AB: Hello and welcome to Simplifi Health. My name is Aurelia Byrne and I'm here with Dr. Jill Wade and Cathy Jameson today. We're going to talk about creating a healthy work environment.
JW: Hey, guys. I can tell you this, if you're out there even thinking that you don't want to get up and go to work tomorrow morning, maybe there's a reason why, maybe you are just experiencing too much stress in your work environment. Because, I don't know about you guys, I don't want to go to work feeling stressed out, I want to go to work happy, energized so that I can go home at the end of the day and still have the energy to be with the girls and be a great mom.
JW: So it is a pleasure today for me personally, to introduce to you a good friend of mine, not only because I do consider her a true friend, but because she has truly been instrumental in my overall success in the dental practice for many years.
Cathy Jameson has been a part of our consulting team since 2003. I truly will tell you that what she teaches, what she knows is exactly what you need to know especially if you own your own business but just if you are in a leadership position in any type of business, what she has to say, how she explains it, and how she gives you practical tools to go to work every day and actually live what she preaches, you're in for a treat, you are in for a treat so without further ado, Ms. Cathy Jameson is here with us in the house.
CJ: Thank you so much, thank you, Jill, thank you, Aurelia, thank you so much. It’s great to be here, thank you, ladies.
JW: I just want to share with everyone just a small brief idea of who and what you are, I mean guys, she is amazing. She has her Ph.D. and her dissertations themselves are, do you have two Ph.D?
CJ: I do, I do.
JW: Yes. Not just one but two. They are basically highlighting stress in the work environment, correct?
CJ: One of them does, yes.
JW: Now, in dentistry in general, we’ll talk about that in a few minutes but I truly believe that your teachings are basically for any type of work environment.
CJ: That is true, that is true, universally applicable to any business and to any person actually. One of the dissertations is controlling stress in the work environment because you will never eliminate stress nor do we really want to eliminate stress. Stress is not bad into itself. In fact, it can be very invigorating. Stress can be exhilarating, it can be a factor that gives us that
adrenaline that we need to get up in the morning and to be excited and it can be very positive. But when it begins to be debilitating and becomes dysfunctional, then it’s termed distress and it’s distress that becomes harmful to us. If it becomes harmful to us either physiologically or psychologically and becomes distressful, then really can be harmful and that's when it can make us sick. In fact, 80% of illnesses being treated in America today can be traced back to distress in one way, shape, or form so that's what we really want to be careful about and be aware of.
JW: Absolutely, and you know that's what we preach. That is exactly what we at Stonebriar Smile Design, but also when we're co-managing patients with physicians, cardiologists, preventive medicine docs, nurse practitioners, and PAs, that is such a huge part of it is stress and you have to realize there's value in having your health care providers and your healthcare team with you understand who you are as much from a real person in the work environment and what kind of stressors you might have in your life as much as what your blood work is showing or what your teeth are showing so we totally agree with that.
Guys, that’s not all she does, I mean this woman is an international lecturer. She is a consultant. She is a personal coach. She is a wonderful mother, a wonderful grandmother, a wonderful friend, a cook, she plays the piano beautifully, she sings like an angel, I mean what is it that you don't do? That's really the bottom line of it. So tell everybody just briefly your kind of how long you've had Jameson Management and how that, it's a big story but just kind of let everybody know where you’ve come from and where you are now?
CJ: It’s a very good question. I actually have to say that Jameson Management evolved from uncontrolled stress.
JW: That’s so true.
CJ: Jameson Management evolved from my husband's dental practice. My husband and I were married in undergraduate school at Oklahoma State University. When he was accepted into dental school at Creighton University, I was still in undergraduate the school and so we moved to Omaha, Nebraska together as a very young married couple and went through the dental school, putting through dental school.
When we finished, we started a dental practice together, start it together and things were going fine until what was called the oil crisis in the state of Oklahoma which is where we live, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, we’re hit very hard in the mid 80s by what was called the oil crisis, oil just nosedived. That just ruined the economy of those states and so he’s very young but thriving dental practice began to suffer.
