Posts Tagged behavioral health
There are many areas of life where body image and being thin are associated with performance. Certainly, more for women (a significantly higher percentage) than men, body image and eating disorders continue to be issues. Weight loss strategies, such as those used by individuals with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder, compulsive overeating, and others), can detract from performance, by adding undue suffering on a psychological level and negatively impacting so many areas of their lives, their families’ lives, their employers’ and co-workers’ lives.
I started doing research and psychotherapy with individuals with eating disorders in 1980 when there were six articles on the treatment of bulimia. Since that time, research on treatment has evolved significantly. Unfortunately, societal pressures have not changed much; the incidence level has not changed and countless people continue to suffer. Each generation gets to cope with a misogynistic and sexually oriented culture, filled with distorted imagines in the media and body shaming on social media. However, with weeks like eating disorder awareness week, we can bring these disorders to the forefront. The good news is that there is help. People do recover from eating disorders. If you know someone or have an eating disorder yourself, please either encourage them to seek help (they may not be ready so don’t get discouraged) or get help for yourself.
There are several national resources and helplines, including:
Have a day filled with loving kindness and compassion!
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., Chairman and Psychologist
— MINES & Associates (@MINES_bh) March 2, 2017
We just wanted to share information concerning an important event that friends of the MINES team are hosting on November 5th here in Denver.
Suicide is a bleak topic and one that has touched many of our lives in one way or another. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, additionally men die from suicide 3.5 times more often than women. What are the underlying reasons for this? What can be done to help this situation? The upcoming event is designed to address these very questions and more.
Entitled, “A Man’s Journey: Learning, Loving and Living through Life’s Challenges” hosted by the Carson J Spencer Foundation on November 5th from 12:00-5:00 PM at Mountain States Employers Council in Denver. The goal of the forum is to help men overcome life stressors and cope with mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, anger and substance abuse. Tickets are only $10. Men and women are encouraged to attend. Info and Registration here: http://bit.ly/2efbewC
To Your Wellbeing,
The MINES Team
I just finished a thought provoking and assumption challenging book, Curiosity, by Ian Leslie. I hope you get a copy and read it in its entirety. This blog addresses some, and not all, of the important information presented in the book.
The tag line on the cover directly implies that performance is impacted by “the desire to know and why your future depends on it.”
Leslie describes three types of curiosity. “diversive curiosity” is the restless desire for the new and the next. Think scrolling through your cell phone apps such as facebook, twitter, emails, wordpress, and news feeds, while spending very little time on any one piece. The value of “diversive curiosity” is that it helps the exploring mind find the new and the undiscovered. Its ultimate value is helping us be curious enough to learn futher about a subject, to do a deeper investigationThe second type of curiosity is “epistemic curiosity.” It is a “quest for knowledge and understanding, it nourishes us. This deeper, more disciplined and effortful type of curiosity” is the focus of the book ( prologue, p.xx).
The third type of curiosity is “empathic curiosity.” This is “about the thoughts and feelings of other people. It is distinct from gossip or prurience, which we can think of as “diversive curiosity” about the superficial detail of others’ lives. You practice empathic curiosity when you genuinely try to put yourself in the shoes – and mind – of the person you are talking to, to see things from their perspective… (p.xxi).”
The relevance for psychology of performance in business is far reaching. Given the complexity of our business environments, advances in science and technology, and the exponential growth of knowledge. Organizations and individuals who are not curious will become obsolete or become further and further behind compared to those who embrace epistemic curiosity and life-long learning.
Leslie does us the same service Malcom Gladwell and other synthsis writers do by diving into the scientific literature behind the statements in the book. One area that is concerning is the role of core subject knowledge and the ability to be curious. Schools who teach process skills without content knowledge produce students who are less capable of the creative, cross-discipline insights and thinking required to solve the complex and diverse problems we are faced with. This body of research is counter to what has happened in many schools across the country. One has to have information in order to know whether one wants to be curious and learn more about it. Leslie’s handrail was “knowledge loves knowledge.”
He adds an interesting case study related to Disney and Pixar concerning then-CEO of Disney Michael Eisner and co-founder of Pixar, Steve Jobs. Leslie looks at an interesting quote from Jobs stating that as Pixar was the creative organization producing one money making film after another while Disney was the distributor, Eisner only spent a little over two hours at Pixar rather than learning how Pixar was doing what it did and taking it back to Disney. Finally, after Eisner and Jobs left, Disney bought Pixar. If someone is out-performing you as an organization or individually, being curious as to how they are doing that could be a good process to go through rather than avoiding it, resting on the status quo, or other reasons for not learning more.
