Individual & Systems Assessments

Healthy Systems <-> Human Wellbeing

At Human Systems, we know that human wellbeing and systems health are interdependent: the success of one depends on and supports the other. For example, healthy family systems are more likely to produce healthy individuals, and healthy individuals tend to spend time in well-functioning friend and family systems. Similarly, healthy organizations tend to retain employees with high levels of wellbeing, and healthy individuals tend to gravitate toward and stay with healthy organizations.

Therefore, if we want to assess the overall wellbeing of an individual to find clues as to how to improve their health, we need to look at their individual practices, how they manage their relationships, and how their system is functioning. If we want to assess the health of a system, such as a professional organization, we will get the most useful information if we look at individual employee practices, how those employees manage relationships with each other, and how they relate to the organization as a whole.

Watch a video from the HS YouTube Channel about individual wellbeing and systems health

 

Assessing Health & Wellbeing Holistically

We offer a choice of two coaching and consulting pathways at Human Systems: Mindful Growth & Mindful Leadership. Your pathway choice depends on whether you are interested in improving systems health and human wellbeing in a personal or professional context. The pathways are very similar because the same principles apply for improving systems and individual health, regardless of the context. The focus and terminology, however, will differ depending on whether the individuals and systems are together for personal support and fulfillment, or working together to provide services and products.

The Mindful Leadership and Mindful Growth Models and Assessments are based on:

  • Original, ground-breaking HS research
  • Research on healthy mindfulness practices in individual, relational, and systems contexts and the HS Mindful Leadership Model
  • Extensive education and our personal and professional experience in behavioral health and mindfulness practice

Putting Results to Work

The result is a unique, research-based set of models and assessments that can provide a snapshot of individual, relational, and systems health in a personal or professional context. Mindful Growth Assessment results can be used to raise awareness about your practices as an individual, in relationships, and in the context of your systems of family or friends. In the case of an organization, Mindful Leadership Assessment results can highlight patterns of behavior and practice that may be contributing to burnout and unnecessary turnover among employees. Once we have the results as a starting point, together we can design a multi-level personal coaching or professional consulting pathway that can improve both individual wellbeing and systems health for sustainable and mindful growth.

Learn about the Mindful Growth Model for Personal Use

Learn about the Mindful Leadership Model for Professional Use

Schedule a half-our free consultation now or contact us to learn more about the Models and how you can use the assessments in your personal life or in your organization.

HS Mindful Growth Model – Personal Contexts

The HS Mindful Growth Model has three parts: Individual Mindful Growth, Relational Mindful Growth, and Systemic Mindful Growth, and is designed for use in personal contexts. You may notice that many of the terms, such as “Diversity & Inclusion” and “Psychological Safety” used to describe the parts of the models are more familiar in professional organizations. Read on to learn how the principles behind these terms apply to system health, regardless of professional or personal context.

Individual Mindful Growth

Self Worth is the core of Individual Mindful Growth. A strong sense of Self Worth makes possible the effective practice of each of the other elements of Individual Mindful Growth. To change and grow as individuals, we must believe that we are worth the resources needed to fuel our growth.

Self Care provides the energy and resources that help us sustain our Self Worth. When we practice effective Self Care, we can identify our needs and set the priorities and boundaries that get our needs met. Ideally, we meet our own needs before we address other’s wants.

Mindfulness, the practice of being aware of ourselves and the environment in the present moment, is the responsive, purposeful, and adaptive interface between us and our environment. Mindfulness helps us filter our thoughts and stimuli from our environment so we can release whatever is not important. Mindfulness also creates awareness around our needs so we can be more effective with Self Care.

Our Principles create a dynamic, interactive boundary with the world. Having specific Principles to which we refer when we are uncomfortable and/or not sure of what to do next keeps our behavior consistent and ensures that we are on the best path. As we actively apply our Principles to various situations, we receive feedback from our environment, which informs our growth. Our Principles will remain fairly stable, but how we apply them may change as we grow and learn.

