Esha Oberoi, Author at Afea Care Services

Why we’re Mindful in May

Esha Oberoi shares her secrets to success
Afea CEO & Founder Esha Oberoi

By Afea Founder and CEO Esha Oberoi

Have you heard of the Mindful in May movement? It’s a global event that encourages us all to get started with daily mindfulness. Started by a doctor trained in psychiatry, Dr Elise Bialylew, it combines mindfulness training with an optional charity component to raise money for clean water projects. 

How’s your mental health?

Mental health problems are common. During our lives, over half of us will face some sort of mental health problem. Approximately 20% of Australians between 16-85 experience mental illness in any one year.

I’m sure you’ll agree the last year hasn’t helped. The impact of COVID-19 has meant a quarter of us have thought more about our mental health. 18% of Australians have used a mental health support service since the beginning of March 2020.

Mental illness has a huge economic cost too. A report last year found mental illness and suicide in Australia costs us $220 billion a year in lost economic participation and productivity. It’s an astounding number.

How mindfulness can help with our mental health

Even if you haven’t accessed a mental health service in the last year, many of us could probably do with some help. With the social isolation of lockdown, health anxiety, unemployment or underemployment, financial strains and home schooling, it’s been a difficult year.

While no one is saying mindfulness is a miracle solution, it is a useful and powerful tool that can help all of us manage this stress. So how does it work? It helps us train our minds so we don’t ruminate about the past or fear the future. It allows us to remain in the present to achieve clarity and perspective.

How do you do it?

Here are the tips we share in our Mindfulness sessions at Afea Care Services.

1. Stop and sit

The first step is to get yourself into a comfortable position. You don’t have to lie down or sit crossed legged if that doesn’t work for you. Just make sure you have a comfortable space and some time. Start with 5 minutes and build it from there.      

2. Still yourself

Focus your attention on the present. People often think you need to empty your mind, but that’s not the way it works. Simply pay attention to the present moment without judgement. Focus on a sound such as your breath or some background noise.

3. Other thoughts are ok

If you notice your mind wandering, that is normal and absolutely ok. Just notice them and let them pass. Then try to focus on the present again.

 4. Practice makes perfect

The more you practice, the better you’ll become, and the longer you’ll be in mindful meditation without distractions. In time, you’ll notice how it improves your perceptions and reactions in your day-to-day life.

Highlights from our recent Mindfulness and Self-Care Workshop with Carers.

Why we should practice mindfulness at work

At Afea Care Services, practicing mindfulness is something we encourage. We often hold mindfulness sessions throughout the month to give everyone a chance to reset and refocus.

We also encourage our carers to have mental health conversations with their clients and introduce mindfulness if they can.

Mental health still has a stigma, particularly in workplaces. It’s time we open up the conversation and be honest about the way we’re feeling. Introducing guided meditations during Mindful in May at work is one way we can all start this important conversation.

Why instant gratification is hindering our ability to succeed

Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services shares her secrets to success

Esha Oberoi shares her secrets to success
Esha Oberoi shares her secrets of success

One of the questions I’m most often asked is: ‘what are the secrets of success’? Did I have a lucky break? Do I come from a family of business owners? Was I given a helping hand by someone in the industry?

The answer to these is no.

Whilst it would be great to think otherwise, the reality is that it all came down to a few simple things. I nurture relationships and I work on keeping myself mentally and emotionally strong. For me, success hasn’t been quick or easy. It has been thanks to persistence and repetition.

This may not sound very trendy, but I didn’t have ‘quick wins’ in anything. In this modern world, we are used to instant gratification to get what we want. Success is the price we pay for instant gratification.

What is instant gratification?

Instant gratification is the desire to experience exactly what we want right now. It’s become all pervasive in our lives. Rather than planning and cooking a meal from scratch, we can simply order in or heat up frozen food in the microwave. Instead of waiting each week for our favourite program to come out on television, we can binge watch the whole series. We are living in a world of convenience and abundance.

Sometimes it’s great. Afterall, who doesn’t like being able to order something online and get it express shipped to your house the next day? However, all this luxury comes at a cost. We are now used to the many conveniences in life and we are losing patience, which is needed for long-term, sustainable success and happiness.  

Instead of instant gratification, success is all about delayed gratification. It’s about being persistent and working hard to eventually enjoy the rewards.

Secret to success: persistence

There have been many moments when I’ve wanted to give up. Especially when growth isn’t achieved, despite the amount of effort put it. Or the market substantially shifts, and we have to pivot our whole strategy. We are all human and these events can easily destabilise us if we don’t continue to persist and repeat the basics.

