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ET Project \ Podcasts

ET-108: Navigating Leadership with Expert Self-Care and Mental Health Insights

With Dr. Nekeshia Hammond

ET-108: A conversation with Dr. Nekeshia Hammond

and your host Wayne Brown on July 02, 2024

Episode notes: A conversation with Dr. Nekeshia Hammond

Hello and welcome to the ET Project. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and as usual, we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. 

Today I am heading to Tampa on the west coast of Florida to connect with our guest, Dr. Nekeshia Hammond. Dr. Hammond is a distinguished psychologist, executive coach, and founder of Hammond Psychology & Associates. She’s also the creator and host of the well-received show, Mental Health Moment with Dr. Hammond. Renowned for her expertise in mental health, burnout prevention, and leadership development, she engages as an international speaker and is an Amazon international bestselling author. I’m also pleased to announce that Dr. Hammond has agreed to join us as a member of our guest panel during the July 17th, C4C Thought Leaders Forum, helping us to unravel the topic of workplace trauma.

Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…

“…I definitely knew, even from a young age, that I wanted to help others. I’ve always had a love for kids. I found myself really fascinated with child development, and understanding that when you help kids early on, which is amazing, if we can get to kids early on, we actually prevent a lot of things, negative things from happening in their adult years as well. So started off in that area and then, I found out very quickly in private practice that the world was just… The world of mental health needs was so much bigger beyond my office walls, if you will. So that’s when I started getting more into like media consultations, public speaking, traveling throughout a lot of different states and a lot of different countries, and really working on mental health prevention efforts, which is where I’m currently doing as well. So excited about that…”

Today’s Guest: DR. NEKESHIA HAMMOND

Previously serving as the President of the Florida Psychological Association, Dr. Hammond is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors for Ryan Nece Foundation. 

Her prolific contributions to mental health and community wellbeing have earned her many accolades. Among these are the Next Level Leadership award, the Brian Thomas Spirit of Excellence, the Distinguished Psychologist Honor, and the Outstanding Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest Award. Her thought leadership have been featured across multiple media outlets, including NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and Essence Magazine. 

Dr. Hammond has also graced renowned platforms like Corporate Counsel Women of Color, and TEDx, disseminating her integrative insights on mental wellness and leadership balance. We are all eagerly awaiting the release of Dr. Hammond’s latest book in September, which is called Mindset Training. And by the way, my pre-order has already been placed. 

Team ET, as you may imagine, Dr. Hammond brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table that’s relevant for all listeners in dealing with our own mental health issues. So please join us today as we discuss self-care and leadership.

Final words from Dr Hammond:

Last question. if I’m a leader who sees a colleague, who they feel is suffering some form of mental challenge, what can we do? 

DH: Yeah. That’s a great question, I get that question often. So there’s a couple of things that you can do to support someone. First is knowing how close you are to them. So you may… If you’re very close to them you can say, “Hey, it looks like you’re struggling in some way, it looks like you’re going through something, here’s some resources.” 

That’s the most ideal thing to do. Resources for whether it’s counseling or support groups or whatever it is that you have. If you don’t know them that well, and you’re like, that would be not the best way to approach that particular person, or maybe they’re completely not interested in mental health because of the stigma, mental health treatment, then other ways you can support them is literally being there for them, listening to them, checking in on them, and really doing as much as you can to make sure that they feel supported because a lot of people who are struggling with mental health feel, which may be valid or not, because depression lies to us as well, but they feel that they’re not supported. 

They don’t feel anyone cares about them. So to have that is very powerful, that someone cares about me, someone’s checking in. Someone’s listening to me…

[music]

0:00:00.0 Wayne Brown: Hello, I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and welcome to The ET Project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world, whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. Today I am heading to Tampa on the west coast of Florida to connect with our guest, Dr. Nekeshia Hammond. Dr. Hammond is a distinguished psychologist, executive coach, and founder of Hammond Psychology & Associates. She’s also the creator and host of the well-received show, Mental Health Moment with Dr. Hammond. Renowned for her expertise in mental health, burnout prevention, and leadership development, she engages as an international speaker and is an Amazon international bestselling author. I’m also pleased to announce that Dr. Hammond has agreed to join us as a member of our guest panel during the July 17th, C4C Thought Leaders Forum, helping us to unravel the topic of workplace trauma.

