Your Brilliant Career Podcast
The go-to resource for getting the most out of your career
This podcast provides an injection of energy and practical insights to women who are committed to their career. I share tactics, tools and stories that inspire capable women to think bigger and unapologetically achieve the success they deserve.
One of my early realisations was that there are many unwritten rules about career success that no one tells you. Smart women are tired of generic career tips. They want accessible, relevant and practical tips. Each episode includes content that inspires women to step up in their career and experience the energy and reward of being more.
Your Brilliant Career is a podcast that aims to help more women rise and reach new heights in their career.
Wellbeing... We hear a lot about it and we know it's important. We're bombarded with advice on meditation, plant based diets, workouts, fasting, ice baths, infrared saunas. And frankly, it can feel overwhelming, right? If you're tuning in, I'm assuming you're eager to develop professionally and improve your career.
And let's face it, a healthy, balanced life is a big part of that journey, but let's make it practical. And that's why I've got the incredible Beck Melville, our wellbeing expert on the show today. She's here to demystify a few things for us and help us to create sustainable wellbeing habits that actually fit into our busy professional lives.
You can find out more about Beck Melville here https://beckmelville.com
Links we talked about on the podcast include:
RISE Elite program: https://www.yourbrilliantcareer.com.au/rise-elite
RISE Accelerate program: https://www.yourbrilliantcareer.com.au/rise-accelerate
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[00:00:00] Gillian: Wellbeing. We hear a lot about it and we know it's important. We're bombarded with advice on meditation, plant-based diets, workouts, fasting, ice baths, infrared saunas, and frankly, it can feel overwhelming, right? If you're tuning in, I'm assuming you're eager to develop professionally and improve your career.
[00:00:21] And let's face it, a healthy, balanced life is a big part of that journey, but let's make it practical. And that's why I've got the incredible Beck Melville, our wellbeing expert on the show today. She's here to demystify a few things for us and help us to create sustainable well-being habits that actually fit into our busy professional lives. Welcome to the podcast.
[00:00:45] Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Your Brilliant Career Podcast. Today, you get the chance to meet Beck. Beck and I met about seven years ago now. I had just got this fantastic new account and I needed more coaches and facilitators to support the women's programs we were employed to deliver for that client.
[00:01:53] And someone suggested Beck at that time. We connected and it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. She's done so many incredible things with her career since then.
[00:02:03] Her true passion lies in wellbeing. And her approach is refreshingly practical and well balanced. She is so well versed on this topic. She knows all the latest neuroscience and positive psychology research but somehow she just keeps it digestible.
[00:02:21] Her goal is to guide people to take small, impactful steps. And I love this. In today's chat, not only will you gain some valuable tips, but you'll also get to know the woman behind the expertise. Beck is not just smart, she's also incredibly courageous and she generously shares her personal challenges and insights, which I know you'll find both relatable and inspiring. So let's dive in.
[00:02:58] Beck. Hello and welcome to the podcast.
[00:02:59] Beck: Hi Gil, such a pleasure to be here. Lovely to see your smiling face.
[00:03:03] Gillian: I know it's so lovely being able to have these conversations and see each other. So Beck, you've got an extraordinary background, I mean, from your corporate career, which I'd love to dive into in a second. But I feel like we need to start from the beginning and you've had a very diverse professional journey from working in the big finance corporate sector to non for profit. So tell us a little bit about that then.
[00:03:26] Beck: I was that child who really wanted to know what I was going to do from an early age, but it just wasn't apparent to me. So I meandered, I guess, into a business degree. Found that full-time study was not for me and so change into part-time degree studies and went and found myself a job. As it happened, it happened to be at a boutique financier and I will always be grateful for joining a small company, I guess, because it let me see all facets of the business.
