HOW we wish we could be those super heroes we read about or watch in the movies. Despite personal tragedies and issues, they can still get the work done.
In the heat of the battle, they can still emerge looking great (with their perfect muscle mass and billowing hair worthy of Instagram post!), exchange light-hearted banters, and come out seemingly unfazed.
But as mere mortals, we are very aware of how stressful events in our lives can impede how we perform at work. Personal problems or family crisis happen.
An illness, an accident, or a loss of relationship are big blows to us and we find ourselves floundering, hoping to cope and still be able to pay the bills.
Turning to experts, Amy Gallo of the Harvard Business Review gives the following recommendations in her article “What to Do When a Personal Crisis Is Hurting Your Professional Life.”
Determine what type of support you need. “Is it as simple as leaving from work early a day a week or taking long leave of absence? Who are the people who can be there for you at work or at home and what specifically would you need from them? Gallo says that “the key is to figure out what will help ease the pressure.”
Tell your colleagues what’s happening so that they feel compassion for your situation. Most of the time, your co-workers have the ability to detect when something’s amiss even before you share your story. Helping them understand your situation in a way comfortable to you can provide them the right tools to be of assistance should you need them.
Make clear, specific requests of your co-workers and boss so that they know how they can help you.
Don’t feel you have to tell everyone directly. It’s okay to ask close colleagues to explain to others what’s going on.
Don’t share every detail of your situation. Tell co-workers only the details that are pertinent to them.
Do what’s right for you. This is supported by author of “It’s Always Personal,” Anne Kreamer. She recognizes the fact that there is no right answer when handling a crisis situation. Some find it impossible to continue working when they’re still handling a personal crisis. Others go to the office for comfort and distraction from feeling helpless. She gives a warning to the latter though. She says, “When you push forward and don’t allow yourself to feel the grief, you don’t recover as quickly.”
Establishing a healthy boundary while at the same time reaching out for help is a struggle enough even without a life crisis.
With the added stress of personal or family issues, the basic tenets of proper nutrition, cathartic exercise, and guidance from professionals, must be the foundation of any crisis-management principle.