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Are Health Promoters Too Nice?

May 27, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Yes. Often, we’re too nice for our own and for our program’s good.

We have the privilege of working with and for some of the nicest people in the wellness business, both as direct clients and resellers of our wellness campaigns. They’re the kind of people you look forward to running into at industry events and could see yourself being close, do-things-together friends (as opposed to Facebook friends) if you lived in the same community.

But niceness is sometimes an Achilles heel when it comes to managing careers and wellness programs. We’ve seen this play out in some of the following ways.

   

Don't Let Wellness Participation Slide This Summer

May 27, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Many wellness programs struggle to maintain numbers in the summertime due to vacations and competing outdoor interests. While a slip in numbers doesn’t necessarily mean a slip in health, some managers we’ve worked with lament the drop-off because it suggests that programs are somehow less appealing. Often, they’re right.

One common missed opportunity is not taking advantage of summer’s longer daylight hours and warmer weather. If ever there was a year to leverage nicer weather, 2014 is it — at least for 2/3 of the US and Canada. Some ideas:

   

Leaders Under Stress: Top-Down Versus Bottom-Up Decision Making in Health Promotion

May 13, 2014

by Paul Terry   Paul's profile on LinkedIn  

Strong leaders run toward problems, and their legacy stories often revolve around the leader’s actions when under pressure. Robert Greenleaf, known as father of the empowerment movement in American business, wrote that “management is the ability to state a goal and reach it, through the efforts of other people, and satisfy those whose judgment one respects, under conditions of stress.”

I was vividly reminded of take charge decisions by leaders during a recent dog-sledding outing in northern Minnesota.

   

4 Ways to Learn Without Going to a Wellness Conference

May 13, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

If you’ve been to wellness-related conferences in the last couple of years, you’ve seen attendance on the rise. That’s a good thing. There’s no substitute for rubbing elbows with colleagues outside the familiar surroundings of your workplace. Sometimes just the change in scenery gets you thinking differently. But not all wellness managers have the budget to travel or shell out the $600-$1500 most meetings cost. That’s a shame, because folks in the trenches with limited budgets often are the most inventive, innovative health promoters and have the most to teach their peers. If you’re on a short leash, here are some ways to continue learning: