00:00:00 How many times have I gone to work, dealing with a personal family issue? And I, I felt like I had this switch that off, like a robot where I went into the job. I've just come choose the toughest few years. I was angry at first. I'm like, well, why is it my problem? I didn't create, I didn't cause all this harm When you help a person you don't know down the road,
00:00:21 when you need help. Welcome to the speed of presence, psychological health and safety podcast. Today, we talk about psychosocial factor, number two, psychological and social support. Hi everybody. My name is trace Hopson and after 25 years of working in the corporate world and trying to hide anxiety, unresolved trauma and the mental health problems that me and my family were going through.
00:00:46 I've become convinced of three things. The first one is that I'm not alone. And I never was, even though I felt that way because of stigma or ignorance. The second is that vulnerability is a super power. And when I take the time to be present and share honestly, and openly with people at home and at work, it transforms my relationships and my mental health.
00:01:10 And the third is that we can turn the mental health crisis around in our country and our world by learning how to create safe spaces in our workplaces so that people feel important, valued, included, and psychologically healthy and say, we're here to help our workplaces and our families heal from anxiety, unresolved trauma and the mental health crisis that's going on in our country and around the world by using psychological health and safety coaching,
00:01:40 we believe that when organizations put their people's mental health and wellbeing, first through support, training and intervention, we will see lives, families and communities transform. And while it's true that the economical impact of having psychological health and safety is incredibly powerful and positive. That's not the reason why we're doing this. The reason why we're doing this is because when you put the psychological health and safety of your people,
00:02:09 first, it's the most practical way do the right thing. Because every human being that you work with represents families, partners, children, parents, and a huge opportunity for us to support each other as human beings. This is the speed of presence, psychological health and safety podcast. Enjoy the show. Hey everybody. My name is trace Hobson. I'm the host of the speed of presence.
00:02:34 Podcast. Want to welcome you here to episode two and share with you? You know, the intention of this podcast is to talk about an experience, a psychologically safe and healthy space. So we decided as a family to share the intimacy that we've developed over the last two years in our family calls and to see how the 13 factors that were adopted for workplaces could be applied to our family.
00:03:01 Now the Canadian standard for psychological health and safety is from what I understand, if not the only one of the only of its kind all over the world that puts psychological health and safety at the forefront of workplaces. What's important to us though, is that we move from talking about the theory and the principles of psychological health and safety, and we begin to apply it.
00:03:27 So in our podcast, what's a little bit different and a bit counter intuitive is that we don't just talk about that. We also are in the middle of creating a psychologically healthy and safe space. As we're talking about the factors of psychological health and safety in today's episode, we experience and talk about what it means to be a real man. We talk about how vulnerability is a superpower and we share what happens in the lives of people when they don't feel like they have support at work for their mental health.
00:04:03 Welcome to this special episode of the speed of presence, psychological health and safety podcast. And now let's go to the conversation that me and my family had this week. I might as well start. So I've been struggling the last a week with my mental health and just the level of anxiety that I feel and talking about this, the things that I'm talking about with those employment counselors and has just kind of brought some stuff to the surface,
00:04:44 feeling untethered a little bit with just what normally gives me a sense of my manhood. And I'm also triggered like I just, this week have been triggered about just different things, you know, just heightened anxiety and fear and reactiveness at times that also triggers me because anytime I feel powerless over something or someone I automatically have pretty dark thoughts about what's going to happen.
00:05:18 And it's a, it's a trauma response and it's the way that I've lived my life for a long time, you know, like, so I would take actions in relationships and then work situations from that. And then pretend like that. Wasn't the source of the reason why I was taking the action. So, you know, on the surface it looked like,
00:05:45 oh, you know, that's awesome. Tracy is coming to work at four 30 in the morning and he's opening the gate and he's going in and he's working until nine 30 at night. He's closing the gate after everybody leaves that wow, that guy's, what's really going on is I'm terrified inside. And my whole body is in a state that is like the same as when you are running for your life.
00:06:10 That's what's really going on. So most we'll go to dad next. I kind of feel aligned with you in terms of this whole deconstructing, your identity and like trying to find your way and re-establish yourself. I really appreciate the difficulty not, Yeah, I got blind spots. I've got big blind spots. Like I don't know my perspective of what it means to be a man.
