Updated: Apr 5
Dr. Toni Best, Chief Human Performance Officer at Aduro is not just the co-founder and executive at one of Seattle's fastest growing companies. She's also a yogi, chiropractor and a personal coach.
Toni's commitment to helping people unlock their own potential started early in her life as she faced and overcame her own personal challenges. Since then, she has made it her mission to be a student and teacher of transformative habit change of which resilience is a core component. Enjoy this week's In My Network interview!
How and when did we first meet?
We met several years ago when you were exploring ideas for your next adventure after Starbucks and were poking around in the employee wellbeing and human performance fields. We had multiple commonalities of vision and purpose, and a deep love for human beings right from the start.
You co-founded Aduro, a corporate human performance organization. What does your company do?
We unlock human potential in the world by connecting individuals with expert coaches, development experiences, and the community they need to realize new possibilities in work and life. We design experiences that shift workplace cultures and inspire transformative behavior change through a powerful yet simple combination of data, technology and people.
What trends are you seeing in terms of what types of support employees are needing from their employers?
There are three main themes. First, corporations recognize that workplace culture is a major driver in productivity and performance and are developing workplaces that support a diverse population and foster a sense of belonging. Second, people desire their workplace to be one of personal growth and professional development and are demanding this support from leaders. Third, and perhaps the most prevalent, is the need for mental health support at work.
The concept of resilience seems to be coming up a lot these days. Why is that?
We are all capable of resilience and greatness. I believe that the mental demands of modern life have surpassed our current ability to cope. Technology advances mean information, communication, and life move faster and faster and we are always “on.” Streaming video and live photographs create an illusion of human connection while we really feel less connected than ever. And we are all doing a second job – worrying about what other people think and how we look in the world (thanks social media!). We need a new set of skills.
What's at the core of resilience?
There are so many ways to answer this question, but I believe the foundation of resilience is based in lifestyle choices that boost our physical wellbeing, close and supportive relationships, and a trained mindset of presence, empathy, confidence, and flexibility.
How can an employer create a culture that helps build resilience in their employees?
Create a human-centered, strengths-based workplace that treats people like people and fosters a sense of belonging. Hire and promote leaders who truly care about people and train leaders to coach. Provide employees access to resources and people who can help them gain clarity around what matters most to them, put strategies and plans in place to achieve their goals and improve their wellbeing, help them break down roadblocks and process thoughts and feelings, and encourage them to take care of themselves and keep going when it gets tough.
What are some things an individual can do to build their resilience?
Practice true self-care! Eat well, sleep well, move well, and think well. Train your mind to be present in the moment, cultivate confidence, practice focus, and be flexible. Don’t believe everything you think - the untrained mind is a poor master. Deliberately disconnect from devices and connect with yourself and those you care about.
Sometimes when I don't think I can handle one more "thing", another "thing" pops up, testing my resilience to the max. What advice do you have for me?
Learn when to say no! Breathe and get present in the moment. Edit your story – most of what we tell ourselves is a story we have constructed. Break it down to the facts and pick one small action.
Okay, it's time for your rapid fire round. Please answer in one word:
Since my personality is built to break the rules, I have broken this one too!
Podcast you are listening to: Masters of Scale
One of your core values: Authenticity
Favorite non-work activity: International travel
Where you go or what you do to restore: Snowboarding in the mountains
Bucket list item: Live abroad for at least a year