I had a really interesting conversation with Kate from Food For The Brain Foundation an innovative charity that teaches the impact of nutrition on the brain – all backed by academic and scientific research.
Check them out – it’s free to register and receive their newsletter also free to take their cognitive test – see if your lifestyle and nutrition is going to impact your brain health in the future.
What do I mean? Did you know only 1% of Alzheimers is caused through genes?
A huge amount of information can be found on the drop down menus from nutritional advice for different mental ill health issues through to the ideal nutrition for different ages throughout life – currently under development.
There are diverse articles with tips on issues from sleeping well to how gut health affects moods and so much more.
So check out this mine of information website and analyse how fit your brain is now and how fit will it be in the future!
Its essential employers do everything possible to ensure their workplaces – physical and virtual – are operating at peak wellness and wellbeing especially with the nearing post covid era we are entering – emotions can be in turmoil.
Delivering training on how our behaviours impact those around us (Emotional Intelligence), how to communicate and collaborate effectively, how to build a resilient, productive environment where individuals at all levels learn skills and tools to look after themselves – and those around them – is critical in these constantly changing and uncertain times.
Where to start? We can overthink and procrastinate for ever trying to identify the ‘perfect’ solution but end up not actually doing anything.
Working during Covid has been a unique experience for everyone depending on their own particular situation. Not everyone has worked from a safe home with its own garden, financially secure with a solid network of support.
Coupled with this is everyone’s unique level of resilience. This is a key area for employers to look at as it directly impacts their business, brand reputation and bottom line. How to give some tools to ensure their people know their level of resilience, how to increase it and thereby be more able to deal with the curve balls life throws.
Having delivered many accredited courses and my own bespoke workshops in this critical area over many years, i-act is the most effective, robust commercial product for staff and their businesses on the market in my view. Why?
Quick deliver – 4 hours – delivered virtually making it accessible for hybrid workers across the globe
Robust, easy to access 168 colour co-ordinated manual, containing over 50 tools for self-care and 95 referral organisations. Digital version also available.
Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and carries 3 CPD points -for delegates
Accreditation lasts three years with access to I-act’s website for news, updates and downloads
Designed specifically for the workplace
Proactive – not reactive. Focus is on early intervention, building resilience
How to set and maintain personal protective barriers
So much more!
Collaboration and learning together is the best way to grow. Some of the key findings delegates shared on recent courses from diverse industries and levels of seniority include:
“A complex topic nicely categorised by the book and the ‘I-acted’ approach – so ordered, accessible and useable”.
” The self-care and wellbeing advice and activities was a key takeaway for me. It has given me more concrete ideas of where I can improve, particularly as someone who has a diagnosed mental illness.”
“Learning the simple scale tool to start a conversation was my standout. I will definitely use this going forward.”
“From some of the past support I’ve given my team, having the opportunity to understand more about some of the classifications of mental ill health was really helpful.”
“Learning how to ask the suicide question really helped me, It’s a difficult subject”
It seems to me the title ‘First Aider’ gives the impression delegates are ‘qualified’ to deliver first line intervention. This isn’t always the case. The emotional intelligence to speak to others at the time of emotional vulnerability whilst looking after yourself is critical and not something everyone can do naturally.
Yet, many employers don’t assess their employees before putting them on these kind of courses. Are they in the right headspace to do this kind of course? Do they have the communication skills to support someone else? Do they have the insight to know when to get involved and when they need to pass it on to protect themselves? Do they make their self-care a priority? It seems to be more a ‘tick in the box’ exercise. How much damage could that potentially do to both parties – not to mention brand reputation of the business?
I’m often asked what I would do if I wanted to make sure my staff and workplace thrived – not just survived. I would use a journey of steps – ensuring collaboration with staff at every step:
Step one – discover what the emotional temperature of my workplace and people is? To know and not just assume where the pressure points are I would run an Emotional Culture Survey. A quick survey which takes just a few minutes to complete online and examines 10 key areas of pressures across all departments and levels of staff giving results in minutes.
Step two – workshop to understand the impact our behaviours have on those around us which we may be completely unaware of but this impact can last years. Not an issue if that impact is positive – but what if it isn’t?
Step three – run the developmental, global Genos Emotional Intelligence assessments across all levels of staff for them to see any gaps between the level of importance of six core competencies and the level of demonstration raters see followed by coaching sessions to enable them to see insights, actions and benefits leading to stronger 360 connections and increased personal development.
Step four – deliver I-act – Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing – for line managers and Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing for non-managers. Both deliver the key tools noted above.
Step five – run continuous workshops, discussions, fun events during which work is not discussed. Instead focussing on empowering staff to break the stigma and fear our emotions can have by talking without fear about emotions. In addition have fun getting to know each other as humans working together who have lives outside of work not just colleagues doing a job.
Now, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Government has announced the end of restrictions in England next week.
Is now the time to start preparing your teams and workplace to thrive?
Thanks to Netflix, I watched this brilliant film over the weekend. I was struck by many things. Yes, it had all the emotions – happy, sad, courage, loyalty, generational parallel lives, hope, adversity, ignorance, acceptance, bullying and likely many more. Overall, it left a feeling of hope, that’s it’s ok to be your authentic self and life can be fun if we drop the judgements we give others – without even speaking with them.
