Dr Renate Volpe, in her Leadership Insight Nuggets says “The “new age” leader appreciates that preoccupation with living issues, affects our ability to perform at optimal potential”.
My obvious question (well to me it’s obvious) is – how could it not affect our ability to perform at optimal potential?
In my youth, I can clearly remember often being told (or hearing it being told to others), ‘don’t bring your problems to work!’ Whilst I do understand that we are employed or alternatively, we employ people to perform a specific task or function, the reality is that we are human beings. As human beings we have feelings and emotions and we are not programmed like a ‘light switch’ to be turned on and off. Quite frankly that’s like ripping the wings off an aircraft and expecting it to fly!
That said, there are often those employees that always seem to have something wrong. If it’s not one thing then it’s another. They seem to live their lives in some form of disaster area, and the constant emotion that this generates as they go from person to person looking for sympathy and attention can be very trying as well as exhausting.
So where and how do you draw the line? Realistically, as an employer you do need to have your productivity and the quality of your product or service, maintained. You do have to ensure that the work gets done, because if you don’t, you will lose clients and losing clients will put your business, your staff and you at risk. It really is a fine line and different things work for different people.
Although I don’t really do the ‘emotional’ thing very often, when it comes to staff – I am aware that different people handle different things in different ways. Some people withdraw, some people act out – the bottom line is that as the employer, you have to know and understand your employee and then you have to deal with each employee based on who they are and how they react to any given situation.
Obviously that does not mean that you have to allow yourself to be abused by your employee and no, showing your ‘soft side’ does not make you a softie, but you do need to be able to show empathy and support.
How you do that of course, is up to you.