A friend is in the midst of a crisis at his place of employment. Several people have resigned, leaving him to hold the bag and cover their responsibilities in addition to his own. It’s mid-stream in the work, a horrible time to try and find any help, let alone onboard them and have them actually contribute. He is drowning.

And what was the response of his senior manager? To recommend having a retreat to talk about the issues that have led to the resignations and consider a long-term plan.

Just no.

When the place is on fire, support looks like a bucket of water, not a lecture on fire safety. There is a time and place for debriefing and planning, but in the midst of the crisis is not it.

If you find yourself in a position where you should or want to offer to help someone, first ask them: “What do you need from me?” or as Brené Brown writes: “What does support look like for you?” Your aim should be to become part of the solution rather than an addition to the problem.

Thanks, Meg!

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