0:00:57.3 WB: Previously serving as the President of the Florida Psychological Association, Dr. Hammond is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors for Ryan Nece Foundation. Her prolific contributions to mental health and community wellbeing have earned her many accolades. Among these are the Next Level Leadership award, the Brian Thomas Spirit of Excellence, the Distinguished Psychologist Honor, and the Outstanding Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest Award. Her thought leadership have been featured across multiple media outlets, including NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and Essence Magazine. Dr. Hammond has also graced renowned platforms like Corporate Counsel Women of Color, and TEDx, disseminating her integrative insights on mental wellness and leadership balance. We are all eagerly awaiting the release of Dr. Hammond’s latest book in September, which is called Mindset Training. And by the way, my pre-order has already been placed. Team ET, as you may imagine, Dr. Hammond brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table that’s relevant for all listeners in dealing with our own mental health issues. So please join us today as we discuss self-care and leadership.

[music]

0:02:15.2 Speaker 3: Welcome to the ET project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor, Wayne Brown, as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:02:28.9 WB: Hello, and welcome Team ET. It’s an absolute pleasure to be with you once again. And as you will have heard during the introduction, today we are fortunate to have as our guest, Dr. Nekeshia Hammond. She’s a distinguished psychologist, executive coach, and founder of Hammond Psychology and Associates. Dr. Hammond is a renowned expert on topics such as mental health, burnout, prevention, leadership development, and self-care and leadership. Dr. Hammond, welcome to The ET Project.

0:03:00.7 Dr. Nekeshia Hammond: Thank you so much for having me. Glad to be here.

0:03:03.0 WB: You have a new book that is due to release in September this year. It’s called Mindset Training: Conquer Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow. So given that we’re still have several months from the release date, are we allowed to discuss the book at any great depth? 

0:03:17.9 DH: Absolutely. Yeah, for sure.

0:03:19.9 WB: Well, I’m certain we’ll take the opportunity to unpack it as much as possible to the extent that it applies to self-care. It’s not your first book. You’ve got several other books out there already.

0:03:31.8 DH: Yeah, yeah, it’s actually my fourth one, which is crazy, but it’s my fourth book. So.

0:03:36.2 WB: Is this along a similar line or have you changed direction a little bit with what you’re writing about? 

0:03:43.3 DH: Yeah, I actually changed direction a little bit. Most of my… Well, two of my other books were more parenting books. But after COVID and everything that that brought, and it was just, there was so much stress all at once. And a lot of people were like, “How do I deal with this? How do I deal with burnout?” So I wanted to write the book, of course, about stress management and burnout, so took a change of direction.

0:04:07.7 WB: Right. Okay. Well, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I’m wondering if you’d mind just providing an overview of what first interested you in the field of psychology.

0:04:17.4 DH: So my initial love was, I definitely knew, even from a young age, that I wanted to help others. I’ve always had a love for kids. I found myself really fascinated with child development, and understanding that when you help kids early on, which is amazing, if we can get to kids early on, we actually prevent a lot of things, negative things from happening in their adult years as well. So started off in that area and then, I found out very quickly in private practice that the world was just… The world of mental health needs was so much bigger beyond my office walls, if you will. So that’s when I started getting more into like media consultations, public speaking, traveling throughout a lot of different states and a lot of different countries, and really working on mental health prevention efforts, which is where I’m currently doing as well. So excited about that.

0:05:16.9 WB: Yeah, I can imagine. Certainly doing some background review and research about what you’re doing, it seems incredible. You serve on boards, you’re chair of, and the Psychology Institute, I’m not sure the exact name, but we just mentioned before we went live here that the month of May was Mental Health Month, and I can imagine how busy that must be for you as a one month out of the year. What’s it like? Like what does the month entail for you if you can give us a breakdown? 

0:05:55.1 DH: Crazy, as you can imagine. Yes, you hit your… The nail on the head for sure. I was joking with my husband today, I was like, “This is like my fifth outfit change for the day.” Just because I was like, went to the gym, went here, I had a live interview, and then I had my Mental Health Moment with Dr. Hammond show, and then doing this podcast interview. So that’s pretty much how my days are in May. It is a very busy month. A lot of podcasts, interviews, a lot of speaking engagements, I’m at the practice, I’m doing board work. So it is a busy month. But I love it at the same time. And I’m grateful because we didn’t always have this huge focus on mental health and how to better ourselves, so I’m really happy with the shift and what’s happening globally, and having these conversations. So I’m grateful. But yes, it’s very busy. A very bus month.

