Episode 132: What To Do When You Are Overwhelmed with Gerrie Hawes


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So how are you, lately? If the answer’s “busy” then it might well be time to pause and take stock. Feeling overwhelmed is unfortunately very normal in high-stress careers. You might find yourself growing miserable at work, becoming less productive, and at risk of burnout. So how can you tackle overwhelm – and avoid it in the first place?

Gerrie Hawes joins us in this episode to discuss the suffocating feeling of being overwhelmed – and practical ways to deal with it. She shares why it’s important to enjoy work and how you can take control of your happiness to do so. Listen to find out what you can do when you realize you are overwhelmed, why it’s so important to take steps to address it as soon as possible, and how you can create a happier and more optimistic workplace for your team.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want to learn what you can do to feel better, tune in to this episode that’s just for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand why it’s not selfish or self-indulgent to take steps to be happy and fulfilled at work.
  2. Follow Gerrie’s step-by-step instructions on how you can overcome feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Learn how optimism can bring about a happier work day.

Episode Highlights

[04:50] Overwhelming Work

[04:21] ‘It always surprises me when whatever you’re doing, you have to decompress before you can really step into it.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

  • Many people experience feeling overwhelmed.
  • Enjoying work improves decision-making and increases productivity.

[05:55] ‘In behavioral psychology, if you’re in an enjoyment state, if you’re actually enjoying your work, if you’re more in the flow, you make decisions quicker, doctors diagnose better when you’re in that state. So it’s kind of counterproductive to just be in that miserable state.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[07:02] Letting Yourself Enjoy Work

  • You deserve happiness, as does everyone else.
  • A low-skilled or low-paying job does not always create an unhappy work experience.
  • For Gerrie, it’s an indulgence not to enjoy work; you may be unable to do your best on the job.

[09:14] ‘I think it’s an indulgence not to enjoy work. Does that sound crazy? That if you’re miserable and not enjoying it, you’re not making decisions as well as you could be, you’re being a martyr, and you’re not necessarily doing your job to the best of your ability.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[10:45] Feeling Overwhelmed

  • Be aware of the symptoms of overwhelm, such as unproductivity and procrastination.
  • Busy isn’t always negative, but can cross into overwhelm when you find that you realize that you’re too busy.
  • Compare your ideal day versus how you actually spend your day.
  • After acknowledging that you are feeling overwhelmed, realize that you may need the support of other people.
  • You can reach out to Rachel at hello@youarenotafrog.com if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

[16”43] ‘In recovery from addictions, there is a moment you have to say, “I need to do something about this.” And the next step of that is acknowledging you can’t do this on your own. You can’t resolve it on your own.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[20:31] The Big Picture: Aiming For Happiness

  • Unfortunately, most people let go of the activities they enjoy when they become too busy.
  • You can take control of your happiness. Become a better leader for yourself and your team.
  • As a leader, you are a role model. Set the standard of thriving with happiness within your organization.
  • Have hope and optimism. Set a vision for how you want your ideal every day to look.
  • Share your optimism and envision what a happy work team would look like for you and your colleagues.

[23:43] ‘As a leader, you are the one role-modelling the behavior that everybody else should be doing.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[28:43] Moving Towards Happiness

  • Include self-care activities and habits in your schedule. Work towards achieving your visions of your optimal day and happy work life little by little.
  • Be playful and create new ways to revolutionize how you and your teamwork.
  • Empathy is vital to connecting and listening to your team members.
  • It’s also important to understand what’s going on in your own life.

[32:17] How You Can Start Becoming Better

  • Once you’ve acknowledged that you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk about it with someone you trust.
  • Next, list what you need to do in all aspects of your life. You can do this with the help of others.
  • Score all items on your list out of 20 based on their priority and arrange them by score.
  • Draw a line between what you can let go of and what you need to do. If the line above is still unmanageable, keep splitting it in half.
  • Delegate, delay, or stop doing the things under the line and plan out the tasks above it.

[37:11] ‘What can you delay doing? And who can you delegate it to?’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[37:14] Delaying and Delegating

  • Delegating also allows you to give opportunities to your coworkers as well.
  • You can choose to consciously delay to take control of when you’ll do less urgent tasks.
  • People enjoy and excel at different roles in your team.
  • Recognize and delegate tasks best for the strengths of each team member.

[41:52] ‘If I really hate doing something like a detailed task, there is probably somebody else in your team, who, that’s their happy place.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[45:24] Recap and Final Tips from Gerrie

  • Acknowledging what is wrong is the first step, followed by reflecting on how you want it to be.
  • Write everything you need to do down. Include how you can take responsibility for yourself and your happiness.
  • Be playful with how you can improve your situation.
  • Delegate tasks to your team members or make use of different services.

About Gerrie

Gerrie Hawes is a corporate behavioural psychologist. She’s passionate about driving positive change with the people she has worked with. Gerrie has worked as a coach, mentor and consultant with leaders and big businesses. She uses her expertise to help others improve their quality of life, find opportunities and develop their skills.

Gerrie has reached many others through her keynote talks, masterclasses and workshops. She works closely with her clients to improve leadership skills and corporate strategies. Gerrie follows the HOPE framework- happiness, optimism, playfulness and empathy to bring about change.

You can learn more about Gerrie on her website and at Remotely Human UK.

Connect with her on LinkedIn or send her an email at Gerrie@gerriehawes.com

Enjoy This Podcast?

In today’s high-stress work environment, you may feel like a frog in boiling water. The pan has heated up so slowly that you didn’t notice the feeling of stress and overwhelm becoming the norm. You may feel it is impossible to survive AND thrive in your work.

Frogs generally have only two options — stay and be boiled alive or jump out of the pan. Fortunately, you are not a frog. You have many more options, choices and control than you think.

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Here’s to surviving and thriving inside and outside our work!


Episode Transcript

Gerrie Hawes: If you’re lucky enough to be a parent, you’ve held that baby in your arms and you look at them going, I don’t care what your life is, so long as you’re happy. If that’s all you wish for somebody that you care intensely about, then maybe you should also wish that for yourself. The interesting thing is, as a leader, you are the one role modelling the behaviour that everybody else should be doing.

So, if you’re turning up overwhelmed, if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not taking ownership in your own contentment, then that says to everybody else that’s how you thrive in this organisation, because you’re the leader, so that’s what I have to do. I have to be like that to succeed, and what will happen is you will either get a load of other people that do those behaviours, or they leave.

Rachel Morris: When was the last time you felt on top of your workload? Do you find yourself answering too busy every time someone asks you how you are? Do you ever wake up on the first day after a holiday with a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, worrying about everything you’ve got to get done in the week ahead? If you’re anything like me, the line between busy and overwhelmed is very thin, and it’s very easy to tip into a rising feeling of panic and anxiety when I think about my to do list.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about busyness and overwhelm, and I’m convinced that a mindset shift is necessary. We’re never going to be able to get everything on our to do list done. But whilst we’re working on that mindset shift somehow we need to be able to deal with the enormous workload we have right now. So, this week on You’re Not a Frog, on our first episode of the new season, Gerrie Hawes, an organisational psychologist, joins me to discuss what to do when you get that familiar feeling of overwhelm.

We talked about the toxic culture of busyness, and Gerrie shares a couple of very simple exercises you can do when you don’t know where to start to deal with this feeling of overwhelm. So, listen to this episode to find out how to tell if you’re overwhelmed, and why acknowledging this is a very powerful first step, how to become optimistic, even if you can’t see how anything will change, and a simple yet practical tool, which will help you halve your to do list.

Welcome to You Are Not a Frog, the podcast for doctors and other busy professionals in high stress, high stakes jobs. I’m Dr. Rachel Morris, a former GP, now working as a coach, trainer and speaker. Like frogs in a pan of slowly boiling water, many of us don’t notice how bad the stress and exhaustion have become until it’s too late, but you are not a frog. Burning out or getting out are not your only options.

In this podcast, I’ll be talking to friends, colleagues, and experts and inviting you to make a deliberate choice about how you live and work so that you can beat stress and work happier. If like me, you’ve really enjoyed some time off over the summer, but are slightly dreading the onslaught of work and family related tasks that seem to multiply at this time of the year, then help us at hand.

We’ve created a free toolkit to help you take stock of where you’re at, and then plan how you will start to deal with that really important stuff you need to do rather than burying your head in the sand and just firefighting the urgent stuff. So, click on the link in the show notes to sign up for your free overwhelm busting toolkit. Now, here’s this week’s episode. It’s really wonderful to have with me today on the podcast, Gerrie Hawes.

Now, Gerrie is a corporate behavioural psychologist. She works with leaders in big business and she specialises in the future of leadership and really helps people enjoy their work again. Gerrie, we met on a retreat, didn’t we?

Gerrie: We did, we treated ourselves to a retreat.

Rachel: It was interesting on that retreat. I just had a week where I’d had the kids off school, and I was trying to work at the same time. So, I must say when I got on that retreat, I felt really, really quite overwhelmed and really in need of a break, and it would have been nice if it was like two weeks long.

Gerrie: Yeah, it’s interesting how long it takes us to switch off to be ready, to be in that moment, right? It always surprises me with whatever you’re doing, you have to decompress before you can really step into it.

Rachel: I guess one thing I noticed on that retreat was the level of overwhelm I was feeling at the time, and a lot of us there were talking about overwhelm. Overwhelm was what we want to talk about today, because I work obviously in healthcare, you work in big business and the things that you’ve been saying to me about people that you work with sound very, very familiar, to be honest. Is it the case that people are overwhelmed at the moment, even outside of healthcare?

