Interview with “Kata Girl Geek” Gemma Jones on Lean, Improvement, and Mental Health

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My guest for Episode #482 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Gemma Jones.

Gemma is an Improvement Coach, Trainer, and Visual Facilitator, based in the UK and working globally. Gemma started her career in Engineering and quickly found a passion for Improvement. She spent 20 years in Manufacturing across numerous industries, then in 2018 she left employment to build her own business. Gemma's mission is to help organisations and individuals be the BEST they can be, by helping people SEE, helping people THINK, and helping people CHANGE.

CONTENT WARNING: Today's episode includes discussions about a death by suicide and mental health issues. Help is available. In the U.S., call 988. In the U.K., call 116 123. These calls are free from any phone.

In today's episode, Gemma brings up important topics related to Lean and mental health, and we discuss parallels between “mental health first aid” and physical first aid. How can we learn how to help others when they might be struggling? What signs should we look for?

We also discuss her origin story in Lean and Continuous Improvement, the POWER of coaching and asking questions, how the Kata Girl Geeks global group started and grown over the past 3 years, and how her mission now is to encourage and enable the global community of CI Practitioners and Leaders to actively tune in to HELP people.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • What's your Lean / C.I. origin story??
  • Tell us about that Kata Girl Geeks
  • Tracy Defoe – Episode 467
  • Coaching and asking questions?
  • The benefits of having groups for women?
  • You're very interested in the overlap in mental health and continuous improvement… you did a keynote talk recently on this… tell us about that.
  • We don't know really that much about the totality of people's lives, stress, and other factors
  • Got trained in “mental health first aid
  • What signs might you look for? Who needs mental health first aid if somebody's not asking for it?
  • Good ways of bringing up this up with people?
  • “I noticed you're not seeming yourself…”
  • Value Stream / Process Mapping and asking people to add emojis 
  • How are you helping people on this topic and incorporated into C.I.?
  • Why avoid the question why? Defensiveness
  • Incorporating this into workplace safety discussions and focus? A broader view of safety?
  • Parallels to physical first aid
  • Website – resources page for C.I. — “how to help”
  • Free training recommended by Gemma

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in its 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

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Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Mark Graban (0s):
Hi. Just a quick content warning about today's episode. While we do talk about Lean and continuous improvement, there is also at different points in the episode, some discussion about a death by suicide and mental health issues. So if that's not for you, I would understand if you want to bypass this episode, if you are in a, a position or someone you know needs help, help is available when it comes to mental health in the United States. You can call toll-free from any phone, 988. If you are in the uk, you can call 1 1 6 1 2 3.

Announcer (40s):
Welcome to the Lean Blog Podcast. visit our website at www.Leanblog.org. Now, here's your host, Mark Graban.

Mark Graban (51s):
Hi, it's Mark Graban here. Welcome to episode 482 of the podcast. It's August 9th, 2023. You'll learn more about her in a minute. Our guest today is Gemma Jones. If you'd like to learn more about her business and find links about this episode, look in the show notes or go to Leanblog.Org/482. Well, hi everybody. Welcome back to Lean Blog interviews. I'm Mark Graban. We are joined today by Gemma Jones. She is an improvement coach, a trainer, and a visual facilitator based in the UK and working globally. Gemma started her career in engineering and quickly found a passion for improvement. Like I think most of us listening to the podcast, And, including me as host, that passion is something we're going to be able to talk about today.

Mark Graban (1m 40s):
Gemma spent 20 years in Manufacturing across numerous industries, and then in 2018, she left to build her own business. So her mission is to help organizations and individuals be the best they can be by helping people see, helping people think, and helping people change. I love that. So Gemma, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Gemma Jones (1m 59s):
Hi, Mark. I'm good. Thank you for having me.

Mark Graban (2m 1s):
Yeah, it's very nice to have you here and, you know, have a couple opportunities to, to run across you on Zoom. We, we run in, in some similar circles around continuous improvement these last couple of years. So it's, it's great to finally have you here on the podcast. And, you know, we normally do, I guess the closest thing I have, the standard work is asking people there continuous improvement, origin story. So, Gemma, let me, let me throw that question to you.

Gemma Jones (2m 31s):
Cool. Yeah, this is really nice to think about actually to look back. So my, I started in mechanical engineering. I did a mechanical engineering degree as part of that degree. I did a year in industry and So I learned about some of the, you know, some of the continuous improvement things in my degree in mechanical engineering. We learned about Deming and about CI and, you know, lots of kind of the background. And it was quite theoretical. And, I was interested in all of that, but I didn't really understand, didn't really understand it. And then I went to work in industry for a year. In my third year, And I really realized how actually we can use these things. And when I went to, you know, started working with people and started understanding that actually it's not about the tools, it's about the people and the relationships and the trust and the respect.

Gemma Jones (3m 20s):
So I. I really loved that part of it. I, I was really passionate about it. I remember going back for my final two years of university and having a completely different mindset about all the things I was learning, and absolutely loved it. And then when I graduated and went to work, you know, properly got into Manufacturing, it, I took it forward from there. And, I, I guess I was really lucky. Early on in my career I was working for a company based in South Wales near Cardiff. and we were really lucky to be working with some people from Cardiff Business School. So a guy called Prof, he's Professor Nick Rich. I was very lucky. He was my mentor. He wrote one of the chapters of the book, Lean Thinking or was instrumental in one of the chapters.

Gemma Jones (4m 4s):
And I mean, he was my mentor for probably two years, for a day a week. And I didn't realize how lucky I was at the time. I didn't write down enough of what he said, didn't realize quite what an amazing opportunity that was But. he really instilled in me the notion of improvement is all about people and about relationships. And really you need to spend the maximum amount of time that you can out on the floor talking to people and helping them to think through and helping them to achieve. It's not about you doing things, it's not about you solving the problems. It's about you helping people to solve their problems. And So I was very lucky to have that to be instilled in me at a very young age.

Gemma Jones (4m 46s):
And I think that's, I've brought that forward into my career ever since.

Mark Graban (4m 50s):
Yeah, there's some great foundations there. Kind of go back and explore a little more about a couple of the things you brought up. You know, not everybody gets that Deming foundation. I was fortunate to have some of that through my father who worked at General Motors and got to go to a a a a Deming four day seminar. It wasn't really being taught formally in my undergraduate industrial engineering, but having some exposure and the ability to go read some of Deming's work was, I, I think a, a a really strong foundation. I, I'd be curious to hear more reflections from you on, on that, that Deming foundation.

Gemma Jones (5m 30s):
I think it really underpins so much. And like you say, lots of people don't necessarily read about that or learn about that. And I don't think I understood how important it was. Then. And I, I've got my notes from my, from my degree and, you know, I look back on it now, And I can see so much more in what I wrote and what I learned about than what I understood at the time. But no, I think it's a really good basis. I think, you know, the more you can understand that, the more the rest of it makes sense. The linkages and the relationships and the people and the principles. Yeah, I think it makes a massive difference. It's so much more depth to the learning.