0:06:46.7 WB: I can only imagine. I was looking at some of your videos on YouTube. And I see you’ve interviewed one of my motivators, if you like, or my mentors, in some regard, Les Brown.

0:07:00.1 DH: Yeah.

0:07:01.1 WB: No relation to the name, but still…

0:07:03.3 DH: Yeah.

0:07:03.8 WB: Still, I love the message that he gives. His story alone is such a intriguing one for me, but also one that really resonates with everything you’re doing, I guess.

0:07:16.7 DH: Yeah, yeah, I knew it was just… He was just very gracious and kind to be able to offer his story and share his story. And that interview that I did, but it is, it’s really inspirational. Because again, it just goes back to a lot of us have all sorts of things really that we go through in childhood, and to be able to get through the adversity, that the things that were said to him, the negative things that were said, of course, and to get through all that. And of course, who he is today and just motivating and giving back and helping others globally is incredible. So yeah, great. Yeah.

0:07:52.8 WB: Is it just my impression or are the number of mental health issues on the rise? Or is it just that we’re more attuned to the fact that there are these challenges around them? 

0:08:07.3 DH: Yeah, after COVID, actually, it really spiked the numbers, understandably, with depression, with anxiety, because of how much stress globally that we were all under. Everyone’s at a different place, of course, mentally and different resources, but nonetheless, a global pandemic was not something most of us saw coming. So the stress is there. And then right now, it’s kind of like this, well, at least in the US, like the economy, and there’s so many things, we have an election this year, all these things are popping up. And it does, and it really adds to the stress. But at the same time, to your point, the good news is that there’s so much focus in how, more focus now on mental health and on making sure you get help, knowing that it’s okay not to be okay, and self-care, those sorts of messages, which is really exciting in the field of mental health, so that we can work on treating those things.

0:09:03.8 WB: Right. As I work with different countries around the world, I’m really interested to see that some governments are even introducing mandates, legislation where they’re putting more onus and responsibility back on to directors and leaders of organizations to take this situation seriously. And to really put measures in place that address, let’s say, some of the practices that are not so conducive to our own, our self-care. So I’m encouraged by that but I’m not sure how wide it is. I know in Australia, I’m Australian, and I know in Australia, they brought in legislation. I think in America, they’re very, very active with it. And probably similar in Europe.

0:09:52.4 DH: Yeah, it’s really been interesting in my work, in some of the work I do with different corporations and different organizations. Just understandably, there’s different emphasis on mental health depending on the organization. Some are incredible. They’re very, very employee-focused or very executive-focus. How are you doing checking and making sure people feel supported? Which we know by the research goes a long way for productivity, retention rate. And then other organizations need a little bit more help in that department and making people feel understood and valued and listened to. So I’ve definitely seen a blend of that with different organizations.

0:10:36.0 WB: Yeah, for sure. Well, let’s jump into the main topic, self-care and leadership. This is a really broad field, I’m guessing. So if you’re okay with it, I thought maybe we could identify a list of factors that our listeners should be aware of, maybe even focusing on. And then we can circle back and address them, maybe look at possible prevention measures. Would that work? 

0:11:02.1 DH: Absolutely.

0:11:02.9 WB: I like doing role plays. So if you’re okay with it, so I’ll be the leader and I’ll seek your guidance.

0:11:08.8 DH: Yeah.

0:11:10.3 WB: So let me paint the scenario. I’m your typical senior leader, always on, working long hours, traveling a lot, under pressure to perform, isolated, perhaps few close associates, feeling my team doesn’t really understand the challenges that I face, always expecting me to deliver more to them. And as a result, I probably become somewhat of a workaholic, arrive in the office early, get home late, take work home with me. And of course, the situation is starting to take its toll on the family, family feeling neglected, underappreciated. And it’s this negative spiral, I’m not sleeping well, I’m always tired, always stressed. So Dr. Hammond, I need help.

