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Blog: Wellness Wednesday – Reflections From “Unlocking Leadership Well-Being With Coaching”

Wellness Wednesday (Ideas For Empowering Church Worker & Congregational Wellness) – Reflections From “Unlocking Leadership Well-Being With Coaching”

Well, it’s that time again – time for another Wellness Wednesday! For this week’s blog, I find myself rushing to get some last-minute work done before my upcoming shoulder surgery scheduled for next week, Feb 29th, and the need to take a couple of weeks off to heal up. So, instead of writing an original blog this week, I would like to share some reflections from an excellent blog that came into my inbox this week entitled “Unlocking Leadership Well-Being With Coaching” by Dr. Jeffrey Auerbach, my coach trainer, when I was initially trained as a coach some 16 years ago. 

Jeffrey begins his blog by noting how 70% of the leaders he has coached over the years feel either physically or emotionally depleted, negatively affecting their leadership impact. Sound familiar? He argues that when coaches help leaders improve their well-being, organizational success is a by-product of that investment. Dr. Auerbach goes on to highlight the five elements of well-being according to research conducted by Gallup:

  • Career Well-Being – How you spend your time at work
  • Social Well-Being – Having strong relationships and love in your life
  • Financial Well-Being – Effectively managing your economic life
  • Physical Well-Being – Having good health and enough energy to get things done comfortably
  • Community Well-Being – The engagement you have where you live
  • (* While Gallup doesn’t measure for it, from a faith perspective, Spiritual Well-Being is vital to improving your overall well-being)

Gallup’s research has shown that while 66% of people are doing well in at least one of these areas of well-being, just 7% are thriving in all five. Jeffrey notes, “When you combine low well-being with other aspects of inadequate leadership development, such as low emotional intelligence, the leader often has an especially negative effect on their employees.” We can extrapolate that these factors also negatively impact a pastor or church worker’s leadership effectiveness with those they work with on a ministry team and the congregation members they are called to serve.

Further in this blog by Dr. Auerbach, he goes on to talk about three examples of how low well-being hurts a leader’s effectiveness:

1) Communication Breakdowns – Leaders who are stressed struggle to connect with others, leading to a lack of collaboration and conflicts. Conversely, Jeffery notes that leaders prioritizing their well-being are more receptive to “actively listen, convey vision, and help foster an inclusive environment.”

2) Decision-Making Dilemmas – Leaders experiencing high levels of stress do not think as creatively and see limited options, negatively impacting team and organizational outcomes. Dr. Auerbach then points out that leaders with high levels of well-being have the mental capacity “to analyze complex situations more effectively, collaborate, balance short-term and long-term goals, and interpret data objectively.”

3) Motivation Matters – Neuroscience has demonstrated that a leader’s emotional state is contagious. Jeffrey notes that stressed leaders often “transfer their stress and act impatient,” dampening team and organizational morale. However, he notes that leaders with high well-being tend to be more receptive, allowing them to understand better and proactively engage the needs of others.

Dr. Auerbach highlights some ways coaches can work with leaders to promote better self-care regarding their well-being and enhance their leadership effectiveness. Consider incorporating these ideas shared by Jeffrey in his blog into your self-care plan:

1) Self-Care Audit – Take a moment to assess your well-being daily. Are you getting adequate rest, managing stress, and maintaining a work-life balance? Ask yourself the following question: “On a 1-5 scale, five being excellent, how are you doing in these areas?”

  • Getting adequate rest? Follow-up question: What is one thing you can do this week to get better rest?
  • At least 20 minutes of exercise daily? Follow-up question: What exercise activity is practical for you to do at least five days this coming week?
  • Managing stress? Follow-up question: What is one thing you would enjoy doing this week that helps you lower your stress level?
  • Engaging in activities that bring joy? Follow-up question: What is one thing that brings you joy – when could you do more of that this week?

2) Empathy Development – Developing your well-being is more than focusing on your physical health. Take time each day to develop your emotional intelligence by regularly reflecting on your emotions, reactions to others, and interactions. What engages your empathy? What hinders it? Self-awareness is the foundation for developing one’s emotional intelligence, and leaders ideally have a self-awareness and reflection practice. What is your self-reflection process on how you interact with others? What can you do this week to demonstrate to others that you understand and care about their feelings? 

3) Delegation Mastery – Stressed leaders often struggle with delegation, usually because they think they don’t have enough time to delegate and see it as risky. Here are the two most common reasons leaders struggle with delegation, according to Jeffrey:

  • Not Enough Time – Ironically, the tasks managers feel they don’t have time to delegate consume more of their time in the long run. Delegation requires an investment in training and monitoring others. Most leaders must prioritize delegation intentionally, recognizing that it initially takes extra time. However, the payoff is having more time to focus on their core responsibilities later.
  • Fear of Losing Control – Leaders who invest considerable time, energy, and passion into a task or area of responsibility find it challenging to let go. Delegation involves calculated risk-taking. It means relinquishing the steering wheel and accepting that others may do things differently. Overcoming this resistance is essential for leadership success and ministry growth. Leaders who don’t delegate hinder their own development and limit their team’s potential.

Ultimately, as Dr. Jeffrey Auerbach rightly argues in this blog, prioritizing your own well-being as a leader is not a selfish act – it’s a strategy for effective organizational and ministry leadership. Consider working with one of our SED-certified coaches, who can partner with you to develop a game plan to empower your wellness and, in turn, improve your leadership effectiveness in your ministry. 

Click the following link to learn more about our SED Coaching Network – 

Here is the link to read the entirety of Dr. Jeff Auerbach’s blog on “Unlocking Leadership Well-Being With Coaching” –