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The NTH Degree

Author: Rob Forsyth

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A business podcast with Wellbeing at the centre. Listen and learn from Psychologists, Doctors and inspirational leaders discussing how they are advising organisations on how to adapt to the 'new normal' as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and learn about their approaches to improving wellness and wellbeing for business leaders and for their teams.
7 Episodes
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In this episode Rob Forsyth talks to Sam Cande, Exhibition Director for the PA Show at Mash Media.I had the absolute pleasure of recently speaking with Sam where we talk about her personal recovery from contracting Covid-19,In this episode Sam tells a warts and all account of how the virus effected her, taking her to rock bottom and then how, with a positive mindset, she fought back to recovery and now is looking forward to a successful and healthy year ahead.Sam goes into detail about how structuring key behaviours each day helped her to take small steps, which over 3-4 weeks saw her back to full health. It's an inspirational story and account of someone's personal recovery, which is timely with the UK government announcement this week of a Road to Recovery out of Lockdown #3.Sam has had an illustrious career in B2B media and events having worked for some of the largest organisers in the country. A truly commercial leader and has successfully managed and led sales teams throughout.Contact Sam on LinkedIn
In this episode Rob Forsyth interviews David Beeney from Breaking The Silence.I had the absolute pleasure of recently speaking with David Beeney (Breaking the silence) where we talk about the Importance of Kindness.Like me, David spent many successful years in media working for large publishers in targeted, driven sales environments and recently, made an amazing career change. David now is an advisor to businesses on how to reduce the stigma of mental health in the work place. Brilliant! In this episode David really brings to life what we are all feeling everyday both as employees, leaders and as individuals. His openness and honesty is inspiring.Given this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the main theme this year is around #Kindness remember that Kindness starts with being kind to yourself, which David talks about here.The ‘wall of silence’ is primarily the stigma that surrounds anyone with a mental health issue compared to those who suffer with a physical health problem. David works with senior leaders, HR teams and line managers to create stigma free environments. Secondly, David inspires employees who are suffering in silence to speak out and seek help for the first time.David delivers mental health awareness programmes to businesses. David has committed his working life to reducing the stigma of mental health in the work place.Contact David on LinkedIn or email him here davidbeeney@breakingthesilence.co.uk
In this episode Rob Forsyth interviews Mark O'Grady from Byrne-DeanMark has a fantastic story to tell, having made a brave career-change, moving out of the commercial media world and now delivers training around mental health across the UK.Mark's personal story is truly inspiring and he goes into detail of what happened to him personally, the physical impacts on his health and how he turned his life around and took control.We talk about the legality of mental health in the workplace and how you define mental health - what it really means and how different people interpret the term mental health.Mark explains how men are not the best at talking openly about their Mental Health and having conversations, talking about things that are uncomfortable and what they can do and why it is OK to speak out and have conversations.  A problem shared is a problem halved.Mark delivers training on Mental Health First Aid in addition to a number of bespoke mental health awareness programmes. Mark is committed to helping create open and supportive cultures where mental health and wellbeing become part of the everyday conversation.You can contact Mark on LinkedIn or email him here mark.ogrady@byrnedean.com
In this episode of The NTH Degree Rob Forsyth interviewed Theresa Coligan, Founder of The Coaching Project, around the topic of Resilient Leadership in a Crisis.The biggest challenge that we are all facing right now is uncertainty. We don't have certainty, we can't plan, we can't control, we feel lost. COVID-19 is impacting our human survival system, it is triggering our 5 main survival emotions: fear, anger, disgust, shame and sadness. These emotions result in survival behaviours.  