People are getting wobblier. Perceptions of adversity are increasing, particularly with the expectation of the pandemic lingering on for months ahead.
As a result, vulnerability is popping up more frequently. The more vulnerable the employee, the harder it may be for them to get the job done.
While it is not the leader’s job to evaluate and “fix” wobbly employees, understanding some of the principles of resilience may help you help them.
Be careful how you approach them. They aren’t going to respond well if you tell them things such as “I know you’re sensitive…” (of course, none of you would say something like that, but you might be thinking it….).
Instead, help them recall experiences where they demonstrated confidence in their work which resulted in positive outcomes. It’s not unusual to discover that people who are in a wobbly state “forget” their successes. Recalling them can be a big win and can help shift their mindset.
Make lemonade out of lemons. There are usually good lessons to be gained from adverse experiences. Making something positive out of something negative can lead to resilience. You can each discuss your perceptions about a situation, which will help the employee feel less alone.
Offer other people as collaborators. The isolation that comes from working alone (especially for those who are working remotely) gets increasingly difficult as time goes on. Help the person build a virtual community of colleagues to diminish their vulnerability.
Finally, remember the power of gratitude. When a person feels grateful, it’s almost impossible to feel negative. Encouraging gratitude as a matter of course can be a game changer.