Mental health is becoming an increasingly important topic in the business world. Issues that employees bring with them on a daily basis have a huge impact on their work, decisions and performance levels. Who catches mistakes and undesirable developments? Who can take responsibility for ensuring that targets and quality are still met?
Private problems and crises are finding their way into companies on a large scale. Looking away, ignoring and simply carrying on is difficult. This is precisely where managers need to be increasingly sensitized, must be able to recognize where the individual team member stands and, in case of doubt, raise their hand and ask for support.
Because, as is also clear, a manager is not a therapist and cannot mutate into one. However, boundaries are often crossed here - both personally and in terms of competence. Comprehensive personality training is essential to ensure the necessary awareness and attentiveness to recognize the presence of psychological problems or a deeper crisis.
Effects on the world of work
We see it everywhere and scientific studies now prove that chronic illnesses, burn-out, depression and health problems lead to extreme absenteeism, sickness rates and major economic consequences. This is because employees are no longer 100% or not at all fit for work, their performance and scope naturally decrease as a result and the costs for the company generally continue for the time being.
So does it make sense to let your teams run at sprint speed, knowing that it is actually a marathon? Are we deliberately "destroying" our employees?
The home office phenomenon - promoter of distance and opponent of team building
Unfortunately, the flexibilization of the working world has contributed to the fact that precisely this basis of togetherness, standing up for each other and solidarity is increasingly crumbling. Individuals find themselves predominantly physically distanced, alone within their own four walls and confronted with all their issues. In this situation, it is very difficult for a manager to recognize where the individual employee stands, what is driving him or her and what emotional state prevails.
It's not about therapy, but about seeing people as a whole. They are not a working machine, but a being with many different levels and a complexity that needs its own space.
Recognize your own limits
Listening properly is the first step. This can often trigger excessive demands on the manager. This can be triggered by their own blockages, by the pressure of their own tight schedule, which generally does not allow room for interpersonal issues and certainly not difficult ones, the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure of having to solve something that lies outside their own competencies. Many emotions can be triggered, causing managers to go into "fight-flight-freeze-fawn mode". All human and absolutely normal, but not conducive to the situation.
Professionalism vs. empathy
But how do you manage the balancing act between professional behavior and empathic support? Because de facto, such situations are a great opportunity to create a real bond in the relationship. To allow the team to grow and build mutual trust.
Dealing with mental health problems varies greatly between the generations. Here, too, worlds collide. Generation X and Y were brought up in such a way that they were negated, not addressed and certainly not openly displayed. It was a weakness and therefore a big taboo to be mentally unstable. We were strong, unconquered and defied any emotions, which certainly existed. But the younger generations have a different relationship to themselves and their emotional worlds. Our awareness has expanded considerably, perhaps a little overdosed at times, but much more open to fears, disturbances and traumas. This can no longer be ignored and we need to find new ways of dealing with these issues in the business world.
Initial response options
So what should be done if a manager senses that an employee has got into difficulties?
It is of course best to have already established a good, safe and trusting environment in the team as a preventative measure. This ensures that the team members feel safe enough to open up when problems arise - regardless of their nature. This is the only way the manager can ensure that the truth is spoken. This can happen if the team members have experienced that, regardless of what is shared, support, empathy and goodwill are the answer. The safe space therefore provides the opportunity to talk about anything that moves, worries or frightens you. Open, clear words bring so much strength, power and wisdom.
This is one of the most important and valuable characteristics of a solid, connected and empowering team and a great leader.
Listening is key, but the "right" listening.
Another option is to bring an appropriate coach on board who will take care of the person concerned, provide first aid and, if necessary, seek further professional help. As a result, employees feel seen and the manager is relieved.
Individual or management training that prepares employees for challenging conversations but also for the limits of their duty of care and gives individuals confidence in working together.
It is neither the goal nor the solution to turn managers into all-round all-rounders. In recent years, managers have been given an enormous number of new tasks, so that they are often more affected than problem solvers. How is a mentally unstable person supposed to help a mentally unstable person? This is why it is all the more important to call in specialists, especially for mental health and psychological support. The effects on the person concerned, the manager, the team and of course the company will be directly noticeable.
Coaching can be the ideal support on all fronts and can lead to stability and increased mental health in the team. It takes courage, creativity, strength and sufficient motivation to face up to change - for all those affected. Compassionate and experienced support leads to stable personal development, stress reduction, the development of necessary skills and more confidence and inner stability.
Coaching can support you and your growth in each of the phases in a targeted manner - internally in the company or personally in your private life. In a clarifying introductory meeting, a modular concept will be developed to provide you and your project with optimal guidance and individual support.
Contact me to start your journey into a fulfilled future
Nicole Dildei Coaching email@example.com
+49 157 58 267 427
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