We learned firsthand what financial stress is all about. Because we’re young, we were in debt, and we had school debt, we had the debt of starting a practice, we had a debt of a new home, etc, etc. So our young thriving practice was struggling. This will sound really weird in today’s time but we borrowed money at 7% interest and interest went from 7% to 22%. 22% percent interest and so we were struggling just to pay interest on those notes. So we learned firsthand what financial stress was and we learned a very important lesson in life and that financial stress
can cause personal stress as well. When we found the personal stress in the practice based on financial stress, that personal stress led to marital stress as well.
JW: No, seriously?
CJ: Yeah, and I said, yeah. So we were on the verge of bankruptcy and we run the verge of divorce. But luckily we loved each other so much and we had passion for each other, we had passion for our children, we had passion for our home, we had passion for the history we’ve created up to that point in our lives.
And I'm going to use John’s quote, my husband, John, he said, “Hey, we can roll over and play dead and throw all this away or we can suck it up and we can turn this thing around and this can take both of us working together.” So he said, “Cath, would you come back into the practice?” Because I'd help him started but then I'd taken time out and I was raising our children and he said, “Would you come back into practice and help turn this thing around?” And I did and so we, one system at the time figured out how to run the dental practice. I don't know any about managing a dental practice but we figured it out and we figured it out one system at a time starting with good communication.
If we didn't know how to communicate well with each other, if we didn't know how to communicate well as a team, and if we weren't clear about our mission, our vision, and if we didn't learn how to set goals and stick to those goals, we weren’t going to go anywhere. So that's where we began and we committed to learning how to communicate well, we learned that communication was the bottom line to our success, and it was the bottom line with the success of every one of our systems.
So one by one, we built our practice on good systems. Our practice began to thrive even though the economy was flailing. Laboratory people and supply people saw our practice soaring and laboratory people would come and say, “Hey, you're doing more lab work than anybody else in this entire state. How is this possible?”
JW: What’s the secret?
CJ: What’s the secret? And the supply people were saying, “Hey, you're buying more supplies than anybody else, what's going on here?” John would say, “Hey, look, I'm back at the chair, I'm doing dentistry, I'm too busy, I don't have time to talk to you, go talk to Cathy.” So they would come and talk to me and I would say, “Well, here's what we're doing...” They’d say, “Oh, my gosh, I have this client in Oklahoma City who’s really struggling. Would you come and teach this person what you're doing?” or “I have this person in Dallas who’s struggling, would you come, teach this person what you're doing?” I said, “Well, I'm a teacher, I guess I could teach this.” So I would write up my lesson plans and here are my objectives and here's the lesson and here's what we're going to do and here’s step one, step two, step three, and step four, and here are the exercises we're going to do. I would write up lesson plans just like I did when I was teaching school because that's how I put John to dental school, I was teaching school.
So I would go into practices and I would teach them what we had learned to do in the practice and we just figured it out. I don't know that I really knew what I was doing but it worked. Anyway, it seemed to work at it worked well and one client became two and two became four and four became eight and eight became sixteen. Pretty soon I had more than I could handle and so I hired my first coach, and then two consultants became four, four became eight and eight became sixteen and pretty soon we had a very large company. Now we have clients in every state and have had we and we have been in over 2500 practices and we've been in 31 countries. Jameson Management has been very successful. Our clients do very well.
AB: How many years?
CJ: We've been now consulting for 30 years. AB: Wow.
JW: Isn’t that amazing?
AB: That is amazing.
CJ: It’s so true that it's really been based on finding ways to help John, as a dentist, and our team be successful but also, if financially successful, yes, but we’re really so stressed and it was all about stress. Can we find a way to practice, again he's a dentist, so can we practice dentistry in a way that is yes, financially successful but also have the stress controlled, not eliminated but controlled so that he could enjoy dentistry, so that he could fall back in love with dentistry, so that in his 30th year of practice he would love dentistry as much as the day that he began practicing dentistry? That’s what we wanted, that's what we want for all of our clients because we want people to love going to work.
JW: That’s it in a nutshell. I think that's all any of us ever want, I mean it's still a job, I mean we've got to do it, we've got to have that financial aspect to things so that we can put a roof over our heads that we can have our foods to eat and things like that. So we're all going to have these jobs and I get that.
