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ACT 2021 Featured Capstone:

Breathe - Roots of Resilience

Laurie Flasko

Training, Team Building, Executive Coach – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada


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Who did your Capstone Project serve ?
I designed my project to benefit Human Resources professionals at Niagara Health.

What was the suffering that your project addressed?
HR supports the front-line team in the hospitals, who faced the WAVES of COVID. Many of these professionals expressed high levels of stress: some close to burnout. The project addressed their suffering: exhaustion, unhappiness, lack of balance, the "emotional roller coaster" effect, and high-stress levels.

How did this project address that suffering?
The Capstone Project was designed with evidence-based practices to develop skills and build habits to improve wellbeing, especially when faced with life's storms. Participants committed to resilience-building and self-compassionate practices such as daily habit-building skills, technique practices, reflection/deep-thinking, community building and self-assessment.

Who was your audience and how many people participated? 
The pilot was limited to 12 HR professionals who volunteered for the program. To date, these techniques have been incorporated into leadership coaching in a for-profit organization and team development in a crisis and mental health program.

How was the project delivered (the format)? 
Four virtual 2-hour workshops were delivered over six weeks, with a comprehensive resource guide for each workshop. Daily email reminders were provided for the 6 weeks: quick inspirations challenges, compassion breaks, joy dates, attitude boosters, and mini kindness activities. Self-assessments were completed pre and post-program.

What was the reported impact on or feedback from participants? 
100% of participants feel more equipped to practice self-compassion, 91% feel happier, 82% were more aware of their emotions, and 82% were more aware of their triggers. One participant shared, "I was amazed at the amount of new simple and practical tools that I learned from this program. I feel I am better equipped to manage the stresses of my work and personal life, and also provide some additional support to my team."  – Cara Kirkham, Health and Wellness Specialist.

How has the ACT Program helped you become an Ambassador of Compassion? 
I always felt comfortable with the concepts of kindness, empathy and altruism. Leaning into suffering, especially in the workplace, is a growth edge and a differentiator for leaders, teams and the customer experience. Today, I use the practices with all of my clients. I feel it has become part of my fabric as a coach and trainer.

What advice would you give to someone who's considering participating in the ACT Program? 
My mentoring team challenged me to be brave and not play it safe when delivering my sessions – the best advice ever! Give it your all. Be responsible for your own journey. Try things you might not otherwise try.



Be the change!

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