Gerrie: Overwhelm, leading to burnout, whether they are on those two is very much happening at the moment, and I think it’s partly because we’re still learning about how to get the balance of this mix of working from home. I also don’t think it’s just a COVID thing. There was a large amount of overwhelm beforehand, but perhaps it’s more obvious now. People are hopefully more talking about a bit more.

I’m driven by a real passion to help people enjoy work. Can you imagine actually enjoying work? Imagine your work was fun. How do we access that?

Rachel: It’s interesting, because I think at the moment, most of us have got a very low bar for work. It’s like, well, if I can just survive work, that’ll be fine. But, I don’t think that’s fine, not when we spend so much of our time at work. If it is just surviving, then what on earth are we doing with our lives? But we really are in that mindset at the moment, aren’t we?

Gerrie: The ironic thing is that there’s a lot of evidence coming out mainly from Harvard University, actually, in behavioural psychology, that if you’re in an enjoyment state, if you’re actually enjoying your work, if you’re more in the flow, you make decisions quicker. Doctors diagnose better when you’re in that state. So, it’s kind of counterproductive to just be in that miserable state. It’s deep rooted. I think we sort of expect work to be miserable, and it doesn’t have to be.

Rachel: Now, let’s just get the elephant in the room out to start off with. Well, it’s an elephant in my room, because I always have this nagging voice in the back of my head, saying it’s self indulgent. It’s self indulgent to want to enjoy your job, and it has actually been said to me by a member of my family, whenever I bring this up. Oh, this is so self indulgent. Why should you think that you should really enjoy your work when there’s millions of people around the globe that are forced to work with very low pay in dreadful conditions who don’t have a choice?

What about 30, 40 years ago, no one expected to enjoy their job, it was just a daily grind, blah, blah, blah. This sort of very woke, I’ve got to enjoy my job, type thing. It’s completely self indulgent and selfish. What are you talking about? What would you say to that little voice in my head?

Gerrie: It’s not a little voice, is it? That’s quite a big one. So, a couple of things come to mind. One is, if you’re lucky enough to be a parent, you’ve held that baby in your arms, and you look at them going, I don’t care what your life is, so long as you’re happy. And then, you decide to put them onto the treadmill of GCSEs, A levels university and career expectations. All you’ve wanted them to do when they were this beautiful, fragile thing, looking at those deep eyes at you, is just to be happy.

I think we have to remember that. If that’s all you wish for somebody that you care intensely about, then maybe you should also wish that for yourself. That’s one side of it. The other thing is that the assumption that if you’re in a low skilled job and low paid job, you must be unhappy is not my experience, and I’ve had the privilege of working in all kinds of things, including I think we talked about it the retreat. I worked at sewage works for quite a while after I was getting some money together to go travelling off to university.

The experience I had there was that there was a huge camaraderie there. It’s a tough job. There’s not a lot of pride in the work for a lot of people doing it, but they found enjoyment in it. I think the assumption is that poor them, and I think there’s an indulgence in that as well. I’m not pretending that work should all be fun and haha. By fun, I mean satisfaction and contentment, rather than it’s all a big laugh and it’s full of banter.

Sometimes, I get people go, Oh, you can’t be laughing all the time at work. The Victorians have a lot to answer on this one. So, the Victorians taught us that we should be like the machines. We shouldn’t be having fun. The word silliness became a dirty word pretty much and actually, in playful ideas. That’s when we go actually, there must be a bit away from to do this.

Once you get into playful language you go, wouldn’t be crazy if we did this rather than the way we just keep doing it, wouldn’t be crazy if we stop banging ourselves over a head with a mallet, and we actually stopped and look at a different way of doing things. That for me is part of that. It’s an indulgence. I think it’s an indulgence not to enjoy work. Does that sound crazy? So if you’re miserable and not enjoying it, you’re not making decisions as well as you could be.

You’re being a martyr, and you’re not necessarily doing your job to the best of your ability. To me, that’s one of things I said, let’s do this podcast but not focused on the big high convoluted ideas. Let’s take a step back and go, yeah, yeah, that’s all very well and good to go. Yeah, I’ve got enjoy my work, but if you’re feeling a bit shit, it’s just like, I’m so far away from that. What I’d like to talk about is how do you even start?

Rachel: Let’s talk about that. So, I think we just need to accept, as a given, that you are not a frog. I think it’s really important to enjoy your work and to thrive, not just survive. Now, if anyone completely disagrees with that, then there’s lots of high powered productivity podcasts. But actually, if you do look at the evidence, you’re absolutely right. It is about happiness and meaning, which makes us actually productive and successful, not about noses to the grindstone.

So, let’s talk about how you even start when you’re overwhelmed. Now, when I’ve been talking to people in health care, people working on the frontline, one of the main things they will say is workload for them. It seems to be workload. I think there’s a lot of stuff underlying that as well. I think there’s an inability to set boundaries and say no, and we’ve done other podcasts about that.

What about in the businesses you work with? Is it mainly workload and demands that are causing the overwhelm? Or do you think there’s other stuff as well?

Gerrie: I’ve got a bit of a bugbear about work life balance, actually, as well, because I think the assumption is that there’s work and there’s life, and that you can compartmentalise the two. Overwhelm comes from all of that. You have to look at a holistic view of, well, what am I overwhelmed with, and workload is absolutely part of that in the corporate world. There’s a never ending demand for more meetings.

I think they should be called different things like meetings, doings, thinkings, creatings, because meetings are generally really badly organised. Nobody really knows what they’re there for. So, they invite everybody because they don’t really know what they’re trying to achieve. Everybody goes, well, I don’t really know why I was there in the first place, because somebody else can make the decision, and they’re not even here.

So, that’s part of what happens in the corporate world. The thing that I asked people to do is, first of all, acknowledge, ‘I think I might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.’ So when I start talking to people, if I’m doing one to ones or if I’m working with leadership groups, I ask what’s going on. Well, we aren’t making big decisions. We’re not as productive as we’d like to be, though, to me, their symptoms, lack of productivity, not making the right decisions, things take too long.

We’re not very good at being innovative. We’re not very good at coming up with ideas. To me, they’re symptoms of, we’re not really getting into the right zone here. We’re not really enjoying what we’re doing. It’s what feels like hard work. So, the first thing is what’s on your plate, have a dump of everything that you’re doing. Now, again, I want to take a step back from it, that sounds easy, but it’s really not.

So, the step before that is to have that phrase of ‘I think I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I think I might be a bit overwhelmed.’ It’s enough, and that’s an acknowledgement to yourself. I think I’ve got a bit too much on. I’m not quite sure where to start. Sometimes, you might find yourself doing something completely unrelated to work. That’s sorting out a cupboard that you know doesn’t help anything apart from that cupboard sorted because it’s controllable.

Actually, there are times and that’s a good thing to do, because it takes you away from it. But if that list of things that sort of sloshing around your head is ever growing, then the cupboard doesn’t make that go away. Part of the next thing to do is make it go away.

Rachel: So if you notice yourself procrastinating and just doing stuff that actually doesn’t matter, it may be sort of a diversion tactic. I’m interested Gerrie in what you said, I think we were talking earlier, it’s a little bit about like addictions. The first hurdle is actually admitting it because I have lost count of the people who, when you say, how are you doing? Busy, busy. The word is busy that everybody uses. I hate the word busy.

I’m trying not to use it. I never use it anymore, because I think if you’re feeling too busy, then basically you’re not managing things well enough, or there is a problem. I think if we start to use the word overwhelmed and just admit it to yourself. The word overwhelmed, yeah, I think people worry about using that. They think that might be a value judgement on them, make them look bad. You’re admitting something in the first place.

So, do you think there’s quite a bit of power just in that, okay, I’m feeling that busyness which is just tipped into the overwhelm. That means that there is something that is not right, but once you admit that there’s something that’s not right, then that means that you then have a choice about whether to deal with it or not, and that’s where it starts to get a bit scary.

Gerrie: Let’s put overwhelmed to one side, and let’s talk about busy. So, it’s used as a greeting quite often. How you doing? Are you busy? Is there room to have a chat or are you busy? Interestingly, in different cultures, I think the Chinese greeting is have you eaten. I know the Mexican shaman will say how well are you sleeping. So, it’s quite interesting. There’s different sort of ways and are we busy, is very much part of it. Are you busy? Oh, yeah, really busy. Oh, how you doing? I’m busy, busy.

Rachel: Are you productive? Are you a worthwhile human being?

Gerrie: Yes. So, let’s unpack busy a bit. I’m independent. I’m freelance. Because of that, there’s the opposite of that if you’re not busy enough, it’s also very stressful if you haven’t got enough work. I will quite often in an email saying, I hope you’re busy enough. If overwhelm is too far from you, if you’re saying I’m really a bit too busy, I’m busy, busy, busy. If you start using those phrases, and saying too busy, well, a bit busy. Do this now, if you grab a pencil, unless you’re out and about, you have to imagine it.

Do two circles, put a dot in the middle and do a little pie chart of each of them. On one of them, do how you would like your day to be and include nighttime as well. So imagine it’s a 24 hour clock, rather than a 12 hour o’clock, chop up where would you like to be going to bed, when would you like to wake up, when would you like that to be a solid chunk of sleep. What would you like to be doing before work?

