When a student approached Notre Dame psychology professor Alexandra Corning several years ago about writing a senior thesis on eating disorders, Corning said she knew very little about the topic. Now, she conducts research about eating disorders and teaches an undergraduate course titled “Understanding Eating Disorders.” While diagnosable eating disorders are a major concern, Corning said she focuses on the large number of people who struggle with symptoms, but do not have a diagnosable disorder. Statistics, however, are not always accurate because eating disorders and related symptoms are often underreported, according to Valerie Staples, staff clinician and coordinator of eating disorder services at the University Counseling Center. Students wanting to help a friend, Staples said, must address specific concerns about behaviors in a compassionate, nonjudgmental manner. “It’s not about finding the perfect words,” she said. “I don’t have tips on how to make this an easy conversation, but I think there really isn’t a wrong way to tell someone you’re worried about them.” There are three types of eating disorders, Corning said. They fall under the categories of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and not otherwise specified. Not all symptoms fit under these categories, and some fit under all of them. For example, Corning said over-exercising can be a symptom of anorexia, but also a form of purging after binge eating associated with bulimia. “I think that there’s, for some, a misconception that people can’t get better,” she said. “And if I didn’t see people get better, I don’t think I could keep doing this [job.] … It’s a long process of change, but people can overcome an eating disorder and live very long, full lives without this consuming them.” “Even when you’re struggling sub-clinically, you’re struggling,” Corning said. “Our campus, even if you looked around and discovered, yes, full-blown, diagnosable cases are rare … there’s lots of people who are struggling at a sub-clinical level.” While she said the study did not set out to find statistics in that area and was not an entirely random sample, the findings did show that eating disorder symptoms are frequent on campus. While realizing the prevalence of disordered eating and the difficultly of confronting these issues can be discouraging, Staples said she finds hope in stories of recovery. One in three college-aged women has disordered eating habits, although only nearly 10 percent have a full-fledged eating disorder, according the University Counseling Center and resources distributed on Notre Dame’s campus this week as part of Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week, sponsored by the Gender Relations Center. Eating disorders and body image issues are prevalent for the college-aged population due to competition and comparison among students, Staples said. “And [college students today] have grown up in a culture where there’s more bombardment of these images,” she said. Of all the students who came to the University Counseling Center last year, Staples said the Center’s annual report indicates that 10.3 percent reported eating concerns. Yet in addition to working with students who have eating disorders, Staples also meets with concerned friends. “Every year, every semester, I have people calling me or coming in in groups to consult about a friend who they’re worried about,” Staples said. “When I’m consulting with them about how to help a friend, we spend a lot of time talking about not only what they can say to their friend, but also about what to expect.” “Of the people who signed up for our study and were in it … 56.2 percent either had a diagnosable eating disorder or showed symptoms,” Corning said. “It means that if you think no one else is struggling, you’re wrong.” Corning said it is important for students to understand that they are not alone in facing symptoms of eating disorders. A study she did in 2006 found that a great number of female undergraduates at Notre Dame displayed these symptoms. Staples said she finds the amount of student energy and participation in the event this week to be extremely encouraging. One of the most important aspects of Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week is based on educating students about how they might help a friend with an eating disorder, she said. “Even if students on campus think that they don’t know somebody with an eating disorder, it’s very likely they do,” she said. “We have a lot of members of our community who are really struggling and who are in a lot of physical and emotional pain.” Eating disorder symptoms are prevalent in both men and women in part because popular culture provides constant reminders of a thin ideal for women and a muscular ideal for men, Corning said.
43SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Paul Robert Paul Robert has been helping financial institutions drive their retail growth strategies for over 20 years. Paul is the Chief Executive Officer for FI Strategies, LLC, a private consulting company … Web: fi-strategies.com Details This time of the year, two “seasons” make me think of coaching and leadership: football season and strategic planning season.No other sport has produced as many coaching icons as football. Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, Bear Bryant, Lou Holtz … google “coaching” topics and your search results will be full of football leaders. There are numerous coaching metaphors derived from football. Why is that you don’t hear nearly as much about baseball managers or hockey coaches being such great leaders?What’s most interesting about the popularity of football coaches is the attention is almost always given to the head coach, even though they don’t do the grunt-work. The head coach doesn’t develop the game plan (that’s usually the coordinator’s job); they don’t teach the execution of plays (that’s the position coach’s job); and they don’t provide the necessary resources (unless we’re talking about inflating the footballs and you’re coaching the New England Patriots).Head football coaches set the focus and direction of the organization. They establish the standards for performance. They create the necessary culture to allow the team to be successful. They orchestrate all the components so it reaches the desired crescendo at the end of the season. They’re leading the charge but very rarely are they involved in the grunt-work.Similarly, strategic planning is the time each year when the leaders of credit unions exert themselves to set the direction of the organization for next year and beyond. Or, unfortunately, in some cases I should say they do not exert themselves. For too many, strategic planning is merely a function mandated by the Board but carries no real long-lasting significance with the leadership team. It was a great Saturday offsite session where everyone got to wear blue jeans and there was great food but nothing of substance was produced to drive the credit union’s performance for very far into the future.Like the head football coach, leadership and coaching should occur every day from each senior exec throughout the business year but, in particular, it should be prominent this time of the year as you strive for that crescendo of meeting end-of-year goals and building plans and momentum for 2016. Strategizing during this season should be the foundation for your leadership efforts for the future.In credit union land today, there seems to be significant gaps in the quality of leadership across the industry. Many credit unions have senior leaders retiring but haven’t done a good job of grooming the next generation. Others have senior leaders who are learning on the job – quite honestly they were underqualified when promoted