This Can Happen 2018

On 20 November 2018, Enact Solutions was proud to deliver two short sessions demonstrating our interactive and experiential drama-based approach to enhancing confidence in having effective conversations around Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Both sessions were based on a 2.5 hour workshop originally commissioned for the multinational electricity and gas utility National Grid.

Polling results

Despite being only a ‘taster’, and not written specifically for the TCH audience, the feedback from our electronic polling was incredibly positive:

  • 91% of participants found the session worthwhile; and
  • 88% said it increased their confidence to have conversations around Mental Health and Wellbeing.


We also asked for a pledge/ action for each delegate to commit to back at work. Here’s what they said they would do as a result of participation:

Implement a similar exercise in our Mental Health awareness training if possible!

Commit to engaging our sales teams, to join in and talk about mental health.

Create more space in 1:1 conversations to discuss mental health.

Work on making workplace MH discussions more open/ safer.

Invite more often for a chat someone who I think might be having a tough time.

Offer to take [team] for a coffee more!

Really look out for signs that members of my team are struggling with mental health and try to initiate a conversation.

Ensure conversations of this nature are well thought out and prepared.

Create a safe space for individuals to talk to me.

Pay more attention to the people I work with’s ‘signals’

Ask how someone is and just listen and provide empathy. Don’t make it about me or how I can relate.

Ask the question, ‘Are you OK?’

Ask twice! If someone says they are fine but clearly aren’t, give them a space to answer honestly.

Ask people how they are every morning!

Call you! Use silences – don’t fill the gap!

Find out more info on how we can support our line managers.

Use silence better, don’t make jokes, practice what I preach.

Ask all direct reports to join me for an informal coffee specifically to talk about them and what challenges I can help with.

Take my learnings I experience from today and share best practice with my peers. I will discuss in team leader huddles how to approach someone showing signs of struggling.

Allow a silence, rather than try to fill in that space. Don’t talk about me.

Think about implementing interactive training.

Look at what I can do to get my team on roleplay type sessions and having these types of conversations.

Be mindful of my body language and language when having difficult conversations.

Add this to our managers training. Role play exercise.

Go and talk to one person every day and ask, ‘how are you x today?’

Enhance the ‘role play’ sections of our mental health training.

Look at using interactive approaches in training.

Speak to more organisations about preparing their staff to have these conversations.

Continue to have check-ins with my teams and ask ‘How are you right now?’

Incorporate wellbeing discussions in all my 1:1 catch ups.

Speak to all of my direct reports about how mental health affects them, their teams and the people close to them, and how I can support them.

Try to pay more attention to individualising my body language and lexicon based on the person I am speaking to.

Be aware of what’s going on in a team, be able to talk to people and support/ help.

Make sure I check up on those in my team if I am worried and not overlook it.

Listen without chipping in a comment of why; understand from my own experience – need empathy opposed to sympathy.

Feedback to line managers after today and help them practically tackle some of the MH issues.

Ensure I actively listen always – this is something I usually do but it’s sometimes easy to fill silences.

Use my listening and conversational skills to help people to open up when showing signs of reluctance to do so.

To use my training to get more people in my organisation to a point where they are comfortable having these conversations.

When speaking with individuals give them dedicated time and allow silence. I will ‘check-in’ with all team members.

Provide the space for people to talk and I will listen.

Make sure I have time to speak to people that come to see me – keep the door open!

Keep doing what I’m doing – I raise metal health awareness in the workplace 🙂

Talk to my colleague who I know is going through something difficult at the moment.

Accept silence is actually OK, not to try and fill it.

Be prepared to offer help if/ when required.

Check in more regularly with senior colleagues in my organisation/not able afraid to ask how they are, be prepared to continue the conversation with confidence.

Find ways to help others, experience conversations and build confidence.

Enable colleagues through training to be more approachable ask open questions, build trusted relationships.

Not rush so quickly to offering solutions.

Commit to take a stronger interest in the welfare of colleagues, especially if I notice they are not themselves and to recognise my own persona during any conversations.

Follow up with all the staff.  I have helped to see how they are doing and it I can offer any further help.

Have more confidence to ensure I have better conversations with my team and colleagues on how they are.

Commit to asking listening and give colleagues the time to speak without interruption.

Plan a follow up conversation with all of my direct reports after a second difficult conversation.

Commit to having those difficult conversations.

Make time for others – check-in.

Pause more and allow for silence.

Remind myself of the many supports that my organisation offers and, should someone look like they need support, gently remind them of where to go and that its OK!

Ensure that I take time to recognise when someone isn’t their self and talk and listen to them.

Provide training for first line managers with practical examples.  Show them how listening can help.

Ensure that I fully listen and digest what a person is telling me and look at the non-vocal signs.

Listen non-judgementally.  Refrain from trying to find a solution.

Have a conversation with someone new every week to see how they are feeling.

Contemplate making such conversations routine.

In their own words

Finally we asked for any comments on the session:

Actors were brilliant and voting system was a great way to interact with activity.

It has opened my eyes to another way of informing and helping our employees.

Felt a bit rushed.

Loved the acting / story telling – it was genuinely moving. Great use of Tech too 🙂 Wish session was longer.

Excellent acting.

Great – just too short.

Really powerful way to demonstrate impact of conversations.

Very engaging, great way of getting points across.

It’s a shame it was rushed – nothing else to change as it was really positive.

Really [illegible] to cut out – these conversations are tough!

Very interesting approach to difficult conversations.

Like approach, would need external to – for actors & technology.

Great idea; would be good to see how it works in more diverse workplaces.

Really enjoyed it.

Good interactive session; brings the detail to life.

Very good – would love to see them in my workplace.

Great session, do you do sessions aimed at parents?  And are you looking for actors!?

Handout we could take away.

Drama workshops are really effective.

Really interesting, audience could engage easily.

Thought the delivery & style was great- easy to pick the lessons!

Good way of embedding learning and behaviours.

Loved it in terms of bringing it to life for people.

Good – time constraints and audience size made it difficult, but still worthwhile.

Good concept – needs more time also [illegible] further than what’s common sense for this particular audience – Thanks!

Generally excellent.

Good delivery, interactive.

Great delivery and acting from actors.

Very good, thank you!

Loved the content, sad that we couldn’t get more time on this.

Good interactive session!

Excellent – I will recommend you to organisations when I deliver MHFA and awareness training and would like to find out more – Peter call me.

Really well done, And enjoyable too.

Loved it!

Brief but interesting, good demo on personal interactions.

Excellent experience.

A really nice way of addressing the ‘opening up the conversation’ issue.

Very good – interested in learning about scope of investment.

Very interactive, fun, impactful

interactive and different.

Good but perhaps further discussion needed. Too quick

Think about a strategy that recognises talking isn’t always easy and how to encourage, how to open up.  Start a conversation.

Role modelling and real stories are the best way to learn.

If you, or colleagues, are interested in seeing us in action (hopefully for a slightly longer more in-depth session), please check out our Events page.

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