But can you do it and stay with it with passion and fulfillment for multiple years or do you end up having burn out? So I do 100% agree that being able to find that stress control “balance,” I always try to use that word as you will know, being a personal coach with me as well as a consultant for the dental office. But finding that balance in life I think is what has not only made me be able to practice for as long as I had and still enjoy it every day with passion but I don't see it ending anytime soon either. So for those of you out there who are listening, who, I don’t care if you aren't in dentistry, this is so far beyond just dentistry, so I want you to keep listening and let's hop into some great information about stress and stress control in the work environment.
AB: I have a question just because I work with you and I don't remember how long have you been with Jameson Management?
JW: Actually with them in the practice itself since 2003. How long is that? At least fifteen years. I'm either an extremely slow learner or I simply have value that I believe in a lifetime of continual coaching. I have many coaches in my life, coaching, consulting, the two terms kind of are exchangeable to me, some for specific business purposes and reasons to work with the team and systems in place and communications and things like that.
But also I think each one of us as individuals, depending on what your own individual goals are for your life for that upcoming year or two years or five years, you need to also have personal coaches in there that help keep you accountable. Because as an owner or leader of a business, there's nobody holding you accountable, either you hold yourself accountable or you help find someone who can help hold you accountable.
CJ: I have coaches in my life. I really try to practice what I preach so I've always had coaches in my life. Again, just like you, I have business coaches, I have financial coaches, I have spiritual coaches, I've personal coaches, I have fitness coaches, I have a speaking coach, I have a lot of different kind of coaches in my life. If you really study the great people of the world or people who have been ultimately successful, they encourage that and they have personal coaches in their lives as well.
The greatest coaches of all have coaches in their lives. It's the day that someone stops learning the day that someone stops stretching, that's the day that they stop growing that they stop improving, that they come to a dead end street. The world does not stop and so I always tell people, I said, “There's no such thing as status quo, you're either going up or you're going down. There is no such thing a status quo. The law physics tells us that.” So I choose till the day I stop living, I choose to be on a continuous path of improvement so I appreciate you always being on the path of improvement and I choose to be on the same path.
JW: Like follows like. AB: That's right.
JW: So true. So speaking of like follows like, do you feel that sometimes, maybe in a work environment maybe not everybody is like and possibly that could be part of the cause of some stress in there. I mean, we were just laughing a little while ago, I really don't believe that people wake up in the morning thinking, “How can I go to work today and make my teammates as miserable as I possibly can?” People don’t wake up thinking that.
CJ: Yeah, I agree.
JW: But that is what happens sometimes.
CJ: That's what happens, that’s what happens. An interesting study by the American Dental Association does show that the number one source of stress for a dentist is conflict among team members. I agree with you, I don't think people get up in the morning and say, “Okay, what am I going to do today? Okay, I'm going to go to work and I'm going to see if I can make Jill as
miserable as I can.” This sounds maybe Pollyanna but I agree I don't think people really get up in the morning with that thought process maybe they do, but I don't think so.
What happens is that if the systems in the practice and really any business, a dental practice, a medical practice, a restaurant, a hotel, any business is a set of systems, it’s an organization that is a conglomeration of a set of systems basically. That's what it is, then a set of subsystems. If those systems are not functioning and functioning well, inadvertently, those dysfunctional systems will pit people or a person against another. When those systems that are not functioning well, pit one person against another or a division against another division that will cause disharmony. That disharmony is where the dysfunction and the angst come about. You'll see that I may appear to be angry at you and I may lash out at you because I'm going to blame you for some disruption, something that didn't go well, a mistake that was made, a mishap...
JW: A ball being dropped.
CJ: A ball being dropped, I may have not been able to function as well as I could have functioned because of that ball that got dropped. Maybe the doctor got mad at me because I couldn't carry out my tasks as well as I should have because the ball got dropped etc. So I'm going to blame you but really maybe you did the best you could but what happened was the system wasn't functioning well and it was not you that did something incorrectly on purpose but the system wasn't working well.
So I tell people this I say, “Look at what was the cause of the problem in the first place, peel the layers of the onion and find out what was the cause of the problem in the first place? Was it really that the person intentionally made that mistake or is there something about the system that isn't working well? Find out what it is about the system that is dysfunctional and correct the system. Get the system functioning and functioning well whatever it takes, whatever it takes, and then see if that doesn't correct the issue.” Most of the time, not always, but most of the time if you correct the system and get it clean and flowing properly, the relationships will clean up too.
