In episode 91 of the Growth Series podcast, Nicola Alvarez, Senior Manager Proposition Development at Accord Mortgages, speaks to Nick Elston, Founder of Forging People, about how brokers can both look after their mental health and support anxious clients.
Nicola begins by asking Nick why he’s so passionate about this issue and why mental health is still so stigmatised. Nick believes the stigma is, in part, a consequence of the terminology that’s often used to discuss mental health, as it can often have negative connotations.
The conversation then moves on to the mental health of mortgage brokers, as almost a quarter believe it’s poor, or of concern. Nicola asks what needs to happen in the industry to help them feel they can reach out.
Nick says people are scared of being judged, dismissed and ridiculed at home and at work if they try to reach out, and argues that removing cultural and personal barriers is important.
For example, he points out that many people will have been conditioned to have a stiff upper lip and not ask for help if they’re struggling.
The pair then discuss how brokers can support their clients when they are going through difficult times, perhaps because of financial problems.
Nick stresses that brokers are not counsellors, but adds they’re still in a position where they can at least listen to their clients, make them feel heard, and signpost them to resources and mental health professionals who can help.
Finally, Nicola asks Nick for tips that brokers can take away that will make the biggest difference to their business and their clients.
Nick advises brokers to ask themselves if they’re doing something through obsession, compulsion or choice, as well as considering whether their social and environmental conditioning is behind why they do what they do.
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