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Efficient Primary Care Optimizes Health Outcomes of Common Chronic Illnesses

Countries that provide quality primary care have better health outcomes.

In Spain, almost 40 years ago, community health centers were built within 15 minutes of every Spaniard. In the US, centers like these with assigned primary care doctors can potentiate wellness and avoid unnecessary hospitalization and illness. This would keep the overall costs of healthcare down.

These are not new concepts in the U.S. for anyone currently with health insurance, but making sure everyone has a primary care physician nearby might be something to consider.

I wonder what the cost-benefit of these local health centers would be when studied. What do you think?

Enjoy your day!

Joe

What Spain Gets Right on Healthcare by Carolyn McClanahan. May 11, 2017. The New York Times.

How Stay-at-Home Moms can Successfully Return to Work

Lately, the press has been full of stories regarding the experiences of women who didn’t “lean in.” These women (regarded as the “opt-out” generation) choose to leave their high-ranking jobs in order to be stay-at-home moms. Now, ten years later, their choices have led to unexpected outcomes.

One woman stated that the tension regarding her dependence on her husband has been one of the main factors in their divorce. Other women from the opt-out generation have re-entered the workplace years later to disappointingly lower salaries and less prestigious careers. A recent study reports that 89% of women who opted out later wanted to return to work. However, only 73% of these women were able to find jobs and a mere 40% found full time jobs.1

Women who consider opting-out after childbirth must understand the changing landscape they will experience when they re-enter workforce. Upon choosing to opt-out they will most likely not be able to achieve the same prestige and salary as before. If being a stay-at-home mom is a dream of yours, you can take steps to implement a strategy that will work for you.  Many stay-at-home moms find a large amount of fulfillment in their role. The following coaching tips can assist in your transitional success:

  1. Have frequent and open discussions with your partner regarding your choice. Each party’s level of comfort should be made clear and taken into account. Families can establish a household business plan that emphasizes mutual respect.
  2. Consider careers that are easy to re-enter, such as teaching, nursing, or running a home business.
  3. Optimize your stay-at-home time by regularly volunteering or working part time. These activities will contribute to your ongoing growth, development, and your formation as a well-rounded person.
  4. Network through political, religious, alumni, or special interest groups.  These connections will prove helpful if and when you re-enter the workplace.

 

Organizations should take into account these women’s struggles regarding their decision, and assist in their transition back into the workplace.

 

1 Reference Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-generation-wants-back-in.html                      Opt-Out Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/magazine/the-opt-out-revolution.html


JS


Understanding the Struggles of Young Employees

The story of the struggling recent graduate with a liberal arts degree is often told, but a darker story – of the many 20-year-old working class men and women – is just emerging. To fully understand your organization, you should be aware of the difficulties many young hourly employees currently face.

Economic hardships and social costs are abundant in these individuals as heightened expenses force many of them to drop out of college and bounce from one temporary job to the next. For these individuals, “hidden injuries” and/or lack of parental support often delay adulthood, and contribute to skewed perceptions of trust, connection, and obligation to others. The once benchmarks of adulthood – marriage, home ownership, and steady jobs – are left unachieved, and these individuals are “cutting ties, turning inward, and numbing themselves of emotion.” 1

In addition, these working class 20-year-olds may lack the support provided by a parent’s safety net due to a variety of societal and economical issues. As leaders, we can work to more actively understand and support young hourly employees. Through patiently affirming them with helpful feedback (positive and areas of improvement), we can help these young people become effective team members with a potential for future leadership.

 

1Source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/22/young-and-isolated/?_r=0

JS


Working vs. Stay at Home Moms

Today, more than two thirds of married mothers are employed. But does work improve a mother’s well being, or does employment stretch these mothers too thin? Do some stay-at-home moms thrive or do they generally suffer more than their working counterparts?

New research reports that stay-at-home moms have increased levels of anger and depression in comparison to working women.1 In addition, working moms have shown heightened mental and physical health at age 40. However, it is clear that some stay-at-home moms thrive and our pleased with their choice. This blog merely summarizes recent findings and trends.

New research additionally states that in regards to family life, two-earner families have demonstrated decreased rates of divorce, and maternal employment has shown no negative effects on children’s levels of intelligence.

Now it is evident that not all work is the same. Undoubtedly, women who work out of economic necessity at low paying jobs may not experience the same benefits as other working mothers.  This aside, plenty of working mothers (and their families) are reaping personal, familial, marital, and long-term benefits aided by their status of employment.

In the next blog I’ll continue the discussion with my thoughts on Cheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, as well as the tradeoffs for both working mothers and stay at home mothers.

1Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/opinion/sunday/coontz-the-triumph-of-the-working-mother.html?_r=0
JS

 

How You Can Make the Most of a Bad Economy

What can young college grads do when four years of college and a degree draw next to nothing during a recession? A recent New York Times Fashion and Style article seeks answers. How will this new generation of college graduates make the most of their lives and careers, despite a recession and widespread unemployment?

