The final implementation date for the customer software was just a few weeks away. The problems were mounting and everyone on the team was putting in long hours. The stress level was high. Maria kept a careful eye on her team members. She began to be concerned about signs she saw in Elizabeth, who was short with her colleagues and was making some errors. Continue reading
Edward wasn’t happy about the pressure he was getting to perform at a different level. He felt that the large strategic project he was leading was progressing adequately and he should be allowed to run it as he saw fit. He laid out a lot of rationale for his position. But the truth was that Edward was in a leadership slump and not owning up to it. And the more pressure he received, the more defensive he got.
But one day, he got surprised. The owner of the company, Lou, took Edward to lunch and told him he was concerned, as a colleague, that he might be seeing Edward struggling. “Edward, I’ve known you and admired your work for many years. You’ve always attacked it with vigor, and always sought out the tough challenges. Nothing got in your way. But it seems like you may be feeling overwhelmed by those challenges now. I don’t want to see you berating yourself, or feeling unappreciated by me. I know you have what it takes to get back to where you were. What I don’t know is the best way to give you support and encouragement to do that.”
Marcia indeed understood Tracy’s plight, remembering how difficult it had been for her to balance work and care for her mother, to navigate medical professionals and insurance claims, and to deal with her mother’s fears. Her empathy was real, and she had expressed it sincerely. But she went home that evening feeling unsatisfied. Continue reading