[00:04:00] What I didn't know then is that that small opportunity would lead me into a, 20 year career in structured finance. And that was spread over a number of different companies and spent a lot of time in Australia, sometime in New Zealand and then ended up in South Africa. I guess I found my happy place in account management and sales within that finance area and 2009, when I was returning from South Africa with two babies, I might add at that stage, I found myself in a situation, uh, we'll also mention that the GFC had hit when we were returning to Melbourne. I didn't know what I wanted to do, number one, I was coming into a market where there was restricted opportunity for jobs, given it was a GFC, and I had lost continuity in my career. I had done some social enterprise stuff, some not-for-profit stuff. So, you know, I was feeling a little bit lost, I must say, and it was fortuitous in between putting babies to sleep that I received a phone call from an old colleague one day and he said, uh, Bec, I notice you're back in Melbourne. What are you doing? And I said, uh, changing nappies. And he said, would you like to come and do some work with me? I'm doing leadership development. And I said, uh, yes, I'd like to do that. And, and that kind of led me into the next part of my career. So, it felt familiar to me because I'd had leadership roles, but now I was actually more a coaching facilitation workshop role. And that led me into the next part of my career, my sea change, I like to call it.
[00:05:38] Gillian: I often think coming from that corporate background gives leadership experts like ourselves a great discipline because we've lived it. We've understood the pain, the pleasure. There's not just the intellectual theory, there's the empathy and all the things that come with that as a result of the journey.
[00:05:57] But now you're this brilliant expert in the area of positive psychology. And you're a wonderful coach and you really do have a great reputation around the area of emotional intelligence and all those sorts of things.
[00:06:10] What drew you in that direction? Because leadership is one of those things that you can go in several different directions, but you were very compelled to head there.
[00:06:18] Beck: So in terms of the positive psychology piece and and what really had me invested in that, there's two things that I reflect upon.
[00:06:28] One is the gentleman that I spoke about who reached out to me and said, hey, do you want to do leadership? It just so happens that he was an ex SAS military man and an organizational psychologist. And so when I went into his of leadership, it was very deficit based. It was almost that mentality of break them down to build them up and to the extent that we used to go bush bashing and put them through experiential learning and then we'd take them back to their own environment and context in the workplace and use all the metaphors and show them how they could be better. But was definitely an undertone of, uh, what's wrong with you? How can we make you better? That didn't always sit well with me and, and I had a great awareness of that. So that was one thing that had me looking for what else might be possible on the other side. And I guess getting a little vulnerable, I had been, married before I went to South Africa and that marriage ended before I went across to South Africa. My first husband, he was diagnosed with bipolar. It wasn't named as easily back then, but I had seen, mental illness and a whole lot of things that went with, deficit psychology, that I always wondered, you know, like, you know, isn't there something else that we could be doing to help people move from struggle through to thriving in terms of practices and improving mental health?
[00:07:51] And so I had that very personal lived experience as well that had me second level feeling curious about what else might be there. So, sometimes when you put those things out to the universe, something shows up. And, as luck would have it, I think it was an email. It was as simple as something, as an email promoting a course about positive psychology and a wellbeing program to me. And I clicked on the link and I delved into it and thought, I'm eager to learn more about it. And with that in mind, I signed up and I did a diploma in wellbeing.
[00:08:25] That didn't seem enough. I was hungry for more knowledge. And so then I went and did a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at Melbourne Uni. I had some great mentors around me. And then I decided that at that stage, that's where my leadership development business had to go and needed to take more of that lens of positive practices and positive interventions. That’s how it started. And that's why I do what I do now.
[00:08:50] Gillian: And what do you love about it, Beck? what gives you so much energy? Because I do know that you're very
[00:08:56] Beck: Yeah, I, I think I love where most people will say positive psychology is just happyology. It's more than that. It goes beyond that. It is evidence based. It takes in the whole human experience as in we are subject to both struggle and moments of thriving.
[00:09:16] And it gives us tools and practical ways to be able to navigate both the highs and lows in life. And that's both in our personal and community, capacity, but also in our work environments and I just love supporting people to be able to use that science and translate it into something that helps them to self-actualize or to, to be able to, as I said, navigate those moments of both struggle and thriving.