A huge part of success is failure. Sometimes you need to have failures in order to learn the right path. As acclaimed American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou said:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

This is why I believe persistence is so important in growing success. After a failure, I really question what I did wrong. I dive deeply into why I experienced failure and how I can adjust my strategy for next time. Then, dust myself off and keep going. We may have to do this many times, but eventually, we will get there. At which point, the goalposts change again so we continue to learn and grow.  

Secret to success: repetition

The second thing I believe to be the secret to success is repetition. Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote in his book Outliers:

“The Story of Success that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill is to practice in the correct way for a total of 10,000 hours.”

Although there has been much debate about this, the basic idea is true – in order to enjoy success, we need to have experienced repetition. We need to be dedicated enough to put in the practise hours. Whether that’s learning a skill like playing the piano, chess or running a business.

What about you? What do you believe are the keys to success?

Esha Oberoi’s 5 tips for managing mental wellbeing

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

Work-life balance, clean eating, exercising, socialising on top of coronavirus is difficult for everyone. Unfortunately, the emotions we feel do not go away, they’re what makes us human. The good news is there are ways of dealing with them, without judgement. Here are my top 5 tips for managing mental wellbeing.

1. Accept sadness rather than suppressing it

After years of hardships, I was left suffering from depression and had to learn to embrace my emotions and heal from the pain I was carrying.

We become skilled at suppressing our emotions, believing we have recovered from negative events in our life, when often these traumas resurface if we haven’t properly acknowledged and worked on them.

Our natural response to failure, stress or rejection is denial. We deny those feelings that are negative by compensating our emotional bodies with alcohol, food, work or retail therapy and never actually make an effort to confront how we truly ‘feel’.

I was not immune to this. I took to drinking in my youth and as an adult became a workaholic – anything to distract from having to feel. I think we all have a tendency to block how we feel by seeking distractions. The thing is, these emotions actually never go away, they just build up until we start to see imbalances in our bodies, whether emotional or physical, such as sickness and stress. 

It’s incredibly important that we continue to work internally on ourselves, particularly now in the midst of a global pandemic when emotions and fears are high.

For me, that means spending time alone and evaluating how I feel. Am I centred? Am I out of depth? How do I want to respond to this situation? Giving attention to our internal selves allows us to stay connected to our emotions, keeping them in check and leading to better mental health.

When we begin to acknowledge our emotions, we learn to face our ‘failures’ and recognise the lessons in each. We can start accepting our imperfect selves and begin to celebrate our evolution instead of judging and criticising our mistakes and failures.

2. Find a place of mental stillness 

Have you ever rushed a decision that you later regretted? Being ‘busy’ is often worn like a badge of honour, when in fact more and more research tells us that multitasking isn’t effective and trying to do too many things at once is detrimental to our health, focus and outcomes.

Whenever I find myself feeling like I am rushing, I turn to meditation. It’s so easy to say, “I don’t have time,” but when a 5-minute meditation might lead to better decision making and less headaches down the track, it makes sense to make time.

Meditation has helped me stay in the eye of the hurricane – that place of stillness when there is constant chaos in life from rapidly growing a business and juggling a young family.

I also love meditation because it has given me space to allow all of my thoughts and emotions to surface in a safe and private place. The results come from being able to allow those aspects of ourselves to reveal themselves, giving us an opportunity to let go of them. Meditation brings the calm back into the chaos of life.

3. Reflect and journal your lessons

By writing things down, we can better reflect on what we have learnt and achieved. We often underestimate our value but can overcome these limiting thoughts through introspection and journaling. Write out all of the things you weren’t aware of before that you are aware of now.

Learn to listen to your inner dialogue and begin to re-write any negative scripts you’ve been telling yourself that are becoming your truth.

4. Make decisions using your second brain

Our second brain lies in our gut, which is why we often say ‘my gut instincts’. Use your instincts and tap into your emotions when making decisions. Seek to understand your emotions instead of blocking them out.

Even a negative emotion such as envy can give us so much insight into ourselves. Jealousy allows us to understand what our aspirations are and what we truly desire at that moment for ourselves.

Next time you find yourself feeling this way, use that insight to inspire action towards your wants or needs at the time. Then, let it go and release it, so you are not burdened by it.

5. Let go of attachments to outcomes

One of the best things I have done over the last few years is practised the art of going with the flow and letting go of any attachments to events, outcomes, achievements, people and places.

