NSK Ltd approached Coach Mentoring Ltd to add value to their CPD days for Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapists. The Japanese manufacturer of Dental Instruments views Therapists and Hygienist as key influencers in decision-making when dental practices are procuring new equipment. They wanted to dedicate part of their development day to the balance of the lives of those who care for the our teeth at the ‘ground level’. The idea was to use Ikigai to add purpose and be a way of bringing lightness to some of the drier content in the technical side of peri-dental care.
Using Ikigai to add purpose to work life
Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy, encompassing finding your life’s purpose, and living your life to the full through that purpose.
That sounds pretty straightforward. Yet few participants actually ever wanted to become a dental hygienist. There were many who have a ‘side hustle’ — something else they did that makes their lives much more fulfilled.
Working with NSK, we designed our presentations and activities around two different groups. The first group very much identified with being the ‘Cinderella’ of the dental industry. The second group were much more fulfilled in their current roles, they felt valued, and enjoyed their jobs.
Key issues included, time permitted in-between patients and being energetically drained after the day. No time to eat properly. For example, eating an energy bar whilst the next patient was walking into the room — meaning poor chewing, poor digestion, poor absorption of nutrients. Issues with posture, leading to backache. Shoulder issues for those not having an assistant with them, as they had to hold all the equipment themselves. These was a commonality across both groups. Money and pay were not an issue at all.
What made people go into a profession that they did not ever dream of going into?
The reply was helping people, making people feel good about themselves was the primary reason for staying within the industry.
Ikigai — finding the joy in life — is also about life-balance, health, diet, exercise, establishing values, adjusting those values. It is also what we can be paid for, what the world needs, what the world values.
Ikigai discussions to promote self-reflection
The days began with the Ikigai presentation. In order to relax people the seating was very informal, encourage the participants in opening up, and being open. There were a lot of frank discussions about self-esteem, self-value and how the attendees felt about doing their job.
The first group was a lot more forthcoming on how they believed this type of day would benefit them by incorporating Ikigai into their lives. Reflecting on their approach to finding a balance in their lives. Caring for themselves as a priority before caring for others.
For the second group, we made the seating even less formal to facilitate openness by co-creating the space.
There were several members of the first group who had already begun their journeys into self-development, and their reason for being. The second group was a little less familiar with these ideas.
One immediate response:
‘I sent a text to my partner while the discussions were happening. I said we had to change what we were doing’.
We discussed covering boundaries, especially when hygienists were starting out with their businesses. We explored how to set and control those boundaries.
How Ikigai can benefit well-being in the workplace
The concept of life-balance, and a philosophy of life that allows for a particular professional body to ensure the health and well-being of its members is as much of a priority as ensuring that those members keep up with current standards of expertise with in the profession
In order for a philosophy of well-being and reason for being, to become truly integrated within CPD days, this part of the course must seek to become a part of the CPD accreditation.
Susie’s talk was great, it really made me feel empowered to be in control of how I work and that we shouldn’t settle for what we have if we are not happy. I would actually love to listen to her for a full-day course.
All of the respondents to an NSK post event survey agreed with the following:
Do you feel it is essential to the course that there is an element solely dedicated to the Ikigai philosophy?
100% of course members agreed!
See how Ikigai adds purpose to any organisation
Whilst we are all responsible for our own health, and those in the caring industries are responsible for the healthcare of others. The community of professional bodies, must also be diligent about the healthcare and well-being of its members.
So get in touch with Coach Mentoring Ltd to see how we can help you integrate the benefits of Ikigai into your organisation!
Enjoyed this article?
Fill in our contact form.