Showers over Windermere from Holbeck Lane near Troutbeck.

Some Tips on Caring Leadership

November 10, 2020

As we enter the ‘Second Half’ of the Covid challenge, statistics suggest that 40% of adults are suffering from mental health issues ranging from anxiety through to depression.  Isolation and disconnection are hurting all of us.

It’s vital for all of us to be checking in on our family, friends and colleagues to help any of those who might be struggling.

For the past six months I’ve been starting every meeting by asking participants to describe how they’re feeling using two adjectives to headline their emotions.  This gives you a rapid ‘health check’ and an early warning of people who could potentially be struggling.

Here are some practical pieces of advice from a young student doctor in Sydney (Zachery Dereniowski) that I found surprisingly obvious, and very, very helpful.

Five indicators that might suggest one of your people could be struggling.

  • If they frequently say they are tired.
  • If they use words like busy, stressed, overwhelmed, regularly.
  • If they brush things off with short responses and seem emotionally disengaged.
  • If they are disengaged in conversation on stuff they normally care about – “I don’t care”, “whatever”, “it doesn’t matter”.
  • If they are ‘breaking patterns’ like punctuality, dress code, etc.

Six phrases to avoid when talking to someone who may be battling depression.

  • Keep calm and carry on.
  • It could be worse.
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • Time heals all wounds.
  • Get over it.



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