Never has this been so relevant. Coronavirus has thrown the world into chaos and brought many plans to a halt suddenly. It’s natural for us to want to be in control of our lives, but we’re all largely subject to outside influences beyond our control. Instead of fighting these with anger and fear, it’s important we learn to embrace the new directions our lives take us in.

I have deep aspirations for myself but I don’t attach to them. I visualise what I desire, but then let those thoughts drift and release any attachments. This is an incredibly powerful tool and something that is easy to practise.  

Updates to the NDIS Price Guide

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has published the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue for 2020-21. The new Price Guide has been updated as a result of the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2019‒20. The latest Price Guide, effective from 1 July 2020 and can be accessed here.

In accordance with your Services Agreement, Afea will be charging as per the price limits specified under the amended NDIS Price Guide 2020-21. Your plan funds have been automatically indexed as of 1 July 2020 to offset the annual indexation. An NDIS systems update is expected to occur on 11 July 2020 and new funds balance should reflect on PRODA once updated. There will be no impact to the services you currently receive.

There is also no action required from you to seek a plan review to access additional funds.

The NDIA has removed COVID-19 pricing where a 10% temporary increase was applied in March 2020, which means you will be able to get more service hours in line with your NDIS Plan funding. Other temporary arrangements introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic such as late cancellation notice (from 10 business days’) and its charges have also changed. 

As per the new NDIS Price Guide, clients will be required to give 2 clear business days’ notice of cancellation for supports that is less than 8 hours of continuous duration with an agreed total price of less than $1000, or 5 clear business days’ notice for any other supports.

Whilst the NDIA is recommending 2 or 5 clear business days’ notice of cancellation, Afea will keep our cancellation policy unchanged where you can continue to provide 24 hours’ notice if you wish to cancel a service.

If you have any questions relating to the changes, please feel free to contact our helpful Afea Care Coordinators at 1300 65 11 33 (option 1).

Success isn’t limited. Why I don’t say no to mentoring our Competitors.

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

Last year, one of our old Afea team members requested me to mentor him in starting his own NDIS provider service. This person was our 11th employee and he was integral in growing Afea to what it is today. He was now asking me how he can build his business. He wanted to offer the same services as us in the same market as us and he wanted my help to do it.

What did I tell him? Yes of course I would mentor him. This may sound surprising and some might even think it’s foolish. But I believe mentoring my competition can only stand to benefit both of us. Here’s why:

I believe there is enough for everyone

My belief in spirituality has taught me to live with a mindset of abundance. If we believe there is enough for everyone, we open our minds to seek more opportunities. We experience the magic of limitlessness.

With a closed mind and thinking that we live in lack, we also close our minds to further growing and progressing ourselves. This results in limiting any new opportunities too.

We all are on different paths

We live in a fast-paced world where there is a constant need to reinvent our businesses, our practices and our value to the people we serve. Even the business practices we have tried and tested will need to be further evolved.

Sharing our previous experiences to a less mature business may be useful to a newcomer. They may be able to take different learnings from our experience and use it to create a different outcome. If they take this knowledge and do something with it, it is harmless to me as we are on a different path.

Although we may technically be ‘competitors’, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. We are running our own race and the most important thing is to think about the impact we have on our own world.

I like to help

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering my line of work, but I love being able to help others! I believe my level of compassion increases when I share my knowledge.

If a simple conversation can help save another person from burning their cash or making some other costly mistake, then I want to have that conversation. I have nothing to lose from sharing my own mistakes in the hope that it can help another person grow.

Mentoring is soulful

One of my interpretations of life’s motivation and purpose is to have fun and experience joy. Why else would I want to wake up every morning, if not for a couple of uncontrollable belly-laughs, creating heart-warming connections with others and ultimately feeling more love in my life?

Given these intentions, it makes it easy for me to make decisions around the relationships I hold with people around me. It feels so much more human to cooperate, collaborate and partner with my competition to increase our collective value towards the community.

This year we have supported a handful of smaller providers in growing their market share by helping them introduce metrics and KPIs as well as giving them useful contacts.

Despite this, we have still managed to grow and expand our footprint. Most recently, we have set up a new office in Melbourne and we’re already growing rapidly. It only proves how much abundance surrounds us and how mentoring our competition benefits all of us.

How I balance goal setting with the principles of detachment as an entrepreneur

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

We are heading into the end of the financial year and for all business owners and sales teams out there, with it comes a massive amount of pressure to achieve revenue targets and close opportunities. Whether they’re business or personal goals, here is how I manage my attachment to the end result.

