Mental Health Disco for Sales Leaders

In recent times, the surge in discussions around mental health have done a wonderful job in raising awareness about it. Almost everyone in today’s day and age knows and agrees that mental health is important. But what really comes to mind when we hear ‘mental health’?


More often than not we frame mental health as a negative, and issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD, OCD, and similar conditions come to mind. But just like physical health, mental health encompasses more than just the absence of illness.

We exercise daily to maintain positive physical health. Why don’t we do something similar for mental health? Nobody should ignore making mental health a priority thinking till they are ill or burnt out.

One of the most important things to remember about mental health is that it’s a continuum.

A continuum? Yes, like a spectrum where anyone can slide up or down at different points in time. You know like some days we feel awesome and then other days are just not so awesome? That’s the mental health continuum!

See the illustration below that sheds more light on the mental health continuum:

Now your goal as a manager is simple: Ensure your employees are mostly in the “excelling” or “thriving” zone.

The HOW:

With all the focus on WHAT mental health is, it’s also important to understand HOW managers can support employee mental health. Ensuring your employees are thriving or excelling will directly and positively impact performance.

With a good understanding of their own mental health, employees are in a position to seek and even propose workplace adjustments for better mental health. With the ability to influence and lead, managers are in the position to facilitate and support such adjustments.

But you can’t facilitate a mental health adjustment or initiative if you don’t understand your employees’ needs. You can’t support their mental health if you don’t know what zone they are currently in.

And that’s no easy task. Why? For an employee, disclosing their mental state requires a lot of courage, trust, and willingness to be vulnerable. For a manager, listening and responding to such disclosures requires empathy and compassion. So you really need to focus on the bridge of communication between you and your employee.

No one knows all the answers and that shouldn’t be your goal. But everyone has the capacity to ask and listen with empathy and compassion. Employees need psychological safety to open up to you.

And just like every sales prospect has different needs, every employee also has different needs. To uncover these needs, the manager must start with a “discovery” session.

Ever ran a disco call with your employee? Try it! 1:1s are a great time and place for this. Here are some questions to help your employees open up:

  • How are you feeling mentally on a scale of 1 to 10? 1 being anxious and 10 being energetic.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed are you about performance or hitting quota?
  • What stresses you the most in your role?
  • What do you enjoy the most in your role?
  • What’s been the biggest challenge this week? How do you feel about it?
  • How can we work together to overcome these challenges? How can I help?
  • How would you describe your interpersonal relationships with co-workers?

And just like your sales disco calls, listen carefully and seek to understand by going deeper into each of their responses, uncover that pain, peel that onion.

Good discovery leads to good mental health. When you discover your employees deep enough, magic happens for them, for you and for your company.