Mark Graban (6m 6s):
Yeah. I mean, you know, the Toyota people talk about how influential Dr. Deming was like, to me, this is not a history lesson. It it's part of understanding Yeah. At least one of the major influences on, on, on Toyota. And you, you, you talked also about respect for people. You know, I think that was a strong thread in what Dr. Deming, you know, taught about Yeah. In many ways showing respect for, you know, the frontline workers are often put in a bad system. Part of respect would be not blaming, you know, good people in a bad system. And, and part of respect is, this is to me more direct Toyota-type language of creating a system where people can be successful.

Mark Graban (6m 51s):
I think that's very deep and or very, very clear in, in Deming's writing and, and work.

Gemma Jones (6m 58s):
Absolutely.

Mark Graban (6m 60s):
But to have, as, as you mentioned, great coaches, that's something not everybody is, is, is is fortunate to have, depending on the, their workplace in in environment. Can, can you think of any times where that, that coaching really hit home about it being all about people and, and working with and working through others?

Gemma Jones (7m 23s):
Well, I think back to my early days in my career, whilst in my degree and also after I'd graduated now I'd done a mechanical engineering degree, but I was actually going to go and do art. I was gonna go to art college, but my physics teacher told me I must not go to art college. And I must go to engineering school. But part of the reason that I hesitated was I don't have a big background. You know, I'd never taken a car apart with my dad. Like a lot of my counterparts in the engineering degree had. I'd never taken a lawnmower apart. I didn't really understand how gearing systems worked. I didn't really understand how, you know, cars and engines and things worked.

Gemma Jones (8m 4s):
So there was a lot of practical knowledge that I didn't have when I went into engineering. And I really felt that. And then when I went out to work, And I was looking at machinery and Manufacturing equipment. I, I was very conscious that I didn't really know how it worked. So I had a real imposter syndrome problem of I don't know how to do this. I dunno how I'm supposed to help these people understand the problems or solve the problems. And what I realized quickly was actually I didn't need to know those things, but it was almost me learning how to cope with what I saw as my inadequacy or my, my shortcomings that I developed this, this, you know, the, I didn't develop it, obviously it's a known thing, but asking questions rather than giving people answers.

Gemma Jones (8m 51s):
I realized I could get by by doing that. And I was really lucky. I think that that happened because I think that made me coach people from early on without no And I didn't know I was doing that. And I hadn't been taught how to do that. And it was probably, if I look back now, it was probably a bit rusty. But it was that notion of coaching them and helping them side by side, helping them figure it out rather than telling them what to do. And I think that's, that's a strength. Now. I used to think that was me overcoming a weakness.

Mark Graban (9m 21s):
I I I I love the way you say that. You're, you're, you're, you're right When, when you can't tell people what to do, I mean, that, that can be a blessing. Because when you think of so many other workplaces where people are promoted up through the ranks, whether it's in Manufacturing or healthcare, and they fall into that trap of Yes. Knowing too much about how the work is done and

Gemma Jones (9m 43s):
Exactly

Mark Graban (9m 43s):
Staying So, I mean. Do do you find yourself in a situation now where kind I'm drifting or we're, we're building upon your origin story. Do you find yourself in situations now where you're having to try to help leaders and coach them through recognizing that maybe they have this pattern of more telling, less asking?

Gemma Jones (10m 2s):
Yeah. Getting, helping people to see when they're jumping to give advice or to tell rather than asking, I think is alm is actually quite a key part of what I do now when I'm coaching with leaders and not just with leader, you know, as in top of the company or senior company. You know, if people are leading projects or if they're CI practitioners and they're leading a team or a, you know, a particular activity, it's the same thing. And sort of being able to notice when you jump to do that, I think is a skill in itself. You know, asking questions and then shutting up, you know, is, is a skill in itself. and that is something that I'm often helping people to observe that and notice that.

Gemma Jones (10m 44s):
'cause a lot of us, you know, I don't think we necessarily realize we're doing it. So yeah. Having someone to help you see that can really help, I think.

Mark Graban (10m 53s):
Yeah, I mean that's, that's a big part of what a coach can do, whether it is a music coach or I imagine a, well, a golf coach or an art coach. Yeah, yeah. To, to, to, to help you notice, or at least maybe, you know, maybe people then develop the ability once it's pointed out to them. Yeah. That ability to be more self observant perhaps.

Gemma Jones (11m 16s):
Yeah. Yeah. I definitely think, yeah, we can become more, we can realize that we, we can not see something's happening, but once we've realized when we do it, we know the triggers, we know what it feels like we know some of the language to look out for, then we can become much more aware.

Mark Graban (11m 32s):
Yeah. Now, you know, you talked about not taking things apart when you were a kid. I didn't do that either, so I, I I I lacked some of that. Maybe a practical experience. But you, you know, when, when, when, when you get into an industrial setting, you, like you said, as, as you reflected on, you learn what you have to know. Like, you know, I started at General Motors and they sent us to a class where we spent a day or two putting together an engine by hand. I go, okay, that was interesting. I don't know how much that really helped me do my job. Like, maybe it kind of grounded me and, okay, this is the product and this is what it does, that's fine.

Mark Graban (12m 14s):
But it wasn't really, we, you know, we, most of us have driven a car. So it wasn't really that theoretical of what the engine, what the engine does. But like you said, relying on coaching questions, helping people through that. Yeah, it's great things to learn. But then when you think about coaching and asking questions, that makes me think of, you know, some of your, your more recent work around the Toyota Kata approach, and you, you're a co-founder of a group with, with Tracy Defoe, who was here on episode 467. Tell us a little bit about that, that group. I'll let you say what it is. And Yeah,

Gemma Jones (12m 51s):
So the group, we called the Kata Girl Geeks, and we are a group for women across the world wanting to learn more about scientific thinking and the practice of Kata. We started back in 2020. I'd done some training in Kata. I'd had the books on my shelf for five, six years. Thought I understood it, thought it was, you know, yeah, I've seen this before. Long, you know, long history of, in Lean I would talk about Lean being my religion, you know, and this was my thing. So I went and did some training to, to learn more about Toyota Kata. Finished that training, then tried to use it with clients and realized very quickly, you know, how hard it was. Looks really simple on the outside.

Gemma Jones (13m 32s):
Actually, it's quite hard to practice So I, actually, I was, So I felt like I was on the verge of, of almost putting it to one side 'cause I'd realized how hard it was. But I reached out to Tracy, who I knew was a big advocate for Kata, and asked if she would help me. She offered to coach me. She coached me very generously. She'd never met me before. She, you know, she coached me for six weeks. And then when we finished that coaching, we decided we wanted to, you know, how do I continue? How do we continue, let's keep meeting once a week and hey, should we invite some other women? We were both involved with the women in Lean group at the time. I know you are a big advocate for women in Lean So.

