Shawnee Love •
June 1, 2017
What would you do?
When it comes to emotions and feelings, many employers shy away from asking questions. Common reasons for avoiding include:
- Too busy with other work or priorities,
- The sense that feelings aren’t real or tangible and/or can’t be fixed,
- Not my responsibility,
- Not good with emotional situations, and
- Don’t want to embarrass the person by noticing the distress.
However, this avoidance comes with costs which may include:
- Reduced rapport between you and your employee,
- Decreased confidence and trust in you as a leader,
- Potentially increased distress of the employee over being ignored or noticed, and even
- Absenteeism and illness of the employee.
I know it can be difficult to deal with big emotions, so I advocate for inquiring about your employees regularly. Showing your employees you care about them as humans, helps them weather the storms in their lives (and work) and has the added benefit of increasing the likelihood they’ll be willing to share their burdens and work to resolve them with and for you.
Please comment below if you have thoughts on an employer’s “duty to inquire”.