JW: I'm going to put you on the spot for a second but you have a technique that you can kind of put the team together and split them up into two and actually try to talk through the finding that problem and coming up with solutions and then coming back together. I just want to give them a little bit of a tool if that happens to be happening in your place of work that they could literally go back tomorrow and say, “Hey, let's try this for a second and see if we can isolate the system that got out of place and come up with some solutions.”
CJ: The first thing you have to do is define the problem. The first thing to do any time there's a problem is to identify what the problem is. That may take longer than anything else but it doesn't matter because until the problem is defined, no solution’s going to work.
A lot of times what happens is people start jumping to a conclusion about a solution without finding a problem and usually that's going to be fairly ineffective. What you want to do is define the problem, “Okay, what's going on? What is our problem? What's not working? Let’s define
what’s not working and try to do that without being blameful.” It’s not always easy to do. What happens a lot of times is people use what’s called you-message, “You didn't do this. You forgot to bring this to me. You didn't set the tray upright. You didn't call so and so.” So when people start saying you, you, you, that causes the other person to become defensive.
A you-message is also very blameful, it’s a blameful message. It’s called a put-down message. Anytime you put the other person down, they’re going to become defensive. The minute somebody becomes defensive, the lines of communications stop completely. So if our goal is really a solution, then let’s not do that. Let's say, “Okay, we’ve got a problem, this isn’t working well, let's together find a solution. Let's, first of all, define the problem, what's going on here that isn't working?” “It’s not working that the trays aren't set up properly for this procedure.” “Okay, so it isn't that you aren’t setting the trays upright, the trays aren't being set up right.” Big difference, sounds like it’s a small difference, no. It’s a huge difference. “Okay, the trays aren’t being set up properly.” When you define a problem, you want to define the problem in terms of, “What do you need? What I need?” “I need the trays set up properly before the patient is even escorted into the room and I need them set up properly every time.” “What do I need is I need to see assistant, I need to know what needs to go on the tray. I need to know that very clearly and I need to have a diagram about what that looks like so that I can look at the diagram so that I know exactly what to put on the tray every time. I need that to be visual.” “Okay, that would be great.” Anyway, I'm just giving that example. We need to know what both parties need.
Now we start brainstorming some possible solutions, “Okay, how can we make that work?” “We’re going to throw at every possible idea in the world,” that's what brainstorming is, “And we're not going to really criticize anybody's idea where it’s, ‘Oh, that’s a stupid idea. Why are throwing that idea? That's the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Why did you bring that up? We tried that once and it didn’t work.” We start being critical of somebody else’s idea. You throw somebody’s idea out the window and they’re never going to give you another suggestion. Just brainstorm and write down all the ideas. Then once all the ideas are suggested, then go back with grace and talk about the pros the cons of each idea. If there's a whole lot of cons, then that idea is not going to work so...
JW: Cross that one off.
CJ: Yeah, cross that one off. Then come to a consensus agreement about what idea or ideas everybody agrees upon. Come to consensus agreement about the best solution, or solutions, it might be more than one. Then design a plan of action, “Okay, what are you going to do? What am I gonna do? What are the steps? Step one, step two, step three, step four, whatever it is.
What's our plan of action? What are we going to do? What are you going to do? What am I going to do? Do we have some time frames we need to assign do this?” Let’s be very specific about the plan of action so that everybody's very clear.
Research data shows that the clearer we can be about a plan of action and if we join together in designing that plan of action and everybody's ideas are respected, the more likely we’re going to be to follow through on that. The research data proves that to be true. “So once we agree on the
plan of action and we've sort of made that a public agreement, then let’s agree to get back together once we’ve implemented the plan, let's evaluated it, let’s agree on when we're going to get back together to evaluate, is this working? Great. Is it not working? Or let’s say these things are working well but we may need to tweak this just a little bit.” “Okay, well that's okay. That's okay. Let's keep on doing what's working and let's alter the things that aren't working. We're not going to throw it out just because maybe everything isn't working, but let's keep on doing what is working, alter some things that may not be working well but let's keep on moving forward. When we do that, we're going to come up with a great plan.”
But again evaluation maybe is as important as any other part of the plan. If you keep doing, that sounds tedious, but I’ve gone through it pretty specifically, but they can go pretty fast once you get used to that plan of action. What I just described is classic problem solving actually. If a team or individuals can get used to that protocol, there is no single thing that people can't tackle.
