December 2, 2020

Focusing on Mental Health in Our Workplaces, with Kjirsten Mickesh

Episode 68:

Kjirsten Mickesh is Co-Founder and CEO of ConnectHuman. She has been a student of human and organizational behavior for over two decades, having led all aspects of Human Resources at global companies in multiple industries. Kjirsten is an ICF certified coach with specialized training in social and emotional intelligence.

Kjirsten is known for her courageous leadership and ability to address complex opportunities with focus and alignment to achieve differential results. Her approach to building relationships allows her to create boundaryless partnerships and collaboration.

In Kjirsten’s own words:

“I have experienced a life-long journey with anxiety AND have also experienced great success in life and work. But I traveled most of my journey alone because I was ashamed and afraid. It makes me sad to think about how alone and scared I often felt, and that I never asked the people in my life who loved me and were there to support me for help. But I can’t go back. So, as I look back, I choose to focus on the gifts I discovered in my fear and all that I have learned along the way. So many people suffer alone, and they don’t have to. Now I hope my story can inspire others to ask for the support they need or be the person others can come to for support.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Kjirsten has found a balance between her lifelong experiences of anxiety with her successful career
  • How a fear of being seen as weak led Kjirsten to hiding her anxiety, from others and from herself
  • How Kjirsten’s fear and anxiety impacted Kjirsten’s behaviors in her workplace, and how she realized her anxiety was affecting her work
  • How giving herself permission to feel and to cry helped Kjirsten manage her feelings in a healthier way
  • How the global pandemic, the election, the murder of George Floyd, and other societal issues have amplified our anxiety and depression
  • Why the pandemic and social distancing is forcing many mental health facilities to close, causing even more strain on our support systems
  • What steps we can take to improve our mental health fitness each day, and why self-awareness is key
  • Why our feelings often come in layers, for example feeling anxiety on the surface but with a layer of fear underneath the anxiety
  • Why being aware of mental health issues and creating a workplace space for employees to feel safe in expressing what they are feeling is critically important
  • How to encourage team members to share their feelings, and how to be receptive and responsive to those feelings

Additional resources: