Life’s balancing lesson

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Self empowerment is a balance of mind and body and a realization that each piece that creates a whole is as equal and as important as the next, says Colleen Hickmann, owner of In Unison, a Hales Corners-based company. Earlier this month, In Unison launched the Self-Empowerment Board Game to help companies understand the self-empowerment mindset and to help people balance their professional and personal lives, Hickmann said.

The Self-Empowerment Board Game can be used by managers, supervisors and executives within a company to realize their level of self empowerment, Hickmann said.

The game is played with at least two people and often played in a group.

The game is based on a number of real-life scenarios found in the workplace. Hickmann created the scenarios from her experiences working with companies and from general examples used in the training and development industry, she said.

Each scenario has an empowered solution to a situation and a non-empowered solution. When each scenario is read, those that have landed on a square with the letter E will move forward after the empowered solution is read. Those on a square with an E with a line through it will move backward after hearing the non-empowered solution. Essentially, the person who finishes the game first is empowered, Hickmann said.

The Self-Empowerment Board Game has different versions for various levels of executives and also can be customized for specific teams and groups within a company, Hickmann said.

In Unison works with companies from the top down and changes the thought processes of each individual, which in turn changes the company’s culture and increases productivity, Hickmann said.

"We have lost the sense of commitment to one another in corporate America," she said.

If individuals are not self-empowered, then they do not always see their importance to a company and tend to function in a reactive and somewhat resistant state, Hickmann said.

In Unison changes that reactive mentality into a proactive mentality through development seminars, working one-on-one with companies and through keynote speeches, she said.

Executives who become more self-empowered can start to change the culture within their company and serve as examples of proactive behavior, Hickmann said.

"Self empowerment means recognizing the strengths about growing into what and who you are, how people come together to give back to a corporation and what a corporation can give back to you," Hickmann said. "We have lost sight of that bringing back, that ying and yang more balanced approach that promotes trust, productivity and the increase of commerce."

Milwaukee-based Badger Mutual Insurance Co. has utilized Hickmann’s self-empowerment training and development services for four years, said Karen Kirk, vice president of sales and marketing for Badger Mutual.

"A dialogue has been created from the original assessment and follow-up with training," Kirk said. "People look forward to it, they utilize it and they believe it helps."

The managers and supervisors at Badger Mutual go through a regular training program with Hickmann that focuses on self empowerment and working as a team, Kirk said. The training has enhanced the closeness of the group and being self empowered helps bring up the moral of the entire company, she said.

"It used to be, "What’s in it for me?’ and it was never enough," Kirk said. "Colleen shifted and brought back the focus to ‘What do I give to the company and what does the company give back to me?’"

In Unison is offering the board game for sale for $99 at its Web site, The game is included for clients who hire the company for management training.

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