I originally wrote this for my LinkedIn in page. Why? because the film is a place of work comprising actors, camera crew, runners etc as is the school central to the film’s theme. Without the Emotional Intelligence to accept all work colleagues – direct reports, peers, line management, clients, supply chain etc in all sectors, as well as recognise and understand how our emotions, thoughts and behaviours impact others, businesses and their people will never thrive.
As the credits to the film rolled, we see the ‘real’ Jamie Campbell and his mum Margaret from County Durham who the film was based on. A three part documentary in 2011 featuring Jamie and his mum’s fight for him to be allowed to wear a dress to his secondary school prom.
For me, the most poignant feeling I got from the film was how little has changed. Ten years since the documentary on Jamie’s fight to be authentic yet we don’t seem any further forward. In the film, Jamie’s guide to becoming a drag queen is Hugo played by the brilliant Richard E Grant. Snapshots of Hugo’s life as a drag queen during the explosion of AIDS, had parallels with Jamie’s fight and illuminated the lack of acceptance today.
With training in how our behaviours impact ourselves and those around us, change is possible – but only if we want it.
Final thoughts – the film ended with a real shift in change of attitudes by many. I wonder how much more businesses would grow if they looked at the behaviours and impact of all within…..
In other reports from @BBC we know there are 1.7m unemployed and over 4m on furlough who may not have jobs to return to when furlough finally ends.
There seems a huge disconnect.
From the people I’ve spoken to over the past fourteen months I think there’s an elephant in the room we are not addressing. Fear.
Fear of stepping outside their door.
Fear of leaving their family.
Fear of stepping onto public transport.
Fear of walking into a new environment.
Fear of getting to learn a new role.
Fear of a new routine
Fear of not being respected by colleagues
Fear of not ‘gelling’ with the team/management
Fear of losing this new job
Fear of failing
There is an expectation employers will address this fear. Those integrating the new ISO45003 guidelines will go a long way to achieving this. Using Growing Talent to gain new talent will see them go even further in achieving the goal of sustainable new talent who have grown into the available role through the methods taught on Growing Talent to flourishing adding real value to everyone.
If you have a real job to fill, why not consider www.growing-talent.co.uk? It’s completely free and not a Government funded programme.
The global pandemic has seen businesses change the way they operate to get the results they want.
Isn’t now the time to change the way you recruit to reveal those hidden gems of talent you’ve potentially been missing?
This is a thought that’s been resonating with me with growing repetition during the journey of the global pandemic here in the UK.
It seems to me humankind has become more and more inward rather than outward looking over the years.
As the restrictions enforced by the pandemic have continued, the more amplified our disregard for our duty to others seems to have grown.
By that I mean consideration of the potential consequences our actions can have on others.
Each week, local small patches of council green areas outside residential houses are scattered with litter comprising fast food wrappers but lately discarded alcohol bottles. I haven’t seen people having picnics on these areas so assume it’s household fly tipping by residents, or people returning from fun in the park with their friends.
Why? Each household in the UK has rubbish collection weekly. There is no need to spoil the environment for others through laziness and/or entitlement. If there is no public rubbish bin locally, or if there is one, it’s full – why can’t people take their rubbish home and put it in for their rubbish collection?
I don’t doubt this is happening in every part of the UK.
Clearly the thought of the right to personal enjoyment of the individuals dropping these items far outweighs any thought of their impact on others. Children play on these small greens. Pet dogs are taken for walks by their owners. Residents look at these green spaces from their windows – vital when housebound or shielding. Where is the thought for the impact on others – the anxiety and isolation caused by thoughtless, ‘my right’ attitudes?
We see this time and again on a larger scale when the sun is shining in the debris left behind in parks and at coastal spots. There is a huge cost in clearly this up.
We know the dangers to the environment of discarded rubbish which has been proven to get into our water tables and food chains. By discarding rubbish thoughtlessly instead of taking it home, those individuals are potentially affecting their health and that of the ones they love. Ironic isn’t it?
Isn’t now the time to start to think of our duty to consider the impact of our behaviours on others?
Around May 2019, I saw a news feature with Duke & Duchess of Cambridge launching the 24/7 UK crisis text line Give Us A Shout.
The idea seemed simple and brilliant. Mobile providers waived their fees for texts to this service. Anyone struggling with their emotions from feeling lonely to idealation to complete suicide, any age, could text the word SHOUT to 85258 and get help to take them from a hot moment to a cool calm.
As a completely text service 24/7, those struggling didn’t have to overcome fear or anxiety of speaking to someone via a telephone line. Nor did they have to take part in a video call.
This idea peaked my interest. The new launch was to engage with volunteers to train to go on the platform and support. The training was long and intense.
A coach is assigned from joining Give Us A Shout until a volunteer decides to leave.
This wrap around support for texters and volunteers is unique so I applied and thankfully was accepted.
Starting off as a baby chick (new volunteer) I could only take one texter at a time. The commitment is to give 200 hours to the platform before deciding to leave.