Leslie discussed breadth versus depth in knowledge and the need for both. He uses the concept of a “foxhog” (p.152). “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (p.151). A foxhog is one who combines deep knowledge of a specialty with broad understanding of other disciplines. Leslie also pays tribute to one of my favorite business people and writers, Charlie Munger, who is exemplary in his pursuit of knowledge outside of his field and in learning useful mental models from other disciplines. From a psychology of performance point of view, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet have performed at high levels in their field for decades.
In order to improve your performance over your lifetime, be epistemically and empathically curious, be a lifelong learner, apply what you know, and take action!
Please have a day filled with loving kindness and extend compassion and sympathetic joy to everyone you meet.
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
The Olympics have officially opened! This is a wonderful opportunity to get an in-depth look at a number of psychology of performance variables and factors in addition to the sheer joy of seeing individuals and teams at their peak performance. Who could ever forget the USA Dream Team’s performance to win the gold in basketball? Rulon Garner’s gold medal win over Alexander Karelin in wrestling. Larelin was the defending gold medalist and had not lost in 13 years. Michael Phelps winning 18 gold medals and 22 medals over his Olympic career and coming back again this year. Historic moments such as Jesse Owens winning four gold medals in the 1936 games in Berlin. This was when Nazi Germany saw him as a lesser human being because of the color of his skin. Ethiopian runner, Abebe Bikila, won the marathon gold in 1960, barefoot. Emil Zatopek’s winning the 5,000 meter 10,000 meter, and marathon in the 1952 Helsinki games after being told not to compete due to a gland infection. He had never run a marathon before. Jim Thorpe winning the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Stockholm games. The first female Olympians in the 1900 Paris games.
The actual list of mind boggling performances is almost endless. Over the next few weeks, we will get to observe upsets when the favorites were viewed as unbeatable, persistence in the face of pain from injury, and compassion and generosity of spirit. A great example of compassion in the moment of competition came when Canadian sailor, Lawrence Lemieux was in position to medal and stopped to help capsized competitors who were injured. We will see records broken and participants happy just to be there.
All will get to face the stress of competing on a world stage where terrorism threats are a constant worry, Zika virus looms in the background, and personal health and safety may be compromised due to water sanitation or local crime.
How they respond will be related to a number of psychology of performance variables and factors such as their mental preparation and resilience (beliefs, visualization, problem solving), their training (finding that fine balance to peak in their events at this time versus burning out before), their social support network (how their coaches, teammates, friends, family, and loved ones add positive (support, encouragement, role modeling winning behavior and attitudes, affection)versus negative energy ( distractions and nonproductive criticism), how their nutrition holds up, and what is driving them to succeed.
The stories will be unfolding! I hope you get a chance to watch and learn.
Have a day filled with equanimity and extend loving kindness, compassion and sympathetic joy to everyone you meet today.
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
March 2016: Emotional Wellbeing
Welcome to the March issue of TotalWellbeing! This month we are bringing you resources to support your Emotional Wellbeing. As you nurture your Emotional Wellbeing remember that it is important to look at the bright side. The interplay between our perception and our emotions is a powerful connection that is important to be aware of. Put simply, depending on your outlook, your mind can perceive a situation in a positive light or a negative one, in turn making the situation either better or worse than it may actually be. It is important to remember that you have the power to influence your perception and to take steps to make sure you maintain a positive outlook as you navigate life’s day-to-day challenges. For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below.
We hope you saw our posts on MINESblog last month. If you missed it you’re sure to want to check out our examination of the leadership and culture of the Denver Broncos as they headed towards their Super Bowl 50 victory. Next our Leap day post may have explored what you can do with a little extra time on your hands, but don’t worry you don’t have to wait another 4 years to take advantage of it, seize the day now!
As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. See you next month!
To your total wellbeing,
The MINES Team
The Path: Emotional Wellbeing and Perspective
This month we’d like to talk about the relationship perspective has with our emotional wellbeing. It’s the old metaphor of looking at a glass as half full rather than half empty. Keeping your mind on the positive side of a situation can be a very powerful tool in your wellbeing repertoire. For instance if you try and perceive a typically anxiety-inducing situation as a challenge that you can overcome, rather than an insurmountable obstacle, you can begin to turn your anxiety into excitement as you strive to triumph over whatever is in your path. So if you need an emotional boost try changing your perspective, you can accomplish this by doing something that will put your mind into a different mode of thought. Try listening to some music you love, doing something creative like painting or writing, going outdoors for some fresh air, or try going somewhere new such as a new restaurant. You’ll find that a change in perspective may help you see things in a more positive light!
|Tips for you:
Taking care of your emotional health is as important as taking care of your physical body. If your emotional health is out of balance, you may experience high blood pressure, ulcers, chest pain, or a host of other physical symptoms. Check out 10 ways that you can boost your own emotional wellbeing.
