00:08 Hi, I'm Denise Simpson, master life and leadership coach who helps women step into their authentic and feminine power. So they can lead like visionaries influence with grace and create a legacy of contribution and service. You'll hear about real leadership clients with real problems, navigating their success in life, business, and career. If you're ready to become a masterful leader, then this podcast was made for you. So let's get started.
00:47 Hey, my friend, welcome back. Happy, happy, happy day. It is bright and sunny and a slight chill here in Austin. And of course the pollens out the Cedar trees are blooming. And so Cedar fever has hit my home. And so I've got the allergies and the sinus thing going on, but guess what, it's not going to stop me from serving you today. So I want to talk a little bit about what happened this weekend. I was asked to speak to a phenomenal group of women leaders on Friday had two breakout sessions, and I was asked to talk about the sovereign leader. So this leadership concept is something that I am building out. As we speak. I'm building a gorgeous curriculum around this idea of the sovereign woman who is a leader. And so what I want to know is how she, she was raised and socialized as a woman, how those conditions and patterns and, and, you know, socialization, neurology that she has, how has that impacted her leadership in a negative way or in a positive way?
02:09 You know, I want wanna, I want to know there's a relationship between these two things. And also I want for her really to find awareness around why she leads the way she leads and if it's true to who she is. And if it, if, if, if it's something that is powerfully impacting her followers, then for her to continue doing that. But if it is not, and she is suffering greatly for, for this way of leading, I want her to look at leadership in a whole other way. I want her to change her thinking around how she can use really her, her femininity, the way she was socialized as a woman, as her superpower and how we can help her lead authentically. Right? Because when you lead authentically with your whole self, where there is no shame or guilt or having to contort yourself, because you're a woman who's leading, when you don't have to do those things, it is the most pure clean leadership that any leader can ask for.
03:15 It's. I want her to find that authenticity within our wanting to know who she is and why she leads the way Sheila leads. I'm wondering to understand why she believes what she believes and why she's been leading from that belief system. I really want her to step into her authority because she has autonomy. So the title of my lecture was called the sovereign leader, how women lead with authenticity, with autonomy and authority. And I wanted to test out some ideas with this group. And I walked away with incredible information. A lot of feedback. I, you know, walked in with a disclaimer of we're going to disrupt some, meaning we were going to disrupt their neurology, her neurology, and for her to come with an open mind to this talk. And she did, they all did. And I walked away with some fantastic feedback. And really, I use this as research.
04:22 This was research time for me. And I was so lucky to be able to do this and had a wonderful time meeting some incredible women along the way. So after one of my talks, I had this amazing woman come up to me. She was vulnerable and she was stirred up from my lecture. She had had enough, she came up to me and said, I want to talk to you privately about how you can help me with burnout and this anxiety and this depression that I'm feeling. She said, I'm feeling so sad and I'm feeling so lonely. And I just, I don't, I don't know what to do with this. And I asked her why she didn't bring it to the attention of the group. And she said, honestly, I was afraid of what they were going to think. I am afraid of being judged. I'm afraid of people thinking I'm a fraud that, you know, my reputation is that of one of the strongest female community leaders in, in this city.
05:21 And I just, I don't want anybody to know that I'm suffering quietly and silently and alone. And this is why I am doing this episode today on mental wellbeing at work, your mental health at work. Here's, what's interesting. We spend most of our lives in the workplace, in the organization, whether you are working for an organization or you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you are spending easily, easily more than 45, 50 hours a week on work. And because we're spending so much of our, of our days of our time in the organization, we are wrapped around the culture of the organization, right? We, we, you know, adjust ourselves nicely. We become part of the tribe. We become part of the culture. And some of these cultures in these organizations, aren't open to talking about mental wellbeing. And I'd like to think that now organizations are opening up to this idea of speaking up when there is something wrong or when something doesn't feel right, or when you're just not.
