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What Neuroscience Reveals About Hope and Why It Matters to Your Workplace with Dr. George Woods (Ep. #63)

The BetterManager Team
Building Better Managers Podcast Episode 63 - Dr. George Woods

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #63: What Neuroscience Reveals About Hope and Why It Matters to Your Workplace with Dr. George Woods

Hope is more than a “nice to have”; it can play a central role in business, as it drives resilient behavior, engagement, and innovation. In this episode, we explore the neuroscience behind hope and mindfulness, and the discuss benefits of applying the learnings in the workplace with forensic neuropsychiatrist Dr. George Woods.

Dr. Woods is an accomplished physician, specializing in neuropsychiatry, is the Chief Science Officer at Crestwood Behavioral Health, and also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors at BetterManager. His work has brought him to believe that both successful organizations and leaders must be very good at inspiring hope among their teams.

Dr. Woods talks us through the differences between Medical and the Rehabilitation models (and which is better for your business), the origins and story of Hope House, and practical mindfulness techniques that every manager can begin applying to engage and re-energize their teams.

In this episode:

Meet Dr. Woods

  • Dr. Woods is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah Medical Center, the first psychiatrist ever selected. From 2017 through 2019, he served as Secretary General to the International Academy of Law and Mental Health during its amalgamation with the Institute of Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health at the Sorbonne, Paris, France. He has also worked with Vulcan Industries, Microsoft, Forefront Telehealth, and Walmart on psychometrically and culturally competent employment testing procedures. 
  • Dr. Woods is the Neurosciences Advisor to BetterManager, a leader in advanced coaching for all levels of management. In 2019, Dr. Woods was appointed to the Governing Board of the Stanford  University Medicare Shared Services Program and was appointed Medical Expert for the San Francisco District Attorney Post Conviction Unit's Innocence Commission in 2020. In March 2021, Dr. Woods was appointed to the American Psychiatric Association(APA)'s and the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)’s SAMHSA Center of Excellence (CoE), focused on African American Behavioral Health Disparities.

Understanding Hope

  • Hope is not a strategy, but it is an essential element in both short term and long term health and performance.
  • The Medical Model vs The Rehabilitation Model and which model is most useful model for business.
  • At Crestwood, they focus on the Rehabilitation Model, and what that means is they focus on hope, rather than technology, and that hope is built on a series of strategies and directly affects resiliency, perseverance, psychological health and productivity.

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness

  • Most businesses don't take into consideration the importance of mindfulness and health.
  • Mindfulness plays a huge role in vigilance and focus. To engage that strategy, you got to stop for a moment, pull yourself together, and be neurologically more intact.
  • See our article on The Pause for more on helping the brain transition from one activity to the next, and The Three Levels of Listening for an important way to apply mindfulness to your one-on-one conversations with team members.
  • Crestwood currently uses several different techniques. One of the leaders of a meeting will either read something on mindfulness, or will do a mindfulness exercise. They might play certain music. There are interactive mindfulness exercises on the internet that can be used as well. (This can even be done with some of your clients!)
  • Really, in whatever you do, being mindful in that moment helps create more hope and rehabilitation.

3 Takeaways for Leaders & Managers

  1. Applying the lessons from the story of “Hope House”.
  2. Mindfulness. We need to understand the process and practice techniques that energize our focus and attention.
  3. Health vs Pathology. We need hope, but we need to choose the approach best suited for our situation.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Dr. Woods on LinkedIn, and at Crestwood Behavioral Health.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

Dr. George Woods

Dr. Woods is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah Medical Center, the first psychiatrist ever selected. From 2017 through 2019, he served as Secretary General to the International Academy of Law and Mental Health during its amalgamation with the Institute of Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health at the Sorbonne, Paris, France. He has also worked with Vulcan Industries, Microsoft, Forefront Telehealth, and Walmart on psychometrically and culturally competent employment testing procedures. 

He is Neurosciences Advisor to BetterManager, a leader in advanced coaching for all levels of management. In 2019, Dr. Woods was appointed to the Governing Board of the Stanford  University Medicare Shared Services Program and was appointed Medical Expert for the San Francisco District Attorney Post Conviction Unit's Innocence Commission in 2020. In March 2021, Dr. Woods was appointed to the American Psychiatric Association(APA)'s and the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)’s SAMHSA Center of Excellence (CoE), focused on African American Behavioral Health Disparities.

Crestwood Behavioral Health appointed Dr. Woods as Chief Scientific Officer on March 2021, the first in the Company's history.

Episode Transcript
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