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Esther Perel explores the paradox of work life balance

Peter RussellCulture2018 10 10
Esther Perel explores the paradox of work life balance
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Internationally acclaimed psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, with a therapy practice in New York City, she serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her TED talks have garnered more than 20 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.

Esther Perel will keynote at UNLEASH in Amsterdam later this month.  She will explore and suggest ways to break open the paradox that exists in the tension between our need for security and our need for freedom, in both our work and our personal lives.

UNLEASH CEO Marc Coleman was recently in conversation with Esther Perel.  Here is a flavour of some of the insights she shared with Marc.  She will be opening up these thoughts and ideas with the audience when she takes the stage at UNLEASH World Conference & Expo later this month.  In addition to her Keynote Esther will also be taking questions direct from the audience offering attendees a unique opportunity.  A post-event video summary is going to be available and if you’ve not yet signed up for this, or for the show, then there’s no time like now.

Asked about the role commercial organizations should play in improving life in the workplace and in our interpersonal relationships, Esther Perel shared some of her thinking:

The role of commercial organizations

Today you don’t leave a job because the factory is closing, you leave the workplace because you expect it to be a place of identity development and self actualization, and if you don’t feel recognized, if you don’t feel promoted fast enough you leave and two years today is a long time.  The notion is that you don’t just stay for the paycheck, but you actually seek at work also experiences of growth, and transcendence, and trust, and connection.

Trust and belonging

At the same time people are talking about trust and belonging but they don’t stay long enough to develop these things so there’s a real challenge going on in the workplace at this point.  If you don’t move in two years you may be considered not ambitious enough, but you want trust and belonging and these things take time.  This is where the old world meets the new world and certain things can’t be done ad hoc.

You can have a close circle of a few friends as the foundation of your life, then you have the middle community that used to be the religious community or your clubs that you belonged to which are all now diminishing, and then today you have a thousand people online, but the 5 people that are your inner circle are not necessarily living close to you so there’s no-one to take you to the hospital, but maybe there’s someone who can call an Uber for you!

The need for security and freedom

It’s that awareness of what is actually happening to the realm of relationships that gives rise to discussions about loneliness, to what is community and what does it mean, and what am I supposed to bring here – what is my civic duty, my professional duty, my loyalty, what does loyalty mean at this moment? These words have long been part of the relationship vocabulary, but they mean something very different at this moment in time and nobody really has the full answer – we are all part of this conversation.

We see something massively changing the architecture of our lives, but we don’t really know how to create stability while maintaining the freedom that we all enjoy as well. And, how do you create security and freedom at the same time?  What is this amalgamation of these two fundamental human needs that are part of an individual and part of a company? A company needs it too, every living organism or system needs to straddle these two poles.

You can hear more from Esther Perel live in person at UNLEASH World Conference and Expo in Amsterdam on 23 October.  If you’d like an exclusive post-event video summary sign up here and now.

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