How Supportive Leaders Approach Emotional Conversations - Deepstash

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Approaching Emotional Conversations in the Workplace

Approaching Emotional Conversations in the Workplace

Most of us go through things in life that we almost always rarely share with our workmates and often just opt to fake a smile and say "I'm fine" in order to avoid talking about the subject.

However, the first step to increasing job satisfaction and supporting our mental health we have to open up. Vulnerability is scary, but being able to talk about something that matters to you will most certainly lift a burden off of our shoulders.


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How Leaders Should Approach Emotional Conversations

How Leaders Should Approach Emotional Conversations

When we check up on our colleague and ask how we're doing, how sincere are we when asking? It's likely that we do care with a certain percentage but not 100%.

It's important that we learn proper supportive language because it is how we respond to what they tell us is that makes the largest impact on the conversation.


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Emotionally dismissive language sounds like...

  • “What do you have to be sad about?” or “You shouldn’t be sad, you have an excellent job/family/etc.” — This is dismissive phrasing
  • “Everyone feels like that sometimes” to “There’s nothing to worry about.” — This is minimization
  • “Hey, it could be worse!” or “That’s just a ‘first-world problem.’” — This is what negation sounds like
  • “You shouldn’t worry” or “You just need to get more sleep.” — Prescribing solutions aren't the way to go; and
  • “Just look at the bright side!” or “Everything happens for a reason!” — Positivity can become unproductive when it's the only option offered


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Emotionally supportive language sounds like...

  • "I can see why this is exhausting" or "I believe you" — words of validation during a difficult time can bring comfort
  • "Tell me more about that" — shows that we seek to understand, we care, and that we want to learn more so we can try to do more for them
  • "How can I best support you right now?" "Would X be helpful?" — When asking them or suggesting a way to support them can make the process of handling easier
  • "Thank you for telling me this and I appreciate that you allowed yourself to be vulnerable to me" — This enforces a sense of security they could be needing


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As we continue into the new chapters of navigating constant uncertainty, do you want to be the leader who adds to the weight or the one who makes it a little lighter? 



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Embracing the pandemonium


As I go through a period of uncertainty in my life, I want to share how I have emotional conversations in the workplace.

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