How many hours would you like to be working? What would you like to be doing in between? Would you like to have a lunch break? Imagine. Do the other one with what’s your reality. By what your reality, I mean, open up your calendar on your phone or on your computer, and what does it really look like, and be honest about your sleep as well. If you start to go, well, that’s the only way I can survive, really. I’m actually working 26 hours a day.

They’re not really sleeping, then that’s also a moment to go, okay? So acknowledging in recovery from addictions, there is a moment you have to say, I need to do something about this. The next step of that is acknowledging you can’t do this on your own. You can’t resolve it on your own.

Rachel: Can I just go back to this pie chart things? I’ve literally just done that as you speaking, and I think this is a really interesting mind shift. Because I know that doctors don’t like saying overwhelmed, because they think it might imply that they’re weak, or that there might be something wrong with them that they’re overwhelmed, because they’ve got so much on. But actually, when you do that pie chart thing, you just look at it.

It’s not a value judgement on you on whether you can’t cope or whether you’re stressed or anything like that, and I hate the word can’t cope, by the way, because I think our physiological stress result responses are normal responses. Your body’s early warning signs or warning signs, not early warning, is just the warning sign. But when you look at that pie chart thing, yeah, you’re going okay, right, well, there I am spending far too much of my day at work.

I’m not sleeping enough. So, that is a definition of probably overwhelmed with too much stuff to do, and it’s not at all a value judgement on me, my ability to cope, my mental toughness, my resilience. It’s just a statement of the facts of the stuff that’s fitting my day. So, I think that is just a really, really helpful thing to do, but depersonalise it, take it away from any sort of value judgement on yourself. So, thank you,

Gerrie: I quite often find leaders will say, ‘Yeah, I’m awake between two and four in the morning, because that’s when I’ll get up and do some work, right?’ So, that’s an acknowledgement. Okay, how do you feel about that? It’s a well, it’s how I get stuff. It’s how I get stuff done, because it’s the only time when there aren’t meetings in my diary. We talk about a bit further and is that sustainable? Is that okay? For some people, it might be, right?

So, don’t make a judgement on that to a point. But, you have to start to be honest with yourself, and that’s when working with somebody else is quite important. I’m not suggesting that necessarily has to be a well being professional, it could be a colleague, a friend. Even before that, I’m going to suggest you do something else. So if you have done the pie chart, or even if you imagine your day, or even if you’re happy to say, ‘You know what? I’m too busy.’

If you like, ‘You know what I think I’m getting close to overwhelm or feeling a bit overwhelmed really.’ If you need to tell somebody and you don’t know who to tell, I think they should email you, Rachel.

Rachel: Do email us. Email me at hello@youarenotafrog. Obviously, we do have so much to help with your overwhelm, but just acknowledging it and saying it and documenting. That’s quite powerful, isn’t it, writing stuff down?

Gerrie: You said you can’t help but actually your assumption is that you’re asking to help what? This is the first step of you helping yourself. If it’s just a line, or if it’s three pages, all of that is absolutely fine because it’s about acknowledging it. It’s what you need to do. You need to get it out. I think I’m drinking too much if it was an alcohol addiction, and sort of saying well what am I consuming is a part of it. If you don’t feel you can reach out, then reaching out to-

Rachel: hello@youarenotafrog.com, reach out, just say I am feeling overwhelmed. We will send you a Thrive week planner to help you do almost exactly that, that that you just said. Then, do it, do it and do it. Do it straightaway, because, yeah, there’s power then, and then you’ve gone from your pre-contemplation. But in the change cycle actually thinking actually, there is an issue, and I do need to do something about it. So, thank you.

Gerrie: So, the thing that we were talking about the retreat was, actually, as much about meeting lots of wonderful people, but it was also about how do we talk about what we do. One of the things that I’m really interested in is number of people that believe their work, because the bosses are useless. They’ll say, ‘Oh, my boss is hopeless.’ In fact, it’s one of the number one reasons that people leave their job in the corporate world is because the leadership, there was no progression planning, there was no structure. In other words, my boss was hopeless.

I talk about that say, well, judge, your boss, judge your leaders if you have one. If you lead your practice, then you, that’s the first part but judge the people that you perceive to be the cause of your real problems. Then, I do turn it on people, and I say, okay, so judge yourself. If you did a thumbs up or thumbs down, like the Romans did, where would you position yourself?

Are you hopeless as a leader? I invite people to consider what does that mean, and I broken it down into four big things that are happening in behavioural psychology at the moment. So. I play with the word hopeless and talk about hope, and the first thing you have to do is take responsibility for your own happiness, H for happiness of hope. So happiness, some people, oh, you should have contentment. I like to stretch it.

In fact, I would really love it people find joy, right? That’s not imaginable for many people that are first acknowledging, I’m really struggling right now. Taking responsible of your own happiness, and you know all the things that you should be doing. The things that look after your own happiness are often the things that go straight out the window when you start to get to that too busy place, the exercise, the eating well, the meeting up with friends, the downtime, the mind for reflection, the spending time outdoors, all of those things.

I’m guilty of it, too. They’re so easy to stop doing when just another meeting, just got to sort this, this happened, need to do the car insurance, whatever, that I’m probably triggering loads of people going, Oh, God, I’ve got all of that stuff, right? But, that’s the first part of being better, a better leader. When I’m talking about better leader, I’m not just talking about the people that report to you, but being a better leader for yourself.

Rachel: That is so important, because particularly in healthcare, the people who I think at the moment are most overwhelmed are the leaders. So, you’ve got incredibly overwhelmed leaders leading quite overwhelmed teams. The problem is you then get that role modelling of this is how it should be. I’m so busy that if you aren’t as busy as me, what are you doing, and then the leader has no empathy, because when you are overwhelmed yourself, someone coming to you telling you that they’re overwhelmed.

Your immediate knee jerk reaction is, well, look at what I’m doing. Why can’t you do that? So, it’s incredibly difficult to be compassionate to your teams if you’re feeling that like that yourself, right?

Gerrie: The interesting thing is, as a leader, you are the one role modelling the behaviour that everybody else should be doing. So if you’re turning up dishevelled, not sleeping, not coping with all the stuff that’s going on, if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not taking ownership of your own happiness and your own contentment, then that says to everybody else, that’s how you thrive in this organisation, because you’re the you’re the leader.

So, that’s what I have to do. I have to be like that to succeed, and what will happen is you will either get a load of other people that do those behaviours, or they leave. So, the next part of hope is optimism, which again, is incredibly hard to do. So, you have to, first of all, start taking responsibility for your happiness. Optimism is not blind optimism. I’m talking about having a vision of how you want it to be, and so that’s for yourself.

That pie chart thing we just did is part of that, right? So, let’s acknowledge how you’d like your day to be on average, and then, let’s acknowledge the difference on that. So, a vision of, actually, I would like to be able to have some downtime or catch up with friendsas well as have a seven, eight hours solid sleep. How amazing would that be, all of those things, acknowledging those differences and sharing that with the team?

Let’s talk about how, as an optimistic purview, how would we like to be working together? What would we like our work experience to be? What I get people to do is think about what you would like to be feeling, what would you like to be saying, what would you like to overhear other people saying, and also what would other people notice.

So if people coming across your team, or coming into your practice, or wherever you’re working, and say, I love going there, or what little thought bubbles, drum posts, little thought bubbles, this is what they’re thinking or what they saying when they’re arriving or leaving. This must be a great place to work, again, might be hard to imagine if you’re feeling that, Oh, my God, so much to do.

A vision of what you want to do in an optimistic note, don’t go wild, like this is impossible. Make it achievably optimistic, and you can do that yourself, but also start to do it with the team.

Rachel: I love that optimism because the minute you start saying optimism, my brain automatically goes to well, there’s not a lot to look forward to, particularly in healthcare at the moment. We’re in this vicious cycle where people are leaving, leaving more work for everyone else, so it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. But actually, that’s not what you’re saying.

You’re talking about personal optimism, and you can do that, because even if you look at a system that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere good. I mean, I am hopeful that it will change. There are people working very hard on change as we speak. But actually, if it’s personal optimism, right at the level, I’m optimistic that I can get my day looking more like my ideal day. You can do that because you can control yourself, right?

I love that idea of, actually, let’s bring it down to what you want people to be thinking when they come to visit you at work. I was thinking, ‘Oh, well, oh, it’s good fun here. The team get on really well. They’re really supportive of each other.’ Well, if that’s what you want me to be thinking, a small change you can make is literally go and have a coffee break together five minutes in a day. That is achievable.

No matter how busy you think you are. Sort of side note, I used to do a lot of leadership teaching. I remember being on a course once and teaching about the importance of connection and a team and building trust and everything and just saying that, I think the one thing, that one criteria I used to choose my surgery where I worked. Do they have a lunch break? Or do they have a coffee break together once a day to the team meet?

There was a table of practice managers who got incredibly upset and really angry about this. The thought that we would suggest a 10 minute coffee break in a day where people could talk to each other, and they were able obviously overwhelmed. They couldn’t get enough appointments. I could completely see where they’re coming from. But to me, that is such a quick win that you can have yourself, but you’ve got to go to the loo.

You’ve got to have a drink. You’ve got to take a break, because we know you’ll be more productive. Why not do it together where you can connect and the problem in today’s sort of virtual hybrid world where even people on the front line are in front of screens much, much more because they’re doing telephone consultations, et cetera, et cetera. That hasn’t been built into the day.

So, I think that is one really quick win that actually you are in charge of, and it could actually just change things a huge amounts, just in that very small space of time. So sorry, I’ve gone on a bit of a rant there, but I think it’s so important, and it’s such a little thing that you could do.

