Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 60: The Wellbeing Protocol with Dr. Georgi Toma

August 31, 2021 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 1 Episode 60
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 60: The Wellbeing Protocol with Dr. Georgi Toma
Chapters
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 60: The Wellbeing Protocol with Dr. Georgi Toma
Aug 31, 2021 Season 1 Episode 60
Kyle Roed, The HR Guy

Dr. Georgi Toma is passionate about helping organisations look after their people.  Her mission is to share simple yet powerful tools to improve people’s mental health, resilience and enjoyment of life. She is the creator of the Wellbeing Protocol, a mental health protocol showed to significantly reduce stress and burnout and improve wellbeing. She has over 10 years of experience in the area of wellbeing as researcher, coach and practitioner.


Links:

Connect with Georgi Toma on LinkedIn

Find out more about the Wellbeing Protocol here: https://www.heartbrainworks.org/

Get a taste of the Wellbeing Protocol in the short video series Stress No More, free of charge: https://www.heartbrainworks.org/stressnomore

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.


We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  




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Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Georgi Toma is passionate about helping organisations look after their people.  Her mission is to share simple yet powerful tools to improve people’s mental health, resilience and enjoyment of life. She is the creator of the Wellbeing Protocol, a mental health protocol showed to significantly reduce stress and burnout and improve wellbeing. She has over 10 years of experience in the area of wellbeing as researcher, coach and practitioner.


Links:

Connect with Georgi Toma on LinkedIn

Find out more about the Wellbeing Protocol here: https://www.heartbrainworks.org/

Get a taste of the Wellbeing Protocol in the short video series Stress No More, free of charge: https://www.heartbrainworks.org/stressnomore

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.


We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

www.rebelhumanresources.com
https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  




Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

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 (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Georgi Toma:

We always have the power, really. And I think this is really important. We can change the patterns that don't serve us. And the first step is to become aware of what it is that we are that is now influencing the way we perceive reality. This is the rebel HR podcast,

Kyle Roed:

the podcast where we talk to human resources, innovators, about innovation in the world of HR. If you're a people leader, or you're looking for a new way to think about how to help others be successful. This is the podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, Rebel HR listeners, I'm extremely excited for the conversation. Today we are going to be talking about well being in the workplace with Dr. Georgie Toma. Georgie is passionate about helping organizations look after their people. Her mission is to share simple yet powerful tools to improve people's mental health. She is the creator of the well being protocol, a mental health protocol showed to significantly reduce stress and burnout and improve well being Welcome to the show. Thank you, Carl is a pleasure to be here. We are extremely excited to have you and we were talking just before I hit record, you win the award for the guests. That is the farthest away from me. Yeah. Coming coming to us from New Zealand. Yes. All the way from Auckland, New Zealand, where it's winter and morning. It is winter and morning. It is summer and afternoon here. And yeah, I think given how hot it's been, I would trade you at this point. Although maybe not. I don't know how. Well, really excited to have you here today. And I think this is one of those topics that when I was reading your background and doing some research, you know, prior to this interview, it's just one of those topics that just spoke to me as an HR professional, and that is well being and wellness. And so why don't we start off with just a little bit of an overview of some of your work. And really, you know, what prompted you to start to focus on this work?

Georgi Toma:

Yeah, so my work, what prompted me was, I guess my own personal encounter with unwellness with being burnt out. So I experienced quite severe burnout from 2013 to 2017. I was at the time working as a business development manager. It was a new role, I felt a lot of pressure to perform. At that time, I was living in Australia. So I wanted to be sponsored for permanent residency. So I felt like my KPIs were related to that. I was also doing my first PhD. So working crazy hours, no weekends. And so yeah, basically, in 2017, I hit rock bottom. And it was, it was a gift really, because it made me understand several important things about what is the priority in life? And also, what do I want to do with my life. And so that started really, I basically, for me, burnout really led to depression. And I think it's important to talk about that with people and understand that because for example, in 2017, we didn't even use the word burnout, it wasn't a thing. It was only in 2019 in May 2019, that the World Health Organization recognized burnout as an occupational hazard. And they define it as chronic workplace stress and successfully managed. So that's 2019 is pretty recent, right? And so we it's important to understand that we can feel stress and stress is not a bad thing in itself. What is unhelpful is when you experience chronic stress, over a long period of time, that has the potential to turn into burnout. And if you experience burnout over a period of time, that has the potential to become depression. And for me that depression went on to become suicidal depression. So very serious, a very serious point in my life. And I guess it's the gift of this kind of rock bottom is that you really have to make a choice, right? And so for me that choice was to create a program, I give myself 90 days, no, you got to change this and it all or change at all. So you got to create a program. So I give myself 90 days, I did four things. I did mindfulness meditation, I did mindset work, and stress reduction. I started to research different stress reduction strategies. I tried different types of therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, and I found what worked, what didn't work. And so that was the beginning of what I now call the well being protocol. And really the beginning of me aligning myself my purpose, like I quit that job, I left Australia, and I came here to New Zealand, where I am now to really start this company and also to do research on the well being protocol. And I am super happy to report that so we did research last year, right in the middle of the pandemic outbreak, we didn't know it was gonna happen, right? We set up the study, we got teachers, and we chose teachers, because teachers are, by definition burnt out. So for them, teachers, and nurses, for example, are occupations that are at high risk of burnout. So we wanted to go in, you know, and really measure if there's an impact in this kind of category. Right? So we got the group, we set everything COVID hid, so we switched everything online. And we measured their stress burnout, and well being levels before the program after immediately after, and three months later. And so we got the data. And what it shows is a 50% reduction in stress, 40% reduction in burnout, and 45% improvement in well being. And the effect continued at three months follow up. So we've continued when we measure them three months later. And so that's pretty significant, right? I mean, to do that, right in the middle of a global pandemic outbreak. So we're now writing up the results and like reading up the articles for publication. And yeah, so that's a bit of the story, right? It came from personal experience, and then it blended in with my research, which has also always been part of, yeah, part of my life part of my occupation.

Kyle Roed:

Wow, what an inspirational story and hats off to you for for taking control, and, and turning, I can only assume a very dark time for you into something that you describe as your purpose. And something that sounds like it's been very positive for the people that you've helped. So congratulations for that.

Georgi Toma:

Yeah. Yeah. And it's my purpose. Because, you know, I see many people that struggle like me, you know, at that time, I felt alone. And the failure, you know, I thought there was something wrong with me that I couldn't manage this, you know, other people can do it. But, you know, I didn't have a language for what I was experiencing, and I didn't have the awareness. So I think it's really important to have this conversations, because in my work, I meet so many people that struggle in similar ways. And it doesn't have to be that way. There is a simple, there are simple and effective tools. Every single tool that I included in the well being protocol is something that can be implemented by someone who has a full time job and who has a family. So that's really significant. Because we can't most of us, we can't go on a retreat for a year to recover, you know, we can't afford that. Or we can't you know, most of the teachers that I work with, for example, had young kids. So there's no disconnection.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, my wife would agree with that. And yeah, we have three young kids. So nice. Yeah, I feel that I feel that Yeah, I can't believe that it wasn't until 2019, that burnout was officially recognized by the World Health Organization. Wow. So that's something I want to want to touch on a little bit. And I think that it's, you know, it's something that's just now starting to come to the forefront as, as being maybe a little bit less stigmatized, but it's that that stigma of mental health being something to be ashamed of, or something that's a, you know, a personal problem, as opposed to something that's, you know, environmental or has something to do with, you know, literal physical brain chemistry. So, as you've done some of your work, and you're working through this, how have you addressed that with individuals who may be struggling but but are fighting against that stigma, either internally or externally?

Georgi Toma:

