In the first few months of writing this blog I wrote about how I try to keep professionally current (see Tips for Staying Fresh (or, Don’t Get Left Behind)! — part two – Court Leader).  One source of information that I find consistently excellent is “Leadership Moments” from the folks at LeadStar.[1]  I save messages that I think may be helpful in the future, and I just reread one that is quite appropriate as we do our best to successfully emerge from the COVID pandemic.

A big problem that many of us have right now is adjusting to the rapidly changing environment at home and at work on top of the crazy year we have just gone through.  This has caused a lot of negative issues – a particularly critical example is a rise in people coping with depression.  All of us have had times when a helping hand was or would have been beneficial, and now the need of the people in our lives is particularly high.  Here is good advice on what to do at work from LeadStar’s Leadership Moment, “Don’t Make People Have to Ask For Help,” from August of 2018:

Every single one of us has had a bad day, discouraging week, or a dismal year.  So, when you see that dark cloud following someone around, let this be your call to action:

  • Invite them to coffee and focus the conversation on them.  Ask questions.  Listening can inform you on how you can help.
  • Write a note to them.  Share what you have observed, remind them of their talents, and make an offer to be a resource to them as needed.
  • Invest in the relationship.  Don’t just have a one-time conversation about their troubles, reach out to them routinely and give them constant encouragement.
  • Don’t enable the person – empower them.  Also, don’t take on their troubles.  They don’t need pity – they need support!  Be empathetic, but also be strong.  They need a leader right now and that leader is you.

A good leader helps others in need.  A great leader anticipates the needs of others and initiates action. 

These are great ideas for how we can help others.  In addition, if your organization has an “Employee Assistance Plan” (EAP), that is a valuable resource to use not only for yourself, but to refer others in need of EAP services (my family made positive use of the EAP at my court several times).  Of course, there are outside, community resources that stand ready to help, too.

Take a moment to think about the people you work with – is there anyone who could use a little help right now?  Follow up soon and make a difference.

[1] Custom Leadership Training & Development | Lead Star; I subscribe to their “Leadership Moments” emails.

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