Gemma Jones (14m 13s):
we reached out to members of their said, is anyone else interested in learning about kata and scientific thinking? And a few people joined us, And I just thought that would be us. and we would, you know, just, just hotter along for a, you know, a few months. But actually the group has grown and grown, and now we've got over a hundred women who come together every workday. Actually, we have learning groups who come together every workday, but we have three meetings every week as a whole. Yeah. And we've, we've got over a hundred women across the world. It's incredible. I mean, it amazes me every week. I'm incredibly proud of the group. We've, we talk about how many coaches we've grown, and we've now grown over 20 coaches.

Gemma Jones (14m 55s):
So there's over 20 women on the planet who previously had no coaching experience, who are now fully competent, confident coaches making a difference in the world. and that, that means some, that means a huge amount to me.

Mark Graban (15m 7s):
Yeah. Yeah. That's great. And you know, how, how would you describe or articulate the benefit of having groups kind of, you know, created by for and of women?

Gemma Jones (15m 21s):
So I. Think, you know, it, we, we came out of women in Lean, which, which evolved, you know, because of Karen, Karen Ross being at conferences and looking up at the stage and not seeing any women. And we've, we've kept to that in the category. You know, we have had a few moments where we've been criticized openly and privately for only being open to women. And we've had a lot of conversations about whether we should open the group and whether we should make it open to anyone. But the reason we've kept it that way is, well, there's two reasons. I guess two big reasons. One is we are, you know, women supporting women, which is a really beautiful thing.

Gemma Jones (16m 4s):
But more importantly is, yeah, when you go to conferences, Lean conferences, Kata conferences, and you look at the stage and you look at the audience, it's the, there's a majority of men. There, a big majority of men there, there aren't that many women. There aren't that many, many women on the stage. There aren't that many women talking about Lean and Kata in a public place. and we want to build that, and we want to strengthen that. And we've seen the, the benefits and the, the feeling of the group. I, I, I dunno if I can describe it well enough, but it, we really are women supporting women. It's incredibly close, incredibly respectful. You know, people laugh, cry, you know, they're in their pajamas.

Gemma Jones (16m 45s):
They've got their kids, they're in the background, their dogs in the background, you know, they're out in the garden with their children. It's a really open, wonderful, supportive group. Yeah. It's a, it's a really beautiful thing, a really beautiful thing. So, we, it's very precious to us, and we want to keep it, we want to keep it safe.

Mark Graban (17m 3s):
Yeah. Well, and that's great. And, and, and to be clear, And I, I don't think you thought I was criticizing, that was not me. No, not at all at all criticizing that. But to, to hear you articulate how and why that's so important, because you, you, you're right, there are still inclusion gaps Yes. Along lines of, of gender and race. It, it's not only still majority men on stage, it's, it's frankly still, you know, majority white men on stage. Yeah. Yeah. and we have to break that cycle where people don't feel, where I've heard people say that they don't feel confident or comfortable when they don't see people like them on stage.

Gemma Jones (17m 40s):
Exactly.

Mark Graban (17m 41s):
They, they, it's harder to aspire to that. And, you know, the, the, the diverse talent of people who can do a great talk at conferences, it's, it's out there. You have Yeah. You have to look, I like, to me, this isn't giving a spot to somebody just because they're a woman. It's going and finding women and people of color and Yeah. You know, people sometimes outside of, I'll say it, you know, sometimes the organizations have put on conferences, they have their circle Right. People who've been involved for a long time. And sometimes you get to sort of help chip into that. Yeah. I'm not saying they mean any, any harm, but it's just natural. Like, they, they have their circle and they're people they're comfortable with. You know, it's, it's, I I think helpful to, to try to help others break into that.

Gemma Jones (18m 25s):
Yeah. Yeah. We wanna raise the voices of women in Lean and in kata in, in the respects of our group. And we've seen great benefits from that. And we've seen, you know, we see what a lovely community, supportive community we have. So Yeah. It's working, it's working for us.

Mark Graban (18m 41s):
Yeah. Well, that's great to hear. So, Gemma, one thing we were, I think this might be, you know, kind of the bulk of the episode here, now that we've gotten to know you and some of your background a little bit. I, I know you're very interested in, in looking at overlap of not just continuous improvement, but mental health. You recently did a keynote talk on this So I. I really just kind of in a very open-ended way, you know, turn it over to you to, to share some of your thoughts and experiences about, again, you know, mental health and continuous improvement.

Gemma Jones (19m 16s):
Okay, cool. Yeah. Just to give you a bit of context into, into how this came about. Five years ago, I was working for a Manufacturing organization. And I was the CI manager. I'd had 20 odd years of experience working in CI and Lean and operations. And this was, you know, incredibly important to me. So I was working for a company. And one day, very sadly, I came into work to find out that one of my colleagues had died by suicide. Mm. Now this was an enormous shock, you know, incredible, you know, didn't see this coming, you know, I knew I was working very closely with him.

Gemma Jones (19m 59s):
I knew he was stressed. I, I would've said there was 20 other people more stressed than him, had no idea that he was struggling. So this was an enormous shock. And then, you know, immediately we had to start to figure out how to, you know, look after people, how to cope with this, how to deal with this as a, as an organization. And one of the things I realized very quickly was I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to behave. And So I, you know, quickly started doing research and trying to understand it a bit more. The first thing I learned was the statistics around suicide. And it's terrifying. I mean, absolutely terrifying. It's 800,000 people a year die by suicide.

Gemma Jones (20m 41s):
That's more than homicide.

Mark Graban (20m 44s):
And, and, and that's 800,000 people. I'm sorry to interrupt geographically,

Gemma Jones (20m 49s):
The whole world. Yeah, the whole world. Okay. The whole world. And that's an understatement of the number because we know it's not reported in some countries, and we know it's, so, it's at least 800,000 people a year across the world. That's one person every 40 seconds. Now that's, it's terrifying. I also learned that certainly in the uk, if you are a man under 50, your most likely cause of death is suicide. And at the time, I had And I still have two teenage boys and a husband, So I. Remember the day I learned that statistic, And I came home, And I looked at them and thought, all this time, I've been worried about you having an accident at school or crossing the road, or in the swimming pool.

Gemma Jones (21m 29s):
That's what I worry about as a parent, but actually what I really need to be worrying about is what you are thinking and how you are feeling. So that was, it was a really big shock. It led to me leaving and setting up my own business. And one of the first things I did was train in mental health first aid. I, I felt very strongly that I wanted to be able to know how to respond, what to do, how to help people. And one of the things I learned on that training, And I, remember this light bulb moment in my head when I learned this, was that suicidal thoughts are almost always based on unclear thinking.

