The snow in Galway did not deter approximately 100 guests of Ulster Bank’s Business Women Can Ambassadors at The G Hotel to hear three fantastic speakers on the subject of Health & Wellbeing – The Key to Inspiring Your Success. This latest Inspiring Your Success Event is part of the varied supports provided by Business Women Can to women in business, professions and workforce.
Addressing the Health of the Nation
Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, National Director for Health & Wellbeing for the HSE, shared the strategies employed by her team to address the health of the Nation. Dr O’Keeffe outlined the enormity of the task but also the importance to the person, the family, the community and the Country at large that we aim for improved health and wellbeing for all. She stressed that it required a whole of government but also a whole of society effort; the health of the Nation is impacted by poverty, education, housing, unemployment and all manner of other societal issues, requiring real joined up thinking from multiple Government Departments, Local Authorities and society to effect change. Dr O’Keeffe provided her audience with a hugely interesting macro view of the complex area of health. One of the most frightening statistic she shared was that 5,500 families are bereaved in Ireland each year due to smoking but reminded us that we each can be a positive role model for health in families, in the workplace and in the community and that great progress is being made and more is possible.
Candid account of one Man’s personal experience on Health & Wellbeing
Padraig O’Ceidigh’s contribution complimented Dr O’Keeffe’s macro view of Health by focusing on his own personal experience. He was starkly honest about his own journey growing a very successful business from nothing to a traumatic wakeup call in Coronary Care. His message was clear; people who are chronically stressed are in a bubble. They don’t know that they are in it but the people who care about them do and they would do well to listen. He would always have thought that there were two zones; the comfort zone and the stretch zone. What he failed to realise, and almost fatally, was that there is a third zone, the danger zone. He cautioned his listeners to recognise the signs when they are in the danger zone and make changes and critically to understand that the wealth of a business is not on the balance sheet, it’s in its people.
Coaching People to be the best they can
Jennifer Hughes, Head of Corporate Planning and Services Delivery for Ulster Bank drew on her experience managing teams within a large organisation and her role as Head Swim Coach to Team Ireland Special Olympics Team to address the importance of coaching for people to be the best they can be. She echoed Padraig’s words about stress and cautioned that stress can present as something completely different and a manager or a coach needs to be aware. Jennifer provided a fascinating insight into how to communicate with dignity and respect to ensure that messages are received and understood and that this holds true whether you are in the board room or the swimming pool.
The lively Q&A Session was ably managed by Joanne Murphy of TriTalking Sport as MC for the night, herself a dedicated triathlete.