06:46 Okay. I think that that's something positive about COVID 19 in this pandemic has done is, is really put a lot of the onus the responsibility on the employer on asking, how are you doing on occasion, at least, because as leaders, we are responsible for the performance, the output of our employees, I mean, that's the job of a leader. And so wouldn't it be to your advantage to find out how they are doing, how you can support them? What kind of programs or health benefits that your employee can take advantage of to help them through this crisis, to help them through the season of their lives? So here is the approach I want to take for this episode is that if you are a leader and I, I know I'm speaking to all leaders right now, if you are leading, I want for you to consider a few things today.
07:47 I want for you to consider how you can support them, how you can create a silo or a container where your subordinate, your follower, your employee, is able to tell you how they are doing. So I have a few ideas for you to consider today, but before we do that, I want to draw your attention to a Harvard business review survey. It was conducted on 1500 people from 46 countries and ask them about their wellbeing. And one of these questions was thinking back to the start of COVID-19. How has your general wellbeing changed general as in general life, which includes personal business professional lives. And the second part to that question was thinking back to the start of COVID-19, how has your workplace wellbeing changed? So now we're looking specifically at workplace wellbeing. So let's look at the findings for the general and how had that changed.
08:57 Again, they're wanting them to compare and going back to the start of COVID-19 and to where they're at today during the pandemic and 85% said, general wellbeing has declined 85%. Now think about the participants. I mean, it's a small sample population, but it's 1500 people around 46 countries. Remember this is a global pandemic. It is affecting industries from around the world. And 85% said their general wellbeing has declined. They also asked them, like I said, what was their workplace wellbeing? Like again, thinking back to the start of COVID, how has it changed? And now 89% that said their workplace wellbeing has declined. So general well-being has changed. Like I said, 85% decrease. It has declined. And workplace 89% said, workplace wellbeing has declined. These are very large numbers. This is very high. This is very interesting because it's not just a United States thing. It's just not an issue with the us.
10:14 Right? When we talk about wellbeing in general or wellbeing in the workplace, this is not just a United States issue. I just want to draw that attention to you. Cause this is bonkers. This is so mind boggling, that 46 countries were surveyed. And these participants all said their general wellbeing has declined and their workplace wellbeing has declined. So we look further into the general wellbeing. They are attributing 50% of that to mental health decline. Now they didn't go into the specifics of mental health. Does that look like anxieties? Does that look like depression? What does that specifically look like? So there was no breakdown there, but of the 85% who said their general wellbeing had declined. They said 50% of that is attributed to mental health decline. They also attributed to increased work demands, basic physical needs, isolation, and lack of connection. Home life struggles, disengagement from work, lack of leader support and job security concerns.
11:24 So that is all under these trends are under the general wellbeing. Again, the 85% said their general wellbeing had decline. Now let's look at the workplace wellbeing. It's really important to see this as well, because I love this idea of surveying their general mental wellbeing, their health, which includes health and physical wellbeing versus their workplace wellbeing. So again, of those that, that said 89% of their workplace wellbeing was declined. They also said that 56% of that was because of increased job demands. So 56% was attributed to new duties, new assignments, maybe a shift in the structure, obviously a shift in job descriptions, things were added, things were taken, but increased job demands means that specifically they're now asking to be, to do more from home or from their physical workplace, increased job demands. Others said struggles of losing connection. Growing disengagement prevalence of new technology, right?
12:39 New technology was pretty big during the pandemic home life struggles and significant employment changes. So this survey right here says so much to me. It says that people are suffering in their personal lives and in their professional lives. There is so much to be said about this, about this finding here, because I've always said you have to serve the leader in all aspects of her life, not just her professional leadership life, but her personal life, her personal wellbeing. And when you serve yourself first, you're serving your needs, your personal desires, your mental wellbeing, your physical needs, your spiritual needs. When you are serving yourself first, then my friend, you can then serve another in this way, right? If you're not recognizing the signs in yourself, right? The fatigue, the exhaustion, the burnout, the anxiety, the depression. If you aren't able to identify these things in yourself, then you will not be able to identify these things in others.
13:54 And as a leader, you are on the lookout. You have to be on the lookout for how your employees are doing, but we're going to serve you first. And so find awareness around what your needs are. Are you okay? That's the first question I want you to ask yourself, am I okay? But really am I okay? And just like this leader who approached me after my talk, she was very candid and very open and vulnerable. But to me, a stranger, she came to me as a stranger again, because of what she believed, others were going to say or think about her. And if that's what you have to do is to talk to a stranger than I'm the stranger for you. Okay? DME over an IgG, or just go straight to my website and email me from there because you're not alone in this. You do not have to suffer unnecessarily there tools.