JW: Absolutely, no matter how big or how small, you put the same kind of steps and action in place.
CJ: What I've also just described is some good communication. It goes back to communication and coordination, those two principles, communication, good communication, respectful communication, and coordination of thoughts, coordination of people, coordination of activity, and when you put communication and coordination together, that leads to cooperation.
JW: Isn’t that what we're all searching for? AB: Yes.
JW: The end-all, be-all of cooperation.
CJ: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly.
JW: The end of the rainbow, the pot, the gold at the end of the rainbow. CJ: Classic teamwork actually.
JW: It's a classic teamwork.
AB: And teamwork eliminates stress.
CJ: It's a big part of eliminating stress.
JW: If dysfunction leads to stress, then clearly we're stating you almost have to go back to look at the systems to be able to identify any dysfunction of a system. So you also have given us different times in our lives a great idea which is, as an individual employee, as a division, or as a team, make a list of what you are spending the most time on per day.
You basically have to understand what you're doing each day and understand it well and look at the time in which you're spending on certain items. If there's something that you were doing,
maybe that doesn't take very long but it’s taking, maybe you're doing it ten times, maybe you're doing it fifteen times, maybe you're doing it a hundred times a day, and you could just simply take that task and either make it more efficient, make it take less time, maybe figure out a better way to do it where you're really not having to do it at all that it frees up then this new time for you to then put towards other, let’s say more important tasks, you want to comment on that just a little bit?
CJ: Right. What you’ve alluded to is a fantastic time-management principle because time and stress can be very closely tied together. Again, it's a huge issue that a lot of people bring to my attention when they're talking about management principles that they want to work upon or something that leads to stress or uncontrolled stress, “I just don't have enough time, I need more time. I don't have time to do this. I don't have time to do the things I want to do.” Or what you’re alluding to is, “I don't have time to do the things that are important,” or let me take that even a step further, “The things that are important that can be the more productive things for the business, or the practices, or for life,” that they don't get to those things because they have not prioritized properly. It can be any or all of those things.
Again, what you're alluding to me is a very important principle of time management and I'm going to put it into the heading of prioritization. As anybody looks at what they're doing in the day, it's a good thing to do as a time in motion study to say, “Okay, what am I doing in a day? Then to look at what am I spending time on? How many times am I doing something? How much time is each of those things taking? Can I consolidate those? Could I do those five things in three times instead of five or in one segment of time instead of the five segments of time or whatever?”
JW: Or should someone else be doing them? CJ: Yes.
AB: I was just thinking that right now.
CJ: Yeah, because, Jill, you alluded this very excellently, number one, could I do this in less time because I could do this more efficiently? Could I delegate this to someone else? Could someone else do this really as well as I can? Or could I outsource this? Could this be outsourced so that I would be spending my time on something that could be either more productive for the business or that I could be spending my time on something I could do more effectively? Or could this be eliminated? Because what you want to do, and this is true of every single person in the business, not just the owner, the president, the doctor, or the CEO, every single person in the business needs to have this mindset that every single person in the business needs to be doing the thing that is the most productive at every given moment of the day, everyone, everyone, everyone.
This exercise is important for everyone to do. I have people list everything that they do write down, everything that they do. Okay, how many things are on their list of job duties? Then to list them one through five. One being the most productive, I'm not talking about importance,
everything they do is important but the most productive thing they do for the business, two, three, four, and five. Then look at the fours and the fives and on the fours, the five say, “Could we be more efficient? Could I be more efficient in the way I do this? Could I do this in a more timely fashion or could this be delegated to someone else who'd like to do this, who has them on their plate to do this, who could be as more efficient perhaps in doing this? Could I delegate this?
Could this be outsourced to someone? Would that barely be more cost effective because then I can spend my time doing something that’d be more productive for the business? Could this be outsourced?
Could this be eliminated? Do we really need to be doing this? If I could turn my attention to this, it’s more productive for the business? Would this be something that could be just totally eliminated?”
Those things could be looked at. If you look at that really the business becomes ultimately much, much, much more productive and therefore more profitable. People waste so much time. In many businesses, you find that multiple people are doing the same task. I’m like, “Why are all of you doing the...?”