on it? That is really such a good point, Kyle, because I'm gonna pick up on on several things of what you said. So I think definitely there is this stigma around mental health and seeking help. I see improvements over the years because more and more people speak about it, but I think there's more work needed to be done in this space. So I can tell you from my personal experience, and and I can relate some of the experiences of the people I've worked with. So from my experience, I sought help only when the situation was really critical. So the organization I was working for, at that time, offered an employer system program and they offered six counseling sessions that were Free. So I went to two counseling sessions. But I felt quiet. I felt the tools given were not useful to change the thought patterns that were causing my suffering certain thought patterns that were on repeat mode that also kind of engendered behavioral patterns. Right? So the tools given were not effective, it felt good to tell someone, but that was about it. So I really didn't find that help. And for me, that was a gift, because then I had to help myself, right, there was no other way. But what I see in my clients is that, I think there are several barriers. One is the idea of talking to a stranger about your personal problems. And so a lot of people are not comfortable doing that. The second one is independent, how the EAP program is set up, but usually it involves you go into someone's office. So there's stuff around, how do I schedule that in my How do I fit that in my schedule, right, I have to drive somewhere, you know, there's that idea of time. And then I guess there's also for some employees, particularly those who are in work environments, that where they don't feel safe, they are actually reluctant to seek that help, because they think they might lead might have an implication on their employment. And I really love what you said, Kyle, about the fact that, you know, we still think it's a personal problem, like there's something wrong with me, as opposed to recognizing that there are certain elements of the environment we operate in, that are conducive, or not to burnout. And so it is important to understand both as an employee as an end as an employer, that it's really significant to look at the kind of environment you create for your employees, either consciously or unconsciously, because I see a lot of, for example, employers that aren't really aware of the consequences of certain behaviors they engage in. Absolutely.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. And I think, you know, the other challenge that we see in the workplace is it's kind of like it's out of out of sight, out of mind. Right, you know, until somebody quits, and you're like, you know, why are you quitting, and you find out in an exit interview, they are suffering, and they're working so many hours, and they're so overwhelmed. And they, you know, at that point, it's, it's too late. Right, by the time you're doing an exit interview, it is too late. You have failed them, or as one of my past guests said, You broke them, which it's it is the reality of the situation sometimes. So what have you seen HR professionals or organizations do to raise that to the surface before it's too late? Are there steps that we can take? Or is that part of the kind of the protocol to to help make the environment more more conducive to wellbeing?

Georgi Toma:

Yeah, yeah. So you absolutely have a point and that we've seen with, with many clients that it's left too late. And it's really the point where you're starting to lose a lot of employees. And you're like, Okay, okay, I got to do something, I got to do something. But that is the crisis, right. And so, the idea, the key word, I believe, is prevention. So it just wanted to say something about before. So I mentioned the fact that EAP, in some ways is not effective, I want to be clear about the fact that I believe EAP programs, so employee assistance programs are crucial, and they should stay there. But they are very useful in times of crisis, right? But crisis is a little bit too late. So there's has to be something that organizations do as prevention. So in my advice of what we do with organization is we go in, and we use psychological assessment tools to measure stress, wellbeing, and burnout. So we give right off the bat a view of where they are at in terms of their employees, of course, anonymous, and of course, it's group group report. Right? So whatever way an HR person does this, I think it is really important to get the real pulse of an organization. And so my recommendations are to use anonymous surveys, people actually do want to speak, but use anonymous surveys, use open ended questions that can take a lot of time to go through but it's really worthwhile. And use an instrument that is valid, that can give you valid data in terms of where your people are at in terms of stress and burnout. And well being I would say that because for example, the tool that we use, always just a standard instrument in psychology is the work wellbeing scale. And so for example, people that score low or well being They are at severe risk of depression. So you can bet those employees are already depressed. So you need to understand how many how much of your workforce is in that position. So that's point one, right, the real pulse of the organization. The other thing that I would recommend doing is just focus groups. Because one of the most important steps is really to feel to make people feel they are listened to, you want to become their trusted advisor, as an HR person, you know, you want people to trust you that you actually mean, well, then you want to do something about it. So focus groups, it's really a beautiful way to make people heard, then, based on that data that you collected through the surveys, and through the focus groups, you can put together a business case. And that's really, I see these times these challenging times, we're going through as offering an opportunity for HR people, you know, a gift, it's an opportunity to step up, you know, to be an advocate of the people to, you know, if you believe in well being if you believe it's not right, to work people into the ground, then now it's your time to speak up, because the leadership is more likely to listen, because they're seeing the impact on revenue. Right? So now is the time to build that business case. Right? And say, Okay, look, this is how many of our people are suffering, that's the stress level. This is what we heard from what the people are telling us, we need to do something before we lose them. And so there's a lot of research out there and reports that show the impact on companies. So for example, the one that comes to mind, that's more research. The Economic Forum here in New Zealand looked at what's the impact of investing in well being so they did the math. And so in New Zealand, for example, for every $1 invested in wellbeing, the company gets back 12. In the US, I believe it's one for $1 invested in well being you get five back, and how do they calculate that? It's in terms of productivity, right? Because we have a number of days lost productivity, people that take time off, right? So it's calculated something like, for example, poor mental health and burnout affect a person's productivity and decision making ability for up to 13 weeks a year? That's like three months a year. Wow, pretty significant, right? So those kinds of numbers can be used to make a compelling business case for the organization to a change the way the culture operates, if that is needed, and to invest in prevention, how can we prevent and there's a whole ways in which you can do that. And it starts first and foremost with workload. But it also, and this is where I guess mic work comes in. There are also very, very simple and effective techniques that are necessary for people in order to ensure they don't create unnecessary suffering for themselves. So what do I mean about that this is from my own personal experience, but also from the many, many people I've worked with. When we allow our brain to function on automatic pilot, when we are unaware of certain thought patterns and behavioral patterns we engage in, what happens is that naturally, our brain tends to veer towards the negative. And that's great, because so the main function of our brain is it's actually to keep us alive and healthy enough for reproduction. So for that reason, it will always, at all times of the day and night scan the environment for potential threats. So there is a part of your brain that is always on. So that means your brain will always pay more attention to what it considers to be a threat. For example, it's 3am in the morning, and you wake up in bed, like with a cold sweat thinking about that client that just wanted something and you have to deliver on that commitment. You know, that stress is caused out of fear. And it's a very basic fear is the fear of being rejected. From a group, right you have your organization is your group, your safety net, you have this client that makes a demand, and you feel that if you don't deliver, there will be consequences. Right fascinating.