I am heavily goals driven and love beating my own best score. My goals are pretty well defined, and almost always sit out of my comfort zone. Given the growth I expect from myself, I determine right at that the start to focus on the journey and not be deeply attached to, or disappointed with the outcome.

Because I am not caught up in attachment to the end result, I can make my goals a little harder, which allows me to keep fulfilling my potential and living up to the highest version of myself.

This isn’t always easy, however, I’ve developed some strategies along the way to help me enjoy the journey to my destination.

Having fun, being playful, and not taking things so seriously.

I like including playfulness in whatever I do. Often even my most serious meetings will start with a fun activity. It helps ease the pressure and creates the right energy to follow through on difficult tasks.

I also feel when we neglect any part of ourselves, we become resentful, so if we aren’t regularly having fun and balancing that with serious work time, we start to hate going into work.

When I meditate, I imagine attachment being like heavy bricks on my shoulders and I love visualising that I’m shrugging them off. This quick visualisation helps me manifest and attract freedom.

Freedom is such a powerful state.

It can do wonders for our mental health as well, and with any mindset shift, self-talk and visualisation are key for lifelong changes.

Esha’s Self-Care Strategies

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

We are living in an incredibly overwhelming world at the moment with a global pandemic that is sweeping over our lives.

It was only 6-8 weeks ago that we had major uncertainties whether it was around will there will be enough canned food and toilet paper in the grocery stores or will I be home schooling my kids whilst managing work projects?

Naturally with the number of professional and personal commitments we all hold, these uncertainties are not just overwhelming but also stressful in our lives.

Before I started Afea Care Services, I was working as a Carer and over time I have developed a number self-care routines that I regularly turn to so I can avoid burnout. They have been invaluable for me in my journey.

As long as we live in this physical body in this human state, we are not immune to stress. Stress surrounds us in our everyday lives and in this sometimes over-stimulated world.

We are always switched on and we are not resting enough.

We are in a state of information overload, so we are constantly reacting, rather than living joyfully in the moment. We simply don’t have time to do so.

We have so many thoughts buzzing through our heads that it is hard to distinguish the meaningful, helpful thoughts.

I believe that positive stress comes from having a defined purpose, feeling empowered and living completely in the moment, with a balance of self-care and care for others. This type of stress is important, it comes from a healthy ego and it motivates us to look after ourselves and our society. It gives us enough pressure to want to expand out of our comfort zones and not so much that we break down.

Negative stress on the other hand is lethal.

Stress where you start to feel intense negative emotions is not healthy. Continued stress can have major impacts on all aspects of our beings. Understanding stress and where it comes from will help us keep the balance tipped towards positive stress rather than negative. Negative stress is when our thoughts and emotions become harmful and get in the way of our growth.

You are no longer making considered choices. We can even start to experience our body’s natural fight or flight response to fear and insecurity.

If you recognise you’re feeling this way give yourself some self-care and take time off.

The first step is recognition. If we let negative stress take over, it becomes a part of us and we may forget what it’s like to live without the mental fog forgetting how good it feels when we are functioning in a healthy way.

Admit that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Accepting this can be a challenge for a lot of people. My philosophy has always been that I have to care for myself. If I don’t, I am not useful to anyone, I cannot care for anyone. Once you come to terms with this, you can start to practice self-care and self-love which in turn, will open your heart more to those around you.

I look after the different aspects of myself equally: mind, heart, soul/spirit and my physical body. These are my top outlets for reducing burnout, healing and cleansing:

Journaling

I do a lot of journaling. Putting pen to paper helps clearly map out your thoughts and emotions and provides clarity in your situation. Taking this time to sit seriously with your thoughts can have a huge positive impact on your mental health.

Start to dissect the stress you’re feeling. Where is it coming from? Is it my own stress? Am taking on someone else’s stress? I find many times when I am speaking to my friends that they will share some aspects of their life that is really stressing them out and when we start to dig deeper, we realise that it isn’t even their stress! It is the stress they are carrying for something their parents, their partner or their child is going through. They feel obliged to accept it as their own stress. This is something I used to do for a long time, because it is how we are programmed.

If we look at this rationally, it doesn’t make any sense. I know it’s really hard to practise this without feeling like you don’t care or aren’t being compassionate. This simply is not true. I have found myself more empathetic, caring and compassionate without the energy of the drain by accepting another’s person’s stress as my own.