We are all going through a period of grief or anticipatory grief, worrying about what is to come as well as what we have lost already. What happens in the brain when we are stressed? Neural pathways in the rational part of our brain, the pre-frontal cortex are blocked by the stress hormone cortisol. Because of this, we lose access to our 'executive brain' and we don't have the mental capacity to rationalise, empathise or strategise. We default to our pre-historic brain, where the survival system pumps adrenaline in and safety triggers are fired. We have clouded judgement, we react rather than respond, our vision becomes very foveal and we become 'narrow minded' - we lose the wider context, the 'bigger picture'. We are likely to be more impulsive, less likely to make good decisions, less likely to be empathetic towards others and so on.What signs are there that indicate that we are stressed and heading into survival mode?Temperament, being short-temperedLack of patienceLow mood or 'up & down' moodLack of focus or motivationDrinking too much alcohol or eating unhealthy food / sugary snacksWhat can we do to help ourselves?Self-leadership - get the fundamentals right: food, nutrition, hydration, sleep, exercise. Things that are in your control.Self-manage. Recognise your emotional triggers and what is triggering them. Are there certain people, news stories, social media channels that are affecting your emotions and winding you up? Mind your head! Change the narrative of your subconscious thoughts. Choose your stories and reframe how you think about things. Seek to keep things in perspective, show gratitude and appreciate what you do have versus what you have lost. Compare your own situation with others, for example, a front-line worker in the NHS going into the ICU every day. In summary, we are going through a tough period, but this will pass, it is temporary, and it will end. We are a highly resilient species and we will come out stronger! Theresa Coligan is a certified coach accredited by the Association for Coaching and a Master Practitioner in NLP. She has been specialising in resilience and resilient leadership coaching for over a decade.  She is also qualified in psychometric assessments including HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument) and the EQ-i 2.0/EQ-i 360.  If you would like to reach out directly to Theresa, you can email her here theresa@thecoachingproject.co.uk or contact her on LinkedIn.
In this episode of The NTH Degree Rob Forsyth interviewed Vikky Leaney, wellbeing coach and Psychological Mentor and we talked about the definition of positive psychology, wellbeing and what it means to people along with happiness and everything in between.Positive psychology focuses what is right with people, rather than what is wrong with people!  It focuses on applying personal strengths and building positive resources, this differs from traditional talking therapies, which focus on areas of difficulty with the aim of reducing the negative affects. What is happiness?  Happiness is a construct. It is subjective wellbeing and Vikky talks through how happiness can be measured and how we can effect 40% of our happiness by taking control and plotting some positive niceties into our daily lives. Vikky talks through her approach which combines self-compassion, acceptance and behavioural activation. This may all sound technical, but it essentially means learning to love yourself and engaging in life. Vikky will equip you with the techniques and coping strategies that allow you to continue living a balanced life. Vikky talks about how making some small changes, challenging yourself and engaging in your life can pay massive results.What can we do to improve our happiness?Get a weekly schedule togetherPlot out what makes you happy.Make sure you are talking to others, building this into your day and your week, be that socially or work related.Stick to your plansVikky can help! Vikky has a Master's degree in Applied Positive Psychology and a Certificate in Resilience Coaching. This has lead her to specialise in Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC), working with individuals with depression, stress and anxiety or those who may be overwhelmed by life. Vikky also offers Wellbeing Workshops, providing education on subjects such as self-care and applying Positive Psychology to real life.You can reach Vikky on LinkedIn or email her here vikky@thinkycoaching.com
In this episode of The NTH Degree, Rob Forsyth speaks with Stephanie Blair from Know & Flourish about 'aligning your How, Why and What in the New Normal!' This has never been needed more given the situation now with COVID-19. Stephanie is helping coach Leaders on how to adapt and pivot. Fast. Change and the 'New Normal':It is not business as usual. Change is upon us, we all have to adapt and accept the new normal.It starts with awareness of self. This applies to business, but also at personal level. The same attention you give your team members, you need to do for yourself also. Leaders must find time for themselves right now.Once you have your own awareness sorted, you can more effectively empathise with teams and peers and more clearly think about your business...HOW, WHY and WHAT at a business level; Who are your clients, what problems are you solving and how are you going to do that? By answering 'What makes you uniquely positioned to achieve your goals?' this is your approach and way forward.Common challenges business Leaders are facing right now:Lack of communication and alignment is one of the biggest challenges, especially across big organisations. Human strain: lots of startups and B2B businesses are laying-off staff or putting employees on Furlough because of COVID-19Leaders are looking at pivoting to better serve their customers.We are all going