Live well to work well
Melanie Lawson gave a very personal account to Brighton’s Chamber breakfast about how suffering from pre- and post-natal depression helped her to understand the benefit of Omega Three oil. Melanie’s battle with depression has made her realise: “You can’t do well at anything if you’re not mentally well.”
Melanie launched BareBiology and found that to run a business, you have to be physically and mentally strong. She said an athlete looks after themselves, reduces their intake of alcohol and watches what they eat. Having taken up running and even hired an Olympian coach, Melanie has found that movement can really help mental health. She said work-related stress accounts for a large proportion of staff absence because it can affect the immune system and in chronic cases, can even cause cancer.
Google has conducted research into 180 of its teams to find out why some perform better than others. Melanie said that Google identified psychological safety as the most important team dynamic. Psychological safety encourages vulnerability and openness. Melanie said when she asks her team how they are, she expects them to be open and tell the truth. She said: “Most people want to help and they feel better when they help.” Google found that teams characterised by psychological safety were more collaborative, took bigger risks and took on more work.
Her challenge is for business leaders to focus on personal development and invite their teams to do the same. Outdoor physical activity is very important, she said, and contrasted this with a drinking culture where reaching for the alcohol on a Friday evening was a dangerous norm. She said hungover, depressed employees are not the way forward for a successful business but there is an alternative approach.
Thanks to Roz Scott for writing this blog