0:12:01.1 DH: Yes, extremely common, actually, especially with leaders, and as I was mentioning before, workplace culture also adds to that. Sometimes that this mentality that you just have to be, go, go, go, take care of your team, don’t take care of yourself, you’re neglecting family. So step one, which is a hard step, but step one is really changing the mindset to make yourself your number one priority. It’s not the easiest thing to do because depending on who you are around now, there’s a mentality a lot of times that you shouldn’t put yourself first, or that it’s selfish, or you should be doing all these other things instead of take care of yourself. So there’s a process to unlearn that, first, because it starts with mindset. So it’s to unlearn that process, and then to put certain things into place, because even with the most successful leaders, there still has to be self-care in there. You can have the long hours, you can travel. I know that life very well, travel, be on plane, do all the things. However, you still have to implement the self-care in there.

0:13:16.1 DH: But self-care looks different depending on the person. So it doesn’t always have to be like a full weekend or half your day or anything like that, ’cause that’s unrealistic for a lot of people, but it’s implementing even if it’s a minute a day. But what it does is it trains your brain to reset and recharge, which is critically important for physical and mental health, especially for high-driven high-achieving leaders.

0:13:42.3 WB: So I’m a coach, I’m executive coach like yourself, but I’m not a psychologist. And I’m wondering, how do you define, if somebody like my scenario comes along and they’re engaging with you the first time. For you, you can cross the boundary. For me as a coach, I intentionally avoid looking at it from a therapeutic point of view. But how do you make that judgment call, I’m curious? 

0:14:10.7 DH: Yeah. Yeah, a lot of times… Well, yeah, it’s definitely a whole assessment process. So I… Well, when I am in my office, part of the time I do assessments, not therapy, but assessments. So there’s a lot of factors like how long this person has been experiencing, fill in the blank. Let’s say they’re just sleeping issues. It’s totally okay and normal to have a day or two or a couple of days where you can’t sleep. What’s not normal is if you’re not sleeping for like weeks and weeks and months and months, or years. I have a lot of people that say, “I’ve had problems in for years.” Like that’s… We’re not in the typical range anymore. So a lot of times it’s looking at, well, how long the duration, this, fill in the blank, symptom has been going on. How frequent is it happening? Like when you’re frustrated, when you’re feeling sad, lonely, isolated with this leadership position, is this something that just kind of happened yesterday, you feel it once in a while, or is it like a daily occurrence, which is more of an issue. So, and also how intense these things are. Because for some people it’s like, yeah, I’m feeling a little bit stressed, but I’m good, I’m working through, I’m functioning. And for some people it’s so intense that it is affecting their work. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it’s affecting their work. Then they can’t remember what to do. Or they’re doing their job, but they’re not doing it as well as they should.

0:15:31.1 DH: Like all these things start to happen, performance gets affected when the person’s heading towards burnout, basically.

0:15:41.8 WB: That’s a great response, and I asked the question intentionally because coaching is such a popular activity these days. And I fear there’s many people heading off to a coach when really the situation warrants somebody with a psychology background that can deal more so with that mental illness or mental health than the coach is equipped to do. So thank you for that. Let’s say in my scenario, I’m still coachable.

0:16:12.4 DH: Yeah. Yeah.

0:16:17.6 WB: So you’ve mentioned, yeah, taking that time out as one of the first steps and really starting to give yourself that pause. What are some of the other steps you would implement? 

0:16:32.4 DH: Yeah, so some of the other steps are, especially like you mentioned, in your scenario, like the family piece. So it’s really about having a conversation when it comes to family, and expectations because it’s not a one-size-fits-all model. It’s what works best for your family. If your family feels neglected, and they’re falling apart, whatever that is that you’re doing is not working. We have to change. The issue is though society like paints this pretty picture sometimes of like, work your 40 hours a week and then go home to family and then have dinner and then do this, which for some people it’s totally unrealistic. But what is more realistic is to say, “Hey, I know this season… Hey family, this season is going to be a busier time, but maybe the summer we’ll have more time,” or, “This season is a lighter load, or here’s how we can help each other, here’s what we need to do to communicate better.” Like it really takes a conversation. And sometimes I’ve seen leaders are, with coaching, like you mentioned, able to understand and do that on their own. Sometimes unfortunately it’s just too far gone and there’s just damage that has happened in the family unit. And there needs to be family counseling, which is okay. And then they need to go to a mental health professional and kind of work through some things, which is okay. But sometimes there’s a lot you can do at home as well.

