Look, Listen & Accept

Guest Post: Maggie Gough from Realize Wellbeing


"Something shifted when I started listening to people’s struggles and needs in relation to their well-being without a readiness to tell them how I could fix it. Something shifted for them and for me. I had the opportunity to get to know people intimately. We moved beyond a transactional appointment where he/she describes his/her health goal and I prescribe a solution.

When an employee and I dive into what keeps getting in the way of their pursuit of health, I get to know a lot about people’s struggles. These people have been phenomenal teachers to me. They helped me understand why our programs, algorithms, and prescriptions for a better life are failing them. My empathy overflows.

We live in a society and work in an industry culture where our self preservation resides in blaming, judging, and asserting solutions. I have been in the room with too many business leaders discussing the employee as the problem and looking to me for the answer. If we believe that one’s failures are simply a result of their inability control the outcome, then we feel pretty darn good about ourselves and our ability to assert what they need. It allows us to live in a belief that life won’t get messy for us, because we are in control and therefore know how to fix other people. When we have to really look someone in the eye, hear their story with an accepting mind, and understand their challenges, that gets a lot harder.

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I found my tribe of colleagues at the Wellness Underground Workshop because I found myself in a room full of people who believe as I do. We believe that our first priority as practitioners of well-being is to the PEOPLE. We’re moving beyond transactional practices which assert that we have the solutions to fix people. I want to say, without a doubt, that the online platforms, disease management programs, and coaching technologies, etc are certainly important, but they are secondary to our relationship with the PEOPLE.

I am having more success in my career now after a decade of feeling frustrated, not only by my inability to have THE thing that made my program successful for people, but also at the people. I had invested years of passionate work implementing all the things and it just wasn’t working. I started to think, “come on people! what else do you want me to do?!” Turns out, the answer was that it wasn’t them. I had to quit deciding what they needed and put them first in their journey toward a better life.

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The other amazing thing that happened… I started healing too. We belong to each other. Once I started operating in relation with the people I serve, well, my well-being improved too. It’s been the best career change of my life."


We love stories like this.  This is real life people.  Real changes. Real challenges. Real inspiration. We don't have THE answer but we have a way to bring people together to discover the "right" answer or answers for themselves and/or their business or organization to ignite a spark that goes on the be a flame. This year we are deviating from just our "workshop" model and we are seeking to create a true movement...a movement of professionals and individuals who truly believe it is about the PEOPLE. If you think this might be for you, check out all the details for A People Movement! There are only 40 spots available and seats are going...grab your seat now!