In the span of a few months, Katie Huey’s father died, her husband lost his job, and she also found herself in a work transition. Katie’s story begs the question: when it seems like everything is crashing down, what can you do? Can you learn to cultivate gratitude, even in the midst of disruption? What is the difference between self-care and self-nurture? And what should you expect from a work environment when things fall apart?
You can find her interview on Google Play, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. Or just click on this link…
Katie had a range of important insights to offer, but I want to pull out three reflections in particular from this conversation.
If you are going through a hard season, Katie had some helpful suggestions. You could try cultivating gratitude by noticing something, each day, to be grateful for. Perhaps try charting the intensity of your grief daily so you can notice a trajectory over time. You could also ask the question, how am I practicing self-nurture today?
Katie realized that she didn’t have to share the fullness of her grief journey with everyone. When confronted with unsympathetic people or overwhelming situations at work, Katie chose to opt out of activities or let people know she wasn’t comfortable sharing. Perhaps this could be helpful for you if you find yourself in situations that don’t feel safe at work. And, perhaps a point 2b, if you are a co-worker, your responses and your non-responses powerfully affect whether people feel safe. A blank stare is not a neutral response; it can make people feel unseen and unwilling to share.
As you are interviewing for jobs, ask the interviewer, what do you do to support employees that are going through hard times? If you are an employer, you should ask this question as well. For Katie, a lack of support was a big part of why she left her job. What are you doing to support your people during disruption? If you don’t know or if you want to get better, contact me at Handle with Care, HR Solutions. Information about our offerings can be found at https://www.lieselmertes.com/services . As a workplace empathy consultant, my goal is to empower workplaces to give meaningful support during these times of disruption.