The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
Team wellness: A practice, not a destination

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

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      By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      Having spent a fair amount of our careers working with financial advisory teams — with an emphasis on team leaders — and coaching them to be the best teams they can be, Noah Blumenthal, an executive coach and best-selling author of "Be the Hero," and I believe that team wellness is actually a practice, not a destination.

      David: "Noah, can you expand upon the thought that team wellness is actually a practice, not a destination?"

      Noah: "Too often, we get really good ideas that we latch on to, we take some kind of action and it feels terrific, but then we get caught up in the rest of our lives, and these things go by the wayside. Having an effective team, a good team, a 'well team' is not something that you achieve and you can check the box and never have to put any effort into it again."

      "In the same way we would never exercise to get to a point of fitness and say, 'Well, now I'm fit so I guess I can just sit on the couch for the rest of my life.' In the same way, the behaviors and cultural standards that you want to maintain as a team are things that require ongoing efforts. It's a practice to continue with and do so with intentionality."

      David: "I love that. If you can adapt the practice of team wellness into your day-to-day rituals, it could be as simple as asking yourself and your team at the end of each day: 'How did I/we do?'"

      Noah: "We may not stop to reflect as often as would be valuable to figure out how can we improve, but when you are in a pressure cooker moment, which we are right now, there is no better time to see where the fissures are and also where the strengths are. So, stop and sit down with your team to ask:

      1. 'Where are the cracks in what we are doing?'
      2. 'Where are the strengths in what we are doing?'
      3. 'What else has this pressure cooker highlighted about us as a team?'"

      Bottom line: Team wellness takes a little discipline, but it is well worth it to become more introspective on a real-time basis to see how your team can learn from the challenges of what is going on right now.