When we are practicing all the elements of Individual Mindful Growth, we will have the capacity to actively seek and experience Growth. Self Worth provides the motivation, Self Care provides the energy, Mindfulness provides the knowledge and awareness, and our Principles provide the direction.

Relational Mindful Growth

Individual Mindful Growth (IMG) is the foundation for Relational Mindful Growth. The components of IMG work together to enable us as individuals to create positive, sustainable change in ourselves while ensuring that our needs are met. Strong IMG practices enable us to practice Relational Mindful Growth, even if others cannot.

Unconditional Respect for others creates a containing space for Relational Boundaries and Empowering Practices. Unconditional respect means treating other people equally because they are human beings; with the same kindness, care, and respect that we give to ourselves, regardless of their age, social status, or other physical or demographic characteristics. When we treat each other with Unconditional Respect, we are grounded in the belief that everybody is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know (an HS Systems Health Principle). It means respecting our own and others’ boundaries, making space for inclusion, and being thoughtful about how we communicate with and about each other.

We use Relational Boundaries to protect and maintain our Principles (see the IMG Model), our priorities, and our well-being. Our Relational Boundaries are dynamic and determined by our IMG practices and the current requirements of our environment. We use respectful communication to inform others of our boundaries and reinforce them when necessary.

When two people treat each other with Unconditional Respect while maintaining strong and consistent Relational Boundaries, our relationship holds space for Empowering Practices, which include transparency, honesty, authenticity, resource sharing, respecting others’ autonomy, and creating space for others to learn and grow. Empowering Practices require mental and emotional strength, so strong IMG practices are needed.

Systemic Mindful Growth

Individual Mindful Growth (IMG) and Relational Mindful Growth (RMG), the foundational components of Systemic Mindful Growth (SMG), work together with SMG to create positive, sustainable change in the system in a safe, nurturing environment. Individuals with strong IML and RML practices can practice SMG, even if others in the system cannot.

Psychological Safety (PS) involves the creation of a culture in which everybody feels safe to talk about uncomfortable feelings and experiences (including conflict) experienced inside the system. PS specifically requires Unconditional Respect, a component of RMG. It also requires clear, transparent decision-making and communication throughout the system. PS is greatly aided by agreed-upon operating principles and/or a code of conduct that is applied consistently and equally to everybody in the system.

Member Well-Being & Growth (MWBG), first requires that the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health needs of all system members are normalized and accepted. MWBG involves creating systems that enable members to get their needs met while experiencing opportunities to growth.

Diversity & Inclusion (DI) involves the complete normalization and acceptance of diversity of a) physical aspects (i.e. race, gender, disability) and b) experience and skill level; and the normalization of c) behavior (i.e. clothing choices, communication style, approach to problem-solving) for every member in the system. When we think about behavior, “normalization” does not mean we have to accept or condone. It only means that we do not condemn people for their behavior and that we do create space for people to grow and change. DI also means that we are conscious about making sure everybody feels included in decision-making that affects processes and projects in the system.

Mission & Vision Focus (MVF) requires first that the members of the system create a mission and vision for their system. Members must also have a common understanding of the mission and vision, both conceptually and in terms of practical application. MVF can be summarized with the statement “the best way forward moves us towards what we want, not away from what we fear (HS Systems Health Principle #2)”. When there is MVF, boundaries are created around system activities and processes so that system energy is primarily reserved for activities that maintain the health of the system and achieve the mission and vision.

Community Embedding (CE) is the process of creating strong and varied relationships between the system and individuals and organizations in the surrounding physical community, as well as with entities that match the system’s interests, mission, and vision. These relationships create both energy and information exchange, as well as stability and sustainability for the system. The energy and information exchange provides the knowledge and resources that enable the system to remain flexible and adaptable to its environment.

HS Mindful Leadership Model – Professional Contexts

 

The HS Mindful Leadership Model was recently adopted as the framework model for University of Maryland School of Social Work’s revised leadership certificate program, planned to launch in January 2024. In partnership with UMD, we are working to offer the Mindful Leadership Model Assessments to health and human service organizations for free. If you are interested in updates about the certificate program or the free Mindful Leadership Assessment for your organization, subscribe to the HS Newsletter.

Leadership is about growth and change, and the most effective leadership is the kind that creates the most positive, sustainable change while ensuring that everybody’s needs are met. Mindful Leadership is about using awareness, acceptance, compassion, and balance for directed growth and positive change, both for ourselves and our environments.

The HS Mindful Leadership Model has three parts: Individual Mindful Leadership, Relational Mindful Leadership, and Organizational Mindful Leadership.

Individual Mindful Leadership

Self Worth is the core of Individual Mindful Leadership (IML). A strong sense of Self Worth makes possible the effective practice of each of the other elements of IML. To change and grow as leaders, we must believe that we are worth the resources needed to fuel our growth. Watch a video about the Self-worth Assessment items (5 minutes).

Self Care provides the energy and resources that help us sustain our Self Worth. When we practice effective Self Care, we can identify our needs and set the priorities and boundaries that get our needs met. Ideally, we meet our own needs before we address other’s wants. Watch a video about the Self-care Assessment items (8 minutes).

Mindfulness, the practice of being aware of ourselves and the environment in the present moment, is the responsive, purposeful, and adaptive interface between us and our environment. Mindfulness helps us filter our thoughts and stimuli from our environment so we can release whatever is not important. Mindfulness also creates awareness around our needs so we can be more effective with Self Care. Watch a video about the Mindfulness Assessment items (30 minutes).

Our Principles create a dynamic, interactive boundary with the world. Having specific Principles to which we refer when we are uncomfortable and/or not sure of what to do next keeps our behavior consistent and ensures that we are on the best path. As we actively apply our Principles to various situations, we receive feedback from our environment, which informs our growth. Our Principles will remain fairly stable, but how we apply them will change as we grow and learn. Watch a video about the Principles Assessment items (14 minutes).

When we are practicing all the elements of Individual Mindful Leadership (IML), Mindful Growth happens. Self Worth provides the motivation, Self Care provides the energy, Mindfulness provides the knowledge and awareness, and our Principles provide the direction. Watch a video about the Growth Assessment items (18 minutes).

Relational Mindful Leadership

Individual Mindful Leadership (IML) is the foundation for Relational Mindful Leadership. The components of IML work together to enable us as individuals to create positive, sustainable change in ourselves while ensuring that our needs are met. Learn more about IML. Strong IML practices enable us to practice Relational Mindful Leadership, even if others cannot.

Unconditional Respect for others creates a containing space for Relational Boundaries and Empowering Practices. Unconditional Respect means treating other people equally because they are human beings; with the same kindness, care, and respect that we give to ourselves, regardless of where they come from or their position on an organizational chart. When we treat each other with Unconditional Respect, we are grounded in the belief that everybody is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know (HS Operating Principle #1). It means respecting our own and others’ boundaries, making space for inclusion, and being thoughtful about how we communicate with and about each other. Watch a video about the Unconditional Respect Assessment items (40 minutes).

We use Relational Boundaries to protect and maintain our Principles (see the IML Model), our work priorities, and our well-being. Our Relational Boundaries are dynamic and determined by our IML practices and the current requirements of our environment. We use respectful communication to inform others of our boundaries and reinforce them when necessary. Watch a video about the Relational Boundaries Assessment items (4 minutes).

When two people treat each other with Unconditional Respect while maintaining strong and consistent Relational Boundaries, our relationship holds space for Empowering Practices, which include transparency, honesty, authenticity, resource sharing, respecting others’ autonomy, and creating space for others to learn and grow. Empowering Practices require mental and emotional strength, so strong IML practices are required. Watch a video about the Empowering Practices Assessments items (32 minutes).

Organizational Mindful Leadership

Individual Mindful Leadership (IML) and Relational Mindful Leadership (RML), the foundational components of Organizational Mindful Leadership (OML), work together with OML to create positive, sustainable change in the organization in a safe, nurturing environment. Individuals with strong IML and RML practices can practice OML, even if others in the organization cannot.