The Connection: Get Involved
Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community. We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.
|Community Wellbeing Resources:
When the going gets tough even the tough can get emotional. Everyone needs support sometimes and there is nothing at all wrong with that. In fact it is very healthy to seek support when you need it. Friends and family are a great source for this type of support, however, sometimes you need to talk to people that can better relate with the situation. That’s where support groups come in. They can be a great way to connect with people that are going through the same thing you are. Check out Mental Health America’s database of support groups to find local support over a wide variety of topics.
|If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.|
|MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication. MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!|
Psychology of Performance #54: Peyton Manning, John Elway, Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos, “The Big Game” and Organizational Psychology Aspects
The “Big Game” is a great observational laboratory for studying two highly-successful organizations, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Professional sports teams are transparent about a number of organizational issues such as succession planning, management strategies and tactics, leadership issues, toxic or impaired employees, employee turnover, team cohesiveness, customer loyalty and influence, leadership, social influence and modeling, focus and preparation, culture and identity, reliance, and expertise. This blog/article will focus on the Denver Broncos.
Culture and Culture Change
Two years ago the Denver Broncos were defeated soundly by the Seattle Seahawks. Executive Vice President and General Manager, John Elway, made significant numbers of personnel changes from the coaching staff to the majority of players. This was done to change the attitude of the team. Elway said “The team is tougher. “kicking and screaming” through mental toughness (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29414693/john-elway-sees-tougher-broncos-this-year-through). The Broncos’ have the number one defense in the NFL going into the “Big Game”. They are clearly tougher than last year and performed at a higher level. In addition, the NFL does a better job than many businesses and organizations regarding performance. If you don’t perform, you are benched and will likely lose your job. Culture is defined as a shared set of assumptions as to how we do business (Schein). The Broncos have noticeably changed how they do business.
The executive team of the Broncos started out the year with an announcement that the owner, Mr. Pat Bowlen, had Alzheimer’s disease and would be stepping down from his executive role. This was a significant loss for the organization as he was well-known as a successful change management leader. The executive team re-organized roles and functions to continue the strategy and direction the organization was heading. The coaching staff was brand new with Gary Kubiak taking over as Head Coach and Wade Phillips coming in as the Defensive Coordinator. Together Kubiak and Phillips implemented a new offense and defense. This created a learning curve and inherent stress for those adapting to the new system. At the team captain level, Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, and David Bruton, Jr. were voted in by their peers. The team captains provide important peer leadership and are role models for the other players. They are also significantly involved in the team chemistry and cohesiveness. Then there are the informal leaders such as Von Miller, all-pro-defense, outside linebacker. He displays an enthusiasm and maturity that may have been underdeveloped earlier in his career when he received a four game suspension. This year he has consistently performed at an all-pro level, provided leadership, and found inspiration from DeMarcus Ware (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29454733/evolution-von-miller).
Peyton Manning had significant professional challenges this year. He is known for his preparation, performance (holds countless records), and winning record. This year he had a sub-par season due to factors such as injury to his foot. He was relieved and benched, watched from the sidelines while he healed, was made the back-up, yet came into win a game from behind and lead the team to the AFC championship and onward to the “Big Game” once again. He also had other adversity this season with allegations about HGH (human growth hormone). Through it all he displayed a professional demeanor in the media, contributed to the team during the down period, and came back to help the team win the championship. This type of leadership, role modeling, and performance contributed to the culture and attitude of the team. From an individual psychology of performance perspective, Manning exhibited an impressive degree of resilience as did a number of other injured players such as DeMarcus Ware, Chris Harris, Jr., and every other injured player this season who came back and performed admirably. What does it take to be resilient in your organization?
Focus and Preparation
Over and over in the media this season, various players were noted by their peers and coaches for their preparation and focus. The players were noted for staying late after practice to get more repetitions in, watching additional film, and rehabilitating their injuries so they could get back and contribute. If a starter became injured, the back-up player being ready to replace them and perform at a high level is imperative. Brock Osweiler was a good example of this on offense, coming in to replace Manning and lead the team to 5 wins and just 2 losses. He handled moving back into a second string role with professionalism and publically stated he wanted what the coach thought was best for the team.
Role of the Under Dog
The Broncos have reported feeling like they are not recognized as being as good as they are all season and have used that as motivation to prove everyone wrong. In the “Big Game” the odds-makers predict they will lose. What is interesting organizationally, and from a performance psychology perspective, is that the Broncos have set an NFL record for the most wins by 7 points or less (11 wins) (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29451542/broncos-underdogs-super-bowl-50). This relates to Elway’s comments earlier in this blog about being tougher. They have a depth of experience overcoming adversity that no other team in the NFL has this year. The Broncos have the experience and resilience that will allow them not to fold or give up if it is a close game.
