Today is National Stress Awareness Day and in LID we support sharing knowledge as the best way of raising awareness.
We believe that employers, managers and leaders need to know how to create a safe environment for their employees to share how they feel, their frustrations and their struggles.
In The Coaching Book, Nicole Soames highlights 6 key techniques to build rapport, which she claims is the first step in building a coaching or managing relationship.
“Talk their language – tune in to the phrases they use and try to incorporate them into the conversation when appropriate.
Make sure you are on their wavelength – ask pertinent questions to understand what really makes them tick and help find common ground.
Demonstrate genuine interest – don’t just pretend to be interested! You need to really care about their personal development.
Summarize what they say – to ensure your understanding of their needs and to demonstrate they have your full attention.
Match and mirror their body language – to create trust and respect. This could be nodding when they do or using the same gestures to support a point.
Fluctuate your pace and tone – to keep the other person engaged in what you have to say.”
Find out more about how to avoid breaking the rapport, how to create a balanced relationship and how to demonstrate empathy on The Coaching Book by Nicole Soames.
At the same time, employees can take their own initiative to ensure their work environment is supporting their mental health. In Positive Mental Health by Dr. Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder, this is illustrated in 4 steps employees can take:
“Be aware of negative or judgemental terminology and language – Challenge this whenever you witness it, making sure to address gossip or negative behaviours immediately and directly. This will help create a workplace culture that does not tolerate harassment or discrimination.
Regularly and consistently encourage and promote healthy work-life practices – Are there ways you can help promote an environment where everyone takes advantage of flexible hours, job sharing or working from home? Can you encourage healthy eating or physical activity among your co-workers? Are you going home at a reasonable time, taking the holidays that you’ve earned and taking any other time off that is owed to you? You shouldn’t be expected to check work emails at home, so make it a habit not to do this.
Think about whether your workplace recognizes, appreciates and rewards achievements – Do you and your colleagues feel good about what you do for a living? Are you confident in your ability to offer honest and objective feedback at work, taking the opportunity to learn from your mistakes when they do happen?
Encourage and support a work environment that promotes openness, understanding and respect for mental health issues – Can you talk with your colleagues in a matter-of-fact way about mental health? And if they are struggling with this, do you treat them the same as you would if you were talking about any other workplace concern?”
If you want to learn more tips and tools on how to create a positive dialogue around mental health and address this taboo in the workplace, check Positive Mental Health by Dr. Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder.
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