In order to understand hypnocoaching, it’s important first, to understand the issues it addresses… It is clear that there is currently an epidemic of mental health issues in the workplace… According to a Vhi Health Insights Report on mental health in the corporate workplace published in June 2018, only one in five employees in corporate Ireland are extremely satisfied with their lives. That means, four out of five, aren’t… The report also revealed that more than one in five is extremely or very stressed and that there is a sense that pressures have increased in recent years. Almost one in three participants reported more stress than two years ago. As well as stress, other conditions common in the workplace include anxiety, panic attacks, depression or inappropriate angry outbursts.
I have wondered about the reasons for this recent rise and current epidemic and think that it’s the result of a number of factors… Despite people becoming more aware than they were, say thirty years ago, of the concept of work-life-balance, people are finding it harder and harder to actually achieve one. The relentless flow of modern communication, whether to the email inbox on your desktop or laptop or whether to your mobile phone, means that people rarely switch off, and the lines between the working day and home life are becoming more and more blurred. People often find themselves reading and answering work emails long after the working day is over. A recent study of email behaviours in the US* found that 55% of workers regularly check their emails after 11:00pm, a massive 81% of workers check their work emails at the weekend, 59% whilst on holiday and 6% even admitted to checking their work emails whilst at a funeral… I’m sure you will agree that these are quite shocking statistics and I feel sure that had the study been carried out in Ireland the results would not be much different, although I would suspect that the latter statistic might be significantly higher!
As these behaviours become habitual, the organisations that employ people simply expect their workers to be at their beck and call 24/7. I myself spent over 30 years in the corporate world and in my personal experience these expectations are at their worst in international companies with offices all over the world, who often ask employees to join conference calls with offices in times zones hours apart… The West Coast of America or Japan, for instance, at unsocial hours… And on top of and in addition to their normal working day. So, workers are squeezed. Squeezed by always-on technology and squeezed by the relentless demands of the corporate world… And because people are squeezed by their work life, they have less time for their home life and as a result feel squeezed there too.
You probably know how hard it is for working people to find time for their families and loved ones… Think of the young parents who every day drop their toddlers off to the crèche at 7:00am and only pick them up again at 7:00pm, or the parent who, when their 5-year-old daughter was asked to draw a picture of her family, found that they had been left out of it, because they were never there!
At best these situations can cause a pervasive and debilitating feeling that despite working incredibly hard, you are managing somehow to let everyone down. At worst, they can lead to feelings of desperation, guilt, anger and sadness, that, in turn can lead to serious mental health conditions such as panic attacks and depression.
In order to help people in these situations we have found that one effective approach can be to use a combination of coaching and clinical hypnotherapy. This is called “Hypnocoaching”. In these one-to-one hypnocoaching sessions the coaching element is about helping workers to cope with and push back on the demands placed upon them. Helping them to see where genuine time-savings and efficiencies can be made and helping them to use the right language and techniques to introduce new ideas or to manage difficult co-workers, bosses or clients and difficult conversations and situations. They are also designed to help people relieve the day-to-day pressure that they are put under through a combination of short-term practical tips and tricks and longer-term strategies.
In hypnocoaching, the coaching element is combined with clinical hypnotherapy. This might be unusual in the workplace, but more progressive companies are starting to embrace it as they begin to see the remarkable, positive changes that hypnotherapy can achieve in their people. As with all clinical hypnotherapy, in hypnocoaching we are accessing the subconscious mind, enabling us to embed the suggestions we make during the coaching element of the sessions more deeply so that they become habitual, but more importantly, allowing us to remove the mental ‘blockers’ that often lie behind that catch-all concept of ‘stress’, such as negative self-belief, limiting thoughts, old emotional residue, anger, anxiety, lack of confidence or lack of self-value, and even the lasting trauma caused by physical injury or illness. We can also use hypnocoaching techniques to increase general resilience, improve responses to stressful situations, boost confidence levels, enhance presentation and public speaking skills or sharpen decision-making and negotiation skills.
We know that corporate organisations like to see results. So, when we complete a hypnocoaching programme with an individual, which is generally four to six 90-minute sessions, we provide the organisation with a detailed report that shows how the individual subject has progressed, whilst respecting their privacy. So, no private information is disclosed in the report, however, with the subject’s consent, we are able to include information gathered using hypnotic techniques that indicates the subject’s happiness, stress levels, anxiety levels, levels of self-confidence, levels of self-value etc. and how the needle has moved since the initial consultation session with them. This, along with the often clearly evident changes in an individual’s demeanour and outlook, prove the effectiveness of the programme.
If you are an employee and thinking about introducing the idea of hypno-coaching into your workplace or if you are an employer who’s interested in a progressive move such as this, remember that the benefits of a happier, healthier workforce are tangible… Happier, healthier people are more productive. They take fewer sick days, and they are more settled and tend to move from job to job less often. Anyone in HR or involved with recruitment will know that replacing good people is always a headache, always costly, both in terms of recruitment costs and training costs, and even with the most rigorous recruitment process, it can be the luck of the draw whether the incoming person works out.
In the light of all of this, an investment in hypno-coaching to help keep your existing people happy and healthy can seem like a very good deal!
Author: Tim France
Date: August 2018
*Source GFI Software (UK)