Should I stay at work or get a life? Yes to both.

Working late was not uncommon for Pamela, but recently something unexpected happened. Her friends showed up at her office and asked, “What time are you going to be done?” A tense discussion occurred that made it clear that her best friends wanted her to spend dinner with them. So she decided to go out with them and effectively eased the tension. Problem Solved. Or is it?

Pamela’s approach to the dilemma she experienced with her friends was problem solving thinking. She made her decision and acted on it. If this were a problem to solve she would be done. But it is not, and she was just beginning to experience the imbalance of the work life/ personal life dynamic. Over time Pamela noticed that her choice to work late was creating tension in her personal life, and some days impeding upon her ability to work effectively. It is a dilemma that continues to repeat and present itself over and over again as a decision point. This situation is a dynamic. Dynamics are two opposite points of view that are dependent on each other, such as work life and personal life.

‘Either/Or’ thinking, or the common process of problem-solving has a finite ending to the problem once it is solved. “Where should we eat lunch?” “Which candidate should we hire for the position?” You choose one and you are done. They are independent alternatives. This is different from Pamela’s repeated experience of having to decide whether she should focus on work or personal life. Because this repeats itself over time and is never complete it needs a different approach to manage it. Dynamics can and need to be managed. To do this we expand our thinking to include both ‘either/or' thinking and ‘and/both’ thinking to create beneficial situations. We can train our thinking to supplement problem solving with dynamic management.

Integrate your life with ‘and/also’ thinking:

Calendar your events on one shared calendar so you can see all of your life’s priorities and insure not only what is important gets attention, but what is most meaningful to you also. Get the best of what you love to do and get the best of being with the people most important to you.

Thinking ‘and/both’ is a process of joining, not elimination.  When deciding what time is allocated to be spent at work, for work travel, or special projects, there needs to be a joining awareness. This will account for personal time, family time, individual needs, recovery time from intense projects and associated responsibilities and its impact on everyone involved over the short and long term. 

Using this personal thinking strategy to manage work and personal life can bring the best that both have to offer.  We can meet business goals, be energized by having opportunities to learn, meet clients’ needs and earn money. ‘And also’, have our individual interests met allowing time for personal renewal, contributing to community, meeting family needs and having quality relationships outside of work.


Bena is President of Bena Long Associates where we focus on developing a High Performing Executive Team - lifting the leader and executive team with the practices to access multiple intelligences to get the job done while improving health and well being. You can contact her at: 

Be the First at Anything and approach it with confidence.

In today's dynamically changing and increasingly interdependent global business environment, you are a valuable addition to the workforce. Our approach to retaining your unique viewpoint and being resilient at the same time is possible by attending to these things:

Smooth Transitions – Share the Vision

This is a change for you and your new colleagues. Make sure you share the same Vision or Higher Purpose for the organization in the position you are moving into. It is this high level agreement that will enable the varied approaches to achieving it the room to happen.


Your responsibility is to do your job well and requires you appreciate what is already working before you showed up. You will meet less resistance for your initiatives if you willingly listen to the people you are working with first. Imagine your new colleagues talking to you as you shake your head in a way that communicated ‘no’ to them. Do you think you will get any collaboration moving the system forward? Not likely. This is the same when we take on new roles and don’t look for the continuity of what already works for the organization. If you are here, then the values have room to expand and include not just greater differences but more stellar outcomes.

Manage the Dynamic

We are use to solving problems in business and these are the easiest things to manage compared to the human issues we encounter. As humans there are core aspects that are universal and can increase our capacity to handle whatever situation we find ourselves in with confidence. You are who you are and if you learn how to manage yourself, you can handle any situation that you are in. The tools to do this are right inside of you.

1.     Release – your physical tension, it blocks the body and locks you into habituated stressed out thinking.

2.     Stop over thinking – Utilize breathing practices to calm and quiet the chatter in the mind.

3.     Refocus – situations change and so we need to respond with current data. Attend to your strengths and resources and create the most beneficial outcomes by focusing on what you can do now.

Speak Up

The workplace needs your unique voice to provide solutions that were not heard before and were not thought of before because you were not at the table to give them voice before now.  Fit-in to the higher purpose that you share with your organization and add your way in collaboration with the others seeking the same vision.


Take it with you

The mind and body are never separate; it is a matter of emphasis. Let’s engage in a conversation that addresses ways to gain and maintain health and performance. With new ways of exercising that you can do lying down in bed, sitting in a chair, while out on a run, or playing golf. The secret is in the key principles that can be applied to whatever form of movement you enjoy most.


How to keep cool and not sweat the small stuff

When we create greater alignment in coordination of mind and body we can address the consequences of stress, increase our ability to concentrate and more deeply access the power of the mind. Increase capacity to use emotions rather then being used by them. We develop greater clarity and focus to effectively increase the depth of thought for problem solving. Develop resilience in the face of change, uncertainty and pressure.

As a Client Team Member Commented: “I am more aware of my own thoughts and that the stress and fear was created internally. I now have the skills to quiet the chatter and focus on what is important to make my best better.”


Healthy Competition like good sportsmanship

Applied within the business context leaders are ‘self as instrument’ and lead by example with greater knowledge. They can lead and follow with greater drive, empathy, commitment and care for themselves, their team, and the business outcomes they seek. Team cohesion and individual initiative is possible by being both competitive and collaborative.  Leaders that create a synergy of individual, team, culture, processes and structure purposefully have made this happen. As comments by Sales Associates who benefited from leadership’s implementation of mind, body and business solutions said:


 “I do feel competitive to excel myself and also spur other sales people on. It is healthy competition. We help each other. We cover for each other, and are here for one another.” And “The company atmosphere is so encouraging and inspiring.”


Stay tuned there is more to come…Onward and Upward!