It’s obvious where we stand on the Myth of Work/Life Balance. While contrary opinions can start a conversation, even better is where you can figure out where someone stands. Balanceo stands firmly in the idea that everyone deserves the chance to Do Your Life’s Work. For us that means adopting and adapting the four areas of life defined by the Work Life Integration Project and adding another layer to it. The four areas in this model consist of Work, Home, Community, and Private Self. Together, these quadrants form your life with all requiring various degrees of attention in order for you to first achieve a feeling of balance and then move forward to achieve your goals. It’s nice in theory, now the question is, how does that work in practice?
In Balanceo’s coaching model, we place three three crucial and limited resources at the core of those four areas: Time, Energy, and Money. Out of these three, we can never get time back, thus making it our most precious commodity. When we’ve defined your life’s work in each of the areas, the use of time becomes a primary focus of conversations between coach and client. Energy and money also play critical roles in our ability to do our life’s work, the difference being that we can find other ways to make money and to replenish our energy (which all, coincidentally, take time). The trick is to figure out not just how you are using your time, energy, and money to do your life’s work, but how those things are flowing through your life, including the “resource return” you get from spending your resources in those areas. For example, you spend time and energy at your job or in your business, and you expect a financial return for that investment of your resources. If you are lucky enough to do something that you love, you may also receive a return of positive energy in addition to the financial return. Balanceo’s model focuses a lot on energy flow and we have incorporated a simple tool to make the conversation real, meaningful, and actionable.
One of the unique qualities of working with Balanceo is that we utilize the Emotion Wheel in our sessions. This simple tool allows our clients to effectively name the energy they have been feeling in between sessions. We create a safe, confidential, and judgment free space where our clients can say exactly how they truly feel. This provides an outlet for expressing and validating emotions, which sadly is not an opportunity that we all have every day. It is the beginning of the conversation, a way to level set and then explore how emotions are working in our clients’ daily lives. It also serves as the beginning of the conversation around Emotional Intelligence, a movement started back in 1995 to balance the dependency on IQ when finding quality workers. Simply defined, “Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.” We love this language and couldn’t agree more with the founders of this movement about the importance of emotional recognition and awareness in healthily navigating our lives.
We’ve also seen using the emotion wheel provide a watershed moment for our clients. A few examples stand out of individuals that have been riding an emotional rollercoaster and after sharing and discussing their emotions, validating those feelings, and taking a moment to reflect, they are able to refocus their energy toward other goals they have set for the areas in their life. When not expressed, emotions can act as a roadblock to progress and after countless sessions witnessing the power of the emotion wheel, it’s here to stay at Balanceo.