Fresh Leaf Forever

Unlocking Performance Potential: Mental Health in Business

October 10, 2023 Vai Kumar interviews Dr.Jarrod Spencer Season 3 Episode 10
Unlocking Performance Potential: Mental Health in Business
Fresh Leaf Forever
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Fresh Leaf Forever
Unlocking Performance Potential: Mental Health in Business
Oct 10, 2023 Season 3 Episode 10
Vai Kumar interviews Dr.Jarrod Spencer

Ever wondered how  business leaders or athletes stay at the top of their game? It's not just physical prowess or business acumen. It's the unseen power of mental health. We have with us Dr. Jarrod Spencer, a clinical psychologist specializing in fostering emotional health in high performers.

We explore the 'clear mind, better performance' mantra that Dr. Spencer swears by(his famous book "Mind of the Athlete"), emphasizing the crucial role of mental health in business and athletics.
He walks us through the fear of the unknown and provides insights on building resilience and confidence to positively influence our everyday situations.

The conversation takes us to the heart and head knowledge that can boost resilience, while underlining the role of good sleep in enhancing performance.

We discuss the quintessential duo of empathy and resilience in steering through uncertain times. Dr. Spencer underscores the need for a human touch in businesses, a warm connect with employees, customers that goes beyond transactional relationships. He dissects the complexities of today's work culture, including the implications of global time zone differences and the immediate world of technology.

We learn how empathetic leadership can promote mental health, creating a thriving environment for employees to grow personally and professionally. So tune in to this re-purposed episode from Season 2 (full episode now on YouTube as well !) and come away with a better understanding of the extraordinary significance of mental health in the fast-paced world of business.

Send us a Text Message.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how  business leaders or athletes stay at the top of their game? It's not just physical prowess or business acumen. It's the unseen power of mental health. We have with us Dr. Jarrod Spencer, a clinical psychologist specializing in fostering emotional health in high performers.

We explore the 'clear mind, better performance' mantra that Dr. Spencer swears by(his famous book "Mind of the Athlete"), emphasizing the crucial role of mental health in business and athletics.
He walks us through the fear of the unknown and provides insights on building resilience and confidence to positively influence our everyday situations.

The conversation takes us to the heart and head knowledge that can boost resilience, while underlining the role of good sleep in enhancing performance.

We discuss the quintessential duo of empathy and resilience in steering through uncertain times. Dr. Spencer underscores the need for a human touch in businesses, a warm connect with employees, customers that goes beyond transactional relationships. He dissects the complexities of today's work culture, including the implications of global time zone differences and the immediate world of technology.

We learn how empathetic leadership can promote mental health, creating a thriving environment for employees to grow personally and professionally. So tune in to this re-purposed episode from Season 2 (full episode now on YouTube as well !) and come away with a better understanding of the extraordinary significance of mental health in the fast-paced world of business.

Send us a Text Message.

Buzzsprout Get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Instacart Grocery delivery
Free delivery on your first order over $35.

Enjoy PIOR Living products
Enjoy PIOR Living products at a 20% discount and free shipping on orders over $75 Code FLF20

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Videos available on YouTube channel.
Follow host Vai on socials - Instagram , YouTube, LinkedIn for thought leadership content.
Head to my website for enlightening blogs & service offerings.
This podcast comes to you from Listen Ponder Change LLC, founded by Vai Kumar.
Every support the show contribution is much appreciated !!
Subscribe https://www.buzzsprout.com/1436179/support and help us amplify our voice and reach!

Vai Kumar:

Welcome to Freshleaf Forever, a podcast that gives you fascinating insights week after week. Here's your host, Vaikumar. This is another episode of Podcast Freshleaf Forever. Today I have the honor of interviewing Dr Jarrod Spencer. He is very passionate about improving the emotional health of athletes and business leaders. Dr Spencer is a clinical psychologist who helps clients get unstuck and become the best version of themselves so they can thrive in their business or athletic pursuit. Hey, Dr Spencer, how are you today? Welcome to the podcast.

Jarrod Spencer:

Hi doing so well. Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be with you today.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, I just thought it's so important in this present day context to talk about well-being of people in business and the employees as well. Right, and I know you're an expert doing both the business side and the athletic side, but I guess peak performance, when it comes to the present day context, I think mental health plays a great role in that. So what do you think are the crucial factors impacting businesses today?

Jarrod Spencer:

As you alluded to there, it's really mental health. We have got to do more to equip our employees in the business world with the skills, the mental tools in their mental toolbox to manage the anxiety and pressure and stress and insomnia and challenges that we have today. We've got to equip them to deal with the emotional side of life.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, you said anxiety there. Let me ask you how much is fear of the unknown playing into people's lives?

Jarrod Spencer:

Well for sure.

Jarrod Spencer:

Yeah, I define anxiety as the fear of the unknown.

