Wednesday, July 24, 2019
We all have our favorite things to do. We also all have a different idea of what “enjoying life” means. That is why there are so many different types of music, destinations, extracurricular activities, and religion. So why do we think that we can deliver a one-size-fits-all wellness initiative and expect success?
I continue to go back to Dr. Halbert Dunn’s definition of high-level wellness. “Wellness is about potential – it involves helping the individual move toward the highest state of wellbeing of which he or she is capable.” It does not read that wellness is about group programs, literacy or, for that matter, health. It is about potential.
For a tobacco user, let’s call him John, who wants to quit, the potential for John is that he can quit. To be successful, it is important to understand where John lives, who his friends/family are, why he started, what triggers his habit, and how dedicated he is to make the change. Only then (and probably another 20 questions) can we determine the best method for John’s success at quitting. Guess what, maybe John’s significant other smokes. That will be a big influence on John.
What is interesting is that the concept of a one-size-fits-one mindset has been a big discussion point during the NWI’s Multicultural Competency in Wellness trainings. Because we have to recognize a person’s unique self and their experiences, their choices, and their influences, or we will never be able to provide assistance in a way that is going to be successful to them.
As a wellness leader, you also need to understand a person’s readiness for change. It does not matter how much research is behind a given program, resource, tool or proven success, if the individual with the potential for change does not want to change, then they will not change.
So how can you lead the opportunity to develop human potential?
- Continue to be curious and educate yourself on what opportunities are available to help develop human potential. Learn from others and connect with them about health coaching, community wellness, and workplace wellness strategies.
- Know who is ready to make changes today and get them the resources they need to the best of your ability. And also support them and keep them accountable.
- If they are not ready, continue to educate them — a great tool is the NWI’s Six Dimensions of Wellness — and provide the knowledge to let them see what their potential can be.
- Review who is engaging in your wellness initiatives and who is self-selecting out. Determine if your wellness strategies and programming are targeting those individuals you are trying to target. By the way, know the difference in who is participating and who is engaging — there is a big difference.
- Promote in many different ways and through many different avenues. Also, target your promotions to the audience you want to see the most engaged. Most promotions today are geared to already healthy populations (in all Six Dimensions of Wellness).
Chuck Gillespie, CEO, National Wellness Institute