Emerging as a wellness leader: Tips from our Thrive series with Ruth Cooper-Dickson

July 2020

As we gradually ease back into office working again, the latest webinar in the Thrive wellness series saw Ruth Cooper-Dickson joined by both a live and virtual audience in the atrium of Fora Spitalfields for this Hybrid Event.


The session explored how we can cultivate wellness principles into our leadership style and how we can all emerge from the current challenges as Wellness Leaders. In the process, the group discussed how to create a positive working environment through positive relationships, communications and a shared sense of meaning.


Ruth began the interactive session with a series of questions for her audience. “How can we create a culture of abundance? Where can we develop positive energy networks? How do we deliver negative feedback positively?” she challenged. The webinar drew on the previous sessions in the series which addressed these areas in detail. Today’s event brought all these elements together in the context of authentic leadership. “We are all leaders in our own right,” explained Ruth.


Wellness is the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.


“Wellness leadership starts with ourselves – the creation of thoughts and ideas in our minds, and the feelings in our hearts.” She described her own focus on wellness and how that sets an example that motivates her team. “When I’m feeling rested and have had a good night’s sleep, my team knows I’m firing on all cylinders. It’s important to be a role model and demonstrate the power of wellness.”


The audience also contributed their own understanding of what Wellness Leadership means. ‘Giving your team permission to focus on Wellness’ and ‘Guiding others on a path of positivity’ were two of the excellent suggestions. They reflected a recognition that Wellness is not only important to an individual but to the group as a whole. “If your team does not feel their wellness cup is full, they are probably not going to be fully creative and playful. Are you being as innovative as you can without wellness?” asked Ruth.


As with all Champs events, Ruth shared practical steps we can all take to boost our effectiveness as Wellness Leaders and to change habits within an organisation. These included sharing the Wellness vision with your team; aligning touchpoints, procedures, informal policies, training and communications with your Wellness goals and, of course, practicing what you preach by being a role model for your colleagues. It also means limiting the visibility of negative, counterproductive behaviours such as bragging about long working hours.


Ruth emphasised the importance of granting permission to participate and to be brave enough to deal with pushback – the subject of the previous Champs webinar. Ruth told of her own experience working for companies that had failed to respond to her own wellness needs and she emphasised that Wellness Leadership means enabling people to use the gym, spend time with their children or to meditate if that is what ensures their wellbeing. 


The benefits of Wellness Leadership can be seen in a holistic ROI. For the individual it means the satisfaction of leading in a more meaningful way and taking care of oneself. Ruth shared an apt quote: ‘Take care of your body; it’s the only place you have to live.’ But the benefits of Wellness Leadership are also reflected in your team, in greater self esteem and a more supportive cultural environment. Ultimately this approach is good for business too. As Ruth observed, “Healthy people are more productive people too.”


For more information on our Thrive series with Champs, and to sign up for up-coming sessions, visit our what’s on page. You’ll also find our full schedule of virtual events to explore and attend at your leisure. Enjoy!