On your task of getting things done at home or work, you’ll have to work with others. While working with the people who help you get your tasks completed, some will triumph and some will fail. Others, will be affected by the happenings around them. You’ll work with people whose parent may have recently passed, and those whose mental health takes a turn for the worst.
Handling our relationships with people whose well-being is in a state of suffering is difficult to do. Especially in the workplace, you’ll feel pressure to continue hitting deadlines and be on top of what you and your team will be held responsible for. Should you treat those who are suffering the same way you always have? Should you sympathize with their cause but continue with business as usual? How much empathy for the pain of others should we have when we depend on their work to complete our own?
These are the aspects of managing people which catch most managers off guard. Life will hit, and it will hit hard. If you believe your plans will not suffer under painful happenings of life, then you may very well be mistaken. This article aims to argue for being fully dedicated to the well-being of another, should it suffer. Placing other tasks over the important task of healing can be a terrible mistake. It may hurt the completion of the tasks your team cares for most in the long run. Prior to forcing those who are in pain to continue with their output, below are points you should consider.
Your Actions Matter Most to Those Who Aren’t Suffering
When you’re introduced to someone who can no longer optimally perform their duties, the other members of your team will notice how you manage the situation. No one can escape life’s painful moments. Our parents die, our kids get sick, and we will surely go through times of vulnerability. The people who see you managing the ones who are undergoing life’s tribulations will imagine themselves in the same position. If they see a lack of empathy from your side of the matter, then they’ll know what to expect should they too, get hit by life’s many troubles.
Others on your team, will allow envy to build. They’ll perceive you to be treating those who are undergoing difficulties in a special way. They’ll wonder why they should continue working to produce the same level of output when others get to have a break. In cases such as these, it’s imperative to introduce your team members to the facets of life they’ve set blinders to. Reiterate that the uncontrollable happenings of life produce effects that everyone should adjust to.
In an effort to overcome the burden that a person’s life events place on them, and everyone around them, everyone needs to adjust. Remind your team that most of all, one person’s difficulties can produce a domino effect for the rest of the team if mishandled. If their difficulties go ignored and the team does not adjust, then the effects of their difficulties will surprise you in a bad way down the line. If this individual’s difficulties are met with envy from the rest of the team, then the team would be on a path to self-destruction. Ensure that your team members understand that empathetically supporting those with difficulties in their lives is the best way to ensure the team as a whole comes out unscathed.
It may seem counter-intuitive but placing the human first in times of trouble will boost your team’s overall morale if done right. It will remind your team of the effects that team-focused empathy brings with it, the forces of which will spread throughout their work. They will continue working knowing that should they experience the same trials and tribulations which the other team member is experiencing, you will protect their well-being however you can.
Give every opportunity for those who hurt to fully heal. You’ll ease the worries of the ones watching from the side. It will lower their anxiety from envisioning being in the same position.
Once the people in question succeed in overcoming the trials that life presented, they’ll be back to be a part of the team. They will have their stories, and share experiences with the rest. They will be a stronger person – and thereby teammate – as a result of going through their issues. They will be able to share valuable lessons learned which may be uncommon in their nature. Don’t underestimate the experience of others after they overcome difficult situations. Your whole team will be able to take away lessons which not only improve their motivation to work with you, but have the capacity to improve how they deal with issues in general.
If you were fully committed to allowing others to heal from the problems they were faced with, they will have no reason to not respect you on a deeper level than before. Empathy is a powerful motivator, and we tend to deeply respect those who show us empathy amidst our darkest moments. This person will come back to normality with a motivation to please you which did not exist before. Your job is to keep their absence from severely affecting your team’s output, but once they’re back, they’ll be motivated to operate with a higher level of output than before. In this regard, being empathetic and focusing fully on another’s misery is akin to making an investment for the future. Letting others fully heal may be the best thing you can do for the long-term success of your team, under the circumstances you’re presented with.
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