Meet Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the owner and CEO of Wisdom Within Counseling in Niantic, Connecticut. Her team is a highly specialized group of holistic, expressive marriage and family therapists and help families thrive. They help anxious children, depressed, self-harming teens with eating disorders, and LGBTQIA+ curious adults. They offer art, yoga, music,walking, and drama therapies.
Katie hse 500 hours in yoga therapy trainings. She also helps distant couples as she holds a Gottman Marital Therapy Level 2 Certificate.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to Valiant CEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Katie Ziskind: I run a group of holistic marriage and family therapists that support children, teens, and couples using expressive arts, yoga, and drama therapy.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
Katie Ziskind: One of the most influential people in my life has been my Nana, my mom‘s mom. She helped me work through different emotions as a child and helped me process feelings in a way that no one else did. She listened when I was upset and she gave me lots of patience on forgiveness. She taught me an important skill of empathy which I use on a daily basis as a therapist to listen to others and help them sort through their emotional problems in their life.
Because of how many Anna listen to me as a child, I feel that I am a better listener and have added that skill along with my masters in marriage and family therapy to become an entrepreneur. I think about my Nana every day and I even have a brick engraved with her name outside of my front door to remind me of how she loved me. I think about her love and how I want to offer this love to all of my clients whether they are struggling children or distant couples in a fight.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
Katie Ziskind: We learned how to use Telehealth and to do fun playful scavenger hunts with children over Telehealth. We also were able to reach more people, which was actually a very positive benefit throughout the entire state of Connecticut. Our business was not at all financially impacted by the pandemic, as many people actually sort out counseling to the anxiety that they were experiencing in our business and not really suffer in a financial way. We just had to be creative and how we delivered Therapy virtually.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
Katie Ziskind: No one resigned at our company, which was great. I actually ended up hiring three people to help me with Intake coordination and administrative rules, as I found they were very eager to start a new job and provide high-quality work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
Katie Ziskind: I think that people quitting their job is a sign of self value and self discovery. It is great that people are quitting their jobs and realizing that they wanted to change they may not have been able to ask for unless this happened to them. People are realizing they want all remote jobs and to be able to work at home long-term now. I think that people needed a reason to be able to quit their job and to give them selves permission to make a change, which is great.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. That can be quite an alarming rate. What advice would you share to increase employee retention?
Katie Ziskind: Employees are not just working for the money. Companies think that by offering employees more, they will feel happier. That is typically not the case. Do you want to ask your employees what they value. One employee might value a weekly dinner together or a monthly dinner with the team to build community.
Another employee might value Everyone wearing crazy socks once a month on a Friday. Another employee you might value having snacks in the office that they can eat anytime. Ask your employees directly about what they need from you to feel supported. For a lot of my team, it is meeting weekly with me for one hour per week to help them feel emotionally supported to provide the work that they are doing. This weekly meeting helps me understand where they are and keeps us closely in touch if there are changes or adjustments.
According to a Nature Human behavior study, In 2020, 80% of US workers reported feeling that they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them – a phenomenon known as “time poverty”. What is your take on the work-life balance? Explain.
Katie Ziskind: Doing yoga is one of the best ways to build work life balance. Go on the mind-body app and sign up for a local yoga class in your area online or in person. Going in person can even be more of a positive experience because you get to be in the yoga studio itself and receive peaceful energy.
Going to yoga gives you time to reflect on yourself, learn how to be humble, get creative, and truly be present within your body. So much, your mind is active and a week, and Yoga can actually help you learn how to channel your energy in a more productive and efficient way while also practicing self-care. You can learn from Yoga, how to reflect on where you want to go in life, and how to breathe through different challenges you are currently facing from yoga poses to entrepreneurial challenges. Yoga on a regular basis is one of the most important ways to maintain work life balance as it gives you time away from work and reminds that you are good enough just the way you are
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
Katie Ziskind: I am constantly hiring on indeed.com. I always have a few job postings up and I find this to be very helpful because then I am always having applicants send their resumes to me at all times. Anytime I need to look for someone, I just look at the resumes that have been sent in. I try to always have these channels open to make sure that people know I am constantly hiring
Thank you for all that, our readers are grateful for your insightful comments! Now, if the Great Resignation isn’t your greatest concern, what is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
Katie Ziskind: The number one challenge in my business right now is finding the right people to hire. I have found it very challenging define people to have all the skills that I need. It has been a practice of learning how to teach some skills, improve my hiring process to vet for other skills, and a process of re-organizing the verbiage in some of my Indeed postings.
Before we finish things off, we do have one last question. If you had $10 Million Dollars to spend in one day, what would you spend it on?
Katie Ziskind: If I had $10 million in one day, I would offer creative arts, yoga classes, music instruments, and offered drama therapy services to the local schools for enrichment programming.
I would pay my team a good amount to offer these enrichment programs to teach children, and teenagers social skills, better self-esteem tools, and confidence skills while also teaching the teachers in the school system how to help children and teenagers through the bad times and those emotional meltdown moments without having to send them to the principals office. I would teach the teachers and the children about trauma responses and how to holistically look at a child who is having a trauma response or a panic attack. I would love to be able to teach more people about how to see children as a whole person, their mind, body, spirit, their history, as well as the present emotion they are showing. I think that schools would really benefit from this because teachers are the ones caring for these children on a daily basis and can really use self-care tools themselves through our a musical instruments too.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Katie Ziskind for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Katie Ziskind or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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