Executive Liz Optimizes Performance & Wellness
Liz, a successful business leader, engages APP as an executive coach to help her think through a challenging organizational issue. Through the APP coaching process, she develops clarity on that issue and has also incorporated some very valuable feedback she got along the way to be a stronger leader.
In working with her coach, though, Liz has also identified some gaps in her practices of wellness and stress management that she suspects are hindering her leader performance.
- Liz works well over 50 hours a week and finds herself exhausted at the end of many days but still struggles to fall asleep at night. She finds it hard to achieve both focus and calm during the day and can see when the stress she is feeling is transmitted to those around her.
- Liz was an athlete back in the day and knows the benefits of being and feeling fit – but work and family leave little time other than a few days a week on the elliptical while she reads. She always feels better after exercise – but she doesn’t have the time.
APP works with Liz to develop a plan and coaching that over time helps Liz:
- Develop a centering practice through breathing and focus that helps her begin her day with a greater sense of balance, maintain that sense of balance through the day and reduce the time between when her head hits the pillow and she actually falls asleep.
- Improve the time efficiency and effectiveness of her fitness activities to adapt to her schedule and achieve her personal fitness goals
- Integrate her approach to fitness with her approach to leading people, increasing her awareness and sharing energy with her team
How did she do that?
She engages APP to develop a sustainable, integrated approach that will address these issues but not actually take more time. Through simple training and supported practice, Liz develops a simple, time-efficient breathing and centering practice that starts her day. Liz learns how intentional breathing soothes the nervous system and gives her the sense that she is managing her morning, rather than her morning managing her. She also learns how to take and create moments throughout her very hectic day to get centered, especially before potentially tense discussions. She has learned that her usual practice of "scenario planning" isn't helping her deal with challenging situations as much as it could be. She adds some mindfulness practices and realizes that balancing attention to what's in front of her with awareness of context and environment gives her better outcomes. To end her day, she has learned and practiced a personal meditation practice (she calls it "my ritual") that prepares her for truly restful sleep. She uses free accessible resources for guided meditation to relax her mind and ease into the most restful sleep she can remember.
Liz’s path to integrating fitness took a different turn. It turned out that her elliptical time wasn’t particularly effective or efficient. Liz was burning more time getting to and from the machine than she spent on the machine. And when she was on the machine, she was catching up on reading – taking 30% of the cardiovascular value right off the top. After a detailed analysis of Liz’s schedule, personality and exercise preferences, Liz sets a weekly schedule of four 30-minute workouts, two with her APP trainer via Skype, from her office, home or hotel when she travels. She also created a “walk-about” regimen, which gets her out among her team and others several times a week. Liz finds she knows more about what’s going on this way. She's also added techniques like "stairs v. elevator", "walk outside 1:1's" and brief "standing meetings" to her approach. Liz finds she’s sharing energy and that when she returns to her desk she feels more energy.
Through a more integrated approach, Liz finds and feels she can actually accomplish more peak performance with less expended energy and effort.