JW: Sorry I just want to start laughing because I’m like, “Oh, my God, couldn’t the government do this?” But I’m not going to go there. I’m not even going to go there.
CJ: Oh, my gosh, the United States government needs to hire me. JW: Right.
CJ: I’ve said this for so long.
JW: We have the answer to the crisis.
CJ: They could not afford me but I'm telling you, the United States government needs a management consultant because my God, excuse me, but it’s like, “Gee, money, come on people. We all have to run our businesses efficiently in order to stay afloat. Why can't the United States government be that, I shouldn't be political on this but we all have to run efficiently in order to stay in business. The things that we’ve just talked about are ways that we stay efficient and we have to do this and so it is. It’s a way that we stay not just productive, it is a way for us to be productive but remember a business has to be productive but a business has to be profitable. This is a way we stay profitable. It's not just about how much we make, it's about how much we keep.
JW: Say that again, I think you said that so fast, I think people didn't quite appreciate what you just said, say that again.
CJ: It’s not just about how much we make, it's about how much we keep. That's what matters. So many people, “How much did produce? How much did you produce? How much did you
produce?” Of course, we have to produce it to collect it but really it's the bottom line profit that makes the difference. It’s not how much you make, it’s how much do you keep. That's what makes the difference.
JW: So true.
CJ: We teach what we call the model of success and it goes something like this, and I'm going to take this to the medical-dental world but this is true of really any business, but see fewer patients in a day, do more, provide more care per patient, when and where it’s appropriate for that patient, see that patient for fewer visits. They will love you and it’s a less stressful way to practice. The patients will love you because it’s hard to get off work these days.
JW: But you can take that too, that same concept into someone taking a more active role in their own health if you really go to a preventative type of thought process, go to the doctor, and spend more time thinking about prevention and being optimized from a health standpoint, how much time and money you're going to save down the road of being in a disease to say. It’s the same concept just got a little bit of a different take but it’s the same concept.
CJ: It is exactly the same. By following that model also, you have the appropriate number of team members, not too many, not too few but you can really minimize the number of team members that you have and therefore you can maximize their talent which is critical in the workplace today.
One of the things about people in the workplace today, which is also a part of stress management, is that the people in the workplace today are what Peter Drucker calls “knowledge workers” and they own their own body of knowledge and they can take their body of knowledge anywhere they want to. They can pick up their body knowledge and take it anywhere. Unless they are challenged, unless they are encouraged to stretch, grow, and use their talent, they're going to pick their body of knowledge up and go somewhere else. So it's important for us as CEOs and as owners of businesses to continue to offer our team members an opportunity to grow in our environment.
A talented person will leave an organization if they are not encouraged to stretch and so we want to encourage our people to stretch. So we want to create that kind of an environment. So we want to have the appropriate number of team members, not too many, not too few but the appropriate number and then encourage our people to maximize their talent in our place of business, our place of employment.
Then when we follow this model of success, we call them model of success, you will increase the profit margin and it is my hope that when the profit margin increases that the owners will then share in rewards of work well done and share the profits with the members of the organization. Because everybody makes that profit increase, it's not one person, it's everybody. So when we share the reward to work well done and everybody gets a piece of that pie, then it’s
good. In this environment, in this kind of a model, stress is controlled, not eliminated but controlled. And it’s good, it’s healthy, that's healthy.
JW: I want to reiterate what you just said too is that owners, managers, leaders of teams, if you allow the stress to continue for too long, you are going to lose good people. You can ignore it but I'm going to tell you, it's only going to get worse. So as we say, “Every once in a while, put your big girl panties on and get after it.” If you continue to see the same problems you're going to have to do something about it, you can't just keep ignoring it, you're going to start to lose good people.
The amount of money that businesses lose these days of losing a good team member, having to hire a new one, having to train a new one, having to get them up to par, you're losing money in that business, I don't care what business it is, every single time you have to do that.
CJ: That’s right. American corporations today are losing billions, billions of dollars to uncontrolled stress and so corporations today are having stress management programs being developed within their organizations because for the reasons you just stated. It’s real and so in order to prevent some of the losses that they’re experiencing, they are incorporating stress management programs. I think it's very healthy, it’s very good.
