This is the best workplace mental health and wellbeing course I deliver….

I have delivered multiple mental health and wellbeing licences courses for clients keen to empower their teams in this critical area.

The introduction of ISO45003 – psychological safety in the workplace – in September 2021, coupled with the legacy of Covid left on many has seen an increase of interest in this area.

But how many organisations continue to keep engaging non-accredited, reactive, non-global uniformed programmes because:

  • It’s the product they’ve always used – (without exploring if it worked maybe?)
  • The product has ‘First Aider’ in the title (without evaluating if the resulting knowledge makes someone capable of being a ‘First Aider’)

I-act training is, by comparison, head and shoulders above the competition in this field, in my opinion. It delivers so much more, including:

  • Global delivery virtually – delivering uniform knowledge with local support resources
  • Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Carried CPD points
  • Training in over 50 tools for proactive self care that can be used reactively on someone experiencing emotional pain
  • Robust manual for onward learning
  • Access to resources, news, films as well as international news in this field for the entire 3 years accreditation
  • Bespoke course for managers – which includes legal responsibilities
  • Bespoke course for non-managers

The feature picture above shows a recent group of newly accredited Practitioners from a leading UK University. An additional consideration for their commissioning organisation was the fact this accredited course would give them the ‘edge’ in their career search as a key differentiator. A great session sharing & learning together critical, accredited life skills for the workplace and beyond!

Learning proactive mind muscle building techniques ensures we are better able to look after ourselves as well as those around us.

What’s not to like?

Why would employers choose anything less for their most valuable asset?

If you are interested to learn what difference this training could make to your employees, why not contact me direct to find out more….?

Emotional Intelligence – what does it mean?

Literally it’s understanding our emotions, recognise when they are triggered and the impact on those around us if we don’t.

In addition to bespoke workshops I deliver to clients on building better connections within teams, utilising emotional intelligence thinking in communications, I deliver the Genos International suite of Emotional Intelligence assessment and coaching tools which illustrate how we think we are ‘showing up’ compared with the reality of others.

Exploring the gaps and developing tools to close them.

A logical science when you think about it. Those around us are rarely mind readers. They have no awareness of what our intention was when we spoke/interacted with them. They naturally make assumptions based on how we made them feel.

Maya Angelou said it best:

“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”

With Emotional Intelligence training, we will be more successful in making them feel how we intended.

What do you think?

Making it happen!

For many global companies, taking part in Growing Talent is a challenge because it disrupts the global recruitment policies in place.

Growing Talent is a mentoring journey for both employers and their potential unemployed new talent which delivers a mutual ‘test drive’ to see if the permanent role on offer is right for both parties.

Due to the unique partnership over nine years with JobCentre Plus in the UK, participants retain their benefits, have their travel paid, get paid by the employer, undergo a week of orientation and holistic workshops including qualification in the accredited i-act Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing aligning with ISO45003 psychological safety in the workplace and a dedicated mentor for the journey. This raises their empowerment and confidence before they start the four week mutual test drive with their employer.

What’s not to like?

With all these positive elements to Growing Talent, Lauren had a role she knew would be appropriate. After securing UK managements’ approval, she then had to tackle the European heads! No easy task – but she did it!

Lauren made it happen and you can see just how confident and awesome Lee is from the photo above with Lauren. Feed back from Lauren and her team is Lee is learning so quickly and picking up things fast. He’s a positive addition to the team – and this is just a few days into the journey! From Lee’s view, he’s enjoying it and has no complaints.

It not easy to start a new job during train strikes – but Lee made it happen too!

Vision, determination and passion = positive real results. So, let’s all ‘make it happen’!

Let’s talk workplace positive mental health and wellbeing…..

With over 15 years experience of delivering a range of mental health and wellbeing products in the UK, i-act (for positive mental health and wellbeing) training. Mental Health Training is the only workplace designed course on the market I’ve come across that delivers lasting knowledge, real tools and steps for colleagues to gain confidence in supporting each other whilst giving knowledge on how to demolish workplace stigma – perceived or real- removing the fear in disclosing to ensure early intervention, help and support. It aligns perfectly in supporting #iso45003 employer guidelines.

