An employee, a single mother of a teenager, contacted National EAP because she was at risk of losing her home. Our Client Consultant conducted a thorough assessment of her needs and was able to connect the employee to pertinent resources and assist her with a complicated application process that resulted in her receiving the monetary assistance she needed. The employee also received short-term solution focused Employee Assistance counseling in-person for multiple sessions to help her manage the stress of her situation.
A team of employees were demonstrating in-fighting and a lack of cooperation. During interviews with the manager, employees reported their messages weren’t being heard by other team members and some employee actions were perceived as aggressive to other team members. HR was concerned with the lack of team cohesiveness and how these behaviors may interfere with the team’s interaction with customers. Upon assessment with National EAP, DiSC assessment training was recommended to allow the team members to understand their own communication styles and those of their team. Each team member was sent a DiSC communication assessment to complete. A trainer delivered our four-hour deep dive training into their DiSC assessment results to develop the participants self-awareness about their style and those of their co-workers. The training results as reported by each of the team members, the manager and HR were communication improved dramatically and team members developed a respect for each member’s communication style and gained insight on how best to work together to achieve the needs of all the team members involved.
A male employee was administratively referred for inappropriate conduct at work and complaints of harassment by subordinates. This employee was valued by his organization and his employer was concerned that if he didn’t turn around his behavior, they would lose a strong performer that generated a great deal of sales. The employee was given a Performance Improvement Plan that stated he would be terminated if he didn’t turn around his behavior. He was also referred to National EAP’s administrative referral program to deliver EA counseling to assist his growth. Upon engagement with National EAP, the employee initially demonstrated little insight into referral behaviors and was quite resistant to the EAP counseling process. Our EAP Specialist worked with the employee to explore these behaviors, identify underlying personal issues, educate the employee on harassment and workplace appropriateness and help the employee make the changes necessary to succeed at work. After the first two sessions, the employee’s resistance appeared to dissipate and he was able to embrace the Employee Assistance turnaround process. By the end of his EAP sessions (6), the employee expressed how much he had learned and how grateful he was for National EAP. He even chose to continue on his self-development work, requesting a long-term referral to an outside counselor for ongoing support.
During leadership training we ask participants “Think of a boss you have had that you regarded as a great leader, someone you really loved working for and write down 5 reasons why”. We follow with a group debrief of their answers, cataloging their “why’s”. Below are common statements we hear each and every time without fail:
- They were inspirational.
- They cared about me because when (life event) happened, they were (compassionate supportive reaction).
- They respected me and my talents.
- They invested their time in me by: mentoring, training, growth opportunities, etc.
- They were someone I admired and looked up to for how they led us.
- They had excellent communication skills.
- I felt valued by them.
- They understood people and motivated us forward.
The culmination of the above why’s demonstrate that great leaders who employees remember and yearn for are leaders who are able to make employees FEEL good. Feel valued. Feel respected. Feel understood.
Great leadership is behaving and acting in a way that makes other feel that their worth, dignity and contributions in this world are respected and given the appropriate time and attention. It is about creating a trusting relationship between leader and employee where one’s inherent worth and value is upheld in both action and words. It is about creating safe spaces where individuals can be comfortable enough to stretch, grow, test themselves out, take chances and sometimes fall down without ridicule.
A lot is said about what great leadership is – being strong, clear, a driver, creative thinker, a force to be reckoned with, someone who is tough and gets the job done. Let us never forget however that really great leadership also includes kindness, empathy, compassion, outward focus and a genuine passion for the wellbeing of others and everyones success as a whole. A leader with great Emotional Intelligence and excellent interpersonal skills will always outpace a leader who bosses, demands, tells, ridicules, ignores, lies or dismisses.
Let us strive to be kind to one another, to remain respectful, to be the very best of leaders and to participate in building a workplace, community and country that raises each other up.
Because really…what’s the point otherwise?