Psychological Safety (PS) involves the creation of a culture in which everybody feels safe to talk about uncomfortable feelings and experiences (including conflict) related to work. PS specifically requires Unconditional Respect, a component of RML. It also requires clear, transparent decision-making and communication throughout the organization. PS is greatly aided by agreed-upon operating principles and/or a code of conduct that is applied consistently and equally to everybody in the organization. Watch a video about the Psychological Safety Assessment items (21 minutes).

Employee Well-Being & Growth (EWBG), the seat of burnout and turnover prevention and repair, first requires that the physical and mental health needs of all employees are normalized and accepted. EWBG involves creating systems that a) enable employees to maintain their health and a) facilitate employee autonomy and growth. Watch a video about the Employee Wellbeing & Growth Assessment items (24 minutes).

Diversity & Inclusion (DI) involves the complete normalization and acceptance of diversity of a) physical aspects (i.e. race, gender, disability) and b) experience and skill level; and the normalization of c) behavior (i.e. clothing choices, communication style, approach to problem-solving). When we think about behavior, “normalization” does not mean we have to accept or condone. It only means that we do not condemn people for their behavior and that we do create space for people to grow and change. DI also means that we are conscious about making sure everybody feels included in projects and processes that are part of their work. Watch a video about the Diversity & Inclusion Assessment items (17 minutes).

Mission & Vision Focus (MVF) requires first that the organization creates a common understanding of the mission and vision of the organization, both conceptually and in terms of practical application. MVF can be summarized with the statement “the best way forward moves us towards what we want, not away from what we fear (HS Operating Principle #2)”. When there is MVF, boundaries are created around work projects and processes so that organizational energy is not spent on work that does not reflect the mission and vision.

Community Embedding (CE) is the process of creating strong and varied relationships between the organization and individuals and organizations in the surrounding physical community, as well as with organizations in the same industry. These relationships create both energy and information exchange, as well as stability and sustainability for the organization. The energy and information exchange provides the knowledge and resources that enable the organization to remain flexible and adaptable to its environment.

Healthy Organizational Practice

Dr. Peters has identified four parts to organizational health based on her extensive research and experience: systems health, cultural health, community health, and mission health. Learn more about the four components of organizational health by watching this brief video.

Below you will find information on the assessments for each of the four organizational health components. Contact us to learn more about how you can use these assessments in your organization.

Systems health in an organization has parallels with physical health in an individual. Physical health requires quality resources/input, strong communication between different parts of the body, consistent and adaptable processes, and strong, clear connections for blood flow and oxygen distribution.

Organizational systems health requires the same things – quality nourishment, strong communication, consistent processes, and clear connections.

The Systems Health Assessment will give you a snapshot of how your employees perceive the health of the systems and processes in your organization.

Cultural health in an organization has parallels with mental health in an individual. Human beings require a nurturing environment that provides a flexible balance of safety and growth opportunities, as well as a balance of feelings of individuation and belonging.

Organizational cultural health requires the same thing – employees need to feel safe and cared for, as well as challenged to grow, if you want them to stay and reach their full potential. Employees should also enjoy a balance of feeling valued for their unique contributions as well as feeling like they are part of a community. Check out the Human Systems Needs Wheel to learn more about human needs that can be met in a healthy organization.

The Cultural Health Assessment will give you a snapshot of how your employees perceive your organizational culture.

Community health in an organization has parallels with an individual’s social support network. As human beings, we require connections to other individuals and groups for our personal growth and safety.

Organizational community health requires the same thing – organizations that form connections and partnerships with individuals and groups in the surrounding community (physical and virtual) create a great foundation for organizational success and sustainability.

The Community Health Assessment will give you a snapshot of how your employees perceive your organization’s community health. 

Mission health has parallels with spiritual health. Good spiritual health involves behavioral adherence to strong personal principles and a sense of purpose that provides everyday guidance.

Mission health, like spiritual health, requires collective understanding of, and adherence to, the mission, vision, and goals of an organization. Mission health embodies the HS Systems Health Principle “the best way forward moves us toward what we want, not away from what we fear.” When an organization has good Mission Health, all decisions are made with the ultimate focus on what would best support the mission, vision, and goals of an organization.

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