00:06:55 And what it means to bring value into the world has been a certain way for a long time action oriented results, oriented, financial Results, career Results, getting shit done. That's been that way for a long time. The part of myself that I've not celebrated as much, but that has really given me huge capacity is vulnerability. And vulnerability is not something that seems to be that celebrated as a leadership or management skill in the world so much.
00:07:38 Right. And I I've been wondering about that and how to, to be vulnerable in a way that helps other people to experience me, but not necessarily like personalize that either. Right? Like, yeah. So I, I, I have practiced and continue to practice that communication skill where I actually go, yeah. You know what, like I actually feel completely threatened as a man right now.
00:08:07 And I'm not really sure what to do with that. It feels like this is such a deep heart issue for you trace in terms of your sense of identity and your purpose and your worth. And I feel like in some ways maybe you've hit behind your role as a non to ensure those needs were met. And it's almost like God's peeling it back peeling back that sense of identity so that your true needs and your true heart and who you really are,
00:08:41 can be unconditionally hit and loved and like received apart from that role. What I feel like I was taught about being a man was that you're, you're brave, you're creative, you're on the forefront. You're leading the pack, right. You're protecting from danger. You're the hero of the story. You're all those different things. Right? I think part of it is that it feels weak to me to feel insecure at all,
00:09:14 ever, and to actually talk about that is completely not a skill that I've ever had. My in my world, you don't ever talk about that kind of stuff. And I don't feel comfortable doing it. And yet, if I'm really honest, I am, I do feel that way sometimes. Right? Like I do need reassurance. And especially right now with what I'm going through,
00:09:40 you know, what's, what's wanting to heal in my life past trauma, all that stuff. Like everything was all kind of messed up in my thinking right now. So I do need that, but I don't really want to ask for it because real men don't ever ask for help, they don't ever share their feelings and they don't especially talk to their partner.
00:10:02 A woman about that stuff. You really Believe that I'm just telling you the dialogue that's in my head. Okay. I have to tell you, we are all full of questions. Nobody seems to have the answers. I've just come through the toughest few years of my life because I can't physically do the things that I used to be able to do. I sit and I watch her mother out there hauling rocks back and forth from the garden.
00:10:31 And if I try to go out and help her, I hurt myself worse than it already is. It's the worst feeling. What's the neighbors go by and see me doing nothing while she's hard to work out in the sun Holland rocks. That's something that I should have been doing. At least my interpretation of being a man and the breadwinner and all of that crap that I grew up with just put,
00:10:57 has to be that I can't do that. The acceptance of being able to not do the things that you can do the best. That's what I get the best. I can't do it anymore. It's the worst. I don't have answers, but there is one thing that has come out of these years. My insecurities, both with Carol and with you guys of not being loved or not being accepted,
00:11:26 have sobered out of this weakness has kind of a strength and there were new. I had, I still like it a lot, but I'm learning to accept. You know, don't be discouraged. It will be all right, because you certainly have anything you need within you. It will come back better than it ever was before. How did That land for you?
00:11:55 Turn caring dads, particularly dads kind of take on things. It makes me feel hope and also admiration for the kind of man that my father is the deep way that he is embracing his own process. And being able to look at those deep insecurities and challenges and the way that he feels inside of that. And then to come out the other side with the truth that he's experiencing and sharing with us here,
00:12:33 it just shows me that I'm a lot like him and that this is the way that our family's legacy is going to live on as is through this kind of ability to share at this level. You know, because there's a lot of men that would not even be able to articulate what it is that dad just articulated and that's not their fault. It's not that they're doing something wrong.
00:12:57 It's just, and it's not that they don't have these things going on for them because they do. It's just that there's gotta be a willingness there to actually do that examination inside your own heart and to stop looking at what's going on out there and start to look at what's going on in here, right? So as the neighbors are going by on the street and you feel angry and pissed off and you're watching it and you feel like,
00:13:21 you know, the world's witnessing your weakness in that moment. You could stay there for the rest of your life, but he didn't. And so I really admire you for that, that, and I really appreciate the kind of example that you set for us. I just want to say, I really appreciate, like I got to watch you model dad,
00:13:44 how to be a man in a different way than maybe you modeled when you were younger, you know, and I appreciate the, like the path, your forging as the patriarch of that family, the past that your machete being away, if you will, so that we can follow so that trace can follow you and be like, oh, this is what about is,
00:14:11 this is what healing looks like. This is what the way forward can be. It's so beautiful. And it's like Trey said, it takes so much courage. I just appreciate your, your resiliency to be able to do that. Especially in your later years. Like there's a lot of old folks out there, no way. I think we all have to forge our own lives.
00:14:40 You know, doesn't matter whether you're male or female, but the beauty of having a good relationship at home and with your parents and aunts and uncles or whoever, it doesn't matter that are older than you they've lived and had to experience things that they need. Maybe didn't want to at one time, but they still learn. So those little pearls are there.
00:15:09 You don't have to use them, but you'll find in your own path and your own journey that you'll be able to reach out now and again, and pick up one of those pearls. And it becomes very helpful to you in your journey, you know, and I want to provide all kinds of boroughs really do I believe that it's in my children and my family is where my legacy lives.
00:15:40 That butter was helped along by some wise people in my life too, who were able to drop some pearls. Thank God they were still around when I have enough sense to reach over and pick one up. Yeah, what you're sharing is really rich because I was just looking at our, the other factor that we talked about. We were going to talk about today,
00:16:06 which is psychological and social support, psychological and social support comprises all supportive interactions available at work or home, either with coworkers, supervisors, or family members. It refers to the degree of social and emotional integration and trust among the people involved. It also refers to the level of help and assistance provided by others. When one is performing tasks or walking through life equally important are the worker's perceptions and awareness of organizational support or family or a person's perception of family support.
00:16:46 When workers perceive the organizational support or the family supported means they believe their organization or family values, their contributions is committed to ensuring their wellbeing and provides meaningful support. If this wellbeing is being compromised. And I love what you're sharing that about the, the generational way that we can support each other. You know, I love that's one of the, I think probably one of the top five reasons.
00:17:14 I love this call. I have a lot of them, but it's that I get to experience the wisdom of your experience. Like I said before, even a blind squirrel except an acorn. If we just keep scratching long enough under all that crap, I'm just going to keep digging folks. I actually think, you know, I was thinking about how pearls are made and the reality is those pearls develop are,
00:17:51 are hard, fought through difficulty and pain and struggle. So, I mean, yeah, blind squirrels, funny, you know, and somewhat true, but there's also an endurance and perseverance From a little bitty greedy B-cell, that's irritated, that's the beginning. So there's a couple of statements that they put in here that you can read to find out whether or not your organization,
00:18:22 team or family are psychologically and socially supportive. Well, the first one that strikes me that jumps out off the list is workers feel like they're part of our people feel like they're part of a community and that the people they're working or living with are helpful and fulfilling their job requirements or their life goals. Another one is that the organization or family has a process in place to intervene.
00:18:50 If someone looks like they're distressed, you know, I was at a job site with a young man about a month and a half ago. He was not part of our company that we were a part of you as part of a different company. And so he came on the job site and, you know, he was pretty young. He was like,
00:19:11 I don't know, 26, 27. And he wasn't totally prepared for the job. I think the job was a bit higher level of safety and compliance and stuff. So he kind of got on the job site and he had to be oriented and he didn't have all the right gear. We had to help him with that. And so there was a few things that happened and it slowed down the job quite a bit.
00:19:32 And then we got to work and he was clearly like not wanting to be there. His attitude was not good. He wasn't really very helpful. I actually had to talk to his boss and after a little bit of time, then he engaged a little bit more and he got involved. And, but not, he didn't really want to be there. You could just tell that he didn't want to be there.
00:19:56 Well, he had shared with the other guy I was working with who was a part of our company, that he was having some problems at home and he was having a problem with his wife and et cetera, et cetera. So to give you a picture of where we were, we're in the middle of this mill, outside with machines running around and conveyor belts and all this stuff that's happening around it.
00:20:22 So it's just not the kind of context where you could stop and have a conversation about this. So we didn't, we kept, we just tried to get the job done. We got it done. He ended up leaving. It was all good. I signed his ticket. That was that. And we learned a lot from that. And then about a week and a half,
00:20:40 two weeks went by and I was talking to his boss and he goes home. By the way, that guy that was the job site just passed away. And I was like, what kid? He was only 26. He goes, yeah, apparently he was found in his home after an overdose, as a part of the opioid crisis. That's going on here and Vancouver.