Gerrie: If you start to do the optimistic how would we like it to be, and then, score it out of 10. Coaching people do this quite a lot that score out of 10 of how are we doing now compared to what we would like. So, I’ll give it a 3 if we’re lucky. The next question is, because so many people in healthcare are high achievers, you want to go from three to 10, probably 3 to 12, you possibly could even though it’s out of 10.

The next question is how do you get a 4 and 4 might be, let’s have a coffee break once a week, right, together. Let’s not try and overdo it, over promise it. Let’s have a coffee break for, again, try not to over promise, 10 minutes together. We down tools. We have a coffee break or we have a something beginning of the day or end of day. Just a small thing once a week. Then, you review them do that for a couple of weeks.

Are we getting closer to three and a half? If you can get to three and a half, you might be able to get to four and so you check in and that coffee break conversation could be about how are we doing and what we hoped we’re trying to cheat achieve and any other, has anybody got any other ideas that might give us another half increment towards it. Which leads me to the next part, once you’ve got an idea of you’re looking after yourself and your role modelling, that you are taking some self care, you’re more than self care.

You’re maybe even starting to find some contentment. If maybe beyond that trying to find some happiness in your day, and your week, is to use that optimistic vision and let’s get a bit playful. So, what would be a silly way; by being playful, you move from let’s breed better horses and design better carts to wouldn’t it be hilarious if you put an engine in a box, and even imagine that there weren’t any drivers. That’s where playfulness comes in.

It will feel a stretch if- you can’t just lead to playful, right? So, it’s a stretch if you’re not looking after yourself, if you haven’t got an idea of what we’re trying to aim towards. That’s when it becomes unnecessary silliness. Oh, let’s have an innovation brainstorming thing. You’ll discover loads of ideas with no direction. Then, the other you already touched on the last bit of when I talk about what is a hope leader, is empathy and connection.

So, all of those things have been moving from self to talking about how you’d like it to be, maybe as a team, how we’d like it to be, and then also into how do we create together and be playful with what’s possible. How can we do this so differently that we revolutionise how we work together? That’s part of it. That’s maybe, again, too much of a stretch. How do we just increase those increments a little bit in a playful way?

The final bit is empathy, and really seeing what’s going on with the people and knowing that some people are just working for money, and that’s fine. They don’t want to get involved in the process and the structure and the thinking, and other people. This is what they love. Do they love getting into the detail? Do they love thinking about picture ideas? What else is going on in their lives? It’s very hard to connect with empathy.

I know it’s a big part of healthcare professionals’ lives to understand what’s going on people’s lives, but really to understand it’s going with your colleagues and your team, until you’ve started to acknowledge what’s going on with yourself. Now, these are all big picture things I would love if we could to spend a little bit of time just to go, that’s all very well and good, but how do I start. So, the first thing we talked about was acknowledge.

‘I’m more than busy enough. This is not just a one off, this is a trend. If I drew the circles of what I want and where I want to be, there’s a big difference.’ That’s your first thing and onto yourself. The second is acknowledge it with somebody else that might be with you, Rachel, or it might be with somebody that’s a trusted other. So, a partner or a friend. Acknowledge, ‘you know what, I think I’ve got too busy.’

Then, the next thing I do with people is to get them to write down everything that they know that they’re supposed to be doing, and suppose to be as broadly as that. So, that might be all of the work stuff. It might be all of the admin, but also throw in, I need to think about a child, my daughter’s birthday. I need to think about the car insurance. I need to acknowledge that the kitchen needs redecorating.

Put them all on either a piece of paper even better if you put it into a spreadsheet, so Excel or Google Sheets, and write the list. When you think you’ve done enough, you’ve got everything. Open up your calendar, think harder, sit with it more and keep piling it in, because oh yeah, I guess you have forgotten that. I’ve also got to do that, and I’ve also got to do this as well, and make that list as honest as you can.

Doing that on your own is really difficult. Doing it with your trusted other, somebody else or some colleague that will also go. I want to do this thing on this blog. I’ve listened to this podcast. If that if that floats your boat, let’s do this together, so you hold each other to account. What about this? What about that study that you need to walk, that paper you need to read?

What about that report or presentation you’ve got to throw all that you help each other to make that list? As hellish as you can, be as honest as you can. Then, the next part of that is to score out of 20 everything on that list. So, that’s why I suggest we do it in an Excel sheet because it’s easier to do. Add to 20 how would you prioritise this, how important is it, how would you prioritise it.

Just give it a score out of 20, and the reason it’s not out of 10 is because everything’s at 10 out of 10 when you’re in busy overwhelmed mode. So, I’m calling it 20, because you might go that’s 19, 14. Then, with the other person you’re getting, you might sort it if the other person doesn’t add to do sorting Excel or sheets, then the other person will hopefully. So, you get a list in the order of your scores, and then, I invite you to find a line to half that list.

So, use Excel to draw a line or sheets to draw a line across there the half point, halfway point. Everything beneath that line, you’ll work together with somebody else to work out: What can you stop doing? What can you delay doing? Or what do you need to do to be able to let somebody know that I’m not going to do this? I’m going to say no. Although, they’re annoying me, it’s not that important, delay it.

So yes, the kitchen does need decorating, but I’m going to plan to do that in three months’ time, rather than try and feel it’s got to be done now. Then, the third thing is delegate, who could you delegate it to. It does surprise me, a friend of mine who works in creativity and productivity for artists, said that a lot of people don’t realise that delegation is an opportunity for other people.

So, you feel when something you’ve got to do, well, actually, if you said, ‘Look, I’d like to hand this over to you. I’ll support you. So, that is a little bit of extra work in the meantime. I acknowledge that, but I would like to delegate it to you and give you an opportunity to stretch. We can have some supervision on it just to know you can do it.’ But, you can start moving those things away, and then you’ve got a list above a line.

Now if that list is manageable, then use your calendar to start planning. Be honest about how long it will take you to do each thing. That’ll take you two hours. That might take me three days, so maybe 18 hours or whatever. So be honest, and then start planning in your calendar where that goes. So, that means everything below the line you need to start getting rid of, because you won’t have space in your diary to do it.

So, you need to start getting rid of stuff. So, there is often a little bit first of all that, okay, I’ve got more meetings to get rid of stuff. I need a two hour meeting or a 15 minute catch up with somebody to say, I’m going to do it. This is when I’m planning to do it, any other thoughts, so you can manage it that way. The other thing that I want you to look at is if that list above that line is still enormous, having already done the delay, stop, delay, delegate.

If that list is still enormous, then cut it in half again, and that is brutal. So then, beneath that line, again, you’re looking at what can you actually honestly stop doing because there’s some stuff above that line that you’ve already recognised as much higher priority. What can you delay doing and who can you delegate it to?

Rachel: I love that, Gerrie. Yeah, that’s quite a simple technique, really. I mean, it’s simple, but it’s really difficult, I can imagine to actually draw that line. But, we have to face reality, that we can’t do everything on that list, and that scoring out of 20. Yeah, that really helps you say what’s the really, really important stuff here. I guess in healthcare, we all do struggle to delegate. I think people feel there isn’t anybody to delegate to.

I think that’s sometimes the case, more often than not, it’s because just the thought of delegating it and doing the process is just too much effort. It’s going to take too much time to think about the source, and then, you’ve got the loss of control and everything like that, but I think learning to delegate is such an important skill. You also touched on the fact people think, oh, it’s selfish. It’s dumping work on other people.

Actually, no, it’s not. It’s actually helping that person develop their own skills, so really important. I think I love the stop delay delegate. There’s a free to focus sort of productivity thing, which is: eliminate, automate and delegate. I think automating a lot of the time, delegating can be automating. There’s so many things and systems, but I like the delay as well. I think sometimes it’s just easier to think, well, I’ll delay that then it is to eliminate.

It’s less psychologically tricky. So, I’ve got this list of things I might just delay then often you never get around to it anyway, but it’s, I think, easier to delay.

Gerrie: It’s a conscious delay. It’s a conscious delay. So when we’ve got so much to do on our to do list, those things are being neglected, but not necessarily consciously. What they’re doing is continually tapping you on the shoulder saying, You know what this is supposed to be done. This is supposed to be done. This is supposed to be done, really difficult to concentrate and enjoy doing anything else. If you’ve got all of these things in your backpack of stuff that I know, I’ll never get around to, but it’s got to be done.

Then if you consciously stopping, delegating or delaying, so your delay might be, I know I need to do this, but in reality, I need to do it. It’s not urgent. So, I’m going to do it and you put it in your calendar. You plot it in your calendar for three months time, I mean, a year’s time if you need to. This is when I’m going to do that. It just means that you’re consciously taking control rather than all this stuff feeling like it’s controlling you.

Rachel: I think this is where your playful stuff comes in as well because our natural left brain thinking, particularly, here is professionals may work in healthcare or law, accountancy or teaching. A lot of left brain thinking we’ve got to think our way out of this but if you can access that playful creativity but if your brain, you’re automatically going over to the right hand side of your brain and thinking how can this get done in another way?

One of the coaching questions I like to use, which can sometimes unlock this for people is, you know, if you had a magic wand, if you could wave a magic wand and anything could happen, what would you do? Oh, yeah, okay, I would, I would get three more wives and have them at home, or I would employ a unicorn to take me there so I wouldn’t have to take my car, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, is there another way to do that? Oh, well, I could just get an Uber. Or I could just one of my things is, I would love someone else to plan and cook all my meals for me, because I would like to be healthy, but I never seem to have time to plan it or cook it. If I had all the money in the world, what would I do? I would employ that amazing vegan chef that we have in our retreat. Oh, my goodness, imagine someone living in your house and just cooking that food. Okay, I can’t see that.