[00:09:43] Gillian: And Beck, you have this beautiful personal mantra be kind, grateful,
[00:09:53] Beck: Be happy! You know, I love a little reminder.
[00:09:54] I think that's actually an intervention in itself. And so the be happy, be kind, be grateful was probably one of those things. I love that I can use that to remind my kids as a bit of a prompt about what's happening in their lives and in my own life. But I also can translate it into a work environment if I can share that with you.
[00:10:13] So be happy in a work environment is once again acknowledging that, you know, not every day is a great day, but I think it's imperative that we find work that we love and that more often than not, we're finding ourselves happy. We're finding ourselves joyful and loving what we're doing.
[00:10:30] So that's the be happy part. The be kind part is that, you know, we're all humans. We're all trying to do our best. And so there's great benefit, both as humans and commercially to be kind. And so I love the saying be kind and commercial. And I think if we use as our north arrow that turn up to work and be kind, you're going to get great results from that.
[00:10:54] A lot of people sometimes say, a soft kind of concept, but I actually think if you combine be kind and commercial, it can actually be a powerhouse within a work environment. You know we say difficult conversations and I coach a lot of people aroundI need to have this conversation with a colleague or my boss or someone who reports into me, and I put the lens of if you look at that as being kind because you respect the person enough to have that conversation directly with them, it changes the whole feel of actually leaning into that conversation as opposed to calling it a difficult conversation.
[00:11:31] And then the gratitude part, be grateful no matter what experience we're having in the workplace, there's always something to be grateful for and gratitude is a mega strategy, both for yourself to be able to look around and say, hey, that wasn't the greatest meeting, but I'm really grateful that I get the opportunity to work with these colleagues or do this work, and I'm also grateful that person is putting in the extra effort today or I'm grateful for someone bringing me a cup of tea because they saw I wasn't having the greatest day. That can actually change your whole world in the work environment. So
[00:12:05] Gillian: I love that. I love the parallels to all areas life more than anything else. Because I think, you know, kindness and all the messages, you know, you can't be too nice as women, you won't be respected. But kindness coupled with commercial acumen. It makes a lot of sense. And we all know in business, you know, when you have an experience where you feel respected and people have navigated difficult situations with a good level of kindness, that it means a lot versus the other flip side when they arrive at exactly the same outcome, but the emotional impact of that is a completely different experience. And we don't need to be that person.
[00:12:47] Beck: Absolutely. And, Gil, I learned that firsthand. I mean, Finance was male-dominated and I was only one of maybe two female execs at the time and I love what Brene Brown says, and I wish I had read her books back then, because, you know, she speaks about don't puff up, don't shrink down.
[00:13:06] And I think I was doing a lot of puffing up to try to fit in and, you know, be assertive and, you know, shrinking down in other situations. And I just wish I had have known back then that if, I just held my own space and showed up with authenticity and knew that kind and commercial piece back then, I think I would have had a lot more wins or I would have got to places I needed to get a lot quicker. I know that now, and I think I got there eventually, but it would have accelerated some outcomes. But I know it now, which is good, and if I can share it and pass it on to others.
[00:13:41] Gillian: Yeah, I think we all have our, our memories back of things we could have done better or ways we should have thought about it, but I think that's what makes great coaches, Beck. We’ve been in those spots. There's a lot of things that we can look back on and, literally have that emotion of what it felt like when something played out. But you know, the thing is, and I'm sure you would agree with me here, you did your best at the time. And I genuinely believe, we do our absolute best in that moment and no one can do better than their best.
[00:14:15] Beck: Of course. I love that sentiment.
[00:14:17] Gillian: Now you've guided a lot of people on the wellbeing journey and I loved recently you came and spoke to our wonderful cohort in the RISE Elite program and they got so much from your session, but perhaps tell, cause you know wellbeing can be this all encapsulating thing. Tell us about a time when you saw a woman's career really transformed when she actually prioritised herself and her wellbeing.
