People get so caught up in their day to day routines that sometimes they don’t notice if a co-worker is struggling. It could be someone who has suffered a loss or is recovering from an illness or is care taking an elderly parent.
The reason doesn’t matter. What matters is what we do about it. This is especially important if it’s an intense job environment and the people experiencing these challenges are normally self-starters who get everything done well and on time. You think that they can handle the additional pressure, but they’re human, too.
Leaders need to step forward and make sure that people in these circumstances are supported so that their potentially fragile state doesn’t trigger a downward spiral.
Ask how you can help. This may seem obvious, but you need to ask. Chances are the response will be that he’s fine and doesn’t need anything.
Don’t leave it at that. You need to dig deeper. Ask questions specific to the circumstances and you will eventually discover a weak spot. When you figure it out, provide support. Just do it. No conversation is needed.
High performers don’t like to reveal weakness. They want to appear in control even when they’re not. Leaders need to make it OK that it’s not a personal limitation to receive help.
Think about your own experiences and how you weathered similar situations. How can you draw from your situation to help others? Success leaves clues, so a little reflective thought should give you some good ideas.
Have a great day!