Released On 1st Mar 2022
Meet The Expert: Lopa Winters
We meet executive coach and organisational consultant Lopa Winters and discover how she draws on her medical and psychiatry training and expertise to improve mental health and wellbeing in the corporate world. In this interview, she explains how we can address feelings of lethargy and fatigue in the workplace and how she looks after her own mental health.
CP: Lopa, please tell us about your background and how you built your experience as an executive coach and organisational consultant?
LW: I’m a medical doctor by background and have always found myself asking ‘why’, and wanting to look beyond the obvious. I started out as a Paediatrician at Guys and St Thomas’ and then found I was more curious about why families would come to hospital and what their experiences felt like or meant. The meaning of symptoms or illness fascinated me, so I went on to train in Psychiatry at The Maudsley and in Oxford and then worked as a Consultant and Clinical Lead at The Whittington Hospital; helping staff and families make space to be curious and ask why too! Much of my work involved coaching and group work for staff and leaders within the NHS and so I decided to pursue a formal training in Executive Coaching and broaden my experience, influence and impact within London and ended up mainly working with professionals in the City as the demands, culture and pace were familiar!
CP: What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?
LW: It feels a complete privilege to be able to use my decades of working with families in distress and apply complex psychoanalytic concepts in a 'work' world setting. Parents these days have so much to navigate to be able to juggle happy home lives alongside successful careers. I enjoy helping others to think; and turn their insights into meaningful changes and actions; and that this is supported by the workplace and on work time is key. I’ve been super impressed with how the culture in the City is adapting more and more to include thinking about well-being, mental health and parent working.
CP: What are the big issues and challenges that clients talk to you about at the moment?
LW: There is a real sense of lethargy and fatigue around in the workplace at the moment. Most of my clients are bright, driven, highly motivated individuals who do not like to feel slowed down or bored. Hybrid working has its up-sides but it is also draining and lonely and much of the next period of work life remains uncertain. I’m working with a lot of clients who have a greater understanding of their own sense of purpose and finding perhaps that their current roles don’t fulfil as they used to; so I’m working with a fair few who are taking the leap and making big changes to their work lives.
CP: If there was one piece of advice that you could give to someone who was feeling low and lacking in motivation, what would it be?
LW: Don’t beat yourself up or feel shame about this. These feelings are often the pre-cursor to making changes that really impact your life. Use the experience and allow yourself space to ask yourself ‘why?’ You may feel this way. What does it tell you about you, your work, your life events at present? Play with these feelings in your mind, imagine what changes might lead to a shift in this feeling of ‘stuckness’. Think of the emotions as ‘data’ rather than something negative and to be done away with.
CP: How do you look after your own health and wellbeing?
LW: Every month, I make space to talk to my own mentor who is a brilliant psychiatrist in 80s and we put the world to rights! I try and block out times for regular hot yoga with friends and indulge in trashy TV…
Find out more about Lopa on our Our Experts page here.