reflection on supporting others

When our new journal, Reflections arrived this week, it prompted me to reflect, starting with a reflection on kindness and supporting others.

How do we support others when we don’t meet colleagues at work or friends socially?

Fewer physical encounters due to increased workplace flexibility and working from home means employers must learn to support remote working employees differently than before. As lockdowns persist around the world, people need more support than ever to help with feeling connected and part of a team, being engaged at work and reaching personal and company goals.

Collaboration and team spirit makes for a happier, more productive atmosphere at work – and at outside work too. Working together towards common goals, ensuring everyone works to their strengths, and helping those who need support maximises wellbeing, productivity and goal achievement.

5 ways you can support others – and the benefits:

 

1. Listen.

Show genuine interest in others, whether in-person or on a video call. Ask questions so you’re sure you understand the other person’s point of view. You’ll be seen as friendly and approachable, resulting in higher team engagement and less stress for everyone.

2. Praise colleagues for a job well done.

This improves confidence and eagerness to maintain a high standard of work. Confidence, knowing you can complete what you set out to do, is key to achieving goals.

3. Be open to noticing when colleagues need extra support, when perhaps, someone is struggling.

This is more difficult when everyone is not together in the office. Here are some tips:

  • Listen to tone of voice and if you notice someone’s voice is wobbly, brittle, taut or thick with emotion, recognise they may need support and reach out appropriately.
  • Look for body language signals such as someone constantly looking down and away from the screen. This may be a sign of disengagement. Until the reason for the disengagement is uncovered, nothing will change.
  • Notice the people who don’t contribute and encourage them to take part in meetings.
  • Share your knowledge and learn from others to maintain and build a culture of learning and collaboration. This will improve the ‘feel-good-factor’ and go a long way towards reaching business success with less stress.
  • Send a text, card or small gift when you notice a colleague needs some cheering up. During various lockdowns, I have been the lucky recipient of various home-baked goods, chocolate, cards and gifts generously left on my doorstep by neighbours, or mailed by friends. This cheered me up every single time. We all know someone who would appreciate such thoughtfulness to feel connected.

Everyone appreciates kindness – whether an offer of support or simply recognition that you understand –everybody needs support from time to time.

Supporting others and facilitating their development is one of the most important roles of a respected and influential leader, a caring parent and a thoughtful friend.

A Final suggestion:

Write in your journal or notebook, a list of people in your life who you think would benefit from your support. Take some time to do your own reflection on kindness and supporting others. Your list may include family, friends, neighbours as well as colleagues. What support can you provide? Is there a small kindness you can do to improve their day? Write it down, then take action today.

And, if you’re someone who needs support right now, reach out and ask for the help you need.