Coaching for Workspace Wellness

by | Feb 14, 2023

Coaching for Workspace Wellness

Coaching for workplace wellness is needed because life is not easy. In fact, life at work is a lot tougher. A spiritual energy healer, who worked with chakra, called the navel energy centre the corporate chakra. This corporate chakra acts up the moment you walk into your office and see your boss.

A spouse can have a similar effect too, with more difficult root causes to resolve. It is, therefore, important to address workspace stress and wellness through coaching programs as a way to resolve these root causes.

The wise Buddha said that the root cause of all suffering is desire. The root cause of all workspace stress is the expectation we have of how others ought to be and ought to behave. The problem starts with us and hence self-coaching can play a crucial role in this exploration. Daniel Goleman, a modern-day Buddha, wisely created a 2×2 matrix called Emotional Intelligence, which many others copy paying no heed to copyright.

Pretty simple actually. Understand yourself and you understand others. Though Daniel Goleman speaks of emotions, sensations in the body reflect more truly what one experiences. If you recall a negative experience, let’s say a disrespectful dressing down by a bully of a toxic boss, then instead of wasting time thinking about all the smart things you could have said, and didn’t suck it up. Observe within your body where you feel the shame, anger, frustration and helplessness that haunt you.

Through Coaching, you can learn to first watch your sensations, which are your first responders in any data input in your brain. Emotions follow when the hippocampus tallies these sensory data with stored memories and passes them onto the amygdala. Amygdala passes the emotional data to the prefrontal cortex to create thoughts. The easiest way to stop negative, hurtful thoughts is by looking within at the sensations associated with the negative experience. This can be associated with self-coaching.

Most experiences of stress, anger frustration, helplessness, and invalidation lie as sensations in the thoracic and stomach areas. As you observe them studying the shape, structure, state, color, and granularity, inhaling deep and exhaling in a blast a few times, you will find the negativity reducing. Reliving negative experiences through awareness relieves the negativity and heals you. Once you learn yourself, you can heal others too.

This somatic practice helps you to observe and interpret the body language and non-verbal communication of others for emotional states with empathy. Once you feel empathy you relate to them. Then, the relationship builds. You move from stress to emotional and mental wellness, not only with yourself, and also with others. Relieved of sensory, emotional, and mental stress, you are physically better in wellness. Ask any doctor. Unless your doctor is from the dinosaurian age, they would know that mind and body work together.

I coached a leader at a  technology company for aggression and alleged toxicity.  He had  a short fuse and yelled at people in meetings. His behavior caused anxiety and stress among his team, and HR reported that he made women employees cry! He was an alpha leader, highly intelligent cognitively, but a moron emotionally. Once he understood his state of zero emotional intelligence, he made a conscious effort to change his behavior. He paused when he felt angry, took deep breaths, and listened to both verbal and non-verbal inputs from others. The once toxic leader became empowering and nurturing in his true state.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are self-aware. In turn, they become people aware. Such leaders create a psychologically safe workspace of wellness. Wellness at the workspace is a systemic process. Self-awareness needs to be learned first, expanded into teams of people, and then across the organizational system to create a caring and empathetic environment.

These sensory, emotional and cognitive intelligence practices can be anchored better with training in basic yoga practices in breathing, postures, meditation, and moderation in food and drink. 20 minutes a day can take one far on this path to holistic wellness.

Problem is that almost everyone understands and accepts these ideas. Practicing them is a different matter. It’s a mystery why organizations do not invest time and effort and money in teaching these practices in-house and having people practice them with one another as part of their normal work routine. Coaching can help you to first build awareness and then gradually develop the muscle to create wellness centers within teams and the larger organization.

Ram Ramanathan
Ram Ramanathan


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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