Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley: Navigating Stress and Wellbeing

Take your leadership to new heights by exploring the dynamic synergy between psychological safety, frontal lobe batteries, and effective leadership strategies with Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley.

In This Episode

Hosts Emily Rodger and Dave Veale engage in an enlightening conversation with their guest, Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley. As the Founder & CEO of Dr. Lee-Baggley & Associates and an experienced Registered Psychologist, Dayna brings a wealth of knowledge to the discussion on leadership, well-being, and navigating the challenges of today’s world.

Throughout the episode, key themes emerge, centering on stress, resilience, and the changing landscape of work culture. Dayna dives into the impacts of stress and toxic positivity in the “new normal” post-pandemic world. She sheds light on the significance of safe relationships as a buffer against toxic stress and emphasizes that our culture has pushed the idea that we have more personal control than we do, leading to self-shame when faced with challenges.

A core concept introduced by Dayna is the “frontal lobe battery.” This analogy resonates, as it’s used to explain the brain’s stress responses and how they relate to overall well-being. Dayna further emphasizes the responsibility of leaders in managing workplace stress, challenging the traditional notion of burdening employees with self-care as the sole solution.

As the conversation deepens, the focus shifts to the significance of psychological safety in teams and organizations. Dayna encourages leaders to embrace vulnerability and acknowledge their mistakes, fostering an environment where individuals feel safe to speak up and take calculated risks. The episode also delves into the mindset shift required for healthy habits, as Dayna challenges the notion that these habits must always be enjoyable to be effective.

Just before Dave and Emily give share their takeaways, Dave introduces us to Dayna’s book, “Healthy Habits Suck: How to Get Off the Couch and Live a Healthy Life… Even If You Don’t Want to,” which he says is a must read.

Show Notes

First 10 minutes

Emily and Dave catch up. Emily shares that she will be fishing in Bolivia for the first time soon. Dave invites Dayna into the chat and explains a bit about how they know one another. Dayna introduces herself and talks about some of the professional shifts she has made pre-pandemic until now.

10-20 minutes

Dayna talks about topics like stress, fatigue, and toxic positivity while explaining that the “new normal” is inherently more stressful than pre-pandemic. No one comes out of the apocalypse unchanged. The group discusses safe, secure relationships as a protective factor from toxic stress and Dayna explains that our culture hasn’t really prepared us for a world with a tin of uncertainty. We often are raised to believe we have more control than we do (ex. “just try harder”), leading to a lot of self-shame when we can’t do it alone.

20-30 minutes

Dayna discusses the importance of our biologically driven need for connectedness. She then dives into the different systems in our brain, their functions, and how this relates to how we experience stress. As she talks about the brain, Dayna introduces the audience to thinking about the frontal lobe of the brain like a battery. This concept seems to really resonate with the hosts. Dayna then addresses the need for leaders to take a larger role in managing workplace stress—that stress and burnout is an issue we typically place on employee’s shoulders to solve via “self care” instead of recognizing it as largely a workplace problem.

30-40 minutes

The group further discusses the frontal lobe battery and Dayna offers some tips including figuring out what your battery charges and drains are. Some people like spreadsheets and for others, it’s a huge battery drain. Dayna suggests that leaders could work on matching people to their charges (or less drains) as best they can for increased wellness and productivity. Emily asks Dayna about a quote she read and Dayna expands on it, saying that we need leaders who acknowledge when they make mistakes, when they are not ok. Dave reflects on when he first learned about psychological safety and how it is the best predictor of a successful team.

40+ minutes

Dave introduces us to Dayna’s book, “Healthy Habits Suck.” Dayna talks about how many of us seem to believe that if we’re engaging in a healthy habit (like exercising) and we aren’t enjoying it, that we’re doing it wrong. She offers a mindset shift and encourages listeners to do things that help our mind and body recharge simply because you and others in your life will benefit when you have a charged battery and not because doing pushups and getting sweaty is fun. Dave and Emily share their takeaways.

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley

Founder & CEO of Dayna Lee-Baggley & Associates (DLBA)

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley is Founder & CEO of Dayna Lee-Baggley & Associates (DLBA). She is a Registered Psychologist in BC, AB, ON and NS in Clinical and Organizational Psychology and specializes in facilitating change for individuals, teams, leaders and organizations.

Dayna is a senior facilitator providing healthy workplace interventions. She has extensive applied experience and research knowledge on behaviour change, team functioning, conflict resolution, workplace restoration, diversity, equity, inclusion, trauma-informed workplaces, restorative justice, and organizational change. She also leads all research projects.

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine with cross-appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Surgery at Dalhousie University in Family Medicine and is an Adjunct Professor at Saint Mary’s University in the Department of Psychology and the Chief of Research for the Howatt HR Applied Workplace Research Institute.

Dayna has the lived experience of being a bi-racial daughter of an Asian immigrant and she strives to make training meaningful and safe using evidence-based methods and processes.