Unfortunately, the economic recession has limited the career opportunities for many young and talented people. But many of those interviewed haven’t given up on living a fulfilled life. Despite a lack of work, they adapt and make use of their skills as best they can.

As many continue to search the job boards, there are some executive coaching tips which can help.

  • Find meaning in whatever you do. One interviewee graduated college with scant job prospects. While she made the best of a low-end job, she also did volunteer work after hours.
  • Make the most of what you’ve learned. What’s hard about unemployment is the feeling that your talents are being squandered. Many of those interviewed utilize their life skills by joining bands, blogging, and getting involved with their communities. It may take hard work, but finding that balance in your life is always worth it.
  • Talk to a career coach. A coach can help you make sense out of how you will design your next-phase career. They do more then offer you advice, they’ll be involved with helping your look at every option and making the best decision possible for your future.

The worst that can happen to many in this situation is stagnation. Those interviewed may not have the careers they sought in college, but they still continue to do things that matter. Being fulfilled is vital, almost as important as being employed.

 

JS

The Future of Monogamy

With the dust settling over the infidelity of Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger, famed relationship columnist Dan Savage asks if we should prize honesty over monogamy. In a New York Times interview, Savage calls typical modern idea of monogamous relationships skewed and unfair. According to him, honesty and openness should be prized above all, even if we admit to our partners everything from flirting with others to infidelity.

The love sphere is inseparable from the rest of our lives, and it often becomes a focus in coaching. This can lead to a renewed investment in monogamy, an alternative vision of the relationship, or, if it’s best, a break-up.

Where there are problems relationships, I have some some executive coaching advice to keep in mind.

  • Talk to a relationship coach. It takes both partners in a couple to make any meaningful decision. A coach can work with them and help decide what is the best direction for both.
  • Ask yourself and your partner what you both want out of the relationship. Are you looking for something serious and long-term? Are you just looking for fun and like to flirt with others? Does you partner know what you want? Be clear with your partner your intentions in the relationship.
  • Open discussion of issues is the first step. Keeping destructive secrets from loved ones only exacerbates the problem and is a symptom of spinning out of control. Infidelity is damaging enough to the relationship, but denial can make it even worse. Admission allows both parties to move on and attempt to salvage the relationship.

According to Savage, most couples can live happily in monogamously. He asks that couples try to be open, honest and flexible with one another. Executive coaching values the feelings of both members of a couple, and works to make sure any solution to a problem is mutual.

 

JS

The Pitfalls of Starting Your Own Business

In the recent New York Times article “Maybe It’s Time for Plan C,” lawyers, stock-brokers and IT professionals lose or quit their high-profile jobs and pursue their passions to become entrepreneurs. But they soon find that the “dream job” of owning a business includes a lot of pitfalls.

Owning your own business, according to the article, involves long hours and the added stress of being the driving force behind nearly every aspect of your self-fashioned career. According to the article, the majority of new business fail due to a lack of preparation and experience. While many of the subjects enjoy their new lines of work, the article asks readers to think long and hard before they try being their own bosses.

Starting your own business talks up a tremendous amount of time and effort. If you’re considering self-employment, here are some important executive coaching tips according to what I see as effective:

  • Identify your reasons for starting a business. There are major risks with going into business. Questioning your motives is an important executive coaching tool to help focus on what you really want. What’s important? Family? Job security? Personal freedom? How would starting your own business help you get what you really want out of life?
  • Keep your new business in balance with the rest of your life. Being your own boss may make you feel fulfilled in one area, but it can also throw off aspects in your family, spirituality and community spheres. A sudden change in your career means you’ll have devote time and effort to balancing out the rest of your life.
  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses. If businesses fail due to a lack of preparation, a good coaching technique is to list your best and worst traits and skills.
  • Talk to an entrepreneurial coach. The right executive coach can help you if you want to start your own business. They can help in a variety of areas such as how you’ll prepare and implement your ideas and plan for future growth.

Starting a business is a huge risk. As you think about what sort of business you’d launch, consider your motivations, and make sure you’re using all the resources at your disposal when you take the entrepreneurial plunge.

Have you considered self-employment? What is your experience?

JS

How to Beat Net Fatigue

Twitter, Facebook and the new Google+ help us plan our social lives and can bolster our careers. But being a social-media butterfly can be a job in of itself. “Digitally Fatigued,” an article in The New York Times, profiles several avid “net-workers” on how they improve their lives through social networking without burning out on posts and Tweets.

Using Full Life Coaching concepts, online social networks can touch on work, family, friends and community spheres. But for all of their useful aspects, if we come to overrely on online networking, we risk being behind our computers and missing out on actual life. Those interviewed in the article encountered this dilemma, but through creative thinking, they retained the advantages of social networking.

