R – How R you? Recover our wellbeing

There’s something you’re probably saying every day that has an incredible impact on the wellbeing of your team; this video reveals what it is and how to make the most of it.

RECOVER YOUR WELLBEING outlines 7 conversations you can have with your teams. Each topic is evidence-based and can be applied right away to improve the wellbeing in your team.

This video has been shared with the NHS Leadership Academy with the kind permission of A Kind Life whose mission is to spread kindness in healthcare. These short videos give you a taster of A Kind Life’s approach to creating kinder cultures.


Recover outlines seven conversations you can have with your teams. Each topic is evidence based, so simply having these discussions will improve the well-being of the team. The R in recover refers to perhaps the most important question you can ask when you want to help improve someone’s well-being. How are you? Is that simple? Just sit with a team and ask, How are you? Fine. Not bad. No, really. I’m genuinely interested. How are you? Give everyone a chance to respond openly to this question and listen. We’ve all seen and evidence tells us when people feel listened to genuinely heard. They feel understood, cared for, accepted, it releases tension and it helps them make sense of what they’re going through. It helps them find their own solutions. So this is about listening. So when you’re listening, there’s one key thing you are not doing and that’s talking. Non-verbal encouragement is really important. But they say silence is golden. It gives people a chance to think, to reflect, to work out what they want to say. You don’t need to fill in the gaps for people to be really heard. While you are not talking, there are three other things that you might think are helpful, but you may also want to avoid. Firstly, don’t minimise their experience, make them feel less serious. You may be saying, Oh, I would never do that, but we do. Often our first response is to try to make them feel better. To find the silver lining or suggest at least something even worse isn’t happening. But a truly empathetic response never begins with the words at least. Secondly, try not to solve or fix things for many of us whose jobs are all about helping other people, this is hard. But the purpose of asking, How are you? Is to give that person space to talk about how they really are to work things through for themselves. So the more likely to find a solution that works for them or accept there isn’t a solution right now. But feel all the better for you having heard them. And of course, they might be just great. How are you? I’m pretty good, thanks. It’s wonderful when good things happen to good people. So the first step to recover our well-being is to ask, How are you? And then get out of the way.

Having now watched the video, please take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

Q: What key piece of learning will you take from this video?

Q: How will you put your learning back into your professional practice?

Q: How did this video make you feel? 

Please feel free to share your reflections in the comments section below.

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