With the ongoing spread of the coronavirus outbreak, employees and employers alike are increasingly highlighting concerns around stress management and welfare around mental health. With this in mind, we’ve picked out an interview we carried out some months ago with Sean Connolly, creator of the ‘Tools for Life in Business’ Program. Check out the full video, and follow ProfileTree’s award-winning Business Leader series for more industry-leading insights.
Like many of the business leaders we have spoken to in the series, Sean Connolly brings a very specific set of skills to the work he does. “I’m a Personal Development Coach for business owners and leaders in their industry, and I’ve accumulated skills across 30 years in therapies designed for human development. That toolkit is highly unique in how it caters to individuals according to their specific needs,” shares Sean.
The experience which Sean has built over 30 years has been incredibly diverse. He highlights his beginnings, where he immersed himself in studying therapies related to the musculoskeletal system; including working with people with muscular injuries and back pain. The future entrepreneur was himself a keen boxer from the age of 12, which eventually led him to the bustling city of London. It was here where Sean had his first experiences training in martial arts, learning about Chinese medicine along the way. This in-turn brought Sean to Asia, where he educated himself on the “connection between mind and body”.
Over time, Sean developed a particular interest in what he describes as “the irrational mind” – including habits, addictions and irrational behaviour. “You’ll find that most people work according to the skills that they have been building their whole lives. However, when something changes, or when their circumstances are compromised, the suppressor is usually something in their own mind. Once you get in there and remove that obstacle, that person can really take off on their own feet.”
Sean maintains that mental health issues, including stress and depression, tend to develop over time. “You find that in the business world, many great minds become obsessed with their business and they neglect other aspects of their health – leading to heart attacks, strokes and, in some cases, depression. My job is to stand on the sidelines and to keep track of how people are feeling in these situations, looking after and prioritising their mental health.”
According to the Personal Development Coach, entrepreneurs who reach business maturity often do so at the expense of their personal health. He refers to those business owners who “work twice the hours of their staff – they don’t switch off, and they bring their work home”. He continues, suggesting that the most frequent result in these cases is damaged and compromised relationships. Indeed, whilst their beloved business is growing, “they are actually dying inside”.
The current business environment is creating more and more stress in the lives of modern business owners, argues Sean. “They may have a good life, surrounded by good people and good supporters. Others don’t switch off. It’s about having that fine balance. The thing about business leaders is, they answer to no one. And, as a result, they often don’t have anyone to speak to about the issues that they face.”
Sean believes that each and every one of us could benefit from having that person to provide mentorship and guidance – he even admits to using a personal development coach himself. He highlights some of the most prominent sporting figures in the world. “If they didn’t need a coach, there wouldn’t be a coach. You need outside eyes. As a coach, I’m dissociated from it – I’m not in that problem with you. I can provide outside advice that helps you make the decision.”
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t realise that they are struggling until it’s too late. “Most people wait until it gets really bad. They have a breakdown, and maybe go into bouts of crying. They may have bouts of angry, irrational behaviour, and that can be against those in their own home or against their own staff. They just flatline and lost all motivation for what they’re doing,” he explains. “So, there are symptoms. Stress suppresses every other defence in the body. For that reason, I would say that stress is the number one killer in the Western world.”
Sean highlights that his life mission is therefore to combat stress and build resilience. Regardless of a business leader’s sector of industry, he specialises in doing his work in any environment where stress levels were high. His official website describes the range of services he offers – each designed “to help you with transformation, not just to give you information”. Indeed, Sean says that “Information is a start, but transformation only takes place when you actively take part in exercises designed to change your beliefs, habits and feelings as a part of the process.”
To learn more about Sean Connolly’s pioneering work in business stress management, check out the full interview as part of ProfileTree’s award-winning Business Leader series. Our viewers can also learn more by following the coach on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.