14:51 There is coaching. There is therapy. There are modalities that you can use today that will help you recognize why you're feeling, what you're feeling, why you're behaving from those feelings and what results you're creating because of how you are feeling. It's your duty. It's your obligation to serve yourself first. So again, that's the first thing I want for you to do is ask yourself, am I okay? But am I really okay? And then take some notes, journal what you need to journal, get it out of your brain and onto paper. Just that act alone is very therapeutic. And then I want for you to embrace your vulnerability. I know as women leaders, we are conditioned to not feel emotion, to not talk to our loved ones about how we're suffering. We'd rather suffer in silence than tell someone that we care about or someone that knows us intimately.
15:56 But I want for you to embrace your vulnerability right here. Right now. I challenge you right here to normalize these conversations around difficult emotions and mental health. I want for you to normalize this by talking to others about how you are feeling and when you're ready, asking your employees, your followers, your subordinates, how are they doing? Right. I want for you to lead by example here. So first normalize it for yourself. And then you take this behavior to the organization so that your employees get to see that this is normal talk. We get to normalize this. We need to talk about this crisis that we're all collectively living through right now, again, that study with 1500 participants in 46 countries. This is not just the U S my friend. This is all over the world. And I want for you to be the first to normalize this in yourself and in your organization.
17:05 All right, so let's move to number three. I want for you to prioritize your mental recovery. Now mental recovery can look like disconnecting from certain people, disconnecting from certain organizations or clubs, especially if you are social. Like I am disconnecting from social media, really disengaging from the negative rhetoric or the negative dialogue that people are having in Facebook groups, or anywhere on social. You know, there's ways for you to start disconnecting, finding ways to disconnect from things that aren't serving you or your mental wellbeing. For me, it is no news. I do not watch the news. Do I have my head buried in the sand probably, but the last two years have been so exhausting and debilitating to my neurology, that I am very, very selfish with what I listened to, who I listened to, what I read, what I consume. I'm very, very particular in the information that's going into my brain.
18:14 And so what will it take for you to find mental recovery? You know, some of my clients take long breaks. They put that into their calendar. And so they may have to stay a little later at work, but they've put on an additional 30 minutes on top of a one hour lunch because they want to eat in peace. They want to digest their food and they want to go for a walk, or they want to go out into the, into nature or park nearby. They know that their mental recovery is a priority and they schedule that into their calendars. So that by the time they're leaving the office, they are completely disengaged from work. They're ready to then enter this new segment of their day, which means interacting with their families, loving on their children, making dinner, or cooking dinner with our loved ones. It is a way to really rejuvenate and replenish the energy.
19:14 Some of my clients take naps in their offices. They lock the door, they put a do not disturb sign and they'll take a 30 minute break and they nap and they Sue. Now, some people can do that. I can't, I have to get like completely disrobed and under the covers to do that. But if you can do that in your workplace, then do that. I want for you to also consider the Pomodoro technique. And that's where you just put a short timer on. And that, and the timer is like 20 or 25 minutes. And you're doing focus work. If you have two and then 25 minutes go by and the ringer goes off, you go and take a little walk and come back five minutes later and then refocus your attention on, on your work. And so that's another way to just get your eyes off of the screen, get your brain disconnected from, from the work, from the laptop, from the, from the, um, from your computer and go off and do something else.
20:09 And then you come back a little later, right? A few minutes later, and you're feeling more rejuvenated. And re-energized something else that I highly recommend is the calm app, calm C a L M. It's an amazing app. It is something that I recommend all of my executives download. It's an annual subscription on your iTunes or on Google play. And you can just put in your earbuds, your headphones and do a breathing technique, a session on the calm app. That's that can last about 15 minutes to maybe 30 minutes. You will be able to just disconnect from what you're doing. And then again, come back refreshed and replenished. Now how about sleep? A lot of us, the first signs of burnout or depression, or even anxiety is lack of sleep. And so start considering what your sleep patterns are right now. What can you do to disconnect from life from the kids, from the family from work well before, it's time for you to go to bed.
