Microsteps Help Juan Maria Choperena Connect With His Team

The Commercial Director of the Perfumery Division explains how improving his own health allowed him to better support others.

One of the most helpful Microsteps I’ve implemented into my life is mindful breathing. I’ve found that breath practices are a great way to become more in touch with my mind and body. During stressful moments, conscious breathing allows me to shift and release negative energy instead of storing it in my body. I use this Microstep at least twice a day, mainly when I feel that I need a break.

To improve my eating habits, I also started intermittent fasting two weeks ago. I do find it helpful to limit my overeating, but more so I’ve focused on including more fruits and vegetables in my diet and started avoiding sugars. Not only am I changing my eating routine, but I’m being more conscious of what I’m putting in my body. I feel great. I feel lighter, more awake, and more energetic.

I actually started using my breathing Microstep last July, when I was in the hospital with COVID. Fortunately, everything went as well as it could have, and 10 days later I was at home and working again. But while I was in the hospital, my doctor suggested some breathing exercises in order to recover my lung capacity and boost my blood oxygenation. During the exercises I noticed that it also helped me to relax and diminish the worry about my health.

These tools were of great help in order to have a different outlook on my team and to understand everyone’s personal situation overall during pandemic. As a result of the new normal, we’ve had to adapt our agendas and agree on the best moments to hold our usual meetings. Maintaining fluent communication with them has allowed the team to stay united, despite our physical distance.

What’s more, direct and constant communication with my team helped me to find areas of discomfort, tension, and discouragement and look for solutions. I have a leadership style that has always favored open communication and the development of the team members. Based on this, I’ve taken a good look at what’s going on in each team member’s life, their workload, and their personal capabilities and skills within this difficult context and I try to act accordingly.

Another tool I’ve implemented is to put myself at the team’s disposal. I make myself available for any projects or collaborations. This also helps me to better overcome any difficult circumstances that might arise. Another initiative aligned with supporting my team was aiming not to send or reply to emails off the clock and on non-working days.

I also encourage my team not to forget what makes us feel happy. In my case, after getting COVID I’ve given new meaning to many aspects of my life, mainly prioritizing what is important over what is secondary. Some of the changes I’ve implemented are as follows: adopting a healthier diet, and dedicating time to physical activity (which had been relegated to the bottom of my schedule for such a long time). Enjoying relaxing moments and events with family, such as my kids’ ceremonies at school. Avoiding overusing my cell phone by checking working emails all the time, especially during weekends. Taking pleasure, and for longer, on my hobby of restoring motorbikes I love since a kid and riding with my friends.

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