What we found time and again is that if people’s thriving state is made explicit and shared, they themselves can and will take the right action to foster their own development and wellbeing in order to perform. In other words, people are able to self-regulate, based on what they feel and sense. So why not use this as a strength?
Awareness about your thriving state: storytelling
People can be made very aware of their thriving state and only need to be remembered of it by giving them an experience in which they actually feel that they are in a thriving state. One of the methods that works very well in our experience is to engage people in storytelling: ask them to tell stories about thriving and very influential experiences in their life. Sharing these stories reinforces their awareness, and you can ask other participants to give ‘reflective feedback’. They share their associations, thoughts and feelings based on the story of their colleague. From the story they told and the feedback they got people can distil the ‘ingredients’ for thriving in their work.
Embodying your thriving state: systemic positioning
A second method is to engage them in an experiential systemic positioning exercise where they position themselves in different quadrants depicting the level of thriving, self-connectedness and contribution to the organisation.
When you ask people to position themselves in one of these quadrants on the floor and ask for their feelings in that position, they can very well relate to and explain these inner states. Then you can ask them to follow their inner motion to where they want to go (usually towards ‘thriving’) and whether they have an intuition what could be the first step to go there. When you succeed in getting their ‘gut feel’ answers (bypassing the cognitive ‘chess game’ that all people have in their head with all kinds of limiting thoughts) people indeed somehow already know what they should do.
Once you start working with your thriving state, allowing and stimulating people to make it explicit, you will see people taking initiative to foster their own development and well-being in order to perform. And that is one of the most effective things you can do to get sustainable business results.