Craig Condy Of Escape Scout On 5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employees
An Interview With David Liu
Meditation practice needs to be taught and encouraged, whether at home or in the workplace. Meditation increases the space between stimulus and reaction, and can drastically decrease stress and improve productivity by allowing the brain to rest and recharge. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
As a part of my series about the “5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employees” I had the pleasure of interviewing Craig Condy.
Craig is a Certified Business and Personal Development Coach, Serial Entrepreneur and Influencer, Content Creator and World Explorer. He Helps Entrepreneurs, Managers and Industry Leaders around the world to better manage their teams, increase revenue and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Craig offers personal coaching to individuals who are serious about creating a world class lifestyle by sharing the secrets he has learned, from his journey to discovery around the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Firstly, Thank you for this opportunity. I’m grateful to be in a position to help so many people.
So, after working in the Super Yachting Industry for several years I learned some skills that were not easily acquired outside of the industry. I interacted with elite individuals who expected nothing short of extraordinary on a day to day basis, allowing me to learn how to work long hours at optimal performance in a high-stress environment with highly influential people.
As I made the transition out of the industry, I focused my attention on helping exhausted yacht crew create a better lifestyle for themselves. This led to ongoing research within the online business sector and eventually led to me becoming an international coach for individuals navigating through transformations and finding balance in their lives.
I believe that you cannot take someone further than you’ve been yourself, so I am dedicated to Self Development and continuing to change the world one person at a time.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Well one thing that comes to mind is a hurdle that I faced last year.
I was preparing a talk on GRATITUDE for a workshop I was hosting last year, and during the week leading up to it, my dad passed away.
Now, as you can imagine, it didn’t leave me feeling very grateful. In fact, I was rather shattered, and I had to postpone the workshop for 2 weeks.
The funny thing is that I had gathered so much information on Gratitude, that it became my saving grace for dealing with my fathers death. If I hadn’t been practising gratitude, I might of gone down a completely different path.
I think this falls perfectly in line with this topic of Mental Wellness. We can be victims of our circumstance and spend the rest of our lives frustrated with the outcome, or we can choose to slow down and appreciate the opportunities that they represent. Which ever way you choose to think, you will attract more of it in your life, so if you choose to be grateful, you will be given more things to be grateful for.
It’s much easier said than done, but by consciously choosing our thoughts, we are consciously creating our reality.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
I believe that burnout is a result of imbalance, and that balance can differ from one person to the other. We need to build up our lives simultaneously in certain categories.
I like to focus on four different “pillars” of growth, namely, Business, Relationships, Health and Spirituality. If one of these pillars over shadow the others, it can cause tension on other areas of your life. For example, if someone were to focus all of their attention on work, then they will eventually find that their relationships outside of work might falter, they might neglect their body and cause health problems, and they wont give themselves enough time to discover a spiritual or self loving practise.
If this goes unchecked, it will eventually lead to burnout, but if balanced correctly, it will create a thriving and sustainable lifestyle.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
I believe a lot more emphasis needs to go into regulating balance across the work force, and special attention is required in better understanding your employees personal life.
Paraphrasing a quote I heard from actor Terry Crews, “We need to see everyone as people to be loved, not tools to be used.” When we can create a system which allows for equal work-life balance, then we can build businesses on an energy of love and service, rather than resentment and exhaustion.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don’t, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
― Harvey Mackay
I’m still not entirely sure where I first came across this quote, but I remember printing it out and sticking it to the ceiling above my bed when I was a teenager. It was the last thing I saw at night, and the first thing I saw every morning.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. As you know, the collective mental health of our country is facing extreme pressure. In recent years many companies have begun offering mental health programs for their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, we would love to hear about five steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each?
Absolutely, I love this question, and it is a common topic amongst my clients.
I am so happy to see more companies initiating better practises to support the well being of their staff.
I think first and foremost, a meditation practise needs to be taught and encouraged, whether at home or in the workplace. Meditation increases the space between stimulus and reaction, and can drastically decrease stress and improve productivity by allowing the brain to rest and recharge. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
Secondly, I have seen more companies make use of “Flexi-Time” which allows the employees to operate at their most productive times of the day, rather than forcing unnatural productivity from a resistant employee. By following principles like Ayurveda, you will learn that each person operates differently, and by honouring the natural cycles of our body, we can perform at an optimal level and be more productive. This also allows employees to make use of their personal hours as they see fit, which will increase overall morale which is beneficial to the workplace.
Thirdly, encouraging exercise will increase dopamine levels and lower serotonin levels which will create happier and healthier employees. Even better if you can organise team sports events amongst the staff every so often to encourage team bonding whilst increasing their fitness and health. The body needs to be used and it will deteriorate if left to work from a chair all day without movement. Even by swapping chairs for standing desks or fit-balls will greatly increase productivity.
Fourth, I would say that everyone in the work place needs to take an active interest in each other. If you are spending nearly every day together, then it’s worth your while to understand why your colleague does what they do, and what motivates them. A great way to do this is by having Monday Morning Meetings where each employee gets a few quick minutes to say what they did over the weekend. Not only will this help everyone to get to know each other on a more personal level, but it will also inspire individuals to live more actively so that they can have something more interesting to share with their colleagues.