0:17:56.6 WB: What are some of the signals I would look for myself if I’m coming home, my wife is, I feel the distance is growing. Yeah, are those sorts of things are what I should be looking for or are there telltale signs when it comes to the family and what the leader is doing? 

0:18:15.8 DH: Yeah, for sure. So some of the telltale signs are one… Well, when it comes to family. Well, lack… Either lack of communication. So not communicating enough, or the second thing is, well, there is communication, but it’s very conflictual. So often, like constant arguments, a lot of irritation, a lot of agitation, being expressed in the family unit. If there’s kids at home as well, they’re stressed out because some kids are very sensitive to stress. And they know this particular person is always at work or don’t have enough time for their events or whatever it is, their extracurricular activities. But so also having that conversation with the child as well. And then the other part is that for your family unit, like looking at not only the quantity of time but the quality of time. That’s also really, really important to look at. So those are some telltale signs to say, here’s some red flags, the communication’s a little off, for our family the amount of time spent or the quality of time spent is not where it needs to be, we need to maybe set better boundaries. There’s a whole list.

0:19:28.9 DH: But I’m just listing the most popular ones, when it comes to family. And it’s important too as a family that the family knows, “Hey, here’s how you can support me as a leader. I have this really high stress job.” It goes both ways. “Here’s some ways you can support me in this as well.” So we have that work-life integration.

0:19:49.0 WB: It starts with the communication clearly.

0:19:51.4 DH: For sure. Oh, sure.

0:19:53.5 WB: In our world today and particularly in our coaching world, we always talk about self-awareness. It’s one of our first steps. And I have a friend Ann Betz, she talks about self-awareness, setting the intention, and then applying the action. It’s the sequence of changing maybe the habitual process or the routines that we’re in. How does that sit from your perspective as a psychologist? Not only as a coach.

0:20:23.5 DH: Oh, for sure. Oh, for sure. Absolutely. Yeah. Step one is, yeah, definitely always self-awareness or mindset shift is definitely step one. And sometimes depending on the person, sometimes it’s hard for us to change sometimes as humans, it can be hard to make the mindset shift to say, “You know what, I need to make some changes.” And in the work I’ve done with leaders sometime, there’s some leaders that’s like, “Well, it’s not my fault,” like not taking accountability, so that’s an issue. “It’s all my family’s fault.” Well, maybe usually it’s both ways, the family can support you more and you can support them more too, so that’s typically the case. But step one is definitely, like you said, definitely the self-awareness piece comes first.

0:21:11.8 WB: Right. So one of the things that I’m critical of quite often with colleagues is that they focus only on the self-awareness. For me, it’s a double-sided coin. So we need the awareness but then we need to do something with it.

0:21:26.9 DH: Correct.

0:21:27.9 WB: If we look at it from an EQ or an emotional intelligence point of view, it’s the self-regulation that is really where it takes the effort.

0:21:36.2 DH: Yeah.

0:21:36.7 WB: So I can be so aware, and I teach awareness all the time, so I’m well-versed in my own issues. But to do something with those issues, that’s a whole different ballgame for me. How do you work with people to get them to make that transition? To make or to develop the desire to make that transition? 

0:22:00.4 DH: Yeah. So, typically… Well, first is assessing level of motivation, because in order to make change, some people are… Some leaders are highly motivated. They’re like, “I’m ready, I’m ready to take these steps.” You can teach all day long, “You need to do yourself self-care, here’s the things to change, here’s the things for your family, here’s the things for yourself.” However, if that said person is not as motivated as they would like to be, sometimes it… Then it becomes a team effort. So let’s say this leader is like, “I really need to get into physical… Like better shape physically, but I can’t do it on my own.” Well, sometimes it takes a trainer, or sometimes it takes a gym partner, or whatever it is in whatever way they’re deciding to exercise, it takes someone else to help them in that department. And then they say, “Well, I’m struggling with anxiety, because I’m so stressed out at work.” Okay, well maybe you also need a mental health professional if some of the things that you’re trying to do at home are not working for you. So it’s really a matter… And like I said, I’ve seen it both ways and there’s not a right or a wrong. And I really want people listening to this to understand it’s… We tend to blame ourselves so much like, “Oh, heaven forbid, I need help with something.” It’s okay to have help. It’s really just okay.