In addition, a strong focus on prevention enables staff to learn tools to build their own resilience to deal with life/work events more effectively whilst enabling them to ‘bounce back’ quicker when low mood strikes.

Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists it gives confidence a meaningful programme of effective knowledge will be received rather than a ‘tick in the box’ exercise.

With hybrid working homes are now completely or partly also workplaces making the division between home and work spaces more blurred.  

In addition the global fiscal crisis means money in all areas is tight. So it makes sense to select the most effective training programme that will deliver the right results for employees and employers – doesn’t it?

Working with a leading UK University recently, the first to gain #iso45003, the interaction, sharing and clear growth of knowledge amongst the delegates was awesome to be part of.

But, what did they think?…………

“Thank you so much for delivering the i-act course today, it went above and beyond my expectations and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone already in or moving into a management”

“That was a fantastic course- thanks so much!”

“Thanks for the excellent course today, I gained a lot of knowledge from it”

How psychologically safe is your workplace?

#wellbeing#work#positivementalhealth

Day one – Mental Health Awareness Week….

It’s amazing to think it was 21 years ago the Mental Health Foundation introduced the idea of an annual week putting the spotlight on raising awareness of mental health.

Here we are 21 years later with many people still:

  • living in silence
  • self stigmatising
  • hesitating to start a conversation when they’ve spotted a change in someone
  • not practising non-negotiable, regular windows of wellbeing everyday
  • learning proactive tools to maintain their wellbeing and increase their resilience
  • not seeing how critical self-care is not only in preventing mind ill health and also in recovery plans

In recognition of Day One of this important week, I share one of my favourite wellbeing windows for self-care that I teach.

When brushing your teeth, set the timer on your mobile to 2 minutes, play your favourite dance tune and cut some moves in the privacy of your bathroom. It gets your blood pumping, clears your mind AND IT’S FUN!

Try it.

How fit is your brain?

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?

Check out their website below….

https://foodforthebrain.org

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!

The power of small changes

It’s easy to overlook the power of small changes – in business, at home, in ourselves, Governments etc.

Think of hot wanter. I know, a bit random but stay with me…….

At 211 degrees Fahrenheit it’s just that – hot water but one small increase in focus and attention it grows to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and becomes steam.

As the feature picture shows, that small change delivers a powerful impact.

What about if we made small changes in ourselves and ‘how we show up’ at work, at home, with friends etc. What powerful impact could we make?

#kindness #emotionalintelligence #empowerment

Workplace in a post pandemic era – scary?

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.

A global programme delivering specialist workplace and leadership critical tools.

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?

Leadership – what happens when they experience their own behaviours?

I have long been interested in the kindness of humans and the impact our behaviours and actions have on those around us. Both positive and negative impacts can last decades. 

We can all relate to the feelings left by someone in our past years after the event. Their words and actions might fade with time but the feelings their behaviours caused are as raw now as they were then. Think of the worst boss, teacher or partner you ever had. How did they make you feel? How long ago did you know them? See what I mean?

How we show up matters – especially in the workplace, especially if we hold leadership positions.

As humans, many of us do not think about the impact we have on others. We expect them to experience the impact in line with our intentions. But here’s the thing. They don’t know what our intentions were, unless we tell them – which we rarely do.

The pieces of the jigsaw in the picture above, for me, make an effective, intelligent leader:

  1. THINKING – how is what I am going to say and do going to be received? There’s a reason our parents tell us to ‘think before we speak’!
  2. CONNECTING – do I really connect with my team? do I know anything about them outside work? do we have fun at work?
  3. EMPATHETIC – do I empathise with my team? use my awareness of their uniqueness to connect and collaborate with them to ensure they are empowered to flourish in the workplace?
  4. AUTHENTIC – do I really deliver on everything I say I will and if there is an issue which will stop me delivering – do I share this with my team? do I take them on a collaborative journey to deliver what’s needed?
  5. AWARENESS OF SELF AND OTHERS – am I aware of when I might be struggling? what about my team? do I use my knowledge of my team to adapt my behaviours to meet their individual needs?
  6. WHAT IMPACT? – What impact do I really have on my team? do I ask them regularly for their thoughts on what I’m doing well and what I can do better? Do they know I value their opinions even if I’m not going to follow everything, I will always listen to their views.

