Coworkers who are grieving, sad and experiencing trauma might appear scattered, distand, disorganized, short tempered, anxious, intense and teary. So how do we create more ease, meaning and joy at work by showing up and supporting them, and ourselves?
The first step is the scariest because there are so many unknowns, but it is the check in – check in with your co-worker about how they are doing. The reason this can feel scary is because you do not know what the reaction with be – you could get tears, a brick wall, anger – you just cannot be sure how someone is doing until you ask – but being open allows us to do the next important step, which is to hold space, which means we just need to pay attention and listen. When we are holding space, telling someone how they do or should or will feel is often not helpful. Once we have an understanding of how someone is going, then we can start to sort through whether we should just be with our co-worker or we should make an offer to help. Listen is as Crina and Kirsten sort through these issues and the specifics.
More Good Reads
The Best Way to Comfort Someone When They’re Sad
How to Offer Support to a Grieving Colleague (hbr.org)
When Someone You Love Is Upset, Ask This One Question
Four Ways Hugs Are Good for Your Health