with Bhakuni and as a team. Using action plans, the leaders worked to incorporate what they learned within their professional and personal lives.

The leaders realized that investing in their personal lives actually increased their productivity, morale and engagement at work.

Bhakuni helped the leaders to challenge their assumptions around working excessively. They examined their true productivity during those extra hours, as well as the cultural expectations they precipitated by neglecting their personal lives. The group began to keep one another accountable to protecting their well-being.

As they learned to let go of these false assumptions and negative expectations, the leaders began to experience a sense of relief. They realized that investing in their personal lives actually increased their productivity, morale, and engagement at work. The two years of gradual self-reflection, relationship building, and behavior change concluded with a management retreat during which the team discussed how they planned to sustain the change.

 

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