Reaching out when you need help and reaching in to support other colleagues are both essential for creating a supportive and collaborative work environment. Here are some strategies for both:
- Identify Trusted Colleagues: Identify colleagues you trust and feel comfortable talking to about challenges or concerns you may have.
- Be Honest and Direct: When reaching out for help, be honest and direct about your needs and concerns. Explain the situation clearly and ask for specific help or support.
- Accountability Buddy: Have someone in your network, family, friend or colleague, who you commit to being 100% honest with when they ask you, ‘how are you?’ This can help you to know there is always a space where you can share with someone how you are feeling, with someone you trust and feel safe with.
- Seek Professional Support: If you are struggling with mental health issues, consider seeking professional support from a therapist or counsellor. They can provide guidance, support, and practical strategies to help you manage your feelings.
- Access ‘Tools’ and ‘Help Now’: there are lots of strategies for you to manage feelings and thoughts in the ‘Tools’ section of this app and organisations for additional support in the ‘Help Now’ section.
- Be Approachable: Be approachable and open to listening to your colleagues and peers. Create a safe and non-judgmental environment where others feel comfortable reaching out to you.
- Show Empathy and Support: Show empathy and support when your colleagues reach out to you. Listen actively and respond with kindness and understanding.
- Double tap: Many people use “how are you?” as a greeting and so answer instantly, without considering how they are really feeling. Ask someone again, “how are things going for you?”.
- Advocate for a Supportive Work Environment: Advocate for a supportive work environment where all colleagues feel valued, supported, and respected. This can involve speaking up about issues that need to be addressed and supporting efforts to improve the workplace culture.
Reaching out and reaching in are both essential for building a supportive work environment, that contributes to individuals feeling valued and nurtured.