0:23:18.1 DH: If you need a mental health professional, or if you need someone to help with your physical health, or if you… I know people that have dieticians or nutritionists or whatever part of your life you’re like, “I need… ” Or a life coach or whomever it is, it’s okay to have a team of people to help you. And sometimes, and those are the professional sides, and sometimes the team means adding in your family member or your friend or your coworker or whomever else is there to support you through these changes that you need to make to better yourself and to have a healthier family life, have a better work life. So it’s, like I said, it’s really though the self-awareness, as I mentioned, and then to your point too, taking the action steps, which means sometimes it’s alone, or having that team approach.

0:24:06.8 WB: Yeah. We talk a lot about accountability partners or your personal board of directors and some buzzwords around. But that sounds like very much on point to your book. So I think in the book you mentioned emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental domains. And I can imagine all four of those elements being at play to some extent in our scenario.

0:24:34.1 DH: Yeah. Oh, for sure. For sure. And it’s really… The reason why I broke down the book that way is because it’s a more holistic approach. Because a lot of those parts of ourselves are not by themselves, so if we’re not where we want to be physically, let’s say, with our physical growth, or we’re not where we wanna be mentally or emotionally or spiritually, they tend to… They’re interconnected. And it’s really important for us to move to a holistic model for our mental health and physical health and not get too caught up in just one area.

0:25:11.6 WB: From the traditional psychological approach, do you also look at positive psychology? 

0:25:19.6 DH: I love positive psychology. And also I love that sometimes it’s really hard for people to get to the positive thinking, that’s actually a little bit in the book as well, because it… If sometimes when you’re in a really dark place to be like, “Oh, just think positive.” It’s like, it’s a leap, and it’s hard. So I believe in taking baby steps sometime… And sometimes you can take a leap, but sometimes we just need to take the baby steps to get back to the healing process, which can be difficult depending on just what season of life that we’re in. But I do, yes, I absolutely love positive psychology too.

0:26:01.4 WB: In a past life with a group across Asia-Pacific, we introduced a number of interventions focused on positive psychology and Barbara Fredrickson and Martin Seligman and a lot of their works, and looking at what they suggested as interventions. And I was really impressed by the transformation I saw within the people. It’s several years on now, it would be interesting to go back and see whether they still have that level of positivity. But in that little time, particularly in that group setting where people are leveraging off each other, it seemed to resonate. So I’m a big believer, but I’m just curious…

0:26:51.3 DH: Oh, for sure. Yeah.

0:26:53.2 WB: So if you were to meet a client like me, back to my scenario. I know it’s impossible to say, but do you work on a number like a minimum number of sessions, coaching sessions or psychology sessions to be able to create that change or how do you look at it? 

0:27:18.7 DH: Yeah. Yeah. So now what I’m sort of moving into with different corporations is going to be more group coaching model, which is pretty much defined by the corporation and what they want to cover. But if it is an individual model, I don’t personally do the individual model, but if it is an individual model, it definitely depends on the person, I’ve seen maybe eight to 12 sessions is sufficient. And then for some people it’s a year or two years, which is obviously a lot more sessions. So it depends on all that needs to be unpacked. Motivation level. If there’s any heavy trauma, that also needs to be unpacked, and then what are our goals and do we need to again, expand the team, if you will, to see the results. So yeah. Yeah.

0:28:11.9 WB: Are there any traits or states or skillsets, characteristics that you would suggest that we leaders try and establish, try and develop that might help us in this scenario? I know that’s again, very broad, but is there anything specific from those to want? 

0:28:32.7 DH: Yeah. Yeah. Well, two things. And you mentioned one of it before. One, definitely emotional intelligence. Super, like super important for leaders. And then the other part is resilience, because there’s just so many things that life is going to throw at us. We just… Like a global pandemic. And then in the midst of a global pandemic all of the personal things that you still have to deal with in your personal life and your professional life and trying to hold yourself together. So, really, yeah, I would say that the blend of that would be really, yeah, really, really important.