Kyle Roed:

I'm loving this. This is You know, and it makes perfect sense. Because when you were in the wilderness and could potentially be eaten by a bear, if you got separated from a group, you know, it made sense to have that. But yeah, you know, there's not too many bears in my office building. At least we haven't seen one lately. So you know, but that is a great example that you know, it is, it's not anybody's fault to tower. It's just how we're wired. Right? Yes. So is that how is that little kind of that nugget of fear? And that tendency? Is it like a snowball? Does it just start to get bigger and bigger? And eventually it gets to a point where it's, it's unsustainable, is that really yeah, we're so stress,

Georgi Toma:

every kind of stress is at the core, a fear response. So it's not good or bad is simply a physiological response. And this response is created, or it is a response to what the brain perceives. So here is the key, the perception is the key, right? The key to our freedom, because while this is our biology, it doesn't have to be our destiny. Right? But what we need to understand is that this one, if you feel stressed, don't feel bad about it. It's a natural biological response. Right? Your brain perceived something as a trigger of fear, and it's trying to help you, right, your brain and body are trying to help you. Sometimes they're mis directed, right? And actually, a lot of times they are. And so the way for us to change that is through neural training. This is what we use in the problem. What is neuro training? That sounds fancy, but it's actually very simple. The first step is to become aware of what are your habitual fear triggers, because each and all of us have them, most humans share them. But they can be very specific to an individual based on for example, our childhood experiences, right. So I'll just give an example. This is something quite common. You know, when you meet a perfectionist, I bet you that in that person's childhood, there was an instance when they felt the love and security they receive from their parents depends on their performance. And I give you a simple example. Let's say you're a kid, and you have a sister or a brother, and your parents are trying to motivate you to get good grades by saying, Oh, look at your sister, she does so much better than you Come on. Why can't you do you know, as well as? And you know, it sounds innocuous, right? It sounds like, okay, but what happens over time, the kid, I mean that the child brain does not have the sophistication or the understanding, to see that. Really love and affection and security are not dependent on that performance, that your parents are still going to love you and feed you even if you don't get an A. Right. It lacks that. So what happens is this belief starts to evolve, is that all well in order to be loved, in order to feel safe, I have to perform. Right? And there's this KPIs that I have to learn, you know, and the key texts as they grow older, they go into the workplace, and it gets projected. Okay, so my boss is now my parent, a figure of authority, the figure of safety, because parents first and foremost, they represent for us safety. The second one is love. But the first one is safety. So everything that has to do with the reason why all of us are marked by our childhoods in one way or another, is that because safety is such a core, it's such a core fear trigger, the absence the perceived absence of safety is such a core fear trigger. That's why we are so in a way vulnerable and open to misinterpretation when we are young. You know, so our parents, parents, as you know, we always try to do their best. They're not perfect, right? Who is

Kyle Roed:

I'm counting the number of times where I've said stupid things like that to my kids. Oh, great. Now I gotta go back and rethink that. Oh, well. Yeah, we're doing our best.

