Sometimes a simple “how are you?” can be enough to get them talking about how they are going and allow you to discuss support options.
How can I help others
Someone in my team seems stressed, how can I help?
Ask how they’re doing
Let them talk.
Being a sounding board for someone can make all the difference. When we are going through a hard time, it helps to have our experience validated and be able to share how are feeling without judgement.
Ask how you can help
Ask how you can help support them. People usually have a general idea about what they need in that moment, but sometimes may need a bit of support finding the courage or resources to make it happen. Ask if you can arrange an appointment with a support service, or go along with them. If it’s related to work, suggest a team member or manager who can provide support for the issue. If you are the person’s manager, find out what about their role or work is causing them stress and work with the person to make changes where appropriate. If you need help doing this, seek advice from HR or your manager on how to support them with this.
Identify ways to manage stress
Help the person to identify ways to manage stress. It can be difficult to provide advice if we aren’t trained in doing so, however anyone can help someone to identify what they think would be helpful for them. Ask questions like “what usually makes you feel relaxed?” “when was the last time you felt calm – and what were you doing then that you aren’t doing now?” and “what actions could you take to change how things are for you?”
Don’t get too involved.
It’s important to remember that the wellbeing of support-people is important too. If we get too involved with helping someone, it can come at a cost to our wellbeing or may actually be unhelpful for the person experiencing stress. Provide support where and when appropriate, help them get the help they need, and seek advice from a trained professional or manager if you need to.