But you know what, there are some really good meal box subscriptions. I could just do. And yeah, but quite pricey. But actually, most of us and I think a lot of people listening to this podcast are probably time poor and more cash rich, I guess. Although, in today’s you know, difficult times, that’s getting less, but most of us can probably afford the mailbox subscription even a couple of times a week.

So I’ve just, I’ve just done that, again, I’m thinking if I want to eat nicely, I actually quite enjoy cooking to switch my brain off. But it’s the planning and getting the gradients and all that sort of stuff. So actually, I’ve used that magic, one thing, you know, I would, I would hire my own chef, to actually know there is something I could do this, that’s almost as good that actually could help the kids to cook as well.

And then it actually brings you back to some reality and some stuff that you actually could do. That doesn’t cost a lot of time, it doesn’t cost a lot of money, but you hadn’t really thought of it before

Gerrie: We’re educated to supposedly be good at everything, we have to be good at all things. And one of the things that I do when I’m working with teams is acknowledging that some people are really good at seeing the wood for the trees, they can see the objectives, they can see what’s going to be done, they can cut through the, crop through all the details and go right, this is gonna be done. Other people are really good at looking at the detail and going have we considered and have we thought about and give them give them a detail a detailed task and they’re happy.

Other people are really good, okay, we need to think about where we’re going. And we need to think about how we’re going to celebrate the successes and other people like we need to listen to people, we need to bring people along with us. Now we’re all a bit of a mix of those. But what is really useful for all of us to recognise, if I really hate doing something like a detailed task, there is probably somebody else in your team, who, that’s their happy place.

That gives me the opportunity to go through all of your procurement and work out where the best options are, and what we’re gonna drill down on the detail. If that’s not your happy place, that either will be somebody in your team that goes, ‘Oh my god, that that’d be great. I’d love to do that.’

And if there isn’t, that’s probably one of the reasons that your team is struggling because there’s nobody taking that as a nap, then what are their natural strengths, somebody’s having to play out of one of their natural strengths and do all the detail and they feel overwhelmed by it. Because it’s not a natural, happy place for them.

Rachel: I totally agree. And I think the trap we fall into is just because we don’t like doing it, we think someone else won’t like it. And we feel that we’re dumping the work on them. So I’ve got this wonderful team now and we’re like, ‘Okay, we really need to document all our workflows and processes.’ And for me, I’m like, ‘Oh, do you mind doing that? And my team, like, ‘I love it. This is what I absolutely love, I’m gonna do it!’ And they’ve done it absolutely brilliantly.

For me, that felt like I was dumping my responsibility. But for them, it’s like, that’s what they, they, they really love. And I guess it’s like that for audit projects. So, quality assurance, or even governance or describe you know, there’s always somebody that actually really loves getting into that you feel you’re dumping, but you’re not recently I was listening to another podcast, and it was two very successful entrepreneurs. They were both men with wives at home doing everything for them in the background. So thinking, hmm.

But one of the things they were saying is one of their mantras is ‘It’s not how can I get this done, it’s who can get this done?’ As in if I want to do something actually, who can do that? And I think when it comes to getting help and particularly with stuff like this, it’s who can help me. Let’s not try and figure this all out on my own. Who can I sit down and do this spreadsheet with?

Who can I get in my life that will be able to help me out with some of this stuff that I’m not so good at, be it a therapist, just be it a good friend, be it a personal trainer, right? Be it a dietitian if you need to get yourself sorted. Talk to someone who’s done it before. And also, it doesn’t have to be someone necessarily in person. It can be all these courses online. You know, if you want to learn how to do something, there will be something out there. Probably for free, actually. And then you can buy all sorts of stuff out there. So there is so much help out there.

I think particularly in general practice, because we are so used to having to do everything ourselves and the buck stops with us, we do just take on too much of this stuff ourselves, whether it is personal development, or whether it is within our work, but just asking, ‘Who, not how?’ sometimes, can be really helpful.

Gerrie: I’d like to draw together all the things you talked about, and also want to check in with you, Rachel. So we’ve talked about the first step, if you like, is acknowledging, ‘I’m not just busy — I’m a bit too busy.’ And the next step is to go well, ‘How would I like it to be? How would I like it to be rather than? How should it be? What how would I like it to be? And how is it?’ So get it down on paper, draw the draw, there’s a little pie charts.

The next thing is to have a conversation with somebody else. And that is as much about you getting it out, as is somebody else hearing, then there are things that you can do if you’re if you’re the simple thing sounds simple, but it’s hard to do. And that’s why I say it works much better. If you pair up with somebody, and say, what I want you to do is I want an hour online, it works very well online, get down all of the things that you do, and start to look at where those are. Now, the other part is, it’s about taking responsibility for yourself.

If you’re thinking ‘God, I’m thinking I’m being a bit hopeless at the moment’, or I look at the team, ‘They’re just going through the motions’, or ‘My boss is hopeless’, then the only person that you can influence is yourself. So you know all those things that you’re supposed to be doing to look after your well being, contentment and happiness.

Add that into your to do list and decide where you’re going to prioritise it. Start blocking it in the diary, start that thinking of how you want it to be and share it with the people you work with. Start to be playful with how we might make this better how you go from three out of 10 to three and a half out of 10. And then start listening to other people about what they want and what’s working for them. And that’s where delegation can also feel much more empowering.

Rather than that you’re giving people your dirty laundry, somebody else might like to wash your dirty laundry, I just like to throw that in.

Rachel: I love that you’re dirty laundry to someone else. So they can wash it. Love it. Delegate!

Gerrie: Sometimes when I’ve been busy, I’ve wanted that

Rachel: You could also do that! There are ironing services, there are laundry services! You know, there’s pretty much everything these days, which is marvellous. So, Gerrie, that was an absolutely fantastic summary, I knew I normally finished by asking people for three tips, top tips, but actually, you’ve just summarised that really, really well.

And for me, this is so consistent with the message of this podcast about the little things you can do to make a difference. So don’t try going from 3 to 10 go from 3 to 3.5. And if you’re going from three to three and a half, in lots of different areas, then suddenly you realise, actually, things are, things are a lot better. And it says little small changes that we’ve made. And often, it is just those small tweaks that we make to our day, like making sure we put that 10 minute walk at lunchtime or fitting in that 25 minute run.

And we do have the time for those things we do when we think about how much time we spend scrolling on Facebook or watching rubbish on the telly there is that time in the day, but it’s actually it’s being intentional about it, isn’t it?

And so I just like to offer to listeners. Firstly, if you need to just say to somebody, I am feeling overwhelmed, and you don’t know who else to say it to just email us and say it to us and we will hear you. Secondly, if you want to have a conversation with somebody else, and pair up and do this thing about looking through your to do list, then again, let us know. And if we have people, we’ll just literally introduced you via email and you guys can get off and see it for yourself.

I’m a big, big fan of thinking partnerships and people supporting each other. Yeah, we can. We can all do this for each other. And then thirdly, just think about, yeah, sharing this with your teams. How can you do this way you work because if enough of you are thinking about doing this, and you will be able to change the system, the system will shift and that is acknowledging that there are things we can’t do anything about, like the patient demand, the workload at the moment, and those are really really big things.

I do want to acknowledge that again, another elephant in the room, and people are feeling very anxious and worried about that. But let’s start by focusing on yourself and what you can change and then and seeing how that will then actually extrapolate and affect the system. So Gerrie, is it any last messages you’d like to say? And by the way, I’m gonna get you back on the podcast. Is that okay?

Yeah, if it works for people, let if people

Rachel: Leave us a review, let us know. Oh, and the other thing is that we will also put the Thrive week planner tool in the show notes. It’s a way of doing those pie charts, essentially, and work out what your ideal week is, what your current week is, and what the difference between the two is, so people can sign up for that. And if people want to find out more about you and your work, then how can they find you?

Gerrie: LinkedIn is probably the easiest. So you put a link with the podcast and people can connect with me, I, I enjoy hearing what’s going on with people and I share various things about that, including taking breaks time off is time on is one of the things that I’m very keen on, give your brain a chance to make the connections rather than to keep forcing it. If I can, at the end of this. I am a bit of a hippie. And I would like to invite you if you’re still here, you’re still listening is to take three deep breaths and just give yourself a moment. No, you’re not alone.

Rachel: Gerrie, thank you. I will see you again soon.

Gerrie: Take care. Thank you for having me.

Rachel: Thanks for listening. Don’t forget, we provide a self coaching CPD workbook for every episode. You can sign up for it via the link in the show notes. And if this episode was helpful, then please share it with a friend. Get in touch with any comments or suggestions at hello@youarenotafrog.com. I love to hear from you. And finally, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please rate it and leave a review wherever you’re listening. It really helps. Bye for now.

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Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to share how to better relationships and take control and stay in your zone of power. She shares how to make a good decision by questioning thoughts and assumptions. We also discuss how you can change your perspective to become more compassionate, accepting, and empowered. If you want to know how to better relationships, stay in your zone of power, improve your decision-making skills, and be true to yourself, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 131: What To Do If You’re Stressed AND Bored

Rachel discusses how to address and navigate the toxic combination of stress and boredom in the workplace. She talks about the role of learning in living a good, meaningful, and self-actualised life. Rachel also lays down five ways that will enable you to fit learning into your schedule without increasing the chances of burning out.