Gemma Jones (22m 11s):
Now, to me, you know, sitting there thinking as a CI professional, that isn't, that's what we do as CI people. We help people think more clearly, or certainly that's the way, you know, I practice CI So. We've got, we've got this army of people around the world of, of very highly skilled, highly trained CI people. What if we could, you know, help them or encourage them to tune into people, to help them with their thinking about themselves, not just about their processes and their systems. What if we could use some of those CI tools and those CI methods to help people? When I was on the mental health first data training, I looked around the room and most of the people in the room were from hr.

Gemma Jones (22m 54s):
Now, I've got nothing against people from hr, but I know if I was struggling, HR wouldn't be the department that I would run towards. You know, they hold a lot of power in your, in the organization, And, I. I'm just not sure that they're the necessarily the best people to be doing that training. Whereas as a CI person, you know, you very often have a very wide reach across an organization, and you're very often in touch with people at all different levels. You know, we very often have strong relationships with people at all different levels and departments of the company. So if those people, you know, could have some of these skills and tools and, and abilities to look out for symptoms, to know how to signpost people to help, you know, to know the questions, to ask, to get people to talk, you know, then I, I really think there could be a big benefit.

Gemma Jones (23m 49s):
So that's, that's basically my mission now. I see it as my mission is to encourage and enable CI people to tune in, to help people think, to overcome obstacles and embrace change. That's, that's kind of my reason for working and being now.

Mark Graban (24m 5s):
Wow. Wow. Well, for one, for one, thank you for, for being willing, you know, to share that story. I'm sure it's not easy to bring up. Maybe easier to bring up in the spirit of helping Yeah. Raise awareness and, and helping others. I, I, when, when, when you talk about what you didn't recognize with, with your colleague, I mean, I, it, it, it makes me think, I mean, I, I I, I wouldn't want to be in a position of blaming you or anybody for what they did or didn't do.

Mark Graban (24m 45s):
I saw, maybe it was Adam Grant, somebody, you know, there was a, a, a post on LinkedIn, this reminder of this idea that, you know, even people we work with a lot, like we, we generally really only know a very small percentage of what's going on in their life or in their head, or, you know, the totality of stressors or, or circumstances or, or, or other factors. But, but to that point, I wa I was, I was gonna ask you like, in terms of looking for signs of like, when it might be appropriate to try to open a conversation with somebody, And I, can I imagine that that could be difficult, but are there ways of, of sort of, if you will, creating some standard work for a good way of broaching the subject

Gemma Jones (25m 33s):
Yeah. With

Mark Graban (25m 34s):
Somebody?

Gemma Jones (25m 35s):
Yeah. I mean, and there's, you know, the symptoms are fairly, and I'm not a mental health first data training So. I'm not, I don't wanna replace the need for that. There is, there's some great training available and there's some free training that I can talk about at the end and share some links. But in terms of noticing, if you notice someone's behavior is off, you know, if you are noticing they don't see themselves, if they're using words or you know, they've, their body language, or if you're noticing something different in people, the way I like to approach it, or the way I like to encourage people to approach it, is to say exactly that. I notice you're not yourself, Like And, I might not be the right person, but can I get someone who you can talk to?

Gemma Jones (26m 17s):
Because again, it depends on your relationship with that person. If they work for you, they might not wanna open their heart to you. If you are a manager and they work for another MA and another manager, they might not want to be open with you. So it's, I think it's important to acknowledge that you've noticed that it seems like there's something wrong. And then either offer to talk or offer to find someone who they can talk to that they feel safe with. The other thing I'd say there is, even if the answer is no, I'm fine. You know, go in again. You know, are you, you know, are you sure? 'cause you really don't seem yourself or, or, you know, keep a very close eye and then come in the next day or later on that day.

Gemma Jones (27m 1s):
'cause very often people will tell you, I'm fine. 'cause they think if I keep saying I'm fine, then that means I'm fine. Or actually, I don't really wanna talk about it right now. But quite often they'll realize a little bit later, actually, I do need to talk about it. And just that someone's noticed my behavior or noticed the way I'm, that shows they care. And they might have a realization that actually they might be able to help So I think saying that you've noticed the behavior and then going in again and asking and checking Yeah. Is a good idea.

Mark Graban (27m 34s):
Yeah. I mean, I, I imagine people might be surprised by the question. They might not quite know how to respond other than a reflexive I'm fine. Yeah. It's sort of like the, the, the, the routines of, Hey, good morning, how are you doing? Oh, I'm great. How are you? Great. I mean, that may or may not be an accurate Yeah. You know, answer. But, you know, given time and space, you know, we're, we're, maybe, I can imagine maybe somebody gets past that surprise and kind of thinks about it, and then you may find times where, well, they'll come and, and, and, and follow up and say, well, Gemma, you know, you, you, you asked yesterday. And you know, I gave it some thought. And they, they, they may open up or you following up with them might lead to that.

Mark Graban (28m 22s):
I mean, at, at the least, it seems like there's nothing wrong in saying or expressing, I, I, I care and we can say this in the workplace.

Gemma Jones (28m 30s):
Yeah, absolutely.

Mark Graban (28m 31s):
I I I I care about you, I'm concerned about you. Even language like that would probably be okay. Yeah.

Gemma Jones (28m 38s):
Yeah. I think so. The other thing I think we can really do, especially as, as leaders and as ci practitioners, is we can normalize the act of talking about feelings and emotions in the workplace. Because what, you know, one of the other big things I learned is that for a lot of people, part of the answer is, is communication is being able to put into words that you don't feel okay. And being comfortable to do that in a work setting. A lot of people, you know, have been taught, I know I have often kept emotions inside of me for fear of being unprofessional or, you know, kind of exposing myself, And, I think part of the issue here is getting people to be comfortable to talk So, I do a lot of that in the work I do, even just in meetings, you know?

Gemma Jones (29m 27s):
How did that make you feel? Just asking that question and encouraging people to actually talk about feelings and emotion, getting people used to talking about that. Another example I'll give is when I, when I do process mapping with people, or if, if I'm training people in process mapping or actually doing an exercise for every little box on the process map or every sticky note on the wall, I'll ask people to add an emoji about how they feel at that point of that process. And so by getting them to talk about feelings relating to the process, not only does it deepen the, the knowledge and the understanding of the process, you know, why do you feel angry there?

