Leaders let people grieve in their own way

 

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Everyone works through grief and the aftermath of trauma in their own way.  Some of us have had success navigating stages of grief, and others have dealt with tragedy in their own, unclassifiable way.

It feels safe to say that everyone is different, and everyone ought to be regarded with patience.  Sometimes, leaders can be well-meaning and try to steer others into a prescribed way of acting and dealing. But, the dealing with grief is personal.  It’s important to let people be in control, especially when tragedy, untimely death, or other horrible news makes them feel powerless.

Because when someone already feels powerless and without control, attempts to tell them “what works” might make them feel more powerless and controlled.

One leader I know once dealt with an untimely death on the team in this way; provided a box of tissue for everyone, and publicly stated that work will go on, but every individual had permission to do “whatever they needed to do” even if it meant time away from the workspace, making calls, talking to colleagues, or becoming an obsessive workaholic for a few days.  The point was, team members got to be in control.

Grieving in concert, but without judgment or prescription, can build a team.  Too much dictation can tear it apart.

Be careful and kind out there.

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