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EDITORIAL COMMENT:

This article is different from normal content, but appropriate to the experiences we are going through, a reminder from a leader in our community of the need to be sensitive to the feelings and emotional state of ourselves, our colleagues and those we deal with in customers and suppliers. These are unusual times, and we need to be sensitive ourselves to them.

Tim Cummins President at World Commerce & Contracting

Let’s admit it. The year 2020 did not turn out how we imagined on New Year’s Day when we looked forward into the year. Business was good, share prices were climbing; but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Businesses impacted locally and worldwide came into view through the media very quickly. We can all measure the impacts in our financial results, but what about the hidden impacts? The impact upon individuals that no one wants to talk about or admit weakness or the stigma that might endure? When someone is physically ill, we all understand what we can see and accept, support, and move on…

What about when someone has mental health illness?

I work with the charity Mission Motorsport1 and earlier this year they posted the table below which gives us a framework to observe, inquire, and offer help or simply to listen without judging. I have shared it with a few people to offer a simple but effective framework for all of us to check in on ourselves to see how we are doing but also to help us recognize where our team or colleagues might be.

Barry1

Table 1 – Are you thriving, surviving, struggling, or in crisis?

credit - Mission Motorsport 2

 

How often do we stop and think when one of our team or colleagues behaves ‘out of character’? Or do we simply judge them, albeit possibly incorrectly, against our expectations? A significant amount of us are working in the isolation of stay at home and 12-hour days of ‘zoom’ calls. Have you had an ‘off day’?

The challenge is how to recognise early enough when someone is on a downward trajectory and more importantly in having a framework to enquire in a supportive fashion about how someone is doing. We all believe that we are invulnerable, or at least we did when we were a teenager and could take on the world, but asking for help is really hard. The table above gives us a framework to observe, enquire, and offer help or simply to listen without judging.

If one of your team is somewhere on the right hand of the table above how do you create ‘head space’ for them to be able to process what is going on? We have just had one of the longest breaks we get over year end which will have given our teams and colleagues a natural break and hopefully a renewed perspective.

I hope that where this strikes a chord with people, that the table above helps frame a conversation at home or work or both in a safe environment.

It’s OK to be Not OK…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I am currently the Global lead for Commercial and Customer Account Management for Meggitt PLC based in the UK. With over 30 years in the Aerospace and Defence industry the COVID-19 pandemic is the single most disruptive event I have ever seen and had to work through.

END NOTES

  1. Mission Motorsport
  2. Mission Motorsport article, Mental Health & Support [2020]

 

Barry White, SVP Commercial at Meggitt PLC Weybridge, England, United Kingdom


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