Gemma Jones (30m 7s):
Why do you feel tired there? Why do you feel excited? At this point? You get a much deeper understanding of the process. People get a much deeper understanding of each other. But also more importantly, you're normalizing to talk about emotions in a safe environment like that, in a meeting room, talking with your team about a process. And my theory is, if we can get people more comfortable to talk about it there, maybe they'll be more comfortable, you know, if they're in a point of crisis or they're in a, you know, a point of really needing help, So, I think normalizing, talking about emotions and leaders and managers can do that, you know, every minute of every working day. Yeah. Just getting, sharing your own emotions, telling people how you feel, you know, make it part of the normal language.

Mark Graban (30m 52s):
Yeah. Yeah. I that's, that's, that's great. And, you know, I, I can think personally, sort of, you know, going on a journey of trying to think through and understand or embrace, you know, as, as an engineer, you know, there's, there's this bias toward thinking rational, quantitative, and, and people might say things like, who, who, this isn't personal, this isn't emotional, this is just business. Like, I don't subscribe to that because a business is people. Yeah. And if we want to talk about, you know, if, you know, Toyota phrase is like, respect for people and respect for humanity.

Mark Graban (31m 39s):
We have to embrace, you know, I, our, our human nature and we are emotional beings. And I think, I, I, first, this is one of the thought that comes to mind. I, I'd love to hear your thoughts around this. You know, I saw the beginning of my career, and this goes back to Deming and Lean ideas of not wanting people to check their brain at the door, how, how bad that is. It makes me think of, we shouldn't be asking people to check their heart at the door either.

Gemma Jones (32m 11s):
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think having respect for people is about the whole person. Yeah. Not just neck upwards. Not just, you know, not just brain, but also like you say, yeah, And I. Think if we can engage that part of people, you know, we get so much more. Because at the end of the day, we all have emotions, whether we like it or not, we can pretend we don't, and we can pretend that that's, that's messy and we don't wanna talk about it. And it's difficult. At the end of the day, we all have emotions. We all know how it feels to have to go and do a day's work when something traumatic has happened, or something terrible has happened, or you've had an argument with your spouse or your child, or you've lost your dog or your cat, or a, you know, a grandparent.

Gemma Jones (32m 55s):
We know how that feels to try, go and try and do the best work we can. and we know how hard that is. And there are people that are going through that every single day. If you are in the us, UK, or Canada, you know, one in five people, that's 20% of people. One in five people are struggling with a mental health issue right now. So if you work in a company for every hundred people you've got in your company, 20 of them are struggling right now. and we can pretend that's not happening, or we can try and help them and do something about it. Yeah.

Mark Graban (33m 30s):
And I bet those numbers are pretty broadly similar across different Yeah. Layers of society of people and say, well, we're, we're a professional services firm. Everyone's so well educated and lives a pretty posh life, if you will. There's still gonna be mental health issues.

Gemma Jones (33m 49s):
Well, and even if it's slightly less in that, I mean, I don't know the in intricate details of the numbers, but you know, even if it was three quarters of that, even if it's only 15 people, you know, it, these are, these are human beings who are, are, are, are working for us or for those organizations. and we know that they're struggling. And I think there's a huge amount we can do to support them without just thinking, well, it's nothing to do with us. You know, that's their personal life. No, it's, you know, no, it's not. There's, there's a, there's a massive amount we can do.

Mark Graban (34m 18s):
Yeah. There's a lot that we can do. And, I think we could say there's a lot that, that we should do if we can be comfortable with it. You know, I think one, I know personally, one thing that that's really helped me a lot has been, you know, time working in Healthcare where maybe, you know, it's the, it's the nature of caring professions, the reality of great life-changing successes and dramatically sad, sad events and sickness and recovery and dying.

Mark Graban (34m 59s):
That there, there I, you know, there, there I think tends to be generally a little bit more, more embracing of the impact that can have on our emotions or the impact of our emotions on some of that work. I'm, I'm generalizing, you know, so it's not always going to be true. But I I've, I've heard more definitely, you know, more, more talk of feelings and emotions in, in Healthcare than, I mean, this is going back 25 years ago than I would really ever remember at say a General Motors factory. I can't imagine the reaction if I had tried And I. I love what, what you were sharing about, you know, tell me how you feel about, like, I I don't think that would've gone Well,

Gemma Jones (35m 46s):
No. And this, you know, I'm, I still work in environments now where, you know, you can, you can sort of hear the gasp or you know, you can hear that, you know, there's people resistance. But I stick at it. And, I still keep asking the question until people get, so, you know, bored of me asking, I get the leaders to demonstrate this is what I'm, look, you know, this is what we are looking for. This is the language we're looking for. And hu you know, humor me and just, and just keep going. 'cause, 'cause like I say, we all have feelings. Let's just learn how to talk about them in a safe way and know that we are safe to do that. And, you know, again, there's a, there's a big onus there on the leadership to be receptive to that and to, to receive that in the right way and deal with that in the right way and encourage it in the right way.

Gemma Jones (36m 34s):
So there's a lot, it's not just as simple as getting people to talk about how they feel. We also have to make sure that we're, we're working with that.

Mark Graban (36m 43s):
I mean, how often do you end up prompting somebody to the point where the, the first emotion they share is either, let's say I, I feel skeptical about talking about our emotion, or I Gemma I feel frustrated that you can, I mean, that's a start. It's a start. It's not really what you're going for, but it's a start, right?

Gemma Jones (37m 3s):
Yeah. One of the things I do is I, I teach people how to draw emo emojis because we've all got emojis now in our phones. Yeah. We all use them. I think it's something like 85% of people between over the age of, or no below the age of 80 or something, use emojis every single day in their communication. So, we are used to using emojis in personal communication. Let's get used to using them in a work setting. So I teach people how to draw very simplified emojis with just a few lines, you know, And, I, give them a big poster showing, you know, here's nine different emojis that kind of cover a spectrum of emotions.

Gemma Jones (37m 45s):
Pick one. So even if they can't put it into words and they're not really sure, you know, pick one of these and tell me which one is closest. And sometimes that can just help. So they're not having to come up with the words. They can, they can kind of look at the one that feels most appropriate. So again, it's about giving them the language.

Mark Graban (38m 3s):
Yeah. And, and so when, when it comes to language, you know, for one, I, I want to thank you. We, we, we did have a a a previous conversation, you know, before we, we were recording the episode here today. I, I, you were the first person that I had heard this phrase, mental health first aid from.

Gemma Jones (38m 24s):
Yeah.

Mark Graban (38m 25s):
You know, I wanna, I want to thank you for that. and we can kind of come back to, I know, you know, people I'm sure can go and search, but we'll come back and get some of your tips. As you had said, you, you would share about where to go get training on this. But I think, you know, there's also language to explore. When a couple of minutes ago you talked about people feeling safe and that's, you know, real, really important when it comes to language around psychological safety in a workplace, feeling safe to speak up about a problem, feeling safe to admit a mistake, feeling safe to have a kaizen idea. and that also includes feeling safe to express emotions.