[00:14:45] Beck: The number of times I've had the conversation where people will share that they haven't got time for that wellbeing stuff, they haven't got time because, you know, they're, spinning plates and they're doing the family thing and they're doing the work thing and they're, you know, they're trying to keep up with friends, so wellbeing and prioritising self, it’s not a priority. But they're also edging burnout and running that marathon at sprint pace. Right. So, and you will have seen and had conversations around that and there'll be people listening to these who go, I can relate that, that sounds familiar. With that as basis of an example of the kind of person that I've potentially helped before or supported.
[00:15:27] What we know is that when we have higher levels of wellbeing and we're not going for the perfect 10 out of 10, what we're trying to do is understand where we are at any given time and trying to find tiny ways, so kind of tiny habits or, or increments of how we might improve that on a day to day basis.
[00:15:47] So if we can only spare, in our minds, five minutes to do something for ourselves. Let's do that. If we think we can spare 10 minutes, let's do that. If we can spare half an hour, fantastic. So when people give themselves permission to start to do that as this person I have in my mind did actually do, they saw the benefits of doing that. And so behind these conversations I have with ladies who say they haven't got time, I know the science that when we care for our wellbeing, when we allow time to prioritide our well being, care for our wellbeing, a couple of things happen. We do get higher levels of engagement, decrease burnout. We get higher levels of performance, productivity.
[00:16:34] We get higher levels of team engagement. There are so many. business outcomes as well as personal benefits physiologically that we get from prioritizing wellbeing. As people start to see these benefits by allowing small increments of wellbeing care for themselves, they start to go, I get it.
[00:16:53] I get it. So this person that I have in mind they particularly said, I don't have time for that stuff. So it was an over a number of coaching sessions that we started to acknowledge that even a small amount of time might be sufficient for her to start putting some practices in place.
[00:17:11] And I know we always want to go to eat well, sleep better and exercise, and they are foundational to wellbeing, there is no argument with that. But even small things such as more positive emotions. So trying to integrate things into your day. So actually savoring a moment or showing gratitude or feeling.
[00:17:33] Joy at something or practicing more positive emotions and dialling down the negative emotions. Small things like that can be integrated with things that I encouraged her to do so that she was doing what I call habit stacking or even more moments of building more high quality connections in the workplace.
[00:17:51] So there's something called positivity resonance when you share a positive moment with a colleague. you know, instead of being transactional in the workplace and have you finished that report, what have we got on? We've got to get to a meeting. It was actually just taking a couple of moments to connect on a personal level with a colleague.
[00:18:07] I started to encourage her to do that, and it was probably about four weeks into it that she actually had tears and she said, I've been doing that. And I'd asked her to kind of journal at the same time, and she really noticed a shift. And I think when you move someone to tears and they start to realise those small practices can make such a significant difference. It’s like anything, you start to see the results and it's almost, I want more. And so that would be one small example of numerous ones that I could give you where You know, give it a try. Try small things to start off with and start to see the difference it can make. And it will encourage you to do more and more and more, realising that if you do allow time for these wellbeing practices, it will actually give you more capacity to do work, not less.
[00:18:55] Gillian: I love the way that you've packaged that up around the habit stacking, which comes from the Atomic Habits, doesn't it? It’s such a great theory. It's kind of like, well, what little micro goals can you find without, you know, having this voluminous wish list and, you know, revolutionising everything overnight, which is completely unrealistic. Like what little things can you start to introduce and start to integrate and embed that enabled you to create more space? Because sometimes, you look at your to do list and you just think, I've just got to keep moving and get through this. And you just get this appetite for wanting to charge on. But, you know, I know on the days that I do that by Friday, I'm slammed.
[00:19:41] You know what I mean? For me, it's all about pacing. That's the thing I've learned as I've got older. It's about pacing and not going full throttle the whole time. I just don't seem to have the capacity to go full throttle the whole time anyway anymore.