Because 80% of illnesses being treated in America today are related to stress in one way, shape, or form, again, I totally agree with the statement you made earlier that preventive medicine makes so much sense versus treating the illness. Let’s prevent the illness rather than treat the illness. It’s been flabbergasting to me historically, and we’re beginning to see change but that insurance companies will pay for some who’s had a heart disease but they won't pay for the prevention of heart disease or pay for treatment of diabetes, but not pay for the prevention of diabetes. Again, that’s changing, thank goodness. But let us all be interested in doing that for our own health and wellbeing no matter what an insurance company will or will not do. But if we, as employers can help our team members prevent disease, wow, what a great service we can do in serving our own team members.
JW: And you’re making two great points, you're not only saving money if you are a larger company and you're actually taking the burden of your healthcare cost for them and paying due to how many claims and things that you're running through that account, so you could be saving money at that point of keeping your team less stressed and healthier, but you're also just the sheer performance numbers of someone who is healthier versus someone who is sick, how many days off from work, can they really concentrate, doctor visits, all those kinds of things. You’re saving money basically times two, probably actually times ten.
But I haven't seen any great studies on that but I sure would love to see actual physical numbers of companies who have a stress program in place and the kind of money that they feel like on the bottom line that they're actually saving and in return> It’s a little hard to probably put exact numbers to it but I would love to see that, I would love to challenge somebody to do that.
CJ: Yeah. I don't know that I've seen those kinds of exact studies either but it's interesting here, I'm just going to give you a list of this is the results of uncontrolled stress, people have said that they have these things related to stress in the work environment, people are tired, depressed they don't have good days, physically exhausted, they are not happy, they’re wiped out, they’re burned out, they’re ran down, they feel trapped, worthless, weary, troubled, disillusioned resentful about other people, weak, hopeless, rejected, not optimistic, lack of energy, and they’re anxious.
JW: Does that sound like an ideal team member, do you?
CJ: I mean, okay, hello, wow, those are some of the things that people are saying that they feel related to uncontrolled stress.
AB: Let’s hire that person.
CJ: Yeah, let’s hire that person.
AB: Oh, poor stressed out person.
JW: You want them selling your million dollars line of business?
CJ: Woah, this is real, it's real, it’s so real. We think, “Oh, well, it’s intangible.” No, it’s tangible, very tangible, very, very tangible. They think burnout is not tangible. Burnout is very tangible. It can be very debilitating. Again, whether it’s physiological or psychological or both, so it’s very real.
You mentioned something I'd like to piggyback on, the first thing to do in terms of stress management is to identify what is it that causes stress in the first place, that which causes stress is called a stressor. The other important thing about stressor is that what stresses you might not stress me, what stresses me might not stress you. There's no judgment to be passed about that because it's very unique and very individual. For example, I'm a professional speaker and so I can get up in front of two thousand people and deliver an eighth-hour address. But for some people, public speaking is very...
JW: Number one thing.
CJ: In fact, because it’s the number one fear of people. Some people would pass out before they’d stand up in front of two thousand people and they wouldn’t even be able to say the first word, let alone eight hours. But you're a dentist, put a high-speed handpiece to my hand and tell me to prep twenty-eight teeth and I would probably pass out because I'm not a dentist and that’s not what I do. I wouldn’t have any idea or I could probably start because I have an assistant now, “Okay, here we go,” and that poor patient would be really sorry that I started that process because that's not what I do. You see, you’re great at that and that didn’t stress you at all but that would stress me so again, that’s maybe a kind of a silly example but it's a true example.
JW: No, it’s true and I think physiologically, people have to understand that what stress really does, like you said there's good stress or bad stress, if I'm in the woods and I'm walking around and I see a bear and my body physiologically turns into stress mode, there's a bear, I'm scared I need to save myself, I need that fight or flight natural reaction to occur so that I can “run away” or protect myself, yes, that's a stressor, but that's good. But that’s meant to last for a short period of time.
Okay, fight or flight is naturally happening to us so that we can survive so that we can protect ourselves. What is happening in our society today is that we are in constant fight or flight motions. We’re in it in a car, when we're driving down the tollway, we're in it when we’re trying to get the kids out of the house to go to school, and we're trying to hurry them, and we're looking at the watch knowing that we’re five minutes late. We are feeling it as we're driving to the office because we're five minutes late. We feel it because we walk in the door and two or three people need something from you. There it goes again. So you may not be in it long-term and/or feel it but your natural adrenaline is kicking in gear. If you stay in that situation chronically over days, months, years, that chronic fatigue, that chronic fight or flight is what will ultimately debilitate many of us.