00:21:08 And last month we had 180 deaths due to opioids in the last 10 months, we've had almost 1800 deaths due to opioids. And this young man apparently was using drugs in it, ended up overdosing. And it just made me think about that when I was looking at this factor because, you know, we, you know, we could have actually stopped the job and taken him and had a conversation with him and said,
00:21:42 Hey, you know, like, are you really okay to be here right now? And do you need some help of some kind? And is there an employment assistance that we can give you? And, you know, we didn't do any of those things. I didn't do any of those things. And as I look at that, I think this really underlines why it's so important to have a psychologically safe space for people,
00:22:07 because the most important thing on most jobs like that is getting the work done. But what we don't understand, I think is that if we can actually take care of one another as wellbeing and health in this way, the work's going to get done in so much different and better ways than we could ever even imagine. You know, like that kid, if he had,
00:22:30 you know, the kind of supports that he needed, he'd still probably be around. And you know, that doesn't mean it's not our fault, not my fault that that happened, but it does give me something valuable to take out of that because there are a lot of people like that running around. And if you can only move one, like you,
00:22:54 if you to stop and, and tried to help him, if he was in his addiction at the right place, he wouldn't know what he would have told you, screw yourself. He wouldn't have, He didn't want help at the end of the job. I actually thought about having a conversation with him about the work or what happened, stuff like that.
00:23:12 But his attitude was he really, he, you know, and I, I relate, I, I have been in that same spot many times in my own life. Right. I wasn't open, he wasn't opening it's okay. But If you keep trying, if those facilities are available more readily, right, then there are lives out there to be safe for sure.
00:23:37 Well, this is the thing that I am intending because I believe that if we have things in place, like, you know, social support, when people are going through like that, love this, this list here, and it says workers feel supported by the organization when they're dealing with personal or family issues. That's the litmus test for whether or not you have psychological health and safety at your workplace is factor.
00:24:04 Number two is psychological and social support, but it's, and you know, it, if the worker feels supported by the organization, when they're dealing with personal or family issues, it's like how many times have I gone to work, dealing with a personal family issue? And I, I felt like I had to switch that off, like a robot before I went into the job.
00:24:27 Like, you can't talk about that shit here. You can't talk about what's really going on in your life divorce. My kids are going through addiction or mental health issues. I'm going through my own mental health issues. Can, you know, but no, don't talk about any of that because we leave that stuff outside. And then we actually think that that's not going to affect our workplaces.
00:24:50 Thirdly, is It makes me think of kind of this realization I had on Thursday about truth and reconciliation. There was a pastor that spoke at the opening ceremony and he talked about responsibility and accountability and how reconciliation looks in your life and having a plan like being intentional. And I was angry at first. I'm like, well, why is it my problem?
00:25:18 I didn't create all I didn't cause all this harm. Like I didn't, I didn't do this. But the reality is there's like, he talked about how the Christian faith was this vessel of huge amounts of pain. And if I subscribed to that faith in any way, by proxy, I'm accountable to ensure that that's going to be a vessel of healing.
00:25:45 It's my job to represent reconciliation just by simply affiliating myself. And it, it struck me. It really there's, there's a responsibility I have in my day to day individually in terms of posturing myself towards healing. If I call myself to be a healer and I consider myself to be a healer, what does that actually look like practically? And you're like really nailing the hat,
00:26:14 like the hammer on the head on this one, because I feel like that is practical. Those moments that get glossed over and ignored are the practical moments that you need to like, or I need to recognize are happening and slow down enough and realize my role realized where I stand in that. Well, I think that if I'm willing to slow down and be present with people,
00:26:43 this is what I mean by the phrase, slowing down to the speed of your presence. Because when somebody is going through something, I always, we always know as human beings, there's a check inside of us. That goes, yeah, something's happening for that person. Right. And I really appreciate the way that you're saying it, because that is an invitation for me to be able to be present for a moment,
00:27:10 to take more time with that person. I also love what you're saying about the knee jerk reaction that a lot of people have and a misconception that people have that well, that doesn't have anything to do with me. I mean, if that person is at home and having problems with addiction or with trauma or stress or pressure, and then they come to work,
00:27:32 that's kind of their problem. I mean, I didn't cause that as their manager or their supervisor, I didn't do that. Okay. In one way, you're you're right. You didn't cause that in another way, though, when that person comes to work, if you don't take the time to be present with them and notice what's going on, you're making a huge contribution to the pressure and stress and anxiety and even the trauma at that point,
00:28:03 because that person is going to snap or break in some way. And we have a responsibility to actually show up with people first and foremost, it's not about just making money and getting productivity out of people. We're not robots. We need to actually support one another. Well, even just by, by the fact that you've hired that individual, you're taking responsibility for the space and the relationship you have with that person and that request.
