132. My takeaways from our exclusive interview with Gary Bloom, an Elite Sports Psychotherapist and author of “Keeping Your Head in the Game” on 9th March 2021

Every month we meet a top-drawer author and put them through their paces. This month it was the turn of Gary Bloom, an elite sports psychotherapist who works extensively with the business community (as well as high profile sportsmen).

These are my takeaways from our one hour session with Gary.

But the real value add was the 40-minute session smaller round table discussion which followed – we were a group of 8. This is where the deep insights get shared which can be directly related to your and my lives.

So, if you are serious about being empathetic (with yourself as well as others) then the book is well worth a read. Or if you are really short of time these nuggets might help:

  • Establish psychological safety
    • the real kicker is when staff are not comfortable admitting they need help – something is wrong
    • And even large corporates (who should be getting this right) are often no better than football clubs
  • Create clear boundaries, end points
    • Rest your body, or your body will rest you
  • Improve the quality of relationships in your organisation
    • Don’t chop down the tree to harvest the apples
  • Get buy-in from the top
  • Happier players play better – in sport and in life
    • Check up on people – ask the hard questions (and mean it)
    • Have open conversations
    • How are you? How are you?
  • We’re experiencing the psychological effects of a world war
    • Young employees may be affected
    • Isolation is incredibly challenging
  • Asking for help takes Courage, Bravery and Willingness
    • 1 in 7 approached were open to talking with Gary on his radio show
    • Jurgen Klopp is an example
    • We need to show vulnerability ourselves as leaders
    • It shows strength, not weakness
    • You need to be brave to have a brave conversation
  • We need to help people work things out for themselves
    • Giving advice infantilises
    • Only they have the context and the answers
  • Mental Health is seen as a swearword (well, 2 actually!)
    • It is not binary
    • We are not either ill or fit
    • We are somewhere on the scale
  • Men don’t cry
    • Yet suicide is the biggest killer of 25-50 year old men
    • Until we get this sorted things will not change
  • What we do vs. who we are – we all too often see ourselves as a function of our day job
  • Burnout damages the brain
  • Be kinder, gentler, more empathetic
  • Rule of 3: See your GP if you have felt angry/frustrated/depressed for 3 times in the last week and for the last 3 weeks
  • Psychotherapists work with:
    • The front end – the here and now
    • The back end – history, childhood – the why
  • Mindsets
    • Threat – looking back at the rivals on the running track behind you
    • Challenger – focusing on the rival ahead of you 
  • Returning from WFH will be a challenge for some staff – do not underestimate it
  • Find a ‘Supervisor” if you are counselling people
    • not to be judged on what you got wrong
    • to get another, external perspective – have you thought of…?
  • Relationships, relationships, relationships
    • Your organisation is only as good as the relationships inside it
    • It powers success

Italics = Gary’s quotes

Do let me know if you are interested in receiving details of our future Meet the Authors events – these are the ones coming up:

Meet Daniel Susskind with Mark Nicholls’ guests for A WORLD WITHOUT WORK

Tue, Apr13, 2021, 10:00AM

Meet Rebecca Henderson & Mark Nicholls’ guests for REIMAGINING CAPITALISM

Tue, May 4, 2021, 3:00PM

Meet Laurence Alison & Mark Nicholls’ guests for RAPPORT

Tue, June 8, 2021, 10:00AM

Posted in Business Development.