Staying in balance in challenging times

Addressing employees’ health is becoming increasingly important in companies, not least because of the external effect on employer attractiveness. In the context of organisational development, striving for health is an ambitious goal. Efforts are going in the direction of resilient employees who can lead themselves in the sense of mindfulness and keep their areas of life in a healthy balance.

The five pillars, according to Hilarion Petzold (1993), include the following areas of life. They support and sustain a person’s identity:

  • Body /Lifelines
  • Social network/social references
  • Work and performance
  • Material security
  • Values, norms and meaning

Basically, of course, the more the individual pillars are filled, the higher the well-being. At the same time, our aspiration should be to keep the posts in “balance”. As an extreme example: What use is high material security if at the same time my body and my health are neglected or even damaged, or if I lose sight of my social network for the sake of material security? I may be able to deal with such an imbalance in the short term, but in a long time, I should strive for a balance of all five pillars for the sake of my own identity and the satisfaction that comes with it.

Just as “body and corporeality” can be distracted by an illness or an accident, the “social network” can be easily disturbed by a separation or a death. “Work and performance” is weakened, for example, by the loss of a job. Unemployment, debts or insufficient income influence the pillar “material security”. “Values and ideals” can start to crumble due to disputes or conflicts.

Therefore, crises can occur when one or more pillars change significantly, and other posts can no longer contribute sufficiently to stabilisation. Since the areas are strongly interlinked, neglecting or prioritising one room impacts the overall balance.

Good self-leadership aims to bring life into a healthy balance and permanently work on this balance. Finding the right balance may be different for each person, depending on their vision of life. The important thing is to make conscious choices again and again and take responsibility for these choices.

“Self-leadership, therefore, means looking at the different areas of life again and again and checking whether the current way of living corresponds to how I would like to lead my life, or where I could start to change something.” (Libicky, Gesund führen, 2018, p.70).