00:28:37 I mean, you've, you've done your bedding, you went over their resume, you interviewed them. And if you chose to have this person in your company, that means there's a relationship that you are equally responsible for. The healthier that person is in any possible way is a benefit to your company. You're going to get better productivity. Well, that's yeah,
00:28:59 that's a given, well, that's been proven over there. We have research that shows that for sure. I think part of the subtlety with what you're saying though, too, that we need to be careful with at that point is to understand that if we do it, because it's going to make us money, people will feel that inauthenticity and they won't actually believe us.
00:29:24 So we got to actually do it for a higher purpose than just the money the money's going to come. The byproducts will come and we'll be productivity. It'll be less absenteeism. It'll be more engagement. All that stuff was going to happen, but that's not the primary reason we do it. The primary reason we do it is because people are important enough to take the time to support them.
00:29:49 That's why we do it. And when you look at that one person, the families that they represent, they've got kids and partners and parents and people at home. You know, we have a health crisis in this country. This is a way that we can actually address it in a very practical way. That's no bullshit and actually puts your money where your mouth is.
00:30:10 And it comes back to you. This isn't reason you do it. But when you help a person, you don't know down the road, when you need help from them or their, or their relatives, you know, That's a, that's a great point. Well, listen, just by not noticing what you just said, if I'm a manager and I don't notice that I'm first and foremost,
00:30:42 a human being, at some point, I am going to need some help and I'm going to, I'm not going to feel like I can actually reach out and ask for it, right. Because I didn't provide it to anybody. Why would anybody be there for me? And the fact is you're right, like we're all human beings. We all deal with mental health issues and stress and problems in our lives and challenges.
00:31:06 Nobody's different just because you're a manager or a leader or an executive doesn't matter. You're, you're running the same path that everybody else is in life. It's called grace. Grace is actually giving to people without having to have a reason why. And I want lots of grace, so I'd like to give it out. I need lots of grades. So I got to do it all right.
00:31:34 At the end of this call, the one thing I'm taking away today that I've learned from this call is what? So just take a moment and check in with yourself and be with that question. What's the one thing that I've learned today that I want to take away from this call. I have been learning about grace, how it is so important and this just kind of underlined it.
00:31:56 So I've thoroughly enjoyed this phone call. Thank you. I'm grateful. Grateful for the pearls that have been afforded me in my life or over. I'm more grateful for the pros that I've seen my children pick up, put to good use and what they offer their children. Gratitude is in every reaching all encompassing thing. Yeah. I would say I feel very aligned with that sentiment.
00:32:28 Just really feeling grateful and curious and inspired by how interconnected our lives are. And our experiences are like a beautiful mosaic. And I just, I guess I'm just admiring the beauty of that and then feeling really lucky that I get to be a part of that mosaic. Yeah. Thanks for that. The three of you I'm taking away that vulnerability is a superpower And it's also an answer to a question that's come up on our call a lot.
00:33:07 And that is how can I actually support people when there's nothing I can really quote do and quote, there's not really anything that I can actually take an action with or whatever. What I notice is that as I am with people and I'm really present with people, and then there's an opportunity for me to be vulnerable with people that is an incredibly supportive action that I can take.
00:33:37 That's psychologically safe and healthy and real, not just for them, but for me. And you know, when on this call, you shared that. So vulnerably about your experience with what you did. And it gave me an opportunity to share it as well. And so now vulnerability is a super power when we're willing to be vulnerable, it gives us access to a level of freedom and support that we didn't otherwise have very proud of my children.
00:34:14 And I'm very proud of my parents. All right, you guys, I love you and I'll look forward to seeing you next weekend. We love you. Yeah. All right. Thank you everybody for tuning in. And I look forward to seeing you in next week's show.