0:29:19.0 WB: The question comes to mind then what do we do to become more resilient? Now that could be a whole discussion by itself, but are there any simple steps that we can take that help to develop that resilience? 

0:29:33.0 DH: Yeah. One of the things, one of the strategies that I like to teach often when it comes to resilience, is to really… Like a concrete thing to do, is if you really sat down. And I know a lot of us are busy, but if you really sat down and reflected on maybe even the top 10 things in your life that you found were difficult for you, and you got through them, and you really stopped to think and recognize like, “Wow,” like when you look at a list and you go, “I got through that.” Like you thought, maybe you thought you couldn’t, but you did. And reminding yourself of the resilience that you already have, and preparing yourself… It really prepares you mindset-wise to know I can get through. ‘Cause that’s a part of resilience is the, even the mindset to know, I can get through this. You feel like you’re falling apart. You feel like you can’t, but you… When you look at your list, you’re like, “But I did these 10 things. I got through these really hard times. I… ” Whatever it is for you that you did mentally and emotionally to get through them, you did.

0:30:38.5 DH: So when the next hardship comes up, or challenge, whether it’s in the work or family or whatever that… However it presents itself, you can start to recognize and tell yourself, “I am resilient, I can get through this.” So that’s one way, just one strategy, there’s a lot of strategies. There’s also affirmations. A lot of people, it’s very popular now, I think it’s all over TikTok. But like different affirmations to train your brain to recognize that you can be resilient. Like that’s a very… It has a lot of science behind it too, but a very realistic strategy that you can do, it’s not an overnight process. But it’s about retraining your brain to recognize the resilience that you already have within you, and then to continue to grow that resilient mindset.

0:31:26.8 WB: There’s a lot of discussion out there, at least in the area that I look, about thinking trap. Yeah, having these negative thoughts and the thinking trap that occurs as a result that then tends to undermine that resilience. And you put a lot of focus on mindset. And I guess if we think of the Think Feel Do concept, it’s really about being able to identify when you’re having those negative thoughts, to your point, acknowledging the times perhaps in the past where you have encountered the similar thing, and you’ve been able to overcome it. And I can make that correlation, or I can tie those two elements together. So for me that would work quite nicely. So I think that’s a nice starting point. The other word that springs to mind when people talk about resilience that I’ve read about a lot is optimism. And optimistic people. I always chuckle to myself to a little degree, is that a trait or is that a state? Is that something we can learn to become or is that something we’re born with? 

0:32:38.6 DH: Yeah, I feel like it’s both. I feel like it’s one of those things where it really is both. ‘Cause I’ve seen it both ways. There are people that just naturally are optimistic. I believe that I’ve been optimistic since I was a little girl. Just the positive thinking, optimistic, try to see the glass mostly full and that sort of thing. But also there have been people who have gone through really difficult things that I’ve met and they have learned over time. And interestingly enough, and their experience and the stories that I’ve heard, because of the really difficult thing, fill in the blank, that they’ve gone through, they actually became more optimistic about their life. Because they’re like, “Man, I really got through this really extremely difficult time in my life, I’ve healed, and here I am on this amazing other side of this trauma journey,” or whatever it is they went through. So I really think it’s both. I honestly think that it’s both.

0:33:45.0 WB: Yeah.

0:33:46.9 DH: Probably debatable, I’m sure, but.

0:33:47.6 WB: Yeah. I don’t wanna go down that rabbit hole but I’m curious because, even as a facilitator we say, “Well, become more optimistic, surround yourself…

0:33:57.3 DH: Yeah.

0:34:00.1 WB: With more optimistic people.”

0:34:01.8 DH: Yeah.

0:34:02.0 WB: Great advice but how? So it’s probably another conversation. If there was one more thing that you had to share that you think is really important with our listeners, what would you talk about? 

0:34:15.4 DH: Yeah. I think really I want people to know that there really is always hope for you because especially when you are in a really dark season if you are or overwhelmed or stressed out or whatever it is you’re going through, your brain sometimes will tell you things that are not true, so just because you think it does not make it true. There is a lot of hope. There are millions of millions of people that are probably going through exactly what you’re going through, even though you feel like you’re alone. There are millions and millions of people with depression and with anxiety and with hardships and challenges just like you. So really remember that there is always hope. There’s also a lot of great people in the world who are willing to support you. It may not feel like it sometimes, but there’s great amazing people who can help you and support you. And to also remember to make yourself your number one priority.