Jarrod Spencer:

Right, that's an oversimplification, but what we are saying is that when our thoughts go a little too far into the future, we can feel worried or frustrated, or maybe even overly concerned or essentially anxious. And so anxiety is when your mind goes a little too far forward. It could often be when your mind goes a little, your thoughts go a little bit too far too long in the past, and so right now, we live in a time and place in history where we just don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. That's been one of the major aspects of the pandemic. Now I don't see that as all bad, and the reason I say that is because I think we were living too fast, too far in the future, and so, by bringing life back to the here and the now, let's just focus on today, let's just focus on this week, this weekend, and then we'll see what next week or next month brings. I think there's some degree of benefit for that. Having said that, anxiety is at an all time high right now, and we've never seen it quite like it.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, and how significant then is resiliency and confidence in the context of the current situation. Is that something, if we give enough impetus to, that can possibly bring about a shift?

Jarrod Spencer:

Adversity breeds resiliency and for those individuals that have gone through some type of adversity in their life, because that they actually have skill set. But there are a lot of people whose lives have been pretty good and they didn't really have that same set of tools in their mental toolbox to manage the adversity. They don't have the same type of emotional resiliency and, quite frankly, they're struggling. They're suffering. Now, that being said, even those most resilient people out there, there is a limit for resiliency and people do experience that mental fatigue and, consequently, everybody needs a break. So, yes, resiliency is one of those hallmark characteristics that has been really vital, but it's limited.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, I know, I mean, there's only so much that one can do, right Like, we all are not super human, we are just human Right.

Jarrod Spencer:

I guess, so true, yeah, so true.

Vai Kumar:

So how best can one develop these then? I mean, what is it that one can cultivate and how is it that experts like you can help, say, individuals or businesses and their employees thrive?

Jarrod Spencer:

Sure. So there's literally two paths the outside in head knowledge, and then the inside out, kind of like heart knowledge. So when somebody works one on one with an individual and they look within and they talk about their own feelings and their experiences and the complex interpersonal dynamics, we really learn more about thyself and therefore we can heal oneself and develop the necessary skills to manage life a little bit better. Oh, wow, wow, wow. It's amazing. One half the other half is the outside, in really head knowledge. As I record this with you, I'm standing in front of a bunch of books here and those books are really like resources that if an individual were to develop resiliency by studying and reading and learning and watching podcasts and listening to all kinds of speakers out there, there's so many things that they could do to really equip themselves with knowledge and that's another way to develop resiliency.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, and your signature message clear a mind, better performance, right. So what strength psychology methods do you typically give organizations or its employees to become better?

Jarrod Spencer:

Sure, when it comes to strength, psychology, techniques to have a clear mind, it really all comes down to one main thing, and that really, quite frankly, is sleep. Sleep is the number one factor in performance, and the better we're sleeping, the mind usually heals itself. When we're sleeping, it clears itself out. The problem is, you know, most people are sleeping about six hours a day. They're logging about six hours of screen time, maybe more, and so in the last 10 years we've seen this huge shift from like. A lot of people around the world are just getting more screen time than they are hours of sleep and they're on their phone, social media, and therein lies this massive self-adiction problem that's driving the sleep epidemic, which is really impacting mental health. So when we talk about how to have a clear mind, better performance, the very first place I start with companies, corporations, with athletes is let's take a deep dive on sleep.

Vai Kumar:

I mean it's interesting. You said insomnia earlier and then you also talked about the need for better sleep makes me again want to ask is it a matter of you and me taking to say a forum like LinkedIn or somewhere and bringing this up for it to? You know? Change for the better? Because the work culture overall seems to be completely immersed, especially in intergeographic companies, you know, companies that operate globally, people operating in different time zones. They are not eating right, they are not sleeping well. So how do we think about this cultural shift? Because when it's dinner time somewhere, people are still on calls because the demands of work and their situation, you know, calls for it, right. So how do we bring about this change, dr Spencer?

Jarrod Spencer:

You're asking a question that I don't have the answer to. I mean, the truth is like this is really really complicated and really hard. And you're absolutely right. As we become, like you know, more united around the world and time zones are different, and our circadian rhythm, or our natural rhythm that each person's body has with the environment that's around them, that's that's shifting, and so what we know is that a lot of what's happening isn't really healthy for us, it's not really good for our overall health and well being, and so how do we create boundaries around technology when we all live in a world of immediacy? We want it now, and if you don't want to provide it, that's fine, we'll just get somebody else, and so that's. That is a unanswerable question at this point in time. My mind's not smart enough to answer that or solve that, but I do think that we have to find a way to make it a little bit better for each individual so that we can have greater mental health.

Vai Kumar:

And it's certainly playing into someone's mental well being, correct? I guess the need for the hour is that empathetic leaders what is it? You know? How do they build confidence and trust in employees and how can we foster mental health? Because I think somewhere there needs to be some forum that can bring this message out loud and clear, correct?

Jarrod Spencer:

For sure.