As a certified Genos Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, I’m even more sure of the jigsaw pieces!

A current project has shown just how critical emotionally intelligent leadership is.

Let me set the context. A global organisation wanted to develop their key leadership team by finding out where they fell in core competency areas compared with how their connections felt.

Each leader nominated several raters from all categories of their connections – line management, peers, direct reports and others (suppliers, clients etc). Each rater completed a survey of 42 questions. The resulting 360 Emotionally Intelligent Leadership report revealed any gaps. The qualitative text facility enables raters to put into context their ratings.

Here’s the thing. Hardly anyone added qualitative text. Leaving many of the leaders bewildered on why they had been scored low in some areas.

My question to them on the debrief was “how does that make you feel?” which drew a range of answers – none of which were positive.

Then I asked “how many of the surveys you were a rater on did you leave qualitative text to give context to your ratings?”

Then came the lightbulb moment….

“Well, I assumed they would know so I didn’t leave any” came the response.

My final question “if you went back to the beginning of this process, would you add some qualitative text to give context to what your rating?”

“Yes, I now know how it feels to get a low score without knowing why”

Why share this event with you? Two reasons really

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how common it is for leaders to ‘assume’ everyone they connect with is clairvoyant and knows what the intention behind their actions was
  2. The power of that lightbulb moment when they realise the power of changing their behaviours.

How we show up matters. Your team are your most critical asset. They are they ones delivery the service for your clients. If they aren’t happy and flourishing – the relationship with your clients won’t either.

How does your leadership team show up?

Control what you can – ignore what you can’t!

What a roller coaster the past couple of years have been.

It seemed we’d turned a corner with the Government lifting restrictions, more and more people leaving their hybrid workplace and returning to their offices – even booking holidays, events and Christmas family gatherings! Life getting ‘back to normal’?

Then, earlier this week came the news of yet another variant. Omnicron had arrived!  A vortex of fear, dread, overthinking fell on some intensified by the re-introduction of some restrictions by the UK Government.

Scientists in South Africa alerted the world to this new variant. We know by the time a new variant has been announced, it’s already out there in the world’s population. They couldn’t control the reaction of countries closing their borders. Had they known, would they have shared their discovery?

Borders are starting to close.  Restrictions are being re-introduced.  It can feel like news channels are on repeat cycles of doom without any context or balance.  There is no evidence of which way this new variant will go. The UK Government’s consistent guidance of ‘we have to live with this’, seems to have now been reversed.

It’s no wonder anxiety, fear and overthinking is rising in many of us.  So, what can we do? 

Control what we can – ignore what we can’t.

Accept some things we cannot control.  Governments and scientists will make their decisions. But, here’s the thing.  When we accept these things are out of our control, we can stop focussing on them and look at what we can control.  The fear, anxiety and negative thinking starts to dissipate.  We start to grow stronger and move forward.

Change your thoughts – start by questioning them.  What evidence do you have to think that way? Often, we think negatively because our minds are designed to keep us safe and so they over amplify negative thoughts. Merely by questioning our negative thoughts, their power starts to dwindle.

Control – what areas of your life can you focus on, control and inject positivity into? Building in some self-care windows to everyday routines, learning new skills these are some of the building blocks to growing self-esteem, empowerment and resilience. Doing something for somewhere else makes us feel better and them. Start with a simple smile. Watch – it’s infectious!

For employers, what additional things can be considered? 

Emotional Intelligence behavioural assessments – our emotions impact our thoughts.  Our thoughts impact our behaviours.  Our behaviours impact our actions which impact everything and everyone around us.  Thing is how we see our behaviours can be very different to how those around us experience them.

i-act’s Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing delivers all the tools to proactively build a resilient workplace. The 50+ tools taught in i-act are life-long skills that enable us to deal with all life events. Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, designed specifically for the workplace and global.

Therefore, I’m going to control what I can and ignore what I can’t – how about you?