Given how much time we spend at the office, it’s inevitable that people will occasionally get emotional in the workplace—for personal or professional reasons.
Many managers are uncomfortable with emotional behavior, but instead of ignoring your employees’ tears, respond with these practical tips:
*Let the tears flow. Your first instinct should be to help. Be comforting and offer a tissue. It’s not unprofessional to cry, it’s human.
*Keep your responses simple. Focus on the employee and resist the temptation to tell a story of your own. Don’t push a person to tell you what’s happening if he doesn’t want to talk about it.
*Make a specific plan for handling the situation going forward. Can you temporarily reduce her workload? Can you set up regular check-ins to monitor the situation and how it’s affecting her work?
Adapted from “What to Do When an Employee Cries at Work,” by Amy Gallo.