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EVOLVE: Dr. Bob Rosen Talks The Expanding Role of Psychologists

WRITTEN BY DR. ALEXIS MORENO
CONSULTING PSYCHOLOGIST
Twitter: @dralexismoreno

Bob Rosen, PhD, is a CEO advisor, organizational psychologist, and best-selling author of eight books including his recently released book “Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life.” But like many psychologists, Dr. Rosen’s education and profession began in clinical psychology.

Dr. Rosen earned his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. He transitioned from conducting research and teaching to helping executives and entire organizations transform the business world. A pivotal moment in his career was when he received a multiyear grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Rosen and his colleagues began an in-depth study of leadership which led him to personally interview more than 500 CEOs in 45 countries. Since then, Dr. Rosen has become an adviser to many of the companies and he has continued to help executives realize their leadership potential through the company he founded over twenty years ago, Healthy Companies International.

Dr. Rosen recognizes that the world is getting “bumpier” as evidenced in our politics and social conflicts. More so, the pace of our world is getting faster, “Technology has both liberated and complicated our lives.” Our modern lifestyle and stressors are having a significant impact on our health and well-being.

He explains, “We’re all in search of living a life of joy, reaching our potential, being healthy, and having a sense of belonging that is bigger than ourselves. I think there is a recognition that we are by definition vulnerable and imperfect in a world of uncertainty and that people need support.” With this in mind, Dr. Rosen believes that psychologists’ role in the future is huge, “[Psychologists’] products are their insights about human development and behavioral science.”

Dr. Rosen thinks that “increasingly psychologists have to be creative in figuring out where they can make those contributions and to see themselves more as entrepreneurs.” He stresses that it is important for psychologists to “figure out ways of getting their ideas out to into the world and into the hearts and minds of the people.” He explains, “I think that the ones who see themselves and their jobs as social entrepreneurship are going to be more successful.”

Dr. Rosen believes, “Knowing yourself, loving yourself and being yourself, I think are the real goals of healthy human development and it applies to psychologists as well.” After engaging in some self-exploration, expand your mental health outreach by publicizing whatever area of human functioning intrigues you. Dr. Rosen assures Psychology Connection readers that,

“Psychologists have lots of interesting topics to talk about that would be relevant. One of the big topics today is resilience. That’s what we’re in the business of doing, is helping people be resilient, getting back up after they fall down.”

So, as Dr. Rosen puts it, “Take a risk and be yourself in the world” and here are some of Dr. Rosen’s tips to expand your mental health outreach and services:

Provide coaching and consultation services:

Get started by offering free or low-cost services to staff at small local businesses, a local fire department, or a church. – Dr. Rosen was an outside advisor to the three ministers of his church for 8 years (for free).

Start Writing!

  • If an entire book seems too daunting, start by writing a blog. Writer’s tip: Audio record yourself talking into an automated audio transcribing computer program. You can then edit the transcription of your recording easily into your own blog.
  • If you have written your first book, consider self-publishing an easier route to go than finding a publisher. Dr. Rosen explains, “Getting a publisher is harder because there is a lot of competition in both psychology and leadership books.” If your self-published book is well liked, it would be easier to get a publisher.
  • Get writing partners to help you with crafting language that will effectively communicates to a wide audience.

Dr. Rosen reminds us that, “Books are just stringing together chapters which are stringing together pages. The hard part is finding the organizing concept that holds everything together. You want to make a contribution. You want to say something that’s different. That’s one of my big concerns, I want to actually make an impact.”

Share Your Voice – Dr. Rosen says that talking (public speaking) is another really important step in expanding your outreach and services.

  • Find a venue where you can talk about your area of interest.
  • Organizations are frequently looking for people to come in for free to give a lunch time talk to employees on any topic of interest.

Dr. Rosen started out offering free services too. Today, he has been a keynote speaker at a variety of global events speaking on topics ranging from Leading Transformation and Leading Innovation to Leading Growth and Leading in a Global World. He has also used his voice and expertise as a media commentator for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, Time, Chief Executive Magazine.

Dr. Rosen’s career is an inspiring example of the wide range of contributions psychologists can play in modern society. With the advancement in technology and collaboration efforts across disciplines, psychologists can utilize a variety of methods to intervene and help make meaningful change around the world. In preparation for this pursuit, Dr. Rosen adds, “One of the important skills of the world is to get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Trying new professional activities like publishing your writing for the world to read, speaking in front of an audience of strangers, and utilizing your psychological skillset in a new coaching or consulting method may very likely feel unnerving. But if you are doing so because you are motived by an innate desire to purposefully contribute to something larger than yourself, then isn’t it worth trying?

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