When it comes to fighting tech fatigue, there are some executive coaching techniques more powerful than just trimming your friend lists:

  • Keep a schedule and utilize applications to manage your productivity and avoid burnout. Overload happens when social networking becomes a habit instead of a tool. Business writer Josh Kaufman set a schedule of 30 minutes a day to catch up on his posts. He uses applications like Freedom, which temporarily blocks his Internet access when he needed to work without distraction.
  • Ask yourself if joining a new network will be worth the investment. Social networks appear and vanish with increasing frequency. Google+ appears powerful and enticing, but it’s too soon to know for sure. Jessica Lawrence asked herself what she could get out of Google+ that she couldn’t from Twitter. Cutting down on network clutter can prevent you from spreading yourself too thin.
  • Use applications that allow you to post on different networks simultaneously. Daily social networking can become a grind for those who make it part of their jobs. Applications like Ping.fm automatically syndicate posts to multiple networks. Buffer and SocialOomph work according to an automatic schedule from a bank of posts made in advance.

As our lives are becoming more integrated with social media, the importance of balancing our online and off-line time becomes more apparent. But with the right mindset in place, you can maintain an online presence without sacrificing time from your life.

Seeing Eye To Eye

On July 25, an editorial in The New York Times lambasted the Republican Party for walking out on President Obama’s meeting concerning the nation’s financial future. Politics aside, the piece pointed out something interesting: a lack of compromise. According to the article, the walkout stemmed from an unwillingness by both parties to reach an consensus.

On August 2, a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling was finally signed into a law. CNN spoke with Fareed Zakaria of Time Magazine on about how the lack of compromise from Tea Party hardliners nearly held the country hostage.

Compromise is a fact of life. As children, we were taught to share. We cannot always have our way, but we can reach an agreement by which we and another party can both be relatively satisfied. Many of us learned compromise by simply sharing our toys and reaping the rewards of community. The same lessons apply when we broker business deals or negotiate decisions with friends and loved ones.

We all have to protect our own interests, and sometimes it’s difficult to find the middle ground. Here are some executive coaching tips for learning how to compromise effectively.

  • Know what the other party wants. Likewise, decide what exactly you want out of an agreement. By knowing exactly what all parties want out of a deal, it will make negotiation smoother.
  • Know when to make concessions. Along with knowing what you want, know what you can let go. It can help if you’re willing to give the other party something they want for something you want.
  • Refrain from a stubborn “my way or the highway” attitude. Listen to others who weigh in on the matter. Ignoring or cutting them off is a sign of disrespect and can put everyone on the defensive.
  • Conversely, don’t tolerate disrespectful behavior from others. Let them know that, if they’re not willing to at least listen to you, you’re not willing to talk.
  • Focus on the situation and resist the urge to judge the people involved. Nothing breaks down communication as badly as throwing around accusations that someone else is being “difficult” or “stubborn” if things aren’t going your way.

If employed from a position of strength and awareness, compromise will prove a much more powerful tool than stubbornness.

JS

How to Beat Burnout

No matter what field you are in or whether your business has managed to stay prosperous despite the economic recession, your team members may experience fatigue and burnout. If your business has fallen on tough times and has faced downsizing, burnout will most likely surface in some form.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) studied how fatigue currently plagues the American workforce: the prevalence of fatigue in the US is as high as 37.9%, with 65.7% of these fatigued workers reporting their productivity was severely hindered. This loss of productivity and weak performance is said to cost employers $136.4 billion annually. As the economic climate remains on edge, organizational leaders must do something to curb fatigue or risk dealing with its much more severe and costly counterpart, burnout.

Organizations must make preventing burnout and fatigue a priority. While fatigue may surface as exhaustion or a “funk” caused by stress, burnout is a syndrome with more troubling symptoms. These include:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of interest in work and hobbies
  • Absenteeism and low performance
  • Low or levels of confidence, energy and concentration
  • Feelings of hopelessness

Fatigue left unchecked can kindle into burnout – it must be caught and corrected as early as possible. If you see symptoms of burnout in yourself or your coworkers, be sure to consider the following in order to address the situation:

  • Offer encouragement and ask how you can be of assistance.
  • Identify and empathize with their distress. Do not pass judgment.
  • Mention existing employee assistance programs and other referral options, such as executive coaching.

Learning to prevent burnout in your team or organization is paramount to your continued success. If you notice potential problems in your team members, don’t be afraid to suggest the following steps to avoid burnout or fatigue.

  • Identify and eliminate sources of significant stress.
  • Pay special attention to your physical well being.
  • Be vigilant of all your various responsibilities in life, not just work-related duties.
  • Recall what makes you passionate about your work and why it matters.

Executive coaching can help you assess your priorities and keep burnout at bay. To learn more, get in touch today.

JS

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