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Removing the Cape: Listening. Supporting. Stronger. With Stewart Codling, Chief Inspector, Thames Valley Police
Episode 681st December 2023 • Beyond The Water Cooler • Lisa LLoyd
00:00:00 01:02:36

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A Chief Inspector is not necessarily the first person who springs to mind as the driving force for self-care, better mental health and launching a podcast! 

But Stewart Codling of Thames Valley Police is modelling exactly how leaders can embrace the challenge of changing expectations by doing things differently. 

Stewart joins me on my podcast to explain how he is going about improving mental health, particularly for men in a traditional industry.

Police are people who wear a metaphorical cape each day to protect others. It's entirely different asking them to look inwards to protect themselves. That requires removing the cape and being vulnerable.

Stewart is an 'ordinary' guy. Actually, he's quite incredible. But that's because he's chosen to be - he's not an expert in mental health. His expertise is in being a human, and specifically male.

He has made his intention clear to improve mental health for men at work, and he is actively finding ways to show people how policing can be different. 

That's important. It blows the excuses about 💥 our organisation being too big 💥our industry being too traditional/ male, out of the water.

Stewart is clear that being an advocate for mental health does not displace who he really is. It does not affect his status or detract from his ability to be 'tough' when that's called for. 

But it does improve empathy, compassion and the ability to have conversations that really make a difference. It empowers people. Stewart shares the evidence.

We discuss so much, including individual responsibility, prostate screening, and webinar topics such as 'male behaviour at Christmas.'

Being clumsy during conversations is fine, as long as you're listening, and sometimes talking. Stewart's words as we discussed humility said it all...

"If I make a fool of myself I don't care. I'm going to do it anyway."

How able are you to get beyond your status and do something different, because you know it's right for someone else⁉️

Does your mask of expectation, hierarchy and control hold you back⁉️ 

P.S. Listen to find out why Stewart says he's a fig roll!!! 

More about Stewart:

Stewart has been with his wife for 22 years and they have 3 children who continually amaze and inspire them; he adores his family. Stewart has been in policing 4 years longer, serving with two police forces, West Yorkshire and Thames Valley Police. He has been lucky to have been a detective, in firearms roles and latterly to have held the role of Chair of their Men's Forum, TVP's staff support network for men facing challenges. He is proud to lead on work to reform the paternity pay provision within the force, as well as talking about and promoting suicide prevention. He loves policing.

Links to contact Stewart:

LinkedIn: Stewart Codling

Thames Valley Police 

Resources & References

Leadership & Manager Labs (itstimeforchange.co.uk)

Watch this episode on YouTube

Home | Thames Valley Police

Police Federation of England & Wales (polfed.org)

Home - The Curtis Palmer Program

Pilgrim Bandits

Blue Light Card Foundation – Giving back to those who give most

13 Skills to Build Resilience - It's Time for Change (itstimeforchange.co.uk)

Sabotaging your resilience and wellbeing? - It's Time for Change (itstimeforchange.co.uk)

Is Fear blocking your leadership? - It's Time for Change (itstimeforchange.co.uk) - Don't worry about getting it right!

Reducing Overwhelm with Simple, Curious, Creative Leadership – with Carla Maroussas - It's Time for Change (itstimeforchange.co.uk)

Contact details for Lisa LLoyd:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lisapsychology

Website: www.itstimeforchange.co.uk

Sign up to be kept in the loop: www.itstimeforchange.co.uk/jointheclub

Email: lisa@itstimeforchange.co.uk

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