stress

What Not to Say to a Stressed-Out Colleague

stressed-out-collegueNo clichés, and no platitudes. We want to help when we see someone stressed out. When someone is wound up, they don’t want to hear about how you felt or triumphed in a tough situation because they are in the middle of it now.

Be helpful by saying “You can handle this,” and offer an example of when a time when they did bounce back. Ask them, “What would help?” If they say “nothing” or “I don’t know”, sit quietly for 15 seconds (the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head.) The goal isn’t to cure someone’s stress, but to decrease it in the moment.

Adapted from the Harvard Business Review “Management Tip of the Day“ newsletter
Source: “What Not to Say to a Stressed-Out Colleague”, by Holly Weeks

About the author: Dwight Stewart

Dwight Stewart
“Self-Discipline over self-interest. Work over comfort. Character over celebrity.” Have your best self show up when you execute your strategy, backed by your story or beliefs, while in the optimal state for you. Success leaves clues.

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