The call – at least at the individual level – is for new language to help us think about “work-life balance”. It is showing up in my work as an executive coach and developer of people. As we continue the conversation allow me to summarize…
Why the question in the first place?
This conversation begins with the concept of “work-life” and the unintended consequence of reinforcing life compartmentalization. If it only relates to the budgeting of time, I get it. However, the word “balance” suggests stability, an even distribution of weight. When does that happen in your life? What expectation does the phrase set up?
My aim as behavior change agent is to encourage thinking that guides our approach and ability to live life well. I’ll leave it to others to talk about corporate “work-life balance” policies. My focus is on what we can do to support an amazing, productive, purpose-guided life as individuals.
What is “Life Harmony”?
Life Harmony is a new model for “work-life balance”. In my original post, I provided a video of COMMITTED singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” as performed on NBC’s “The Sing Off” to help us hear and see and experience performance-based harmony.
Life Harmony is about how we write our story and how our story fits into The Story. The assignment is to harmonize all the parts: you, yourself; your family, your community, and your work (co-workers); your mind, body, and spirit.
The Story is about the people. Life harmony – the NEW work-life balance – is the interweaving of all your roles, responsibilities, and relationships into a single narrative and liking what you experience as you “perform” life.
How do I create “Life Harmony”?
The need for this harmony in life is unquestionable. The toll on family relationships, due to longer hours and a hyper-focus on work, is real. A Career Builder nationwide survey sited in Part 2 of this post indicated that at least 22% of workers report they “don’t have time to pursue personal interests because they say they’re always working”. Where is the Life Harmony in these survey responses?
- 15 percent reported that they would rather be working than at home.
- 12 percent said the amount of time spent on work is causing friction with their family.
- 9 percent are more concerned about approval from their boss than their family.
How do we create harmony in life? As I previously wrote, music provides part of the answer.
Music is created when the value of the notes is performed; the sound of a distinct pitch, quality, and duration whether vocal or instrumental. Such an arrangement of notes can lead to a pleasing combination of sounds: harmony.
To create and support Life Harmony (the new “work-life balance”) life will be guided by our values.
When something is important it has greater value or worth.
Our values help create “Life Harmony”
Who cares about peak performance?
Life Harmony leads to increased happiness; greater happiness leads to higher performance. As we identify and live according to our values life pays forward positive emotional support.
Harmony does not just happen in music or in life. Life Harmony can happen when we
- Know our core values and live guided by them
- See the people & seek to serve others
- Develop life-skills for effective use of time & talent
- Determine to be present in the moment
If you have 7 minutes, here is a Harvard Business video interview with Steward Friedman, author of Total Leadership, Be a Better Leader, Have a Better Life on this topic.
To help you explore your values here is a NLEC coaching exercise, simply click and print your copy NLEC Value Worksheet; no registration is required.
Please join me in this conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts; comments welcome below.