A couple of years ago I attended a conference about support for first responders. What really stood out to me was the focus on creating a culture where people check in on one another.
For first responders, expressing difficult emotions or distress can be seen as weakness. There is often a culture of pushing through no matter what horrific disaster is before them. You can imagine the effect this could have, given crime statistics and the level of turmoil and violence we experience as a society.
The conference underscored the need to support one another, and that this is equally important in leadership. Being able to see our leaders checking in with each other, with staff, making it acceptable and even admirable to develop emotional awareness for self and others – this is where it starts.
Where to begin the check in
The great news is that it doesn’t take a lot to check in with someone. If you’re a leader, here’s what you can do in your workplace and encourage your team to do as well:
- Take regular work stretch breaks and invite someone along for a walk around the block or to take in the view from the top floor.
- Take your water and meal breaks and invite someone to sip and crunch with you.
- Make it a point to ask about how they are going and remember to check about their family.
It just takes a normal everyday moment to connect with others. This connection helps us reset, but also connects us to one another as human beings.
Article supplied with thanks to Valerie Ling.
About the Author: Valerie Ling is a clinical psychologist and consultant with The Centre for Effective Living (a psychology and mental health practice) and The Centre for Effective Serving (a workplace wellbeing consultancy).