Mental Health Starts at the Top: 7 Tips for Leaders
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
4M ago
In our fast-paced work environments, a leader’s commitment to mental health sets the tone for the entire team’s well-being and success. By prioritizing mental wellness, leaders not only foster a supportive and productive workplace culture but also contribute to the organization’s resilience and sustainability. This approach encourages trust, reduces burnout, and enhances engagement, making mental health a strategic priority that benefits both individuals and the broader organizational goals. These 7 tips will help: #1 Walk the talk  What you say and do has a much greater impact than a pol ..read more
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Science reveals 7 lifestyle factors to reduce your risk of depression. But why?
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
9M ago
Do you like our matching Shetland beanies? Very warm. I just must share one more photo of our holiday before it drifts from my memory.    In a previous newsletter I shared the joys – and benefits of walking in nature.  Below I share a fascinating article which shows that not all bouts of depression are the same.  This means we need to treat it differently using traditional methods – like medication and therapy. The 7 lifestyle strategies below help prevent all types of depression. What do you think is #1 prevention lifestyle strategy.PS. In my presentation – Resilience for ..read more
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Invest one day – your best career and life awaits.
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
1y ago
Ever considered a 12 hour walk? What about with no other human contact and with your phone in airplane mode? Me either….but Just before Christmas I was inspired to do this when I heard adventurer Colin O’Grady interviewed on a podcast – one of his many claims to fame is being the first person to cross Antarctica unassisted and unaided. In the middle of Covid lockdown, Colin found himself in an unhelpful place because his adventures had been cancelled due to international travel bans. As he reflected on what he really missed – he remembered the discipline of walking 12 hours each day when he cr ..read more
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Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish – especially at Christmas
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
1y ago
Be kind to yourself these holidays. Self-care is ultimately about setting priorities, boundaries, and finding purpose (Resolve to read ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Victor Frankl). Practice self-compassion. It has been a tough year for many of us. Research by Dr Kristen Neff’s shows us that self-compassion has all the upsides of self-esteem – but none of the downsides (like narcissism). Watch her TED talk to learn more. When you take care of yourself, you’re also taking care of your family, friends, and teammates. We can’t be caring if we don’t practice self-care. During Covid-19, we’ve learnt ..read more
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Anatomy of a brilliant workplace mental health event
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
1y ago
“Hearing our leaders and people so openly share their story is such a powerful encouragement for other leaders to do the same – and create this safe environment that everyone can strive and perform in! THANK YOU.”   Last week I was privileged to be part of a wonderful 90-minute workplace mental health event put on by GWF business – and broadcast to their 6000 employees at 40 sites. I attend many of these events – so what made this so special? The session was opened by Will Ursell, Managing Director, Dons Smallgoods – who introduced this as both a mental health and diversity session. He a ..read more
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Resilience grows as connection grows
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
1y ago
When I feel isolated and lonely it is when I am most vulnerable in my personal life and career. I have learnt that just pursuing personal resilience is a flawed strategy. I’m not the only one. The US military were genuinely concerned about the declining wellbeing of service people after they became civilians again. Many felt alone and lacked meaning after a lengthy period of service. Lots of them struggled with PTSD. They were so concerned that they commissioned renowned positive psychologist Martin Seligman to develop a strategy to help. He developed a program called Comprehensive Soldier Fit ..read more
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Today is World Mental Health Day. Why it matters
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
1y ago
Employees now consider mental health the #1 issue they care about (pwc/Atlassian). No one is immune with Deloitte recently finding that one in three employees and c-suite are “Always” or “Often” struggling with fatigue or poor mental health. Reducing stigma at work is reported to be a top 3 priority by 80% of us (McKinsey), but only 17% say it is in their organisation. WHO research found that globally the rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 25% – yes 25%. For the first time (Ipsos), mental health (mentioned by a global country average of 36%) is ranked higher than cancer (34%) wh ..read more
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3 caring CEOs personify qualities that promote mental health
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
2y ago
Let’s face it, work has been very challenging for many of us in the last year. Recent research by SuperFriend of 10000+ employees, shows that 42% of us have had mental health issue in the last year. Successful leaders recognise that having a mentally healthy culture is the #1 priority for employees when evaluating a workplace. This top rating was confirmed in recent Atlassian and PwC research, which also showed that 69% of those surveyed would turn down a promotion if it compromised their mental health. Future ready leaders recognise that they play a crucial role in creating a winning culture ..read more
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What holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl can teach us about lockdown uncertainty
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
2y ago
Uncertainty can cause more stress than actual pain. Science tells us that we humans are not hard wired to be very good at uncertainty. University College of London research tells us that we will be less anxious knowing that we will DEFINITELY be getting an electric shock, than if we COULD be. During the Nazi blitzkrieg bombing in WWII, London citizens were LESS STRESSED knowing they would be bombed every night, than those that COULD be bombed in the outer suburbs. Uncertainty has been the #1 challenge nominated by the 15000+ people who have attended my webinars since the pandemic began. Which ..read more
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5 evidence based ways that managers can prevent employee burnout
Graeme Cowan Blog
by Graeme Cowan
2y ago
These are the top 5 things leaders should focus on to prevent employee burnout (Gallup 2018): 1. Listen to work related problems 2. Encourage teamwork 3. Make everyone’s opinion count 4. Make work purposeful 5. Focus on strengths-based feedback and development. Everyone deserves to work for a leader who cares about them and their growth. So, what is the solution? Self-care, team care, and red zone care could help. Care reduces fear and encourages people to learn new things and take moderate risks. This builds psychological safety. It can be tough being a leader, they need to look out for other ..read more
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