You know when you tell someone your experience, and instead of listening, they tell their own story which caps yours? I have a friend who describes it like this - if you've been to Tenerife, they've been to Elevenerife.
One way in which many people try to demonstrate empathy with someone who has been bereaved is by sharing their own stories of loss. This is not the time for your Elevenerife story.
Does your organisation have space where people can go to be quiet and alone?
WE ALL NEED SPACE
There are many situations at work when this can be useful.
I am particularly interested in supporting people who are grieving, but there are many other times when you might want to go somewhere quiet, such as:
- during periods of overwhelm
- when facing a difficult relationship issue
- when struggling with mental health.
In my research into grief at work, I was touched by the answers one respondent gave me about how organisation's approach...
“I can't imagine a much more challenging situation than supporting bereaved staff & you have my absolute respect for doing something like that (not sure it's something I could do)”
I got this message from a friend of mine recently, which got me thinking.
Did you know that on any given day, at least 1 in 10 of the workforce is experience a bereavement.
We recently conducted some research into the impact of bereavement and grief on productivity. The results were fascinating...
One of my flagship programmes is called "Grief at Work" designed to help employers understand how grief affects their workforce, and how they can best support bereaved colleagues.
When I tell people this, they often start off by thinking it is something morbid, or doubting that this is even necessary.
However, very quickly, they find a private moment to talk to me about their own losses. Sometimes very raw and recent. Sometimes in the distant past. Always, they tell me how hard it was when they returned to work after their bereavement. Often, they themselves are still grieving and need someone to talk to.
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