That target seemed light years away and completely unattainable. However, I received the following email from my Coach – I didn’t even realise I passed the landmark!
‘Congratulations on having spent 200 hours on the Platform.
Thank you for giving so much of your time and empathy to our texters. We really appreciate every second you’ve spent with us on the Platform…….720,000 seconds to be exact!
I’m sure that when you made a commitment to do 200 hours of volunteering with Shout it seemed almost unattainable, and yet you have made that commitment a reality and for that we are all so grateful to you.
We look forward to you continuing to support texters and other Shout Volunteers with your invaluable experience for many more hours to come.‘
My plan is to continue volunteering as long as I can for this unique service. Feedback shows me, it really makes a difference to those struggling.
I always teach people I work with ‘Never look at big targets. They always feel unattainable. Instead, look at bite sized steps. You’ll soon achieve your end goal and learn so much along the way.’
I know I have.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, no matter the time of day or night or issue that’s on your mind, text the word SHOUT to 85258. Help is there. You don’t need to go on any struggle alone.
For the 10+ years I’ve been a MHFAEngland Instructor, I’ve been looking for a mental health and wellbeing programme to deliver which was accredited by a qualifying body delivering real value rather than the usual courses that just end with a Certificate of Attendance.
I stumbled across http://www.i-act.co.uk who devised mental health and well-being products specifically for the workplace. Both courses come with a 168 page manual, 50 self-help tools to use and 95 referral organisations for different mental health issues.
Having done the manager’s course – Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and WELLBeing – accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists with CPD points – I knew this was a key product which would deliver real value to my clients.
I decided to apply for the Instructor’s accreditation to deliver both the manager course and the ‘Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health and WELLbeing in the Workplace’ for non-management employees.
At the start of this week myself and others from all corners of the UK, Bahrain and Hong Kong met online with one of the co-founders Pete – a Clinical Psychiatrist and mine of information – also our Instructor. After watching Pete deliver, we then had to deliver the whole programme in our own style with a couple of peers giving feedback.
Solid connections were made. Messages of encouragement flowed over WhatsApp as we all became accredited instructors.
I now intend adding these two excellent courses to my portfolio of training to employers looking to ensure their staff at all levels are maintaining optimum levels of wellbeing duding real value to their bottom line and brand reputation.
The opportunities that open up when you least expect them can lead to incredible places.
The toughest thing to overcome when looking for employment after a period of unemployment is being judged on your label(s).
By that I mean recruiters/employers ofter see your label(s) and the assumptions they make about the potential impact of those label(s) without speaking with you to understand the facts.
For example, a homeless, single parent who is unemployed will often be perceived as someone who is unstable and unreliable with zero transferable skills into the world of employment.
In reality, homeless doesn’t always mean ‘sleeping on the streets’ – although I think sleeping is the wrong word. No one can sleep soundly on the streets with all the dangers that environment presents.
Single parents, in my experience, have an array of skills which add value to employers. All are great problem solvers, they are life coaches, highly organised solution finders with strong time management skills along with the drive and attitude to succeed to be positive role models for their children as well as establish a career path for themselves. Any employer can train in their area of expertise but they can’t train ‘attitude’. They are missing an excellent talent pool.
At Growing Talent, based on my own experience, we do not allow traditional recruitment methods. There are no cvs nor job descriptions. Employers select based on their belief of someone’s attitude to grow into their vacancy. As every applicant has usually more than one barrier to employment, we partner with JobCentre Plus to ensure a financial safety net if someone is selected but doesn’t complete and secure the provisional permanent job offer. This removes the ‘fear’ from those unemployed people who really want to work but have that nagging ‘what if’ in their heads.
So, to ensure employers and applicants are on the same level playing field, we have a speed dating session. These always start really quietly. Within 10minutes everyone is relaxed, laughing with each other and showing who they really are.
In small groups, applicants spend 10 minutes at each employer table finding out a little about the company and permanent jobs on offer. The employers have the same window of time to find out a little about all applicants.
Some examples of previously employer speed dating events:
Employers select their shortlist from this event. Shortlisted applicants attend a 1-2-1 meeting on the employer site where the job is based to learn more details.
At the point any offers are made to go on the Growing Talent journey with the employer, everything is known upfront about the end job. There is no mystery around salary, bonus, benefits, hours, shifts etc.
How often do you go for a traditional job interview and leave as mystified as when you went in?
Growing Talent removes any doubt for both sides and everyone loves the spontaneity of speed dating – who not use it in recruitment?
I’m not usually one to read the sports pages but sitting on the train this morning I flicked through the Metro and saw the excellent feature on Khadijah Mellah who won a charity race yesterday at Glorious Goodwood!
The 18 year old learnt to ride at a local stable in Brixton but only sat on a race horse two months ago.
Breaking all barriers, perceptions and assumptions, Khadijah said in the report ‘I definitely want to keep going – I’ve loved every second. It’s been a whirlwind……Ambitious women can make it – that is what I want to represent’.
I think she’s achieved the status of showing every human being they can achieve want they want with self-belief, determination and encouragement.