Georgi Toma:

Yeah. And kids. No, I mean, I think the idea is, and even if you've said those things to your kids, the important thing is how safe we make them feel. So if kids feel secure and safe, that forms what in psychology is called a secure attachment. So that's, that's very healthy, you know, modes of behavior. They're very healthy. So Even if we say, as long as our kids feel safe in being themselves and accepted, that's fine. It's no no long term damage. And even if it's that, you know, what I want to say is that we always have the power, really. And I think this is really important. We can change the patterns that don't serve us. And the first step is to become aware of what it is that we are that is now influencing the way we perceive reality, you know,

Kyle Roed:

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Georgi Toma:

gratitude is very important. I think for me, it came later it came when I it's always the gift of hindsight, right? Because whilst you're going through it, once you're in that dark place is just dark and it's unpleasant. And so if you are there, the most powerful thing you can do is make a decision. Do I want to continue here or not? Okay. So if it's not, then you have to commit to changing something. One of the most, I guess, useful things that I can share with someone now is in the well being protocol, we talk about two zones, so Whenever we're in any situation, we occupy two zones, we're either in the zone of powerlessness, or in the zone of power. So what do I mean by that? powerlessness put very simply, is when you give your power away to external circumstances. So let's say give you an example, when it rains outside, and you're saying, Oh, you know, whenever it rains, I get sad, I need a son to be happy. That's the most common example of I put my well being and my, my, my state, in the hands of this external thing that I have no control over. Right? is when you say stuff like, Oh, my boss makes me really angry, or makes me crazy, or doesn't listen to me or whatever. So understand this, there is an aspect, which is a fact. So the fact could be that this person indeed lacks the skills to listen, it could be a fact. But then, that doesn't mean that you have to give your power, your mental health, your well being up to this person, you don't have to do that. So how do you move in the zone of power is simply put is, you have control. All of us as humans, what we have control over are the thoughts that we pursue. So you notice that I'm not saying the thoughts, our thoughts, because that's not true. We actually were still investigating, like cognitive neuroscience are still investigating. neuroscientists are still investigating, how is it that thoughts get produced in our brain? How is you know, The Secret Life of the brain? We still don't understand. But we do know that thoughts are kind of you can't control them. Right? They just come up like like bubbles in a fizzy drinks, they just come up. But you have control over the thoughts you choose to pursue. Right? So for example, the anger thought comes up is like, all my boss is whatever, whatever it comes up, you notice it, you name it, oh, it's an angry thought. I let it go, I bring my attention back to what I want, or what I'm doing in this moment. Right. So the thoughts we pursue the emotions we pursue, this is equally important, because we need to know science has shown that an emotion lasts for 30 seconds. It's really an electrical manifestation is a physical manifestation. It is in response to thoughts, either aware thoughts or added or thoughts that we have unconsciously. But it's just that 30 seconds. So if an emotion is with you, for more than that, what it means is that at some level, you are fueling it, you know, with thoughts that you either consciously entertain, or thoughts that happen in the background of your brain. So thoughts, emotions, actions, you know, the words we speak, the behaviors we take, really, that's what we have control over. Right? And how self aware we are. So, then you put very simply, when I was the reason why I say it was a gift is was because it put me in a position to make that decision. Like there was no way other than making the decision. I said, No, I need to change this. And I cannot change anything about my external circumstances. I felt trapped. I was trapped. It took me, you know, some months of doing this kind of work to realize that I was the one who was holding the keys to the prison. I was I remember the day I remember the day I walked out of my house on the street, and I saw these vivid colors and the realization came. Georgia, you're just making yourself a victim, Holy moly. Yeah. No, to these people. You know, of course, that organization where I worked was toxic. Yes, undeniably so. But it didn't have to affect me. No. So that's the idea, make a decision, you know, and then stay with what is in your zone of power. Stay with that, work on that. And then you will notice over time as I did, that the external circumstances change the way people relate to you change. You make decisions from a place of calm confidence. So when I left that workplace, it was a goodbye of love, even to the people that before I thought, you know, we're making my life miserable. It was a goodbye of love. And that's very powerful for both people involved. Because I want to say this to someone if you are in a conflict situation with someone at work or in your private life. You are both contributing to that. You are both and that's maybe a hard pill to swallow, but it's both. So when you are able to meet that person from a place of love, and I don't mean romantic love, I mean, kindness, let's use the word kindness, he made that from a place of kindness. Right. But you have to start with kindness to self. First, in order to be able to truly embody kindness towards another human being, you need to honor yourself first. And a lot of people don't even realize that in the way they talk to themselves in the way they feel their schedules we to dues, they don't demonstrate kindness to self. Right. So I would say that's the step make a decision. Start with your zone of power, which is you, your inner world.