Episode 130: How to Say F**k It and Become Ridiculously Relaxed (Even about Stuff That REALLY Matters) with John C. Parkin

John C. Parkin joins us today and encourages us to say ‘fuck it’ more in our lives! Not everything is important, and sometimes we try too hard living up to society’s excessive expectations. John shares how overcoming stress and setting boundaries often results in overthinking and feelings of guilty. He wants us to calm down and breathe! Let’s learn to finally prioritise relaxation in our lives and see how much better we become through it. If you’re struggling with stress and want to know how to calm down and let go of what you can’t control, then this episode is for you.

Episode 127: After Burnout: Going Back to Work with Dr Katya Miles

When major issues occur in your life, it’s often necessary to take a break and deal with them, and of course, there’s also the other reasons we take significant time off work - maternity or parental leave, taking a sabbatical or taking a career break. If you want to know how to go back to work thriving, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 126: Using Nature to Answer Your Big Questions With Henri Stevenson

Henri Stevenson joins us to talk about the ways connecting with nature can shift our thinking and open up new solutions. We discuss the differences in our thoughts and feelings when we're in nature versus within artificial walls. She shares her stories of finding metaphors for life situations reflected in nature and what she learned from them. Henri reminds us that sometimes, the solutions to our problems may show up in quiet spaces when we take a few moments to connect with nature. Curious about how to take time to learn and connect with nature? Learn how and much more when you tune into this episode!

Episode 125: How to Say No and Deal with Pushback with Annie Hanekom

Everyone has difficulty enforcing their set boundaries, from top-end executives to junior employees. Logically, we know that we cannot do everything people want, but biologically, our minds are hardwired to please people. In this episode of You Are Not a Frog, Annie Hanekom guides you through how to say no and deal with the inevitable pushback.

Episode 124: How to Change When Change is Scary with Dr Claire Kaye

Change can definitely be scary. However, it doesn’t always have to be a difficult experience. Dr Claire Kaye joins us in this episode to talk about how you can approach change proactively. Whether you dislike change or thrive on it, her insights and enlightening tips will help you make the most of the opportunities in your life. Are you undergoing a difficult change right now? Learn more about how to change even when change is scary in this episode of You Are Not a Frog.

Episode 123: How to Live With No Regrets with Georgina Scull

Georgina Scull joins us in this episode to talk about what she learned from writing the book, Regrets of the Dying: Stories and Wisdom That Remind Us How to Live. She shares three revelations that people have while on their deathbeds: not being able to make other people happy, living up to other people’s expectations, and trying to rewrite history. We walk you through practical steps to help you reflect on your true desires so you can live a meaningful life.

Episode 122: How to be Happy at Work with Sarah Metcalfe

Joining us to talk about the importance of happiness in the workplace - and how we can find it - is Sarah Metcalfe. The founder of Happiness Coffee Consulting, she shares her top tips on simple things you can do to pursue happiness and share it with others. Even in high-stress jobs, it’s possible to choose happiness and spread it. And the results can be extraordinary. If you want to learn more about how and why we should be happy at work, tune in to this episode.

Episode 121: How To Be A Happy Working Parent with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to discuss the common struggles of working parents and the things we need to unlearn. She shares how to take radical responsibility as a parent and delegate responsibilities from housework to emotional load. We also teach you how to stay in your zone of genius and accept help when you need it. It’s time to live a life you love and enjoy, even amidst all your responsibilities! If you’re struggling to balance work and parenting, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 120: Making Online Meetings Work with John Monks

John Monks joins us in this episode to discuss designing better online meetings and interactions. We clarify the difference between a meeting, a presentation, and a workshop. We also discuss creative ways to design online meetings that energise and infuse rather than drain and demotivate. And John shares some simple exercises on limits and boundaries that can radically improve our problem solving and creativity. If you want to know how to make the most out of online meetings, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 118: How to Manage Upwards (and Sideways) with Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy

Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy talk about their experiences working within a hierarchical system as junior doctors and share what they have found to be essential if you want to build trust and foster good relationships with your seniors, your juniors and your peers. If you want to know how you can build trust and influence your workplace, and manage upwards and sideways this episode is just for you!

Episode 116: What I Got So Wrong About Mindfulness And How It Might Transform Your Life with Dr Steve Pratt

Dr Steve Pratt joins us to discuss what we really mean by mindfulness, and how it could work for you. He'll debunk some of the myths of mindfulness and how you can make it worth your time and effort. We'll discuss how certain techniques can help us live happier, be less anxious, and harness our resources to make better decisions. Finally, Steve shares his mindfulness practices and takes us on a quick three-minute breathing exercise! If you want to learn about mindfulness, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 114: How to Get an Appraisal that Doesn’t Suck with Dr Susi Caesar

Dr Susi Caesar joins us to talk about how you can elevate and enjoy your professional life with annual appraisals. She shares the purpose of appraisals and how they can help you choose the best way forward in your career and personal life. Dr Susi also gives her top tips on what you can do to make this process more meaningful. If you want to know more about appraisals and how you can benefit from them, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 113: What To Do When A Junior Is Badmouthing Your Colleagues with Dr Ed Pooley

Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to discuss what we should do when we see inappropriate behaviour like badmouthing. He shares how we can manage difficult conversations with the intent of helping others. We also discuss the importance of recognising triggers through the SCARF model. If you want to know how to deal with difficult conversations for a better workplace, listen to this episode.

Episode 112: Why We’re Ditching the Term ‘Imposter Syndrome’ with Dr Sarah Goulding

Dr Sarah Goulding joins us to talk about imposter syndrome and why we need to drop the word from our vocabularies. We also discuss how self doubt can be helpful to us. Finally, she shares tips for overcoming wobbles and incorporating more self-compassion into your life. If you want to get over your imposter syndrome and practice self-compassion, then this episode is for you!

Episode 111: What To Do When You Start To See Red with Graham Lee

Graham Lee joins us to discuss our emotional states and ways to apply simple mindfulness techniques to change them. Most conflicts are rooted in unmet needs. When we admit those needs, we can instantly change relationship dynamics. Graham also shares tips on what to do during stressful situations where your emotions cloud your judgement and thinking. If you want to use mindfulness practice to be more aware of your emotions even during difficult situations, tune in to this episode.

Episode 110: How To Stop People Pleasing And Absorbing Other People’s Angst

Dr Karen Forshaw and Chrissie Mowbray join us to discuss how our core beliefs shape the way we respond to situations. When taken too far, empathy and helping people can be a big cause of stress. In addition, we also talk about we can learn to reframe and reassess their core beliefs. If you want to know how to help people without absorbing their emotions, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 109: Is It Possible To Have Fun At Work? With Dr Kathryn Owler

Dr Kathryn Owler joins us in this episode to share her fascinating research on the characteristics and traits of people who enjoy their current jobs. We dissect the common themes these people have in finding success in their careers. And we also talk about changes we can implement as individuals to make work more fun and enjoyable. If you want to start adopting the mindset people who have fun at work have, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 108: What We Wish We’d Learnt at Med School with Dr Ed Pooley & Dr Hussain Gandhi

Dr Ed Pooley and Dr Hussain Gandhi join us in the latest episode of You are Not a Frog. They discuss the management skills a doctor needs that you won't learn in med school, plus tips to help fresh doctors feel empowered in their workplace. Whether or not you work in medicine, these skills are crucial when it comes to working effectively and managing your own and others’ time. Tune in and listen to the experts talk about the management skills med school doesn't teach you and how to learn and develop them today.

Episode 107: Define Your Own Success In Life With Dr Claire Kaye

Dr Claire Kaye joins us to talk about the importance of honesty and clarity in defining our own success. We may think that achieving certain goals will make us happy, but evidence shows us it’s the other way around. It’s only when we’re happy that we can be successful. We also discuss how to overcome common barriers to our happiness and success such as fear, guilt, and uncertainty. If you want to know how to live a happier and more successful life, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 105: The Simplest Way to Beat Stress and Work Happier with Dr Giles P. Croft

In this episode, Dr Giles P. Croft joins us to discuss how our thoughts and emotions trigger stress signals. He shares his controversial approach to tackling stress, and why most of our efforts to cope better don’t really help at all. We also delve into the importance of pausing to allow yourself to calm down and letting go of the things you can’t control.

Episode 104: How to Cope With Nightmare Relatives and Colleagues Without Losing the Plot

In this special Christmas episode, Corrina Gordon-Barnes shows us how to create the groundwork for a peaceful and successful holiday season, even while navigating difficult relationships with relatives or colleagues. Corrina guides us to relax our expectation of a perfect holiday with our family, so we can face reality in ourselves and others. She explains a simple framework to allow you to resolve conflict, and walks us through what we can do during difficult gatherings and how to shift our responses to create different outcomes. Tune in to improve your strained relationships with relatives and co-workers through empathy and letting go of past assumptions.

Episode 103: How Not to Settle For The Way It’s Always Been Done

Dr Abdullah Albeyatti talks about improving your life and career by making changes and taking risks. He explains why settling for the familiar could be slowly ruining your life and how you can avoid this situation. Finally, he shares his top three tips to become a changemaker in your field. If you want to start doing things differently, creating change, and take more risks, then this episode is for you!

