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How can we support our changing team’s mental well being?


So, having been absorbed by the recent focus on Mental Health Awareness Week, I've been thinking.

Undoubtedly our increased ability to talk about mental health is critical to supporting each and everyone one of us. It also means we can be more supportive of those closest to us at home and work, but what about in agile, ever adapting teams and collaborative groups? How do we support each other when all too often 'getting the job done' is our priority and we don't know each other so well?

I don't sit here pretending to have all the answers, but if I link back to the Collaboration Formula© that we use at Hidden Strengths Learning, it strikes me it's our ability to connect with each other that is critical here.

I wonder if these three steps below could make a difference and I'd love to hear your ideas too. How can we collaborate to share ideas that can help us to keep talking about this important topic and not let the focus fizzle out now the media attention starts to drift – even when we’re with people we don’t know so well.

1) Invest in chit chat: Spend time at the start of meetings (face to face and virtual) just chatting and getting to know each other - 5 minutes in each meeting is a good investment to build great trust and honest relationships.

2) Share your flaws: Consider how you want to show up to your new colleagues. How brave can you be to follow Brene Brown's advice and be a little more vulnerable? Share how you're feeling from the start and be the role model whose content with not being perfect – I’d argue ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist anyway!

3). Talk about how you thrive: Spend time understanding how you each like to work and decide how you can collectively work together to create the best environment for all. Perhaps you have a colleague who needs to get to the gym each day? Or one who likes to get a break outside? Someone else juggling childcare? Don't hide these things, we should embrace them so we can care for ourselves and our work rather than sacrificing one to achieve the other.

So, over to you. What other practical things do you do to keep balance and well being in your teams and working groups? As my 5 year old son said to me today, “Well Mummy, if you’re nice to people then that means they’ll be nice to you.”. How wonderful it would be if we could all live by this moto…

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