Kyle Roed:

powerful stuff, powerful stuff. Yeah, I think, you know, very, very well said, as I'm just I'm reflecting on, you know, our profession and human resources, there's so many of those interactions that two way, it really is that two way street. And that a lot of times that Street has a lot of negativity on. And if you buy into that, or aren't in control of that, you know, you really struggle, but I think one of the biggest challenges I face is, is I tend to, I tend to feel others emotions. At a high level, I can usually read a room and I can kind of tell Okay, how somebody's feeling about that, how they feel about this? And if I'm not careful, I kind of absorb that. and reflect on that. And and, you know, take that personal, which when it's not, it's it shouldn't be. And yeah, good reminder. I think the other challenge that I'm curious to get your perspective on in this context is, we do have some things we could control as an individual, and we need to focus on that. But a lot of times, we're also tasked with impacting culture. Yeah. And, you know, so how do we focus on organizationally, making sure that, that we're not, you know, creating an environment that allows this sort of thing to, to grow or to become toxic?

Georgi Toma:

Yeah. And that's a very good question. And the first and most important thing is that there needs to be a co creation of culture, a real co creation of culture. So a lot of organizations have their mission statements and their values. But in the day to day operations, they don't live by those values. So that creates mistrust. You know, you can never buy someone's trust and loyalty, you can't, right, you can pay them a salary, they come and show up, and they do their work, but you can't buy trust and loyalty that needs to be fostered. So if you are lucky enough to have a leadership that is aware of that, then you can start a conversation around culture that involves the whole organization. So one of the first steps I think, is to get clear, okay, so as an organization, what are our values? And it's interesting, you know, most organizations would would use values such as integrity, right? We want to, you know, keep our word, keep our promise, you know, to our customer, but it's usually focused towards the customer, you know, but you can't keep a promise to a customer and not keep a promise to your employees. Right. So you need to exercise integrity in dealing with employees. And so the result of that is always the question. So how do I enact the value? So I've got the value is kind of my contrast, right? How do I enact it? Right. And as I said, the first step is making people feel listened. So it's a consultation, right? And then it's a joint agreement around a certain ways of around certain ways of behaving. But it's really important for management to demonstrate those values in the way they behave. Because it's not enough like, you know, some companies say, okay, we want to look after employee well being or take care of yourself. We've had, you know, remember this feedback I got after speaking in like, like a lady said, you know, there's a lot of top down, talk about taking care of yourself, but no concrete strategies or, you know, room for that to take place. And that is true, you know. And so, understanding that if we want our employees to show trust and loyalty, and perform with an open heart habit to contribute to an organization, we have to as managers, we have to create that as leaders, we have to create that and live that. So you can't Say to your employees? I don't know, I want to look after your mental health, but then, you know, give them so much work to do that no human being could possibly do that, right? I mean, right. So there's has to be congruence. So congruence is a word that I really like, because it really is at the core of everything. There has to be congruence between your words and your actions. Otherwise, there is no trust, right? So I see the situation with in which HR people are because it's not an easy place to be in, right? Because there has to be buy in from the leadership from the employees in order to create that culture. So I would start by fostering trust. And the easiest and most direct way to do that is through conversation, open conversation. Right? And so getting people around a table, and of course, depending on the size of the organization, that's easier or more difficult.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. 100%. You know, it's interesting that trust and kind of integrity, we went through an exercise at one of my companies, and we couldn't even define what honest meant, because it meant something different to everybody. And it was, you know, we're like, this isn't our mission statement, or we get it? Can we just define what this means? And, you know, we finally define it, it means that we do what we say we're going to do all the time, right? And then we're like, okay, that's what it means. So now we can actually work on that, right. And we kind of had to define what it even meant to the organization. And it was a lot harder than you would think. When you've got multiple people in the room. And, and, and yeah, the lack of congruence between like, what is customer service versus employee relations? You know, what does that look like at your organization? Do you just burn your employees out for the sake of your customers being happy? The, you know, you've got to have some balance there. And yeah, to me, it reminds me of the scenario where you've got a high potential or high performing employee, and they're just, they're wonderful. And they're getting all their work done. So you reward them by giving them more work to do. You know, and it's, you know, and so now they're doing now they're three times the work as somebody who's not productive. And you know, that I mean, eventually that will, will lead to burnout. I mean, fortunately, I've seen that. And I've been on the receiving end of people who have quit and said, You, you didn't give me the help you, you promised. And we thought we were doing the right thing, but we were kind of blind, and we were just operating with the wrong focus. And so yeah, great. And you know, you really hit the heart of me when you said, How many things you have scheduled on your schedule? Yeah, I could probably work on that a little bit. I have had back to back meetings all day. So I'm Okay, fair. Thanks. Thanks, Georgie. I appreciate that. Thank you. All right. We're gonna shift gears, and we're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. So three quick questions. really fascinated to hear your responses. So we're gonna start off Are you ready? Yes. Okay. All right. Here we go. Question number one. What is your favorite people book?