0:35:22.2 WB: Great advice. Is there somewhere that our listeners can go if they want to connect with you or they wanna read more or learn more about what you’re doing, the great work you’re doing? 

0:35:33.7 DH: For sure. The best way is my website. It’s drnekeshiahammond.com. D-R N-E-K-E-S-H-I-A-H-A-M-M-O-N-D.com.

0:35:46.9 WB: And I know you have a YouTube channel. I was watching some of the videos. We’ll put links to all those…

0:35:52.2 DH: Yeah.

0:35:55.0 WB: In the show notes. LinkedIn as well? 

0:35:58.1 DH: Yep. I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter, where I guess it’s called X now. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

0:36:04.5 WB: Okay, perfect. And the book, once again, releases in September. What’s the name of the book? 

0:36:12.2 DH: So the name of the book is Mindset Training: Conquer Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow. And it’s available for pre-order on mindsettrainingbook.com.

0:36:22.9 WB: Unless you sit where I do and I can’t get it. I tried to purchase it last night, because I’m in Shanghai. Amazon, and different sources like Barnes and Noble, don’t deliver but…

0:36:38.4 DH: Yeah.

0:36:38.4 WB: Anyway, I’m gonna find a way.

0:36:41.9 DH: I’m gonna be sending you a copy then. Don’t worry. We’ll talk. I will definitely do that. [laughter]

0:36:48.3 WB: I appreciate it though. It wasn’t the intent. The book itself, we didn’t go into any great detail on the book. I wonder, is there a message behind the reason for writing it? I know we touched on that at the very beginning, but is there a message…

0:37:04.5 DH: Yeah.

0:37:06.9 WB: That comes out of the book that is relevant to this topic that we’re talking about today? 

0:37:10.7 DH: Yeah, for sure. I really try to put in very practical strategies. I like to write my books very practically with strategies to start to implement. But there’s definitely different things to consider when it comes to self-care. My hope for everyone reading it is to really think about how do you make yourself your number one priority? What are some changes you need to think about reflecting because a lot of us are very busy. Reflecting, checking in with yourself, and starting to make those changes. Whether it’s physically, emotionally, mentally, and or spiritually. Because, again, when you do that, you become a better person for yourself and for everyone else around you.

0:37:53.5 WB: Last question perhaps is, I’m definitely not qualified, but if I’m a leader who sees a colleague, who they feel is suffering some form of mental challenge, what can we do? 

0:38:08.7 DH: Yeah. That’s a great question, I get that question often. So there’s a couple of things that you can do to support someone. First is knowing how close you are to them. So you may… If you’re very close to them you can say, “Hey, it looks like you’re struggling in some way, it looks like you’re going through something, here’s some resources.” That’s the most ideal thing to do. Resources for whether it’s counseling or support groups or whatever it is that you have. If you don’t know them that well, and you’re like, that would be not the best way to approach that particular person, or maybe they’re completely not interested in mental health because of the stigma, mental health treatment, then other ways you can support them is literally being there for them, listening to them, checking in on them, and really doing as much as you can to make sure that they feel supported because a lot of people who are struggling with mental health feel, which may be valid or not, because depression lies to us as well, but they feel that they’re not supported. They don’t feel anyone cares about them. So to have that is very powerful, that someone cares about me, someone’s checking in. Someone’s listening to me.

0:39:26.8 WB: So it’s that whole empathetic mindset…

0:39:29.7 DH: Oh, for sure.

0:39:30.3 WB: To be able to connect with that person? 

0:39:33.0 DH: Oh, yeah. It goes… It is so much more powerful than we know. Like the human… Positive human connection is so therapeutic and so much more powerful than we know.

0:39:43.3 WB: Thank you so much for being on The ET Project. Really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to get hold of the book. Dr. Hammond, been a pleasure. All the best with the book, all the best with the practice.

0:39:54.6 DH: Thank you for having me.

0:39:57.9 S3: Thank you for joining us on The ET Project, a show for executive talent development. Until next time, check out our site for free videos, e-books, webinars, and blogs at coaching4companies.com.

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