Talking About Health Habits
Our physical image and habits can have a big impact on how we are perceived in the workplace. While a perfect world would judge each person on the content of their characters and contributions towards society, in reality we are evaluated on very different terms. Having bad habits relating to personal health can make a surprisingly large impact on supervisors, subordinates, clients, interviewers, and anyone else that you interact with in the business and social world.
As a result, being of poor health has detriments beyond the obvious ones, and the converse is true of those in good health. If you or someone close to you struggles with eating disorders, quitting smoking, overuse of prescription medications, alcohol abuse, or any other ongoing issue, it is important to address them in a meaningful manner. While these habits are too personal for some to openly discuss with a partner or family member, others just need the boost of being approached honestly on it and given a nudge in order to face their battles.
The concept of furthering success in the workplace can be an enticing motivation for someone that is struggling to quit any bad habit. Understanding that it could make a very real difference in their ability to maximize social connections and put forth the best possible impression can be a key step in accepting that some change needs to occur, and having the drive to push for it. Once that is established, further steps can be discussed. Is it necessary to see a doctor or mental health professional? Is it something that just requires discipline to change a habit? Is this a private struggle, or one that would be made easier if others were aware of it and could offer encouragement? If the person is at a stage where they are comfortable acknowledging their crutch, you can discuss these questions and help them answer them.
Each person is different, and may respond to external pressure in entirely different ways. Some welcome criticism as an opportunity to view themselves through someone else’s eyes, while others reject any form of it (no matter how accurate). Be sure before broaching a topic like this that you are approaching it in a manner that will strengthen your relationship, rather than endangering it. Unless someone’s behavior is truly destructive, it may be better to just wait and see if they change on their own. Then again, they may just be waiting for someone to come along and provide reassurance, giving them the courage to make these changes happen, or gentle pressure, to get them in a mindset of really changing their lifestyle. Whatever the situation, you have an opportunity to help yourself and others succeed in business, all while improving your general quality of life.