21:17 Like for me by 9:00 PM, I'm done. I'm done with, with everybody I'm done with the family. I'm done with clients. I'm done with the dogs from nine to 10, it's a full 60 minutes to just get my nervous system to recalibrate because all day there's a high and low. There's a roller coaster in my neurology all day long. And so I want the 60 minutes before I actually hit, you know, hit my head on the pillow, lay my head on the pillow, to just decompress and really get everything recalibrated. So start considering what you can do for your sleep. But again, prioritizing your mental recovery is going to be important because once you can do this for yourself, you can then share your tips. You can then share this with your employees or your followers on what has worked for you. And they may come back and give you some guidance and some recommendations that you may want to consider.
22:18 So again, lead by self first take care of you first, before you can help another. So that was number three. Now, the last thing I will leave you with is to find a support network or foster one at LEAs. And you can do that in your inner circle, right? Those that you trust, those that you can talk to openly and candidly about your mental wellbeing, your mental health, and you may even find some supportive groups over on Facebook. I'm not a big fan of that, but if it is your only resource, then I encourage you to find some positive, healthy groups that are supporting women or women in leadership and make sure that the conversations stay positive. I know that when we have, you know, we've cultivate these, these groups that allow vulnerability and allow for us to air out our, our challenges and difficulties.
23:18 It's like everybody swarms in and either supports you or is against you. And so be careful with others' opinions when, when they're strangers online, um, they're looking at you through their lens, through their filter of the world. And so they're, they're, well-meaning guidance may fall flat on you or may be harmful to you. So take that into consideration when you are searching for a support group online, but it's important. My friend that we, that we speak up about our mental wellbeing know that you're not alone in this. This is a global pandemic, and this study has proven that, that our mental wellbeing is being affected. It's being impacted now. I'm I can't predict a feature. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know how, or when we're going to bounce back, but I do know this and do know that the human is resilient.
24:23 I do know that our spirits are meant to evolve and expand and to keep moving forward. This is perhaps maybe a season in our lives where we are talking so heavily about mental wellbeing because of this crisis that we're in. But I want for you to walk away from this episode, knowing that you're not alone. And secondly, I want for you to prioritize your mental wellbeing and you have plenty of people out here wanting to support you through this. All right, my friend, check in with yourself again. I want for you to ask yourself, how am I doing, but how am I really doing? I also want for you to embrace your phone or stability. I know it's hard for us leaders to say, I need help because everybody comes to us for help and assistance. But it's time for you to lead thy self first and ask yourself, what is it that I need and practice vulnerability.
25:29 I want for you to also prioritize your mental recovery. Do what needs to be done. Put it in your calendar, take things off your calendar, do what you need to do to disconnect, disengage, to rejuvenate, to, to recuperate, whatever it is that that will help you through this season of your life. It's time to prioritize ourselves and our mental recovery. And it's also a wonderful opportunity to really cultivate a support system, a support network, a circle of friends, a circle of peers, maybe finding resources out there to share with others. We're all in this together. My friend, we need to really look at ourselves first and what our needs are and our challenges and some obstacles and what we're really, really feeling. How are we doing right now? And then we can go and serve others because they need us we're leaders after all. All right, my friend, I hope you found today's episode. Helpful. I hope it was eye opening. I hope you took some great insights from today's episode and as always, you can reach out to me on IgG at Dr. Denise Simpson. All right, my friend take very good care of yourself. I'm here for you. I'll talk to you soon. Bye for now.
26:58 Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to join me inside my exclusive coaching membership for women in leadership, just like you, I'm going to help you become a masterful leader with the help of a community of the most powerful women on this planet. My membership is called masters of leadership. Yes, of course it would be called that. So whether you're a novice or a master, you have to join us. You're going to get the support that you need and deserve inside my membership. So head over to Dr. Denise simpson.com forward slash M O L. That website again is Dr. Denise simpson.com forward slash M O L. You deserve this, my friend. So join us inside. See you soon.