CJ: That is exactly correct.
JW: So anytime that you can start to release some of that per day by being strategic in your daily kind of time management thought process, what could I do differently? How could I manage this differently, create a working environment that doesn't allow as many, again you won’t eliminate stressors and then I, too, believe which I know you do because I know you've practiced it for years, some type of mindfulness or meditation breathing, it can last for two minutes while you're in the car or three minutes before you go home, or go to the restroom in the middle of the day and just take a few minutes to breathe. You’ve got to find some time where you can settle your inner self down a little bit. Do you all agree?
CJ: Absolutely. It’s critical that you, again, just to reiterate, you find out what it is that causes stress for you and try if you can to eliminate or reduce those stressors. Sometimes you can’t but do the best you can for that and I totally agree, meditation, breathing, deep breathing, and learning how to breathe from below the navel, and taking in a deep breath through your nose and pushing out through your mouth, and just do that two or three times and, you can do it right at the chair, like you said in the restroom, it doesn’t have to be a long thing.
JW: I mean it literally reduces your blood pressure instantly, instantly just by doing that.
CJ: Yeah, exercise, even if you can take a five-minute walk at your lunch hour or whatever. It doesn't have that people think, “Oh, exercise, I have to do an hour.” No, you don't. I'm not saying that wouldn't be great for you but just even short, short moments of peace, short moments of the mindfulness.
I try to close every single one of my days by reading something positive even if it’s a sentence, I’m so tired at the end of a day, all I can read is a sentence or a paragraph, that's what I do. The subconscious mind continues to work through the night whether you know it or not. I try to do two things, either at the end of my workday or at the end of the day before I put my head on the pillow, I write out six things that I need do the next day and I prioritize those things; ABC. A being those things have to be done tomorrow, maybe A1, A2. B, “Gee, I really like to get these things done tomorrow, be really great to get these things done. C, “Gee, be nice to get these done, that could be the end of the world if you don't get it done but be nice. So ABC and then I prioritize and no more than six.
Again time management, people, experts say no more than six, you might say six, “I got sixty things I gotta do tomorrow,” but no more than six and then prioritize those. Then write that list, read it, put it down. You can do that at the end of the day and leave it at work in a notebook that you keep for that or you can do it at the end of the day in your home if you choose.
Then the next day before you start your workday, your day at home, or whatever it may be, open the list, read it, start with A1 and work on A1. No matter how many times you’re interrupted, and you'll be interrupted a thousand times, start with A1, then you’re interrupted, come back to A1, interrupted, come back to A1, interrupted, come back to A1. Until you get A1 done, then mark it through. You may not even get past A1 but what you'll find over time is that you’ll get more done in less time. You'll have a sense of accomplishment.
Again data from time management experts prove two things, you'll get more done in less time and sleep experts have proven that you will have a deeper more restful sleep. Sleep is also a critical factor of stress management, health, and wellbeing because your subconscious mind will continue to work throughout the night and will go like [inaudible 00:50:12] trying to organize, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to organize this all this stuff and whatever those things I’ve got to have done.” So you'll have a deeper [inaudible 00:50:20] sleep and you'll have a better resolution in your sleep if you will do that exercise. Again that's proven through scientific data. That's not my thought, that's proven data. So that's a way then I try to close on something positive, just a positive thought of the day, a bit of scripture, or whatever is important to you.
JW: Some type of gratitude message.
CJ: A gratitude message. So I've done a positive thought of the day, a day I glance at the calendar, and so you know I just want to close my mind on something positive so that's what my mind and my brain finishes its day on because why not? Don't finish your day on the news.
JW: That won’t stress you out.
CJ: That’s not going to help you have a good night.
AB: It was funny last night I was at dinner and we're talking about stress and work and I was like, “You know what? I just need a personal secretary.” And my friend was like, “Would it be funny if you had your own personal secretary in your operatory and you’re paying them like, ‘I'm
sorry, Dr. Wade, this is my personal secretary. This personal secretary is writing all my patient notes for me to eliminate my stressor right there.’”
CJ: There you go, there you go.
JW: Only if I can borrow
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