Georgi Toma:

I'm an all time favorite Seven Habits of effective people. Okay, read reread, read, reread. Honestly, that's a gem. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

That's a good one. And yeah, if you're an HR and you haven't read that one, pick it up. That's the foundational tenants of a lot of the things that we do like the reasons why we try to do the things we do. Yeah. So great book. Alright, question number two, Who should we be listening to?

Georgi Toma:

Want to reframe that, to what and I would say silence. This is really important to create moments where you rest your brain. This is one of the leading causes to chronic stress and burnout, that your brain doesn't get a break. And so your thoughts go on repeat, and it's always stimulated. So listen to silence. I challenge you to try for one minute start with one minute, every day, where you just sit. You just sit and listen to silence. And when your thoughts come, let them go. Come back to silence.

Kyle Roed:

Okay. Terrible. Oh my gosh, I I'm surprised I'm not burned out right now because I don't think I even have a sound machine on when I'm sleeping. Is that bad too? Or is that okay?

Georgi Toma:

That's, I mean, whatever words you're not, I mean, there's no right or wrong as long as you understand what are the ways the best ways for your brain to get a break? Because the brain becomes, you know, like a toddler, when they're tired and overly stimulated, and instead of wanting to go to sleep, they just want more stimulation. That's, that's what happens to the brain. So finding ways to allow it to just take a break from thinking, right? And so, you know, you can call this meditation, but you can do meditation in different ways. So if silence is too much, because for people you will, you will find that the beginning of doing that practice, you will find yourself very weird. It's like, you know, very uncomfortable, but we time this can grow. I've had a client I've worked with, you know, she started up, she's like, Oh, I can't even do a two minute meditations. My man is on the whole time. I can't stop my thoughts. And I said, No, no, you don't need to stop them. Well, you can you'll go crazy if you try to. But as we work together, she said at the end, you know what I do? I 20 minutes silent meditation every morning. And it's just changed. It has changed my life. So an encounter with silence. Because really, what happens when you listen to silence? is that you start to find yourself. Not all those voices of society have to dues or whatever, yourself, you know, so gently, getting there gently.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, well, I clearly I've got some work to do after this. I'm the guy I always have a podcast and music in the background, just you know, just in case one of them cuts out right, you know? Yeah, I should probably. That's good advice. And that's the first time anybody's answered that way. So that's great advice. Oh, for my next episode, I'll just leave a minute of pure silence and see how many listeners stick around. Maybe we'll put that at the end of this episode. You want to join me in silent meditation, I'll be doing my best to let my thoughts wander. Alright, last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Georgi Toma:

Yep. So you can connect with me on LinkedIn, that's probably the easiest way. Dr. Georgie Toma. And also you can visit our website, Hart, brain works.org. And I believe we're sharing a free training with your listeners, Kyle, if they want to get a taste of the wellbeing protocol, some very quick and easy techniques to reduce their stress. There's a link they're gonna find on on your website. It's a program it's a it's a seven short video series called stress no more. And it's a first step in someone's journey to reduce their stress to become more aware. Really.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And we'll have that information in the show notes. So just open up your app and click it, bookmark it and check it out. But that'll be something I clearly need to check out after this podcast. So thank you so much for sharing that and for being generous for our listeners to to check that out. So Georgie, thank you so much. It's been absolutely a wonderful conversation I do sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I have so much respect for you and the journey that you've been on, and the gift that you're giving people through your work. So thank you very much for sharing with our listeners today for helping us de stress. Just a little bit of silence. Thank you so much for having me on. It's been a pleasure talking to you, Kyle. Thank you. Thanks, Jordan. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we know animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast baby