Episode 102: Why FAIL is Not a 4-Letter Word

Drs Claire Edwin, Sally Ross, and Taj Hassan join us to discuss how we can manage and deal with our failures more effectively. We explore the idea that rather than doing something wrong, failure is an opportunity to really grow and learn both as individuals, as leaders and as organisations. In any situation, it’s important to remember that we’re all human. It’s okay to be honest with ourselves and each other about our mistakes - after all, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. If you want to know how to change your mindset around failure, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 101: Making Helpful Habits Stick with Sheela Hobden

Sheela Hobden joins us to discuss how we can harness the power of checklists to create a routine. She shares how you can approach your goals in a more realistic way and learn to encourage yourself using specific goal setting techniques. Sheela also recommends creating identity-based goals to ensure that you keep building your new identity even after completing certain milestones. Start small, and eventually, you’ll see these good habits stick!

Episode 100: Dealing With the Guilt of Not Being Okay With Dr Nik Kendrew

Dr Nik Kendrew unravels why we experience overwhelming guilt when bad things happen to us. He also shares some tips, techniques, and resources on how to deal with guilt, especially in these difficult times and circumstances. Apart from this, Nik talks about the significance of scheduling our entire day to do important things. Finally, he discusses why setting boundaries is necessary to maintain our sense of self.

Episode 99: How to Deal with Criticism When You’ve Reached Your Limit with Dr Sarah Coope and Dr Rachel Morris

Dr Sarah Coope joins me to talk about the workload of medical professionals and the benefits of setting boundaries while dealing with criticisms amidst the global pandemic. We discuss the three elements of the Drama Triangle and ways to navigate or avoid them reliably. As we dive deeper into the conversation, we explore the art of saying 'No' through acknowledging our limits. Awareness and recognition can go a long way in maintaining our boundaries. If you want to take the first step in recognising your limits, handling criticism better and setting proper boundaries, tune in to this episode.

Episode 96 – How to Deal with Difficult Meetings with Jane Gunn

We hear from the expert in conflict management and mediation, Jane Gunn. She discusses important tips to keep in mind to host great meetings. She shares some practical conflict management tips and how to make decisions that you and your team agree on. Jane also emphasises the importance of putting the fun back in functional meetings and the need to give a voice to participants.

Episode 93 – How to Delegate, Do It, or Drop It with Anna Dearmon Kornick

Anna Dearmon Kornick joins us to share the time management strategies crucial for busy professionals. She lays down tips on how medical practitioners can have more control over their days. Anna talks about how to manage admin time and imparts ways to combat distractions. We also discuss the importance of delegation both inside and outside work. For this, Anna introduces the passion-proficiency lens and knowing your zone of genius.

Episode 92 – How to Avoid Becoming the Second Victim with Dr Caraline Wright & Dr Lizzie Sweeting

Dr Caraline Wright and Dr Lizzie Sweeting join us to discuss the second victim phenomenon. They explain why patient safety incidents are occupational hazards and how they can affect healthcare providers. Caraline then shares her personal experience of being in the “second victim” role. Finally, they share tips on how to avoid second victimhood and how to provide support to someone going through it.

Episode 91 – How to Break Up With Your Toxic Relationship With Your Career with Dr Pauline Morris

Dr Pauline Morris joins us to share her career counselling advice for physicians and other professionals in high stress jobs. We discuss the common pitfalls that lead doctors to unsustainable work habits. Pauline also sheds light on why staying in your comfort zone can be detrimental to your performance. To avert this, she shares tips on how to better recognise and advocate for your own needs. We also learn about the importance of self-care and taking time for yourself.

Episode 90 – What to do About Bitching and Backbiting with Dr Edward Pooley

Dr Edward Pooley joins us again to discuss what to do when colleagues make inappropriate comments about others. We talk about why it’s crucial to consider the question behind the question in workplace backbiting. Ed also teaches us how to challenge in a supportive way. Most importantly, we learn some strategies to prepare ourselves to speak up when the situation requires it.

Episode 89 – Should I stay or should I go? with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to share how to better relationships and take control and stay in your zone of power. She shares how to make a good decision by questioning thoughts and assumptions. We also discuss how you can change your perspective to become more compassionate, accepting, and empowered. If you want to know how to better relationships, stay in your zone of power, improve your decision-making skills, and be true to yourself, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 88 – How to Ditch the Saviour Complex and Feel More Alive with Rob Bell

Rob Bell joins us in this episode to discuss the perils of the saviour complex and the desire to keep hustling even when we’re miserable. We learn that taking time for rest and reflection only helps us get stronger. You can’t heal and help rebuild a broken system if you don’t look out for yourself first. Tune in to this episode to find out how to ditch the saviour complex, feel happier and live a more fulfilling life.

Episode 87 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 5: What Should I Do When I Think a Complaint is Unfair? And Other Questions with Drs Sarah Coope, George Wright, Samantha White, and Andrew Tressider

We’re joined by a panel of expert guests to share their thoughts on how to handle complaints. Together, we discuss ways that you can adjust your perspective and respond to unfavourable situations. Most importantly, we tackle issues regarding malicious complaints and how to cope with them. If you’re having trouble managing yourself during complaints, then this episode is for you.

Episode 86 – Gaslighting and Other Ways We’re Abused at Work: What’s Really Going On? with Dr James Costello

Dr James Costello joins us to talk about his new book and the insidious ways that organisations and individuals can undermine us. They compel us to do extra emotional labour for us to cope with the workplace dynamics. We also chat about what happens when authority and power are misused. Finally, James shares some of the disastrous consequences bullying in the workplace can have and what we can do about it. Tune in if you want to know what to do if you suspect that you or a colleague are experiencing relational abuse in the workplace!

Episode 85 – How to have crucial conversations with Dr Edward Pooley

Good communication between colleagues is crucial for the success of any organisation. Dr Edward Pooley joins us again to teach us how to communicate well. He discusses the three strands present in any conversation and helps us understand how we can be more aware of each. We also share some frameworks that can help you navigate difficult conversations. Understanding the importance of emotion is crucial in being an effective communicator and connecting with your team.

Episode 84 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 4: Creating a Workplace Where It’s OK to Fail

Professor Susan Fairley and Dr Jane Sturgess join us to discuss how to create a workplace that doesn’t shy away from failure. We talk about how civility can save lives and also touch on the issues around incident reporting in healthcare. Most importantly, we talk about creating a culture where people can have difficult conversations without defensiveness. If you want to know how to approach failing and speaking up in the workplace, tune in to this episode.

Episode 83 – The Ups and Downs of Being a Man-Frog with Dr Chris Hewitt

Joining us in this episode is Dr Chris Hewitt who also uses the metaphor of a man-frog in coaching professionals to have a better work-life balance. Chris talks about why we find it so hard to recognise burnout. He also shares his top tips and practical strategies to address work dissatisfaction. If you want to stop feeling like a man (or woman) - frog in a pan of slowly boiling water, listen to the full episode.

Episode 82 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Series Episode 3: Surviving the Process

Drs Jessica Harland, Caroline Walker and Heidi Mousney join us in this episode to discuss healthcare professionals’ experiences when dealing with complaints. We talk about the different emotions you may experience and practical tips on getting through. If you want to know how to survive the process after making a mistake at work and receiving a complaint, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 81 – When Soft and Fluffy Met Coronavirus with Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews, Associate Director of Leadership for East and North Herts NHS Trust shares how, through using just five crucial questions, you can check in on people, rather than check up on them. The 5 questions will help you to find out how people really are, help them look out for their colleagues, empower them to solve their own problems AND communicate empathy and support. Want to know how you can apply compassionate leadership in your organisation? Then, this episode is for you.

Episode 80 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 2: What to Do When You Make a Mistake with Drs Clare Devlin and Dr John Powell

Drs Clare Devlin and John Powell join us to discuss the proper way of responding to professional mistakes. We talk about why doctors have a hard time whenever they make a mistake at work. Clare and John also share valuable advice on minimising negative consequences and getting a good outcome for you and your patient. If you want to learn a roadmap for what you should do you make a mistake at work, then tune in to this episode.

Episode 79 – How to Give Yourself Permission to Thrive with Dr Katya Miles

Dr Katya Miles joins us once again to talk about burnout and giving ourselves permission to thrive. Having experienced work burnout, Katya shares her story and discusses the red flags of burnout. We also talk about why we find it difficult to give ourselves permission to thrive and how we can overcome our own internal barriers. If you want to learn about how you can listen to your needs so that you can thrive in work and in life, then this episode is for you.

Episode 78 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Series 1: Preparing to Fail Well with Drs Sarah Coope, Annalene Weston and Sheila Bloomer

Drs Sarah Coope, Annalene Weston and Sheila Bloomer join us in this first episode in a new series on ‘Complaints and How to Survive Them’ to talk about coaching doctors and dentists through complaints made against them. We also talk about the perfectionist mindset and how changing our perspective towards failure can help us and those around us. If you want to know how to deal better with complaints made against doctors and other professionals in high-stress jobs, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 77 – Denial, displacement and other ways we neglect ourselves with Dr Andrew Tresidder

Dr Andrew Tresidder joins us to talk about how many medical practitioners and other professionals in healthcare and high stress jobs neglect their health and well-being. We're so focused on taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves but our well-being is vital if we want to keep doing the work we do. Find out why healthcare professionals need to learn more about health, as opposed to only learning about disease and if you want to know how to focus on taking care of your health and well-being, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 76 – Tech Tips for Happy Hybrid Working with Dr Hussain Gandhi

Dr Hussain Gandhi, or Dr Gandalf of eGPlearning, joins us in this episode. He is a GP, PCN director and host of the eGP Learning Podblast that shares deep dives into health tech for primary care. He shares his tech and time hacks for hybrid working to survive and thrive in the new virtual environment. If you want to find out how to improve your hybrid working experience, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 75 – How to Escape the Drama Triangle and Stop Rescuing People with Annie Hanekom

Annie Hanekom joins us to shed light on the different roles which interact in the drama triangle. She shares the pitfalls of taking on each role and how we can actively shift from these roles into something better, fostering healthier relationships at work. If you want to know more about how you can step out of the drama triangle, have better conversations and build healthier relationships with your colleagues, make sure you tune in to this episode.

