Tips for managing stress and imposter syndrome

By Adrian Ma

When it comes to mental health, PR doesn't get a good rep. In various reports it ranks in the top 10 most stressful careers out there.

Throughout my career, I've seen the casualties first hand. It's not pretty. I wanted to do something to safeguard the team's mental health, and here at Fanclub, we've been working with our in-house coach Tash (pictured).

Here she is to tell us a bit about her role, and what she does for us.

What’s your role here?

My role at Fanclub is about helping people to be the best version of themselves. I work with to them remove any interference that may be stopping them from achieving their full potential: from dealing with high pressure situations; to finessing client relationships and more smoothly negotiating team personalities.  Essentially it's about bolstering people's emotional understanding and awareness so they can feel increasingly strong, confident and comfortable within themselves to make the right decisions and excel at a higher level.   

What qualifies you for this? 

I worked in PR for over twelve years at companies including Hill & Knowlton and Freuds' before becoming a professional coach, so I understand the many trials and tribulations of the industry and the issues that affect people within it.  I have also put in the hours and gained an advanced practitioner qualification in Life Coaching and NLP with the Phil Parker Institute as well as doing additional courses to improve my knowledge with the Co-Active coaching school.

How do you do what you do? 

I always start of from the basic assumption that I'm OK and that the people I'm working with are OK too.  It's my view that labelling people is inherently counterproductive and that if employees are stuck or always butting heads with the same problem, then something about the way they are dealing with it needs to change, and I help facilitate that change.  As the saying goes: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So I get people to look at their issues in an entirely new way, to gain new ideas about how to work with and overcome them.

In your career, and in your practice, do you come across common issues in people who work in PR?

Absolutely, managing tricky client relationships, dealing with high stress situations and imposter syndrome are all very common. 

What advice would you give them for dealing with it? 

In terms of managing tricky client relationships it's key to put yourselves in their shoes.  We get too caught up in "me, myself and I" and can feel we are being attacked and disrespected by people.  But in most cases it's just not the case and many clients are just acting into the "script" of how they feel they should behave. What's key is to start giving people the tools to move away from reaction and into understanding.

With managing high stress situations it's about clearly identifying your triggers so you can become hyper aware of looking out for them and understand it's a pattern that can be hacked, not a helpless loop.

And with managing imposter syndrome it's about communication, communication, communication.  It's my belief that this so called epidemic of our age is caused by the strange social syndrome of feeling that talking about our insecurities is a weakness.  The sooner you have a group of employees together saying 'me too' the sooner you have a more relaxed, happy workforce that feels understood and part of a group, not like imposters. In fact, group coaching is the latest tool that I'm working on building out for my business clients.


The women who inspire Fanclub

Today is International Women’s Day: a day to celebrate women, a day to highlight the gender inequalities that many women still face, and a day to work together to overcome them.

From mothers to daughters, writers to entrepreneurs, there are a wealth of inspiring women who surround us every single day, and we hope to continue to learn more about their spirit and ambition. To celebrate International Women’s day today, we asked the team to tell us about women who personally inspire them.  The result is a list of truly wonderful women who have inspired us to be passionate and tenacious in being our best selves and striving to help others around us.

 

Liz Travis, aka my mum. She continues to inspire me each and every day with her eternal patience (with me, anyway!); selflessness, generosity and love- and for putting her children before her every step of the way. She not only conquers adversity with steely determination and an unflappable sense of being, but does so whilst being one of the most glamorous and stylish women I have the pleasure of knowing. 

- Georgie

 

Marta Krupinska, Co-Founder of Azimo, is one of the most impressive and passionate entrepreneurs who inspires me.  Ambitious, honest and a champion for diversity, she’s a great role model for anyone who wants to help change or make the world a better place. Also, the boxer Nicola Adams, who proved that determination, hard work and sacrifices can lead to achieving global recognition and success (and she’s been turned into a Barbie doll!)

Jonny

 

Jenni Cochrane, Director of Culture and Partnerships at AEI Media. Jenni has been someone I’ve admired since the day I met her (when I interviewed her for a piece on women in the music industry). She has such an amazing presence that’s captivating and stays with you. She’s smart and strong, she’s a mother, a director at a really cool business and she’s a woman that’s worked and thrived in a male-dominated world for years, Jenni is inspiring on so many levels.  

Also, my mum, Dr Ruth Padday. I’m especially proud of her for receiving an honours for all the charity work she’s done from setting up a young people’s clinic and working as a doctor at festivals to providing aid to rural villages in Nepal and working for the JST which takes disabled people sailing on tall ships. She’s currently deep in the ocean sailing and no doubt helping others as she usually does.

Joey

 

Besides my mum and my three sisters, I’m inspired by American director, writer, producer, and distributor, Ava DuVernay. She began in journalism, shifted to PR, and then went on to create award winning films and documentaries. She followed her ambition (even funding her first film) and is relentless to tell the stories that deserve to be told. Her ambition and perseverance (and not to mention her talent!) are truly inspiring.

Megan

 

Obviously, the most inspiring person in the world is my mother - a single parent to two young children who never let her own problems get in the way of the happiness of me and my sister. She juggled a million different strands of life, whilst teaching me and my sister the value of hard-work, manners, self-expression, travel, happiness and of course, LOVE.

Matt

 

Aside from my utterly selfless and compassionate mum and sister, who have both shown me marked support and taught me to be uncompromising with who I am and what I deserve, I’m always in awe of those who have shown dedication to supporting others with resources to support mental health. Jane Lawson founded CSTUK-  a complimentary and volunteer-led organisation founded to support victims of the Grenfell disaster with community based support therapies, and counselling. The organisation offers invaluable support to victims of disasters- from children to those in the emergency services. Also, author and food writer Ruby Tandoh, who has inspired a refreshing dialogue that advocates the nourishing power of food for physical and mental wellbeing. Ruby celebrates how food has unique potential to sustain healthy relationships with ourselves and others- speaking to a broad spectrum of issues affecting everyone from migrant communities to those struggling with their mental health.

Emily

 

I’m going to cheat, and name a few women. I’m lucky to have some incredible women in my home, family and work life. I’m inspired by mum, for her capacity to put other people’s happiness before her own, and her unlimited kindness. I’m inspired by my wife, Amy, for her compassion, style, creativity and I’m envious of her ability to multitask. I’m also inspired by my two daughters for their curiosity and endless energy (which keeps me entertained). At work, I'm lucky to work with super talented men and women who push me to be the best version of myself, every day.

Adrian