Date posted: 16/06/2021 4 min read

How to forge better connections with colleagues, clients and community

Playing tennis and exercising is how Mike Rowe CA cares for his mental health. By taking a mental health training course, he’s also learned how to help others.

In Brief

  • A mental health training course taught Mike Rowe CA how to communicate better with his clients and colleagues
  • He learned how to listen without judgment and create an environment for more meaningful connection and support
  • His learning experience gave him the chance to better understand the requirements of leadership

Getting out on a tennis court is how Mike Rowe CA supports his own mental health. “It’s one of those feelings where you completely switch off from the rest of the world and immerse yourself in the moment. We share jokes, have a laugh and just enjoy the camaraderie of being in a team. It’s about friendship, mateship and being a part of a community.”

Recently, Rowe has learned more about supporting clients and team members with their mental health after taking part in the new mental health training program led by Deakin University called Counting on U.

“The program allowed me to look at my relationships with colleagues and clients in a completely different way,” he says, “by learning how to listen without judgment — and also to be curious.”

The importance of mental health is something Rowe decided to learn more about after a wide-reaching career that started with a big-four firm, and 20 years in London that spanned commercial roles in tech companies, e-commerce and listed public companies. After sustaining a physical injury and receiving medical advice to rest, he drew the parallel with mental health issues whose symptoms often remain invisible to people who cannot read the signs. This is where he knew he could make a difference as a leader. 

It’s about making people feel they’re in a safe environment. So they're going to trust you, that you’re not going to belittle them, that you’re going to listen to them, and take it on board.
Mike Rowe CA

With both clients and team members, the Counting on U program showed him how to develop genuine connections. 

“It’s about making clients and your team feel that they’re in a safe environment,” he says. “So they're going to trust you, that you’re not going to belittle them, that you’re going to listen to them, and take it on board. If you show you genuinely care, all of a sudden, that relationship and that conversation opens up.” 

Rowe says the time invested in completing the program – five hours of reading and a package of online training— were priceless. “The return I’ve got from it has been absolutely phenomenal, in terms of my learning, my understanding, and the way I approach situations and relationships now has really changed.” 

The learnings from Counting on U have expanded into his involvement in the CA ANZ Public Practice Panel, “For me, that was vital. It was a chance to pay back to the business community what I’d achieved throughout my career, and what I’d learnt. It’s about helping the people around you ” 

Counting on U

The Counting on U program offers complimentary CPD hours to eligible members.

Learn more

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