The “Big Game” is replete with examples of personnel management, personnel changes, succession planning, and development of personnel. In any organization, bench strength is important and when it is not there or developed, organizations falter. In professional sports it becomes glaringly obvious when a team has not drafted well or developed their younger players when a star is injured and the team starts losing. In business, it is just as important, yet sometimes not as obvious. Brock Osweiler stepped in and did a great job for the Broncos until Manning was ready to come back. Coach Kubiak did a masterful job of handling the public relations and internal team dynamics during this time. He managed expectations clearly when he announced Manning would be the starter for the playoffs, so that everyone could focus and prepare for their role. Finally, pro sports also allow a window into the impact of toxic co-workers or impaired co-workers on the culture, focus, and preparation of the organization (think distractions like your number one draft choice at quarterback spending a significant time last summer in “rehab” and then having social media pictures posted of him “partying” and then being benched by the coach. That team by the way, not in the “Big Game”).
Lessons Learned for Your Organization
- Culture is important. What are your rules of engagement? How do you do business?
- Expertise of personnel. What is the level of your personnel’s expertise in your organization? Do you need to train or upgrade? Are you assessing regularly? Keeping your “Superstars” fresh?
- Leadership, vision, and implementation. From your executive team down, is there alignment on the vision? Does your leadership inspire, model the behavior you want, and do they execute the plan?
- Informal leaders. Who are your informal leaders? Do they exhibit the behavior and messages you want your staff to follow?
- Role models. Do you have staff that are role models for the younger workers? Do they model what you want?
- Focus and preparation. Is your staff focused and prepared to execute your business plan every day?
- Group identity vs perception of the public. Does your organization have its own identity? Are your customers in alignment with the identity and support it?
- Resilience of team members. Are your leaders and staff members resilient? Do they bounce back from adversity in their professional or personal life? If not, do you have resources to help them bounce back such as employee assistance programs? If you have helped them and they are still under-performing can you help them “find their bliss elsewhere.”
To your Wellbeing,
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
Daniel C. Kimilinger, Ph.D., MHA, SPHR, Human Resources and Organizational Psychology Leader
Schien, E. H. (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership (2nd Edition).
How long does it take you to get into see your physician when you have an illness such as a sore throat, the flu, when your child has an ear ache, or similar type of medical problem? How many times have you wished you could talk to a doctor just to get an informed opinion about drug side effects, or how to manage an injury? How much time away from work do these appointments cost you? If you go after hours to urgent care or emergency care when a simple call would have allowed you to manage a problem, what did it cost you in time and money?
This is a true story. A friend of mine has a two year old with a history of earaches. Her child had an ear ache at two in the morning. She called her pediatrician and asked him to write a prescription for the child. He had prescribed for this child, for this problem before. He refused to do it over the phone and she had to go to an emergency room to get the prescription. She had a high deductible and $1,400 later she had her prescription. She could have saved this money completely, plus the stress of taking a two year old out in the middle of the night, if she had the CADR+ services. If you were her employer, how productive do you think she was the next day with the level of sleep deprivation she incurred? What did it cost you as an employer to have her distracted by the financial stress and fatigue?
MINES is committed to early access to care whether it is for behavioral health or medical issues. To that end, MINES has partnered with Call A Doctor Plus (CADR+, powered by Teledoc) to provide 24/7 access to physician care for non-emergency medical advice and care with no co-pay. The reason MINES is offering this is to reduce the stress of trying to access care in most medical systems, help individual employees and their families manage the high deductibles that are ubiquitous in most employer or exchange plans, and to get people on the path to health as early as possible to reduce the overall costs to their employers. MINES’ CADR+ program also has a wellness card powered by Welldyne that gives discounts on dental, vision, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies. Furthermore, MINES’ product can also offer free legal/financial consults for a half-hour plus a discount with the attorney or financial professional if further services are needed.
Telemedicine is an important innovation in healthcare delivery on both the behavioral and medical sides, and currently all but two states allow it.
How does CADR+ fit in with your organization’s productivity and performance strategy? CADR+ can be purchased by the employer for all employees, can be offered as a voluntary benefit, or purchased individually. All enrollees in the CADR+ program can also cover up to 5 additional family members with unlimited consultations a year. Please contact us if you would to improve your organization’s performance related to managing medical issues before they get out of hand.
Remember! Allow yourself to be calm, centered, and serene as you extend kindness to everyone you meet today.
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
On January 1st, MINES celebrated it’s 34th anniversary of ‘saving lives and influencing the course of human events!’ To our staff, thank you for doing your part so professionally and with compassion to serve our clients. Thank you to those of you who support us, who are our friends and colleagues. MINES would not be able to do what it does without all of you. I am deeply grateful for each of you and our relationship!
Here’s to the next 34 years!