through forced change - check out the Kubler Ross model - How we all cope with change or grief. We all start on the left hand side of the curve with shock, denial and anger then move towards the middle and up towards the right hand side of the curve we move into experimenting, decisions and integration.Awareness of your mindset. It's OK to feel differently or feel that you are struggling. This is normal. But action is required.Ideas for business leaders:Transparency is really important right now. Leaders need to be open. In times of change, everyone needs to know which direction the business is goingHaving empathy is good right now. Businesses need to be a bit more flexible both with individuals and staff as well as customers with payment terms and deadlines.Communication and ensuring everyone is on the same page is imperative and tools such as Slack are very useful to help with cross-department commsAdversarial or post-traumatic growth - how do we get something positive out of this situation? What small steps can I take to move me forward? Create your weekly scorecard - Every leader and individual can break down broad / large goals into smaller, more achievable goals using a winning weekly scorecard.Build a personal operating system - Break your goals down into what this actually means and quantify this. We are all human. Get yourself a base line of measurement and it's OK to waver here and there, so long as broadly we are on track.Stephanie has super-powers! She works with businesses going through phases of growth and change management and on an individual level, Stephanie helps leaders be the very best that they can be. Need help bridging your skills gap or help with building operational systems? Take a look at some promotional offers here or you can reach Stephanie on LinkedIn, on Instagram or email stephanie@knowandflourish.com
In this episode, Rob Forsyth talks to Helen Kewell about the impact that COVID-19 is having upon organisations and how they should respond.Psychologically there are three themes happening right now to all of us:Trauma / Pre-Trauma: Uncertainty, lack of control, not having the tools to cope with the crisis that is happening around us)Grief: We are all experiencing a loss of some sort; loss of routine, loss of jobs / livelihoods, loss of events / anniversaries / birthdays) Relationships: Pressure on our relationships will all be strained and frayed.What is happening now to organisations?The Coronavirus pandemic is a situation that has never happened before in our lifetimes. This is a truly global, generalised crisis. COVID-19 has brought us together, but has separated us.Be aware that we are all individually in the safety zone right now. Ref: MaslowLarge-scale change programs may go. Companies might realise that speed is possible and change can happen quickly and still succeed.How should Leaders respond?Leaders need to acknowledge the trauma, the loss and impact on people's relationships.Leaders need to step up emotionally and acknowledge that this is hard. They do not need to relax around performance and deadlines as these are the boundaries that employees need to stick to. But, Leaders need to be more caring and open and empathetic to what is happening on a macro, global scale. Reference Chip Conley; Leaders need to be the emotional thermostat for the company, they need to be real and in the moment.Being accommodating and allowing staff to be open & flex now, will pay dividends and reduce attrition long-term.Giving staff a purpose now. Hone in on organisational purpose and help people feel that they are making a difference.Being open to a 10 minute call to each member in your team is a good thing and will make a big difference.Leaders must also prioritise their own time and find balance for their own wellbeingHow should Leaders adopt their language and communication with their teams?Leaders must be aware of the language that they use.Leaders should not use defensive, war-like language ('we are all fighting', 'we need to hold our ground and shield our clients') but should use more emotive language ('this is a difficult time for all of us'). Start a meeting with "how is everyone?" and showing venerability / compassion.Long lasting effects businesses need to be aware of:When trauma happens, neurologically it imprints on our brain. Employees will have very long memories once this is over. They will remember how they and their colleagues were treated through this. Change is happening and people are reflecting. When people return to work there may be spikes of high attrition as people are right now thinking about change and their own lives.We need to allow employees to have a voice, tell their story of COVID-19, be listened to and have some empowerment to the future of the company.Helen's background is in organisational change and organisational development & she is a qualified counsellor, running a private counselling practice part time. She helps organisations focus on their people and on their mental health. You can contact Helen here on LinkedIn. She runs training programs on resilience, listening and fostering working relationships, amongst others, and offers businesses and individuals all round amazing advice.
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