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Book Review: ‘The Art of the Mentally Healthy Conversation’ by Johnathan Phelan

By June 19, 2019 July 30th, 2019 People Management Tips

The Art of the Mentally Healthy Conversation: About the Book

Topical, well written and at times sad. The Art of the Mentally Healthy Conversation is a book that is perfectly timed.  As awareness of mental health, and particularly, workplace mental health continues to grow, Jonathan provides a superb resource to turn to.  The book is placed for those wanting to raise their awareness and have mentally healthy and meaningful conversations.  Author, Jonathan Phelan, begins by telling us of his own personal tragedy and the effects it has on him.  This is by no means a hook; this is real and very tough reading.  By beginning the book this way, you begin to unpick some of the issues that affect real people every day.

The Art of Mentally Healthy Conversation, Book Cover

Non-Judgemental About Mental Health

Jonathan helps us identify with mental health through real-life examples.  These are everyday scenarios affecting real people. Moreover, Jonathan drives home that our role as people managers is to engage with these individuals and help to secure the best outcome for them.  A real strength of this book is the ‘how’, the practical application.  Not only are there conversational elements for readers to consider, but it also reflects on the impact mental health has on organisations.  Jonathan provides both viewpoints which make having mentally healthy conversations beneficial for both the organisation and the individual.

Backed up with statistics, this book delivers practical outcomes that everyone can read, reflect on and use.  Through a non-judgemental mind, even the most driven chief executive would struggle to argue with the common sense of the approach.

Wellbeing and Resilient Resources to Support Mentally Healthy Conversations

Part three of the book is about resilience. Resources such as identifying personal values and scoring our resilience in common situations provide an internal review.  This section is useful and impactful.  The wellbeing and resilient resources are for every reader, not just those who want to enhance their knowledge.  This is a ‘dip in and out’ resource. Consequently, this book should remain on your bookshelf as a resource for you personally.

30:10:5 Reading Rule

Highly Recommended

This is an important and timely book. Early identification of individuals who are struggling with their mental health is not just a management issue.  It is the responsibility of everyone on every level.  This book provides a human approach with practical advice that is right for the individual and the organisation.

As our responsibility for mental health grows, Jonathan provides valuable insight and expert guidance. Thus, making this essential reading to move towards a healthier workforce and organisation.  In short, The Art of the Mentally Healthy Conversation is a great read and highly recommended.


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Will Clement

About Will Clement

Will Clement is an independent consultant, speaker and workshop leader in the delivery management and leadership learning interventions. Will’s main aim is to create contemporary workshops that bring theory into practice. Will delivers with breath taking honesty and compassion - while having fun in the process. His work is centred on understanding individuals, helping them deploy their strengths. Like most things in Will’s life, his approach is powerful, simple and effective. He is a highly engaging and thought-provoking speaker. A no nonsense, back to basics approach, which draws on 20 years training and management experience. His work encourages individuals to seize the opportunity, enjoy relationships, succeed at work and learn how to respond to adverse situations with a positive approach. Will has worked in public, private and education sectors, including the Royal Mail, Leeds Met University and the AA plc. Will holds a BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Development and a Masters In Business Administration (MBA) from York St John University.

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