Episode 74 – Managing your Time in a System Which Sucks with Dr Ed Pooley

Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to share his take on time management techniques for busy individuals. He discusses the three types of competing demands and how to manage them. We also talk about being more comfortable holding difficult conversations about workplace issues - vital to help change the environment we work in. Tune into this episode to discover how time management techniques and communication can help you get a calmer and more time-efficient workplace.

Episode 73 – How to Find Your Tribe: The PMGUK story with Dr Nazia Haider and Dr Katherine Hickman

Dr Nazia Haider and Dr Katherine Hickman join us on this episode to discuss the importance of a work community. We talk about the inspiring stories from the online community they created, the Physicians Mums Group UK (PMGUK). Nazia and Katherine also share their tips on how to increase connections and find your own tribe at work. If you want to know how to create a network of supportive colleagues and feel more connected, then tune into this episode.

Episode 72 – Working well – from anywhere! with Dr Katya Miles

Dr Katya Miles joins us to discuss how to work well from home by creating healthy boundaries. She shares how to be more productive by using the third space hack and taking breaks. Katya also talks about how to be more active and better connect with people in the workplace. If you want to learn about working well from home and achieving a better work-life balance, then tune in to this episode.

Episode 71 – Create a Career You’ll Love with Dr Claire Kaye

Dr Claire Kaye joins us to discuss how to find a career you love. As an executive coach specialising in career development, Claire is an expert in guiding people how to find a career they love. We talk about the value of job networking and diversifying in our career journeys. We also share our tips and experiences on how to find a career you love. We do this by helping you identify the roles that best suit you and how to go about getting these roles.

Episode 70 – How Safe Do You Feel at Work with Scott Chambers

Scott Chambers joins us to talk about why we need to make people feel comfortable and safe enough to speak up in their workplace. When we create psychological safety in our team, we improve overall happiness and boost performance! If you want to learn how to create psychological safety for a better and happier team - whether you’re the boss or not, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 69 – Make Time for What Matters with Liz O’Riordan

Liz O'Riordan joins us to share productivity life hacks. These have helped her transform how she approaches work. Now, Liz can spend quality time with her family and enjoy life. In this episode, she teaches us how we too can achieve this. If you want to learn some new life hacks, beat burnout and work happier, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 68 – The Revolutionary Art of Breathing with Richard Jamieson

Richard Jamieson discusses how we can utilise breathing techniques to feel calmer, make better decisions and be more productive. He explains the different steps we can take to change our breathing patterns. When you’re in a high-stress situation, remember this: just breathe. If you want to know how to use breathing techniques to beat stress in everyday situations, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 67 – Bringing Your Best Self to Work with Dr Sarah Goulding

Dr Sarah Goulding discusses how to bring your whole self to work without leaving bits of you behind. Sarah shares her own story of experiencing burnout at her old job and rediscovering her true passion. We also discuss how applying our core strengths to our jobs can mean the difference between burnout and having a sense of fulfilment. Don’t miss out on this episode if you want to learn more about how to be yourself and how to bring joy back into your work!

Episode 65 – Passing the Naughty Monkey Back with Dr Amit Sharma

Dr Amit Sharma joins us to discuss the effects of taking on too many of other people’s ‘naughty monkeys’. We talk about why professionals in high-stress jobs so often take on the rescuer role and how to shift that mindset. Amit and I also discuss the importance of empowering patients to take control of their own health. If you want to know how to avoid being weighed down by too many naughty monkeys, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 64 – What to Do When You’re Out of Fuel with Dr Jess Harvey

Dr Jess Harvey, a GP partner and GB triathlete, talks about what happened to her after running out of fuel and feeling burnt out. She discusses how we often ignore the symptoms and signs for too long and why resting and refuelling is as important as what we're doing in the first place. If you’re feeling burnt out, tune in to this episode to find out how you can plug the holes in your energy bucket!

Episode 63 – How to Survive Even When Times are Tough with Dr Caroline Walker

This episode is part of the COVID-19 Supporting Doctors series, and joining us again is Dr Caroline Walker. She's here to discuss why rest is crucial, especially for people in high-stress jobs. Caroline also shares key strategies that can keep us going through the crisis. The previous year has been tough, so don’t miss this episode to start 2021 better prepared.

Episode 62 – Self-Coaching for Success with Dr Karen Castille, OBE

Dr Karen Castille joins me in this episode to discuss her book on self-coaching. She shares powerful questions to ask yourself which will jumpstart your self-coaching journey. She also talks about the importance of developing this vital skill and crafting powerful life questions. Before we close the show, Karen gives her top tips for self-coaching. Don’t miss this episode if you want to learn how you can find clarity and achieve success through self-coaching!

Episode 61 – The Self Help Book Group on Happiness with Dr Nik Kendrew

In this episode, You Are Not A Frog regular Dr Nik Kendrew joins me to discuss the concept of happiness. We tackle the everlasting question of ‘What is happiness’? We also talk about perfectionism and fear and how these can hinder us from doing the things we want to do. At the end of the show, Nik and I give our top tips to being happier. If you want to know more about living a happy life, then this episode is for you.

Episode 60 – Creating a Workplace that Works with Dr Sonali Kinra

Dr Sonali Kinra joins us to discuss why people leave their jobs and how to prevent it. We talk about the importance of workplace culture and its role in creating an environment that makes people want to stay. We also discuss why you need to seek opportunities that broaden and develop your career. Don’t miss this episode if you want to find out how to keep yourself in a job you love.

Episode 59 – A Social Dilemma? With Dr James Thambyrajah

In this episode, Dr James Thambyrajah joins us to talk about social media’s subtle yet profound effect on our daily lives. We discuss the perils of being unaware of how our online decisions are influenced. James also shares his insights on how we can improve how we stay informed and inform others. Tune in to this episode if you want to learn more about how to go beyond your digital echo chamber.

Episode 55 – The One About Alcohol

Dr Giles P Croft is back to chat with Rachel about his experiences following a revolutionary read he was recommended. You might remember Giles from episode 46, where he talked about how as humans, we naturally default to happiness.

Episode 52 – A year of the frog

The week’s episode is a special one as the Frog celebrates a year of podcasting! It’s been quite a year - including charting in Apple’s Top 100 Business Podcasts in the UK!

Episode 50 – Freeing yourself from the money trap

Joining Rachel in this week’s episode is Dr Tommy Perkins, as well as being a GP Partner, and father, Tommy is one half of Medics Money. Medics Money is an organisation specifically aimed at helping doctors make better decisions with their finances. It’s run by Tommy and Dr Ed Cantelo who is not only a doctor but a qualified accountant.

Episode 49 – The Self Help Book Group No 2 with Nik Kendrew

This week Rachel is joined by You Are Not A Frog regular, Nik Kendrew. Last time Nik joined us, we discussed a book that has helped him in his professional life as a GP, trainer and partner as well as his personal life. Nik’s back this week to talk about another brilliant book and to share what insights and learnings he’s gained from it.

Episode 47 – How to Have a Courageous Conversation

Rachel talks with Beccie D'Cunha about the conversations that we avoid and the conversations we really need to have with our colleagues, teams and managers. They can be described as difficult conversations, but we can redefine them as courageous conversations - because ultimately it takes courage for both parties to listen and be heard.

Episode 46 – Default to happy

Rachel talks with Dr Giles P Croft about his take on how to beat stress and burnout. Giles  is a psychology graduate and former NHS surgeon who stepped aside from clinical practice for a decade to explore a number of career paths, including health informatics, cycling journalism, public speaking and high street retail with his wife.

Episode 45 – Rest. The final frontier

Rachel is joined by Sheela Hobden, Professional Certified Coach, wellbeing expert and fellow Shapes Toolkit facilitator. We talk about why rest isn’t just important for wellbeing, but important for productivity and creativity too. 

Episode 40 – Leading with tough love with Gary Hughes

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Gary Hughes, author of the book Leadership in Practice, blogger, educator and facilitator who is a Practice Manager by day. We chat about how leadership in the COVID-19 crisis has had to adapt, and the different roles that a leader has had to take.

Episode 37 – How to manage conflict during COVID with Jane Gunn

Rachel is thrilled to welcome back Jane Gunn – lawyer, mediator and expert in conflict resolution who has been known as the Corporate Peacemaker. This episode is for you if the thought of addressing a difficult issue with one of your colleagues send you running for the hills…

Episode 20 – A creative solution to stress with Ruth Cocksedge

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Ruth Cocksedge a Practitioner Psychologist who started her career as a mental health nurse. She practices in Cambridge and has a particular interest in EMDR for PTSD and creative writing as a way to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Episode 11 – The magical art of reading sweary books

In this episode, Rachel is joined once again by Dr Liz O’Riordan, the ‘Breast Surgeon with Breast Cancer’, TEDx speaker, author, blogger, triathlete and all round superstar who has been nominated for ‘Woman of the Year’.

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