Written for TakeON! by Chris Walker of ON-Brand Partners
Leaders need to use different skills when personal loss strikes their teams. How capable do you feel when it comes to offering comfort and support, especially if that's all you really want as well?
This month I’ve had cause to think about emotional resilience, because of the death of my family’s dog Jaz, who has been an integral part of our family life for the last 12 years.
Jaz’s passing has been particularly hard on my wife and kids, who had a really close bond with her. But they have been amazing since the dog passed away, doing what they have needed to do, staying positive, and
allowing themselves personal space for feelings and memories. For my part I’ve just focused on (with varying success) being a good supporter.
How is this relevant to business?
This is a small example of the sort of thing that can impact on work performance and morale – it doesn’t have to be work-related, it can be quite personal, you can’t plan for it, and you cannot be certain that the approach you took before will work this time. Sometimes there is no right answer!
Leaders and managers need to be alert to the signs and develop strategies for coping with (our own) personal stress, and for supporting others when they need it. Everyone is different and no one situation will be identical to another, so we need to shape the approach to the circumstance.
When we are there for others, we build deeper relationships. It’s often the small things that matter most in building trust and commitment in a work environment.
To capture the hearts and minds of our people, we need to help them through the difficult patches (business or personal). Learning to become more emotionally aware and resilient makes us better leaders, and better people.