and are now playing catch-up. And other senior leaders are new and fresh but struggling to overturn tired, old cultures that are resisting the new direction.In each of these cases, extraordinary leadership is required. Following are six characteristics that leaders and senior teams should instill in order to successfully lead your organization into 2016 and beyond:Set crystal clear expectations – at the credit union level and every level below. Every employee in the organization should know specifically what they need to do day-in and day-out to positively contribute to the credit union’s ultimate success. Focus on specific behaviors and train those skills; assign production goals and communicate performance related to those goals on a consistent basis; show how everyone’s production is driving the common good and making the team successful. Too many credit unions function in reactionary mode – they’re like first-grade soccer players chasing the ball wherever it goes. Setting crystal clear expectations will help keep everyone focused on their role, no matter where the soccer ball goes.Once you set expectations, now you’re forced to hold people accountable. Without accountability, your goals next year will be ignored and your vision will never be attained. Let me be clear on one fundamental of this matter: accountability is not just negative – don’t forget about positive accountability! Celebrating successes when they occur is just as important as cracking the whip when it needs to be cracked. The best way to hold your credit union accountable is by consistently communicating performance. Don’t wait until the end of the year to share results – do it monthly, weekly, daily. In most instances, leaders who avoid negative accountability should’ve addressed the issue a long time ago. Open and frequent conversation about performance allows you to deal with singular snowflakes instead of snow balls that lead to avalanches.When you set them, set goals high but attainable. Make goals hard enough that your team will need to go above and beyond what they’ve done in the past in order to reach them. Don’t be satisfied with the same level of planning, effort, and performance. That’s not leadership, that’s managing. Lead your people to higher levels of personal and team production. Get them to strive for more and then give them a reason to feel great about their accomplishments. There’s a “Law of Limited Performance” I learned earlier in my career that says: your staff gravitates to the level of performance their leader expects. If you set the bar low, the staff will gravitate to low performance. If you set it high they will gravitate to higher levels. It doesn’t take a leader to realize low or the same levels of performance – it takes leadership and coaching to get individuals and teams to achieve higher levels of performance.Exude confidence when leading. I used to work for a boss who’d say, “You can’t lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny sitting on a horse.” It sounds silly but it’s true. Sit tall in the saddle and your troops will follow suit. Your staff will live the vision if you do. They will strive for higher goals if you do. They will step out of their comfort zone if you do. Speaking, acting, and living confidently will go a long way in giving them the confidence that they will be successful, too. You shouldn’t be arrogant, of course, but arrogance and confidence are two different traits. Confidence is rooted in trust and belief; arrogance is based on a perception of self-importance. Displaying unvarnished trust and belief in your team and your strategy and your ability to succeed is exuding leadership confidence.In addition to confidence, display enthusiasm and passion. Enthusiasm about the organization’s future. Passion about the credit union’s mission. These qualities won’t be inherent in your staff (especially new hires) so they’re going to have to be instilled by you. Speak frequently about the credit union and what you’re achieving, even if it’s not always positive. Have open and honest communications about what’s working and not working – town hall meetings oftentimes work great. Take staff members to lunch or conduct small group meetings outside the office. Make it a point to have frequent one-on-one interactions with every employee. Let them see, hear, and feel your passion and enthusiasm so it permeates into their love of performance and motivate them to success.While personal interaction is key you must also know your role and stay at a leadership level. In a previous job, I was part of a study of executives and managers of various retail organizations. At every level of the low performing companies we found that the leaders were performing the jobs of the position 2-3 levels below them in the organization. They weren’t strategizing or goal-setting like they should; they were pushing papers or producing widgets – tasks their staff was hired to do. Get off the battlefield and get up on the hill where you can see if your strategy is working! Your team will value you more as a leader if they see you doing leadership things. Get them the resources they need. Remove the obstacles that frustrate them. Motivate them with the rewards and recognition they desire. You can’t lead if you’re stuck in the weeds … and your staff needs you to lead.Also in that research mentioned above a key finding was that a retail company’s success at a specific location is dependent on one thing: the leadership from the store executives. It didn’t matter which market or who the competition was. It didn’t matter what the pricing or promotion strategy was. It didn’t even matter what sales people were assigned to each store. By far, the number one driver of success was how effective the execs were at leading their teams. You could take a strong leader and transfer them to a weak store, regardless of the circumstances, and, in a reasonable amount of time, the performance would improve significantly and in almost every instance that “weak” store became “strong”.With that research finding as a basis, the time has never been better for credit union execs to maximize their leadership performance. Most of you are experiencing some kind of transformation in executive leadership – it’s already happened or will be happening soon. Most of you have looked at your previous business plans and realized the old way will not suffice in the new world. Use this “season” to assess the quality of your leadership culture and strategize to make it your primary focus for a “strong” 2016. Maximizing the coaching and leadership, especially at the senior level, and incorporating the six characteristics above will position your credit union for maximized performance in the future.If your credit union needs to enhance your coaching and leadership culture, my firm would be happy to help. Please contact me at Probert@fi-strategies.com or 636-578-3280.
Mullins told the Telegraph: “We are looking at it – there aren’t a great many options for him so I made the entry. “There is also the Tied Cottage at Punchestown a week later. “I wasn’t pleased with his jumping overall on the day (at Leopardstown). “I don’t know if something upset him beforehand, but he definitely wasn’t himself.” Last season’s brilliant Arkle winner fell on his return to action at Leopardstown over Christmas and could make the trip across the Irish Sea in an attempt to set the record straight. Un De Sceaux could run against the likes of Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre in the Ascot Grade One, but also has an alternative option closer to home. Press Association Willie Mullins is giving serious thought to running Un De Sceaux in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase at Ascot on January 23.