Mark Graban (39m 6s):
And, and, and there are times when I've done talks or webinars or even like within a team, you can survey people. And it's interesting to have people rank to them personally of some of these different acts which are the most vulnerable to you personally. Meaning which, which feel the most risky or dangerous. Yeah. And usually within given people a list of 10 or 15 things to rank. Generally speaking, admitting a mistake to a lot of people feels very dangerous. And, I. Think that's unfortunate. Yeah. Yeah. And that's an opportunity for leaders to help them feel safe. We can't just tell them be brave. Yeah. You have to admit Mistakes, they don't have to.

Mark Graban (39m 48s):
But the, the other thing that ranks very high in that list is expressing emotions. Yeah. Where people feel like that is risky to them professionally. Yeah. To get labeled as being too emotional or being chastised for being upset about something which maybe isn't good root cause problem solving. If we don't think about, well, why, why was this upsetting to you? Because we we're, we're humans. We get upset sometimes.

Gemma Jones (40m 20s):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think as leaders, they have an, people have an opportunity to, to, to demonstrate and show how that can work to, you know, not only receive if people do talk about emotions, you know, receive that in a, in a supportive, neutral, non-judgmental way. But also to show the same, you know, to self-disclose, to share some of your own emotions, to, to make it more normal. To make it more part of the, part of the culture. And to make people feel more safe to do so. Because you're right, there can be repercussions. I can think of times when I have shared my emotions when I was younger and it was not support, you know, I, I was not supported and it didn't go well.

Gemma Jones (41m 6s):
And I was told off for being too emotional. You know, I, you know, I was, yeah. So I can think of times when that hasn't worked for me because the environment was not supportive. Right.

Mark Graban (41m 18s):
And that's happened to me, not just when I was younger, but even sometimes in more recent years. And, and, and that can be doubly upsetting then. I mean, we've, I mean, at, at some point, hopefully we, we all learn in life. And this I think applies to personal relationships. You can't tell somebody how to feel No. Don't try to tell someone they should be or shouldn't be feeling a certain way.

Gemma Jones (41m 44s):
No. and we can't tell people how they are feeling. And, you know. Absolutely. Yeah. If, if, gosh, if someone trusts you enough to share with you how they're feeling, we need to learn how to respect that, receive that, and support that, and then figure out what we need to do to, to help them going forwards.

Mark Graban (42m 6s):
I mean, is there an opportunity to apply? I mean, I, I I brought up this phrase root cause to, to ask why questions or, or use other problem solving frameworks. Not saying that the emotion is the problem, but trying to Yeah. Drill down. What, what, what, what have you been able to experiment with or, or find helpful?

Gemma Jones (42m 30s):
Yeah. So what I have found helpful, actually, and this is a bit controversial in the Lean world, but is to try and avoid the question why asking someone why can, can lead them to feel defensive? 'cause it's almost being judgmental and critical, or it can be received as being judgmental and critical. And also I think if you are asking the question why it can lead to you giving solutions or being direct, you know, why don't you try this? Why haven't you done this?

Mark Graban (43m 2s):
Well, those aren't really questions. Those

Gemma Jones (43m 4s):
Aren't really questions. Those are instructions. Yeah. So consciously I try to stay away from the word why, but instead asking more open questions like, you know, what happens when, or what leads you to feel like this? Or, you know, what, it's kind of what questions and how questions and when questions, rather than why And I think that's only, it's a, it's a, sounds like a really small shift, but it can make a massive difference in how someone hears that question. If they're feeling vulnerable and emotional, the last thing they want is to feel judged. Yes. They might need some help getting to root cause and we can ask deepening questions to try and get to root cause.

Gemma Jones (43m 47s):
You know, what is it that's making you feel frustrated? You know, what about that is making you feel angry? Whatever, you know, we can ask questions to try and peel back some of the layers, but also we have to make sure we are respectful when we do that. Someone's feeling frustrated and they can't articulate why that's okay. They're still feeling frustrated. and that doesn't mean that their feelings are not valid, just because right now they can't articulate it. When we are super stressed and emotional, you know, our powers of reasoning are diminished because we're in a properly, in a fight or flight situation. and we are not necessarily able to think that clearly.

Gemma Jones (44m 27s):
And as a, as a manager, as a leader, as a ci person, as a mentor, as a coach, we've got to understand that just because someone can't explain it doesn't mean it's not real. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist. But we can try and help them to figure it out. You know, I think some of the techniques that we use as ci people, the mapping, the drawing that, right. Let's draw a picture of how this is working. Some of that can really help bring someone's stress level down and, and help them to articulate things. Yeah.

Mark Graban (44m 60s):
And, I just makes me think of core kaizen principles around sometimes you take baby steps, So, we could frame this in terms of kata, where we, we can see, you know, our challenge and what are some next steps that we're gonna take to try to Yeah. Incrementally move us along. I think the same thing is true with psychological safety. You don't go from a complete extreme lack of psychological safety to a perfectly safe environment like flipping a switch. It's a, it's, it's a jour it's a journey. It it, yeah, totally. It takes progressive steps and learning and adjustment along.

Gemma Jones (45m 34s):
Absolutely. And if I think about, you know, referencing this to Katter, that's the majority of my work now. It's kind of my passion. I think Katter is the best way to learn how to think the first, well, we set a challenge in Kata, but then the next step, the second step before we start moving forwards is to grasp our current condition. And I think that's where there's some real power in understanding a situation or an act. You know, something that's happening that's leading someone to not feeling good. Let's dig into it and really understand the current condition. What is going on, what is happening, who is involved, who's not involved? When does it happen, when does it not happen?

Gemma Jones (46m 14s):
You know, really starting to, to dig deep and research that current condition can really help before we even need to think about Right. What are we gonna do? So yeah, I think, I think the, those principles can really help us to do that.

Mark Graban (46m 30s):
There's, you've already answered the question that I would ask, but, you know, as an opportunity to try to practice some of this, if, if I were to ask Gemma, why avoid the word, why? I don't know if that would make you defensive about Yeah. Asking why, but you know, there, there I think are other ways of asking it like, well, or, or, or even s a prompt. Like it's not technically a question, but like, well, tell me about some of the ways different people might react to a why question. Like maybe that language is a little less accusatory.

Gemma Jones (47m 4s):
Yeah, absolutely. You are, you are depersonalizing it by, you know, tell me some ways that other people might feel Yeah, you are, you are taking it away from that person and you're making it to more, you know, humans in general. I think that's a really good way to, to reduce some of that defensiveness. 'cause you're not answering on behalf of yourself. You are then answering on behalf of, you know, imaginary people or all of humanity. Definitely.