[00:19:54] Beck: And probably not the desire, right Gil. So, and, and, and the other thing I'd say is we make time for things that matter. And so it doesn't take very long for you to ask the question that we haven't got time for that, but realistically, have you been on social media today? Have you been on Facebook But if the answer is yes, I've actually mindlessly been on those things and checked, you know, I can check my phone to see I've actually wasted an hour there. Well, you probably did have 10 minutes. So there's choices we are making in our day to prioritise things that are actually going to be intentional about increasing our wellbeing So that's the other thing that I think we need to be mindful of as we say, I don't have time to do that.
[00:25:17] Gillian: So Bec, how do you look you because you're a busy lady, you're a mum, you run your own business, which is very demanding.
[00:25:33] Beck: Prioritizing relationships is something that is, primary to my wellbeing and the research will actually show that relationships matter more than anything else. I think above everything else, that's probably one of the reasons that I feel like I have a level of wellbeing that I may not have without those relationships.
[00:25:40] Secondly, I am a lover of nature and outdoors, and I'm fortunate enough to be in Burley Waters, so I have a beautiful beach. And so being in nature and doing walks and runs and things has been fundamental. Exercise you know, is very much something I prioritise on a daily basis, and I know how important it is to me because on the days that I miss it, at the end of the day, I can feel it.
[00:26:57] And so, I make it happen. I'll get up at 5:30 in the morning to do it. And if I happen to miss it because I need to be in Brisbane or something for the day, I'll make sure that the dog gets a long walk at the end of the day, as much for him as it is for me.
[00:28:02] Gillian: I think that's great. And you and I are so alike in that way, not even knowing the research, like relationships are everything to me. You know, even when I think of coaching conversations, what causes the most angst for people… relationships.
[00:28:15] Gillian: Beck, if you could encapsulate your mission in one line, what would it be?
[00:28:21] Beck: It's actually funny, when I walk, I do a lot of thinking. I was thinking about legacy and mission the other day. it sounds quite cliche to say, I just want to support and help other people. But I, first and foremost, I want to set my boys up, you know, mom of two boys and the teenagers. I want to set my boys up as independent, good humans. I think I'm very much on a personal mission to do that. So that they, uh, yeah, they are independent, they're autonomous, they can make good decisions.
[00:28:51] So I feel like there's that personal mom, mama bear mission. I think in terms of, career mission, I really do want to support people and give them practical ways to care for their wellbeing.
[00:29:07] Gillian: And there's a need. We need you, Beck. Because I think education is such a huge part of that. You can have a desire for something but you know, we all need help sometimes in understanding how to create for ourselves. And I think when you couple it with the science, as you're so good at doing and all the data, it makes so much more sense, doesn't it?
[00:29:28] Beck: Oh, absolutely. And I think if it just sounds like a nice thing to do, it can be okay, but why would I do it? And as soon as you start to learn about what the emotion does to the brain and to the body, like, it’s absolutely fascinating. It makes sense. Like you go, wow, wow, that's incredible. That's why I feel like that. That's why I'm thinking like that. That's why I'm acting like that. Yeah, it's pretty incredible and the more people understand that the more people can start to have more self-control, more self awareness, and then show up in the way that serves himself best and others best in the workplace and, and in, personal life.
[00:30:05] Gillian: And Beck, let me hit you up with one last question. Any advice that you would give our beautiful female listeners?
[00:30:11] Beck: I think there's an opportunity for people to be more authentically themselves, to really understand what their strengths are more so that they can dial those up and, and use those more rather than worrying about, what they're doing wrong and trying to fix those things. I think there's an opportunity based on the coaching that I've done for women to show themselves a lot more self compassion. So rather than beat themselves up, that they actually, recognise their common humanity and show themselves some kindness. And I think there's also a piece around being more agile and instead of fearing change, that they actually start to look for opportunities when change comes their way.
[00:30:55] Gillian: That’s such a great way of putting it. Yeah, absolutely. Even though that may not be your natural instinct. Beck, fantastic. Well, look, it has been such a pleasure chatting with you today and thank you for sharing all your insights and stories and even the personal bits.
[00:31:10] Beck: A pleasure, Gillian, on my side. And, thanks for the opportunity to be part of, this chat with you. Thank you.