And Lastly, I think it is paramount to ensure that employees understand exactly what their role is within the company, and how they contribute to the overall success of the company.
A receptionist might feel like she is somehow obsolete and that her job is not very important, but when you explain that he/she is the first contact with new potential clients and that her role is crucial in the ongoing growth and functioning of the company, then you could drastically change the way in which he/she works, whilst giving them motivation and pride in what they do.
These ideas are wonderful, but sadly they are not yet commonplace. What strategies would you suggest to raise awareness about the importance of supporting the mental wellness of employees?
Unfortunately with the growing unemployment rate and the competitive nature of businesses, we have become accustomed to withhold information for fear that our competitors will use it against us, rather than share our information more freely.
We now have access to a wealth of knowledge, and individuals are becoming more innovative and adaptable every day. When we decide that we will benefit from the success of our peers, then we can shift our mindset towards expansion rather than recession. This overall growth will benefit everyone, and when it becomes common practise in the workplace, you will witness employees striving to achieve rather than feeling unmotivated.
From your experience or research, what are different steps that each of us as individuals, as a community and as a society, can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious or having other mental health issues ? Can you explain?
Take an active interest in the people around you. You’d be surprised what can happen from a simple conversation. Be humble. Realise that you are not the only person dealing with life, and somebody else would probably love to have your problems.
If you know someone who is dealing with something, then help them shift their vibration by changing their circumstance. It may be in the form of external environment, the people they surround themselves with, or maybe even an unhealthy habit, physically or emotionally.
We tend to attach our circumstance to physical aspects, so when we can change our habitual patterns and step out of our comfort zones, we can trigger a change in our mindset.
This might seem intuitive to you, but it will be helpful to spell it out. Can you help articulate a few ways how workplaces will benefit when they pay attention to an employee’s mental health?
Yes sure, it really isn’t hard to imagine. If you have one “toxic” person in the work place, it will eventually have a negative affect on the rest of the staff, and possibly even the customers.
Instead, if you have an eager and enthusiastic employee who always wants to do their best and strives to create a better environment, then they will inspire action and motivate others to do better. This in turn will be visible to your customers who will promote your service, and therefore make the business more successful, benefitting the employees who work there.
As a manager or leader in an organisation, if you see someone else struggling, then be careful how you approach the situation. If you belittle them about their work load and ethics, you might breed negativity and cause more damage, but instead, if you simply ask them how you may be able to help, and if everything is okay in their personal life, you will build trust and kindness, which will continue to multiply across the work force.
Do you use any meditation, breathing or mind-calming practices that promote your mental wellbeing? We’d love to hear about all of them. How have they impacted your own life?
Absolutely. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a meditation and self love practise.
We can’t rely on external forces to motivate us, and we need to quieten the noise of influence from others who might not have our best interests at heart. Don’t let someone else talk you out of your dreams and desires through the lens of their own fear. You need to be able to go within and determine what it is that your mind and body align with. If you don’t have a loving relationship with yourself, then how could you expect anyone else to.
By taking the time to simply breathe and look after yourself, you are encouraging others to do the same.
In todays world we are overwhelmed by so much content and stimulus that we can barely hear ourselves think, but in order to live in alignment, then you need to hear what you have to say, and you can only do that, when you consciously choose to take the time to listen.
I work in the communications industry, so I’m particularly interested in this question. As you know, there are a variety of communication tools such as video conferencing, phone, text, and push-to-talk. What changes or improvements would you suggest for these technologies to help foster better mental health?
I think the most in-person, the better. I work with a lot of clients internationally so I tend to use Video Conferencing more than anything, but I believe that we are detaching ourselves more and more as it gets easier to simply send an impersonal text message or communicate without seeing each other. We hide behind filtered images and memes instead of allowing others to see the expression on our face and watch our body language. We need to strengthen our social skills and remember the beauty of interacting with others in a safe and comfortable space.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Thats a great question, and funny enough, I have already started that movement. It is called “The Feel Good Movement,” and it aims to inspire and motivate individuals to reach their potential and lead a better lifestyle. I started the company several years ago and last year we launched our first online workshop which took individuals through an 8-week program as we dissected the “FEEL GOOD” name into “Finding Yourself,” “Energy,” “Exercise,” “Lifestyle,” “Gratitude,” “Optimism,” “Overcoming,” and “Development.”
We plan to host more workshops moving forward and to create International retreats where we take individuals away for a week of discovery and development. The business model is endless and our goal is to change the world, one person at a time.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
My personal brand is “Escape Scout,” which mostly consists of personal coaching for individuals wanting to find balance in their lives and escape the limitations of themselves and the world around them.
I have partnered with my wife “Belle Esprit” (who is also a transformational coach) to bring you “THE FEEL GOOD MOVEMENT” which is a fast growing international community of like minded individuals changing the world by reconnecting with themselves and helping others do the same.
Please see the links below for further information.
Craig Condy (Escape Scout):
Feel Good Movement:
Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!