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Shedding the Imposter Syndrome for Greater Wellness
Marc Caulfield has seen it all and worked in some of the most stressful work environments. After all, when it comes to high-stress work environments, the media industry ranks in the top three, and Marc spent twenty-eight years in that cauldron. Thanks to his background, Marc has a unique ability to look at life and work from a mental health lens. Marc is the founder of Marc Caulfield Ltd, a consultancy for businesses to develop a culture that breeds mental wellness along with high performance. He walks us through the basics of this cultural framework.
You can read the full transcript episode here
Shedding the Imposter Syndrome
Marc explains how the culture and environment at a company are set from the top. Good leaders breed an open culture where people aren’t afraid of vulnerability. This leads to authenticity in interactions and helps people shed the imposter syndrome, the desire to project oneself as a superhero when none of us are. Good leaders treat people like humans and aren’t afraid to show vulnerability. They are also good listeners and are not afraid of hiring people better than themselves in certain areas.
Marc believes that companies that attach a stigma to showing vulnerability can never develop a culture where high performance is organic. Instead, they need to continually push the employees to get high performance, which is self-defeating as it results in burnout. People are worried that the slightest display of vulnerability will be seen as a sign of weakness, leading to getting fired or passed over come promotion time.
Everyone Must Contribute in Collaboration
True collaboration happens when everyone contributes towards achieving the desired goal. In reality, most collaborative sessions end up with one person leading and the others following, which means the discussion lacks diverse ideas. Hence, the solution is likely to be sub-par. True collaborators have well-developed soft skills like listening and an innate ability to see the benefit of true collaboration.
Collaborative environments work best when the senior most in the group actively seeks input from all the members. Keep in mind that a collaborative group will have different personality types. You will have a mix of introverts and extroverts, and it’s essential to get input from the introverts who may not contribute of their own accord. Sometimes, those who say the least have the most important things to say.
The Nuts and Bolts of High Performance
A current trend equates a conducive and enabling work environment with physical attributes like workout and recreation rooms and employee amenities and facilities. The fact is that these perks by themselves do not deliver high performance. What delivers high performance is understanding each individual’s goals and how the company can help them achieve them. That is an enabling and caring work environment that delivers high performance across the board.
It’s essential to recognize that people work towards and are motivated by personal goals. The ability to identify these goals and align them with corporate goals is what drives high performance across the board. On the flip side are companies that use a stick to drive performance, and the downside here is that gains are temporary and accompanied by employee burnout and churn. Take your pick.
If You’re Suffering from Mental Wellness Issues, get Help
Marc explains how everyone faces mental wellness issues from time to time. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to keep things bottled up and pretend everything is okay. Instead, talk to family or friends who have been through trying times in their lives. Marc recommends that men facing wellness issues seek help from women as other men who are also bottling things up may not have relevant solutions. Marc also recommends visiting your GP for a frank and open talk.
Marc mentions how he went through an extended period of bottling up stress until it started affecting him physically. He also notes how he reached out to his close friend to confide what he was going through. The friend’s response was, but isn’t this normal? That left him numb, and it’s when Marc decided to get professional help. Marc has a point about talking out these issues with women friends or family members.
A Word About Marc Caulfield
Marc Caulfield is the Founder of Marc Caulfield Ltd, a consultancy that helps businesses look at employee performance through the lens of their mental well-being. He is passionate about bringing positive change to employee wellness and shows how it can improve staff well-being and have a measurable effect on the company’s bottom line. He is also the Ambassador for the Big Youth Group, an organisation empowering young people to succeed.
To learn more about transformation at enterprises, tune in to the Time for a Reset podcast, where host Paul Frampton, Marketing Consultant at CvE, sits down with Marc Caulfield, Founder of Marc Caulfield Ltd, for a free-flowing discussion that pivots around looking at work life through a mental health lens. Marc also shares how showing vulnerability and authenticity are signs of good leadership. He shares his insight on avenues to explore and people to talk to when suffering from mental wellness problems.