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Following on from the scenario that we've just seen, as a manager, what can I take from it and use?

The first thing to do would be to re-assure who you were talking to, that it was confidential, and that you were really thinking about them, what they were saying, and listening to them. And make sure they felt heard. That's one of the biggest things, that they feel heard. Sometimes when they repeat the problem, that may be told a family member this person had, and they say it again, it has a slightly different effect, because you are not involved with them. So, it's easier for them sometimes, and maybe you get a little bit more out of it. The person needs to think of what they have used in the past to cope with adversity or a difficult situation. Is there anything there they can bring to this situation? You need to be able to spot that, and say, "How did you cope then? What helped?

And also to give the client hope that recovery is possible, that whatever the position or the problem is, that there is a way through it. That the solution will be in their hands, not on yours. So, you need to be able to point them in the right direction, to be able to think it through and to be able to think who can help. It might not just be you and the person concerned. They may have colleagues they can talk to, an ex-manager, maybe someone who's not even involved in that firm, but is in a similar position. You may need to involve HR. And you would warn that person that's what you were going to do because it is breaking that little area of confidentiality between the two of you.

And offer on-going time together, so you can review what's been tried, evaluate if it's worked. And of course the situation may not a change as easily as the person wants it too, and they may have to find ways of working with it. And that's where you can help, by suggesting things that might make the situation easier for them. And also suggest detaching, and going home, and it not being part of their life. Of course, they are going to worry about it, but it doesn't need to take up all their spare time. So, that time at home is really spent on refocusing where they are at and taking away the dread of coming to work.