From Experts to You: Three Tips To Support Mental Health At Work

Wow, what a month so far. Whether it's you, a coworker, a manager, we're all struggling (but adjusting) in our unique ways. So, let's start making empathy central to our conversations at work.

All productive conversations start with… Empathy. Based on Harvard Business Review, the “second pandemic” is here. The implications of a divided election, world health crisis, recession-ish, working from home (we can keep going) is taking a toll on our mental health.

The Takeaways

  • Make all health-talk normal. Whether it’s back problems, seasonal allergies, or just feeling off... share it with your colleagues.
  • Don’t try to “fix” everything. That means approaching any conversation with support instead of solutions. Or, act like a bridge and direct them to helpful resources.
  • Focus on the bigger picture. When you’re listening (not hearing) find the overall themes of the conversation as opposed to fixating on the details.

Fact of the Week​

“Only 50% of employees are comfortable discussing mental health issues.” – American Psychiatric Association

Conversation Starters

  • Body Language: Masks are good. They protect you, me, and the people down the street. But they’re starting to disrupt our non-verbal communication skills. (Source: CNN)
  • Communication: Calling all product managers at big tech companies: What skills and attributes are generally most valued when hiring an individual contributor? (Source: Twitter)
  • Hiring: A global pandemic and possible recession aren’t going to stop you from getting a job. (Source: LinkedIn)
  • Resilience: “It took me 25 years to build this and 10 days to break it down,” described award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson on his restaurant empire. (Source: CNBC)
  • Social Media Management: Think of Snapchat, but on Facebook... and Messenger... and Instagram. (Source: TechCrunch)

Editor’s Corner

Question of the Week: “I have a coworker that’s pretty good about giving everyone feedback, but they’re not good at receiving it. They’re automatically on the defense. And I’m not good with conflict, so how should I approach them when I have to give feedback?” — Nidhi, associate solutions engineer

Editor’s Recommendation: Been there, done that. Whenever you’re giving feedback to someone who gets defensive, try the “I like/wish/wonder” framework. Start with a specific thing you like about their work. Then, come in with the constructive feedback. Be clear with your intentions like this: “I want to help you improve, so here are some things I’ve noticed...”

Remember, when giving constructive feedback, be direct, specific, and stick to the facts. Avoid being accusatory, judgmental, and vague. Finally, don’t forget to close out the feedback session with praise again. Giving feedback can be hard sometimes, but in the long run it’ll benefit their professional growth.

Now's Your Turn

Do you think the way you support your team is effective? Find ways to strengthen your empathy skills by gathering feedback from your peers.

>> Go to Matter​ <<

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