We have said it in the past. General wellbeing is extremely important, as humans, we need to find balance in every aspect to be able to achieve this. Our everyday life is full of routines, interactions, tasks, and whatnot. Sometimes, we are so focused on accomplishing results and our well-being that we may neglect our coworkers. When was the last time you stopped something you were doing to ask your colleagues how they were feeling? When do you think was the last time they answered your question with honesty? Are They Really “Okay”?
It is okay if we don’t feel at our best all the time. What is not okay is to brush it off and ignore it. We, individually and as groups, should always aim at well-being. It must be the core of our life. If we are not feeling well or okay, then we may not have the best results in life or at work. We started our Mental Health section a couple of months ago and we are glad we did. We believe in human development as a whole cluster of actions, environments, and interactions. What are the signs we should be on the lookout for to know our colleagues or team members are not okay?
Our colleagues might feel anxious, depressed, stressed, or tired, but we may not even notice. Other times, the signs are screaming at us, and we just ignore them. So what changes in our team members let us know they may not be okay? They can be physical or attitudinal. Your colleague may be presenting a careless appearance, or not as tidy as they usually do. They may be having mood swings, different emotions. Showing themselves as irritated or frustrated.
If we see any change in physical or emotional aspects we should pay attention and time to the specific colleague who is presenting them. They will also often change their routines. They won’t eat or will eat at odd times. Refuse to spend time with others, even if they used to enjoy it. They will also show burnout signs, decrease their productivity, or fail to accomplish deadlines.
Some people will be great at hiding all of these signs, but believe me, something always slips through the cracks. So I suggest that at the minimum hint you get of someone not being themselves, you approach them. They will probably not be comfortable being the first to speak about it but show them you are there and you care.
What Can We Do for Others?
If we notice any of these changes, we need to start an approach with our colleague. The first thing we need to understand is not everyone will be open to sharing their issues or concerns, so we need to be subtle. This approach does not happen overnight but that needs to be built over time. It is based on trust and familiarity. If your colleague trusts you, they will be more open and comfortable about sharing what’s bothering them.
- Show Empathy: The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. But also understanding these feelings they might be having are natural and is not something they are choosing to feel. And it all starts with being a good listener. Most of the time we don’t share our concerns because people can be too opinioniated, so don’t be. Only share your opinion if they ask you and if you know it won’t be an offensive one.
- Be Friendly: always approach them with a friendly attitude, offering support. Judgement free. They will be more open to sharing the story at their own pace.
- Show you care: explain the reasons you approached them, what made you worry about their change and ask how you can make their situation better for them.
- Prompt them to see a professional: after they shared their mind with you, make sure this is something they can handle. If they believe is too much for them to handle, encourage them to seek professional help. One thing is sharing our issues and concerns with friends and colleagues. But sharing them with a psychologist, that can provide us with tools to work on them, is completely different.
Next time you worry about your colleagues and need to know Are They Really “Okay”? you can come to this article.