Signs that someone you work with is struggling
- Something is different: If you notice changes in a person’s mood or demeanor that is a sure sign that person is struggling. He or she might become irritable, easy to anger, and quick to rise to perceived bait. There will be a failure of humor. You will notice changes in body language – a slumped posture rather than sitting tall, a look of grim determination, a lack of spring in their step, a dull look in the eyes, facial expressions that communicate sadness. The person will be at odds with their colleagues. He or she will be defensive and throw up blocks to suggestions and offers of help. The person will avoid talking to colleagues and managers.
- It’s all too much: People who are struggling at work will be feeling quite overwhelmed. They will have trouble concentrating, will be easily distracted and will struggle to complete tasks. The quality of work produced will deteriorate. He or she will be unable to pull back to see the big picture. People will try and multi-task. As the brain is not able to multi-task people will get tangled in knots and in a complete muddle. People do not like to be seen as struggling and will try and hide their difficulties. Rather than ask for help they will dig their heels in and pursue strategies that are not working.
- Compliant People Pleasers: When the going gets tough managers who can’t cope might panic and resort to cracking the whip to get people going. Alas, when employees are afraid of their manager they will expend most of their energy on survival tactics; watching their back, pleasing their boss, becoming a ‘yes man’, currying favor, being compliant. Fear spreads like a virus and stops people in their tracks. Leaders should be wary of teams that appear too compliant, are not engaged in debate, are not producing good work and appear afraid of their boss.
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