Three important Tips

There is one theme about work today that I hear about in nearly every interaction I have with others. It seems we are in a period where the mental health of people in the workplace is of great concern. And why wouldn’t it be given the past few years. For example, one apparent fact offered by many who work in mental health care services is that while they do not yet know the extent of the COVID-19 disruption on kids of all ages, they do know it has indeed had a negative effect on the mental health of many of them. So, the concern for their children is just one more factor impacting the well-being of parents in the workplace, along with constant organization changes clouding their job security, daily bad news about inflation and such, and the constant head-pounding and seemingly hopeless frustration of politics in the country… and the world.

As one not clinically trained, I cannot advise you on how to handle issues affecting any kind of health. But there are a number of things you can do as a leader that certainly will do no harm and may even provide some light to those who are struggling. Three good starters are:

Listen… just listen. Not to judge, not to problem solve, not even to respond. Just to hear and understand. You will know when it is time to offer help or support, and when people just need to express something. Sometimes just your presence is a much-appreciated gift in the moment.

Be kind. I heard a DEI specialist recently remark that her company could very likely can all their training on these crucial issues if everyone would simply be kind to each other. We of course know that equity, belonging, and other core human needs are a bit more complicated, but her advice, if taken, would certainly go a long way and benefit all of us.

Show gratitude. People need to know they matter. So occasionally let them know that they do. And be a role model of gratitude for the goodness that is occurring throughout life, including the workplace. Cynicism and negativity frequently shroud the good. You can help ensure there is a reason to battle on during tough times.

Take care of yourself, and those others who are important to you. Be well and do good!

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