Mark Graban (47m 33s):
Yeah. And when you, when you talk about depersonalizing things, I mean, I think the why question really triggers defensiveness, And, I think again. It's understandably so why did you,

Gemma Jones (47m 45s):
Yeah. Why did you,

Mark Graban (47m 46s):
The why and the you, right? So you think of like trying to do root cause analysis. I think of, you know, one of the stories in, in my book about a wrong site surgery and probably not a helpful question to ask the resident surgeon, why did you cut into the wrong side of the patient? Right? Yeah. I mean that's, that's really, that, that's to me that's, that's, that's an accusation. I mean, yes, I mean that it's a fact that the resident in, in this story, and this happens far too often, cut into the wrong side of patient. But when we anchored around why did you, it seemed like we're no longer talking about systems Like, what allowed that to happen.

Gemma Jones (48m 28s):
Yeah.

Mark Graban (48m 28s):
You know, or, or I think even asking, well, I'll see, I almost, almost with a why, what what could be done to prevent that from happening

Gemma Jones (48m 38s):
Again, happening again. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Again, we should focus on this, the process, not the person, you know, and yeah. By, by switching the questions to, to sort of force us to focus on the process rather than the people that can really help that. But yeah. And it's to stop that level of, 'cause it's human nature, you know, if, if someone's asked, why did you do that? You know, that's our human nature is to get defensive. So yeah. Trying to depersonalize it go heavy on the process and, and yeah. Light on the person

Mark Graban (49m 18s):
And, and And I think some of this defensiveness happens. I, i, one thing I challenge in and Lean practice, if you will, is what a lot of people call a bowling chart of a list of 12 months, 12 numbers instead of a chart as I'm trying to draw with my finger here, instead of a line chart, it's a list of numbers that may or may not be color coded in some way. And if I challenge that, and sometimes people say, well, but that, that's what my sensei taught me to do last year. So it's not even a matter of a quote unquote, we've always done it that way. Yeah. But that's how I was taught. And, and And, I can see where now with the wise situation, I, I, I've been taught others, but I've been taught why questions are good.

Mark Graban (50m 5s):
We should ask why five times or whatever that number ends up being. But you know, I, I think there's a story going back to Toyota history as it's told. I'm, I'm, I'm sure you've heard it, Gemma and a lot of our listeners have of Toyota's evolution and some language around mistake proofing of supposedly they, they were, they were referring to it as Baka Yoke. Okay. Or, yeah. And, and which means more or less fool proofing or idiot proofing. And the story goes that somebody in the factory got upset and said, well, I'm not a fool. Well, so there's some emotion. There's some feelings.

Gemma Jones (50m 39s):
Yeah, exactly.

Mark Graban (50m 40s):
And that Toyota adjusted to calling it poka yoke or poka yo-kay. We debate the pronunciation of that, I guess too, but, but to focus on mistake or error. But even those words can be really loaded if people feel like they're being blamed.

Gemma Jones (50m 56s):
Yeah. Well it sounds like judgment. It sounds like blame. It could, I mean, it depends on the culture and the context, I would guess. But yeah, it can, it can be Mistake has a, you know, that's, that's got an emotional feeling to the word mistake, I believe. And yeah, I, I believe we should focus on where the process is falling down. You know, what, what in the process allowed this mis this mistake, you know, this this, this incident, this thing to happen and try and take it away from the people. It's funny, I, most of my work is talking about how it's all about the people, but then a lot of the focus is like, you know, we'd need to make it all about the process.

Gemma Jones (51m 37s):
Yeah,

Mark Graban (51m 38s):
Yeah. And And, I, I mean, we, we can do both. I don't think it has to be choice. We

Gemma Jones (51m 42s):
Need to do both.

Mark Graban (51m 43s):
Instead of being hard on people, we can engage them and understand 'em and

Gemma Jones (51m 50s):
Support them,

Mark Graban (51m 51s):
Support them, ask about them. But yeah, two other words, while we're playing the game of naming words that can trigger an emotional response problem.

Gemma Jones (52m 1s):
Yeah. Oh,

Mark Graban (52m 2s):
I mean, I think, you know, it's second nature in Toyota, it seems like they throw that word around, like problem has the same emotional weight as post-it note. Like it's a, yeah, it's a thing. It exists, it's a thing. But boy, some workplaces, people will plead, beg and plead. Can we use any word other than problem to describe a problem? Like if that's what it takes, that's a baby step that's necessary. Okay. Or the word defect.

Gemma Jones (52m 28s):
Yeah.

Mark Graban (52m 29s):
Right.

Gemma Jones (52m 31s):
Yeah. Yeah. And again, that, I think it comes down to culture. If, you know, if the culture has been about, you know, we are allowed, encouraged, we are safe. If we, if we admit there's been a problem, then their reaction to the word is probably gonna be better than if you know, well, we had a problem and you know, the order went down, the customer left, we lost loads of money. You know, if you are, if you've been, you know, if, if there's been big issues with problems in the past, if people have been disciplined because of problems or because of defects, you know, then people can link, oh, problems happen. You know, we get in trouble or problems happen, there is trouble.

Gemma Jones (53m 13s):
And then immediately people will close up and they won't share, they won't talk about it. They won't try to highlight or uncover problems because history has shown them. Experience has shown them that bad things happen. Right. Right. So this is, and that's why a lot of things get covered up. I believe, you know, And I think that happens. And, I saw it an awful lot in Manufacturing. Yes.

Mark Graban (53m 32s):
It happens.

Gemma Jones (53m 32s):
They know what Yeah. They know what's happening. It happens in, they know how it happens. They just don't wanna talk about it 'cause they know bad things happen. Right.

Mark Graban (53m 38s):
And they don't feel safe because it's probably, it's been demonstrated that it's not safe. Yeah. It's not an unfounded fear. And it happens too much in, in Healthcare. And again, I'm, I'm never blaming the people who choose not to speak up because sometimes, I mean, look, it's human nature. You'll protect yourself as much as some would want a lecture about professional obligation and yeah. We have to help people feel safe. Yeah. And I think that's the emotion. And we'll tie it back to, I'm glad you brought up Dr. Deming who said what eliminate fear.

Gemma Jones (54m 13s):
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Mark Graban (54m 17s):
So there's that foundation for your education and career and, and, and mine as well. So, you know, Gemma as, as, as we wrap up here, I mean, kind of one maybe general point and then the specific question about where to find some of this training. It, it seems like it might be possible to incorporate some of this discussion around, let's say, mental health or people's feelings into discussions around safety and a priority on not just physical safety

Gemma Jones (54m 49s):
Yeah.

Mark Graban (54m 50s):
But a broader view of safety.