Vai Kumar:

Just like you and me writing on LinkedIn creating awareness, or is it you and me sitting on this podcast or, in conjunction to that, bringing it up in other forums? Or is it a matter of leaders being more empathetic?

Jarrod Spencer:

Yeah, great question, and I think the truth is, when it comes to business, follow the money, and a lot of times company leaders will give lip service to the importance of mental health, for example, in their organization. But if you really stop and think about it like, how many webinars are they hosting for their employees to watch? What type of speakers are they bringing in? What books are they having them read? What one-on-one resources are they providing? And the harsh reality is the answer a lot of times is that yeah, it's a check the box item, but we're not really going below the surface, we're not really going deep on this topic. That's where the cultural shift is beginning, but oftentimes there's not the funding behind it to make it meet the need of the people today.

Vai Kumar:

Mm-hmm. What other tools then can help employees? I mean, I guess one is companies themselves and leaders themselves have to bring about a cultural shift. But if not that until such time that can happen, then is it a matter of employees just focusing on their own health to the extent that they can by doing, say, some yoga visualization. What other tools would you give someone?

Jarrod Spencer:

I guess somebody the power of empathy. Empathy is often underutilized but yet it's a very, very important tool for a leader. When you see somebody whose sales numbers have maybe dropped over the last few months or last few quarters and you go in and you say to that person what's wrong with you? Your sales numbers are down, get them up or we're going to have to go a different direction, that doesn't leave a person feeling really good about the company. But if somebody says, hey, your sales numbers are down, are you okay? Can I help in any way? You want to go for a walk and talk about it a little bit? That's empathy, and empathy is a leadership skill that we need now more than ever within businesses, not just top down but person to person, to help each other understand. If we can be a little empathic with each other, that empathy can go an incredibly long way towards making a person feel heard, validated, encouraged, supported and even productive.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, so again, it's an intertwining and that helps build trust, helps build confidence and probably that can in turn relate to someone becoming more resilient, correct?

Jarrod Spencer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, what about any other tools that you would say that companies can empower their employees with, and what, typically, would you do when you go help someone out, say, when companies call you? Typically, what is the fact that you, dr Spencer, are able to impart?

Jarrod Spencer:

Yeah, for example, one company that I work with, nearly every month we do a webinar and they can pick the topic. I've got like 30 available on my website and sometimes we even create topics for them. So, for example, last month I did a webinar on change and how we can deal with change a little more effectively. So here are 10 psychological skills that can help a company deal with change right. So change management because the world's changing so fast is an important concept, and so if we could instill the skill of managing change. Or, for example, how do we shift out of negative thinking when we're really feeling negative, pessimistic and down, we're a little hard on ourselves, how do we actually get back to a more positive mindset, a more optimistic mindset? Those are literally skills in the sports world that I teach. So very important for an athlete to be able to say, hey, we're getting beat, but we need to rebound and play better. How do they do that? And so explaining, for example, with that there are 15 negative, there are 15 thinking patterns that we all tend to use. This is kind of classic cognitive psychology, but one of those 15 patterns tends to be the one that you or I or anybody else would use the most when we particularly get stressed. So mine's particularly filtering.

Jarrod Spencer:

Others might be catastrophized in a polarized thinking. But you see, you can't shift out of negative thinking if you don't know what pattern you're stuck in. But if I gave somebody that handout and said, hey, look at this handout, look at these 15, and you identify which it is for you, then when you're in reward, fallacy or blaming, you know how to get out of the negative thinking because you actually know the pattern and there's a word to describe that pattern that you're stuck in. And so that's just one small technique. That's like one of seven of how to shift from negative positive thinking. But the idea is, if we can give resources and knowledge and education on gems like that, then people feel like, okay, now I know a pathway out of the way that I'm feeling right now.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, yeah, I guess empowering is the need of the hour. And what about any other programs or your contact info that you would like to share for the benefit of listeners here?

Jarrod Spencer:

Sure, yeah, you can reach out to me. Jarrod Spencer, j-a-r-r-o-d. Spencercom and, of course, on social media Instagram, twitter, facebook, love to have people reach out to me and then a lot of times, people will say, well, we're going to get more content. Specifically, you know, on Amazon you can buy my book Mind of the Athlete Clear Mind, better Performance. Even though it's written for athletes, it relates to everybody.

Vai Kumar:

Thank you so much for being on the show, and I think we couldn't have emphasized more about resiliency and empathy. I guess those are my main takeaways from today's conversation, and I hope every listener here finds that more and more inspiring. And thank you so much once again for taking time to talk to us here today.

Jarrod Spencer:

My pleasure, Vai. I wish you and everyone the best.

Vai Kumar:

Thank you, thank you so much. Thank you, listeners, as always, follow the podcast, rate the podcast, leave a review from your podcast app of choice and follow me on Instagram @vaipkumar for all things digital media and lifestyle. I'll see you back again with another interesting guest and another interesting topic. Until then, it's Vai saying so long.

Mental Health in Business
Resiliency and Empathy