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  • drnicoladepaul

Create a mental health revolution

I had an eye-opening experience this week, and it’s gotten me thinking about what matters in everyday leadership.


I was invited to attend a regional meeting for a large healthcare system that’s working to improve employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. While invited to participate, I didn’t have a facilitation role and approached this meeting as a fly on the wall. I was curious to hear what people were focused on and what ideas they had about how to improve the employee experience.


The conversation meandered a bit and while interesting, didn’t lead to any particularly groundbreaking organizational actions. And then with five minutes left in the meeting a courageous soul called a time-out. I wish I could say this was me, but it wasn’t. She stopped the meeting and asked a question. “What improves employee engagement?”


A few people hemmed and hawed about how this would be an important question to investigate, but no one could answer her simple question. I was stunned. Not one member of the employee wellness task force had a clear understanding of the basics of employee engagement. So, I shared a couple of quick tips on how to improve employee engagement and promised to share more later. The message clicked, and people in the room began animatedly brainstorming about how to take real-world actions. The meeting went overtime because of this newly inspired excitement to create transformation.


When working with leadership teams, I don’t tend to assume that a knowledge gap is getting in the way of their progress. But this moment in time illustrated how easy it is to assume that we “know” more than we do. It takes bravery to stop a meeting or an organizational process to admit that we don’t have all the necessary information.


Sometimes the role of a leader is to act in unglamorous ways, to call a halt, to cause discomfort, and to ask the questions that slow down the process and reinvigorate the team’s commitment to transformation. Leaders take the time to ensure that everyone has a shared understanding of what’s going on, what the problem is, and what we can do to reliably create the outcomes we want.


And if you’re curious about what improves employee engagement, well, it’s the actions leaders take to build trust and effective communication with their teams. Yep. A leader’s actions contribute to 70% of an employee's engagement at work.


What’s new on Menders?

Erin Gibb, a Fulfillment Coach for therapists and the host of Therapist Expanded, joined me for Menders episode 28. Erin is creating revolution within the sphere of mental health treatment!


In this episode, Erin shares her philosophy of caring for and nourishing her healthcare organization as a living organism, before turning her attention to the well-being of the clinicians working in her organization, and then finally to the well-being of the people who receive care in her clinic. She shares that while her approach feels counterintuitive to many, focusing on organizational well-being has had far-reaching impacts and has created waves of healing and sustainability throughout her community.


Her early experiences working with First Nations people in a community with limited mental health resources have taught her to understand the principle of interdependence and the importance of focusing on organizational and clinician healing and wellness. When the organization heals itself, the people being cared for by the organization are empowered to heal the community.


Erin shares how she has created a thriving clinical community based on the core value of freedom. Now she coaches her clinicians to connect with the essential elements of their “being” and their deepest dreams and desires. Not only is this transformative for the people working as clinicians, but the people they are serving are also able to experience greater levels of healing, and freedom, and learn to become truly self-honoring.


  • What lessons Erin learned about culturally sensitive care while working with First Nations people in Northwestern Canada.

  • Why Erin prioritizes the well-being of her organization above client outcomes.

  • And why she believes that taking responsibility and owning our power create a revolution within the healthcare system!


My favorite quotable moment from this episode!

“Mental health revolution comes from therapists, caregivers, healthcare providers, putting their needs first, as that will actually help everyone.”


Want to work with me?

If you’re curious to learn more or you know that you would like expert consultation and transformational coaching for your leadership team, then I would love to talk with you. You can find all the details about my current offerings here.

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