Gemma Jones (54m 53s):
I think so I guess the, you know, I guess Yes, absolutely. Could be the only, the, I guess my hesitation is that, you know, And, I, I dunno how to say it. This is this, I'm not gonna say this very well, I don't think, but you know that in Manufacturing certainly there's often a, an attitude towards health and safety that isn't necessarily positive. You know, it's a bit of a roll of the eyes, or Oh gosh, yes. Now we have to, you know, there's, because the experience is having lots of things layered on them, that makes their life harder now. Yes. It makes their life better. And it, yes, it reduces accidents and we all know how important that is.

Gemma Jones (55m 34s):
But sometimes there is an immediate reaction to the, the, the concept of health and safety. So I guess I would be hesitant to connect. I think it is connected physical safety and men, you know, mental health, physical health, and mental health very closely linked. I, I guess I just wanna be careful there that it didn't get rolled up in the, you know, in the normal health and safety kind of world.

Mark Graban (56m 3s):
So, as with many things, yeah, it depends on the situation and the circumstances of a workplace, of a company.

Gemma Jones (56m 9s):
Exactly. Depends on the culture, depends how, you know. So I've seen companies do health and safety brilliantly, really brilliantly. They have a great attitude towards it, really progressive, modern thinking, you know, engaging. I've seen other companies do it terribly and nobody wants to talk about it. And it's seen as a burden and something that makes life hard again. The same, you know? Yeah. It's, I think it's all about context and environment. I just, I feel very strongly that I believe there's an army of CI people around the world who can really help bring a level of clarity and a level of thinking to people as well as helping them think about processes, focus on helping them think about themselves, learn, go.

Gemma Jones (56m 54s):
You know, I want to encourage as many CI people to go and do mental health first aid training. It's not expensive. It's not long. It doesn't mean you need to be a counselor, by the way. It doesn't mean you are fixing people just like a physical first aider. You know, if you're a physical first aider, you see someone with a, with a cut on their arm, or they've broken their arm, or they've hurt themselves. You are not a surgeon. You are not gonna try and put them back together. You are not a medic, you are not a, you know, you're not a doctor, but you are gonna, you're gonna notice that there's a problem. You are gonna kind of look after them and you are gonna get 'em to help. That's exactly what a mental health first aider is doing. You know, what to look out for, you know, how to respond and you know where to take them or where to, you know, encourage them to go to, to get help and you know what to do to get them in the best situation.

Gemma Jones (57m 42s):
So it's not about worrying about, you know, I'm, I can't be a counselor, or I can't help people. I'm not, you know, it's not about that. It's knowing what to look for. So, I want as many ci people to do mental health first aid training as I can possibly get. Yeah.

Mark Graban (57m 57s):
Yeah. Well that, thank you for that analogy, that, that really makes a lot of sense in the answer with the language is designed to draw that parallel. How, maybe, you know, the final question here. How did you find or decide where to get this training? Do you have a specific recommendation for others in the uk? How might the rest of us, I mean, we can go and Google the phrase, but are any any tips or guidance around Like what to look for of how long a program should be? Or the format? What would you look for?

Gemma Jones (58m 28s):
So the way I found mine is I, I actually came across somebody, a mental health first aid, a trainer at a conference. He delivered a really excellent session, which was, he somehow managed to make the subject of mental health first aid funny, which I found really quite intriguing. You know, he talked about some really difficult deep subjects, but made it very funny. So I, I, I went and introduced myself to him and said, I want to come on your course. Where, and luckily he was fairly local to me, but I think most countries have a mental health first aid organization. So you want it to be accredited training, So, I, think Googling that for whichever country you are in would be a good idea.

Gemma Jones (59m 11s):
The training I did was two days long, and then I, I've done a refresher two years later, and I'm gonna do another refresher every two years going forward. So, it's not long training, it's not, you know, it's not lengthy. It can be online as well. I know there's some virtual training for the same course online. It is pretty hard going. I will say, you know, it's And I found it quite hard. Certainly the parts about suicide awareness were very, very tender and very difficult, but well worth And I found it useful in lots of aspects of my life as a, as a coach, consultant, trainer, and also parent and wife and friend. So, yeah, I think it's really powerful stuff.

Gemma Jones (59m 54s):
If people go to my website there in, there is a resources page on which you can find a link to a mural that I've put together. A mural is a digital whiteboard, right? And there's a, there's a whole set of resources on there for, designed for ci, people who want to know better, you know, how to help. That's what it's called, how to help. One of the links on there is for some free suicide awareness training. It's not, it's not from me, it's, it's run through the N H Ss in the uk. It's fantastic training. It's only 20 minutes to half an hour, but it's open to anyone across the world, and that's truly brilliant. And that's free and it's half an hour. Right.

Gemma Jones (1h 0m 34s):
I'd really recommend people look at that as a first step. And there's some links on there as well to mental health organizations in different countries where you can find training.

Mark Graban (1h 0m 45s):
Okay. Well, thank you. And, and we do have listeners in, in dozens of countries, So, I, hope people will look for some local resources. I'll make sure the show notes have a link to your website, Gemma and what you mentioned there. Resources in particular for people in the UK, the US and Canada, kind of where a lot of my listeners do come from. But important topics, And important ideas for, for everybody. So really thank you for being willing to talk about these topics, to share your story and, and things that you've done and learned and the spirit of helping others.

Mark Graban (1h 1m 28s):
So thank you for that. I, I was, I was gonna ask you as we wrap up here, how, how do you feel, how, now that we're wrapping up the episode here, how, how do you feel Gemma?

Gemma Jones (1h 1m 43s):
I feel I love the way you did that, by the way, mark. That's very clever. I feel very grateful that you've, you know, you've, you've had me on to talk about it. That you are open to me talking about it. This isn't an easy subject, you know, I know it's not an easy thing to talk about. I think it's really important. But, so I'm really grateful. I'm, I'm, yeah. And I'm, I'm really pleased to be talking to more people. My mission is to talk to as many ci people as possible. So I'm incredibly grateful and pleased to have done that today.

Mark Graban (1h 2m 15s):
Okay. Well, I'm, I'm grateful you would share your feelings with me. I, I was, I was prepared to share how I feel now. I'm, I'm gonna be clever by saying I feel clever you should, which was not, which was not really what, that was not my primary motivation there. But I, I feel hopeful that the awareness that, that you're creating through, you know, keynote talks and other efforts, and by being here today, one, one thing I feel is hopeful that we can help others, help other people. And, I feel grateful.

Mark Graban (1h 2m 56s):
So this, this has been, this has been really nice. So I again, again, we're joined today, Gemma Jones. I'll put links in the show notes and for people to reach out and follow up with you on all of these topics. So again, thank you so much for doing this.

Gemma Jones (1h 3m 12s):
You're really welcome. Thank you so much for having me,

Announcer (1h 3m 16s):
Thanks for listening. This has been the Leanblog podcast. For Lean News and commentary updated daily, visit www.Leanblog.org. If you have any questions or comments about this podcast, email Mark at Leanpodcast@gmail.com.


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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