When we consider who we are, our relationships are far more important than our possessions. Being a husband is far more important than what car you drive, being a father/mother is more important than where you work. So if we accept this, how does it apply to a work situation.
We’ve all heard the cliche our people are our most important asset. But what does that mean on a day-to-day basis.
We ask how are you today? Without any expectation of hearing the truth. If we asked this question sincerely, we should be prepared for all the possible answers. Do we have time to listen as someone breaks down, or pours out their heart in anxiety and fear?
How are you really feeling?
We often start a workshop with an activity that asks the question “how are you feeling this morning?” On a scale of 1-10 there is usually quite a spread. We use the question to get a feel for the room, but also to highlight that at any one moment there are numerous reasons why someone might be not focussed on the job. Their body is in the room, but their head is somewhere else. A problem in their personal life, or a looming crisis might create a significant distraction and make it hard to focus on the job hand. If we know what the issue is, we can ask “is there anything we can do to help?”
Sometimes there is an argument for giving the individual permission to go and deal with the distraction, coming back to work when they are clear and focussed.