9 key learnings from 15 years of delivering mental health training workplace – Part 4

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This is the fourth and final post in the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part three here

7. A lot of people are fixers

Being a fixer is great in the business sense. Someone comes to you with a problem and you help them fix it and you move on. Great!

But we humans are complex beings who can’t always be fixed. Consider for a moment that someone might just want validation that they are allowed to feel like they do, or even empathy about how crappy their situation is. By trying to fix we:

  • Are often trying to fix a problem we haven’t heard
  • Make a heck load of assumptions
  • Assume someone wants/there is a solution to their experience.
  • Often unintentionally shame the person in the process 

So next time you have the urge to fix? Try getting curious instead and asking questions to try and understand the situation rather than fix it. You might be surprised. Oh and why are you at it? Make sure you give the person empathy… You don’t need to understand the situation but by empathising you are giving the person permission to feel what they are feeling. Now that is power!

8. (many) people see vulnerability as a weakness

Vulnerability is not weakness. Period. It is strength. Don’t believe me? Ask Brene Brown.

You still have to have boundaries – of course! It is not about oversharing and it is really important for it to be genuine

When we feel uncertainty, at risk, exposed, uncomfortable we usually put on our masks or our armour. Vulnerability is about staying human. As Brown said ‘without vulnerability we have no empathy’. What is one of the biggest superpowers you can have in wellbeing conversations? Uh huh…. Empathy. Can you see the problem here?

Brown also says ‘If you have set up a culture where vulnerability is viewed as weakness, don’t expect great results… if that is what is being modelled at the top? Don’t expect creativity and innovation and certainly don’t expect great things from your people – no matter what your metric is.’ 

C’mon who hasn’t felt vulnerable in the past 12 months? Did you put your armour up, or were you brave and kept it real?

If you don’t believe me watch this Brene Brown video, or this one, or this one…. You will most likely go down a Brene Brown rabbit hole…. You’ve been warned!

9. Small steps… baby

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are mentally healthy workplaces. It is all about continuously improving and challenging the status quo. Start small, or if you are well on your way, aim for better. Always.

Stigma and discrimination are still very much alive in 2021 so be aware although it may not rife in your workplace, a person may have had a bad experience elsewhere. Mentally Healthy Workplaces are ones that Commit, Communicate, Comply, Co-Lead, Connect, have Confidence through skills and have a Culture by doing.

Want to see how you are going? Download our Mentally Healthy Workplaces Audit