Mindfulness

I have been meditating now for 5 years and my daily meditations are an hour long, without compromise. If I’m really pressed for time, I will divide it into 2 sessions of 30 minutes each.

Out of all of the self-care routines, dieting, boot camp, trips to the salon, it is by far the cheapest (it’s free) method self-care that we know of, it’s pure bliss.

One hour might seem daunting to sit alone if you have never tried mindfulness. I started with 3 minutes a day, then 5 minutes a day. Over the months I found the time increased naturally because I loved it so much. I experienced peace. Not borrowed or taken from anyone. It is in us. In our hearts and in our connection with ourselves, our deeper selves.

Not only does mindfulness connect us with our minds, but in the silence, I have been able to also become closer to my hearts desires. In the stillness I get a lot of clarity in my thinking and decision making. It also allows us to connect our hearts and minds and truly feel into what is bringing us peace or hurt.

I think of mindfulness as being like the ocean, when near the shores the water is rough and mixed with sand so it becomes murky. As you go in deeper, the water is still and clearer. When go deeper into ourselves we can access the same clarity and free ourselves from the murkiness left behind. This is from the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism.

Finally, enjoy the little things

During this tragic pandemic we are experiencing, I’ve also found time to be grateful. I’m learning from COVID-19 that is that simplicity is key. We overcomplicate our lives with so many things. Whilst living in lockdown I realise that we can live quite simply without the need for such extravagance. For example, I have replaced going to the gym and yoga studios with discovering the neighbourhood with my family on walks.

We don’t need to travel for hours or push ourselves to make appointments and social gatherings to be fulfilled. I’ve rediscovered living simply and how much peace comes from the release of expectations we place on ourselves. 

Stay safe and take this time to truly get to know yourself and adopt some quick self-care techniques!

Check out our blog Mindfulness 101 for tips on how to start meditating.

4 ways to support the elderly during Covid-19

By Esha Oberoi, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services

Founder & CEO
Esha Oberoi

There are now 17 nursing homes across Australia that have had nurses or residents diagnosed with COVID-19.

We know that people over the age of 80 years and those with chronic diseases are the most vulnerable. For over 80’s, approximately 15% of those infected have died. That’s 3 in 20.

We need to be doing absolutely everything we can to protect our most vulnerable at this time.

For elderly persons considering the transition into an aged care home at this time, I would strongly recommend looking at in-home care options until the pandemic passes. Once an illness is caught by one patient within in a residence, the chances of others being infected is very high, as we’ve tragically seen with this virus.

Not everyone in an aged care home needs to be there. Some can manage with daily visits from a carer (support worker). A single carer is undoubtedly safer than a facility full of nurses, allied health professionals and visitors.

Businesses like supermarkets have fortunately been working to protect our most vulnerable through initiatives like a special shopping hour and online deliveries. Neighbours have been coming together to look out for each other and help with essential tasks that may require leaving the house. But everyone needs to do their part to protect those in need.

When people refuse to take this seriously and continue socialising in groups against the advice of the government, they are thinking of themselves only and the disruptions to their own life – not the very real threat their actions pose to those most at risk.

One of the biggest challenges for the aged care sector now will also be managing loneliness in the months ahead, which is already a major issue. Day trips for routine socialisation in groups have been cancelled, so we need to look to technology and one-on-one carers to provide emotional support and socialisation during this time. 

Like every healthcare business, this is a challenging period for us, but we are looking at ways we can help our clients and carers stay connected in the comfort and safety of their homes. Our employees are our family and we are doing everything in our power to maintain the jobs of our 500+ staff, while keeping them connected with the aged and disability care clients they have been carefully matched with based on factors like languages spoken, personal interests and so on.

We’ve introduced a number of new health and safety measures, as well as offering support from afar in the form of video-enabled connection with our care clients.

Here are 4 ways we can all support the elderly through this pandemic:

1. Stay home

The more of us that remain in our homes instead of out unnecessarily, the faster we can contain this virus and return to normality.

2. Offer your neighbours help – from a distance

Many aged and disability care clients need help to do grocery shopping and other tasks. Reach out to your neighbours and see if anyone needs help.

3. Have an emergency plan in place for if main support person falls ill

This should detail medications, tasks requiring support, emergency contact numbers and so on. If the client is with Afea we will have this detailed in our notes for a handover.

