Ever notice when a colleague or friend is sullen, withdrawn or seems troubled? We may be aware they are not their normal self, appear more irritable, anxious or sad for a period of time. Often we hesitate in sharing our concern for them because we don’t want to be intrusive or offend them. Although having a conversation and noting your observations with them may be what they need. Following are some suggestions to prepare to share your concern.
Sharing your concern
- Detail what you observe.
Objectively state what you have seen and avoid making any assumptions about why the colleague is distressed
- State your concern.
Indicate that you are concerned about their well-being and that you can help, if they want with identifying resources or exploring options.
- Listen & Acknowledge
What you hear, without judgment. Give them your undivided attention. Reflect what they are saying without agreeing or disagreeing with them and without stating an opinion.
- Express empathy for them.
Note what you hear they are feeling.
- Inquire - What have you tried so far?
- Encourage them.
Note the value of talking about their issues with someone, and how, at times that can be a normal way to dissipate their feelings and distress.
- Provide resource options.
- Suggest considering talking to a professional staff member at FASAP (Faculty and Staff Assistance Program)
Remind them that it is no charge to them and is confidential. Note that talking to a FASAP staff member is a mature, healthy step to take, and is not a sign of weakness.
Apprehensive about sharing your Concern? – If you could use an objective and professional ear and some coaching in how to approach a friend or colleague FASAP Counselors are available at 936-8660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org