What beliefs are you projecting onto your team?

“I thrive on stress.”

Those words echoed from a sales manager attending our mental health training for managers programme his organisation had brought us in to deliver. It was a stark revelation, signalling a potential danger zone.

Delving deeper, it became apparent that he misunderstood the stress response, something which I’ve witnessed many times with managers, however an issue our training could address effectively.

I explained to him that stress triggers the body’s survival mechanism—the freeze, fight, or flight response. While crucial for safety, it’s detrimental to performance, particularly in sales. When stressed, the brain’s executive functions shut down, impairing rational thinking essential for sales—like building relationships and understanding customer needs.

It struck me that this particular sales manager misunderstood the adrenaline he experienced when getting a big sales contract. Once he understood that stress is the body’s survival mode, he was able to see that stress isn’t something he thrives on – and isn’t something his team thrives on.

Another common misconception among managers is the notion that sustained pressure leads to high performance. However, stress and high performance are incompatible; high-pressure environments hinder rather than enhance performance.

Addressing these misconceptions on mental health training for managers is crucial. Without intervention, they risk burnout—both for themselves and their teams.

Another misconception managers harbour is about employees “playing the mental health card” to excuse poor performance. However, this attitude reflects poorly on management and organisational culture.

During our mental health training for managers, conversations like these are transformative. I witness managers’ beliefs shifting in real time, opening their minds to new perspectives.

Even managers with mental health conditions can inadvertently project their beliefs onto their teams. For instance, one manager’s views on depression were shaped by her family’s experiences. But with insight from the training, she realised depression isn’t an insurmountable obstacle—it can be addressed with the right support.

In the UK where 1 in 4 individuals struggle with mental health, it’s imperative to equip managers with mental health training. Otherwise, they risk unknowingly projecting harmful and misguided beliefs onto their teams.

Consider a manager with anxiety who believes it’s an inevitable part of life. This belief, coupled with her role as a mental health first aider, raises concerns. Unchecked beliefs like these can influence a manager’s perception and, consequently, their team’s well-being.

But when managers recognise and challenge these limiting beliefs and understanding, it’s a game-changer—for them and their teams. Through our mental health training for managers, we empower managers to navigate mental health challenges with understanding and empathy, fostering healthier, more supportive workplaces for everyone involved.

Create positive mental health from the inside out! Get in touch to find out more about our mental health training for managers programmes >>> Contact us today.

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