4. Ensure any support people are taking additional safety measures

Our carers will all receive an influenza vaccine, complete an online learning module on safe hygiene specific to coronavirus, wear additional personal protective equipment and will not be permitted to work if they exhibit any cold or flu like symptoms or have come into contact with anyone returning from overseas. Check that your carers are doing the same.

How we came to be a work family, not a work place

I started my business when I was 24 and overnight I fell into a leadership role with no real management experience. With no mentors by my side and no guidance on how it be a great coach, I learnt the hard way, making many mistakes along the way. What I was doing was following the textbooks to develop my teams, but I had freedom from reporting my performance to anyone else. 

I came into work with a really standard mindset and approach which is the textbook stuff. Staff perform – fantastic, retain them. When staff don’t perform, put them into a performance management plan. Whether it was our employment lawyers or the business textbooks, the advice did not take into consideration that we are interacting and engaging on a human level. We are so much more complex, and the black and white suggestions for driving performance are just that, too black and white with no shades. One of my realisations as the business grew and we continued to have a diverse workforce is that every person has this ‘work mask’. That mask can sometimes be thicker depending on the environment. I continued to wonder, how do I get people to relax and as much as possible and come to work in their most authentic self?

I knew that we all have the potential to be really creative and give our best only when we don’t hold layers of limitations on ourselves. I also understood that these limitations are only imposed when we feel judged.

I knew this because I have experienced having those times where I felt so judged I felt my mask becoming thicker. In those very times I felt it to be most challenging to be creative and add any value. 

What has helped me realise my potential as a leader is that I never worked long enough in any other business to know that there are subtle ‘workplace behaviours’ that everyone mutually agrees to and conforms to in the workplace. I never learnt how to differentiate between my work and personal life. There isn’t a line that I can draw between these aspects of me and overtime I have become incredibly comfortable with that.

As my comfort levels grew and I loved being myself at work so much, I loved that I would be bringing all aspects of me into the workplace. I have no baggage and constraints on how much I choose to give of myself. I wanted everyone to experience this and feel the joy that comes when we can truly be ourselves, our whole selves. All those aspects, that are playful, spontaneous, passionate and purposeful. I also came to experience that the more playful I allowed myself to be at work, the easier it was for me to retain focus when I needed it. If we give ourselves permission to allow the variety of expressions it will come through in our work, which is exactly the quality of work we need. Our work outputs also benefit from shades.

People that work in our business soon come to realise that they can be whoever they are at home, here. They can have days when they are feeling off and not be penalised. They can have times of the year when performance deflates, and they won’t be punished or performance managed. They are supported instead.

I think having the carrot and stick approach only creates fear. Fear is a great motivator in the short term. However, this is non-lasting and not sustainable. Acceptance, tolerance, compassion… all of these virtues in leadership are much more lasting ways to support our thriving workplaces and gives permission for people to bring more of themselves into work.

What Does a Successful 2020 Look Like?

Another silly season has wrapped up and society is starting to get back into their normal routine. As always, there is a lot of talk around new year, new me, but what does the new year mean to you? What did 2019 mean for you? We thought we would share this reflection and goal setting exercise with you to encourage you to make the most out of 2020. No new you needed!

Instead of getting to December 2020 and asking “where did the year go?”, we want you to proclaim “what a year of accomplishment!”. Ask yourself the following questions and see check in from time-to-time to see how you are progressing.

What made 2019 unforgettable?

This can be anything, whether it be positive, negative, or simply something that impacted you. This will help you think about what you value most and therefore what to prioritise this year.

What was my biggest win in 2019?

What are you most proud of? Think not just about the best outcomes you achieved, but also when you felt you worked particularly hard for something.

How did I grow / what did I learn?

Think about areas in which you may have matured, lessons learned, or areas in your life that evolved because of the actions you took.  

How will I use my talents in 2020?

Think about how to put your skills to use. This may be to help yourself, others or to progress in your professional life. Thinking about this will help you frame your next answer.

How do I want to grow / what do I want to learn in 2020?

Are there any skills that would benefit your day-to-day life? Is there any natural talent you would like to refine? This might be learning a new language, taking up art / dance classes or learning skills that may help you enhance your career.

What does a successful 2020 look like?

This may take a little more time than the others. Really think about it, and don’t hold back. When setting goals, it is best to be realistic yes, but throw something in there that may seem a little idealistic now, that may push you to actually achieve it. An example might be saving up for a big holiday, being promoted or reading 40 books in the year.

You don’t need to change yourself to be better, and you don’t need to stress about what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You only need to know what you want, and little planning goes a long way.